MONARCHS END PENS’ HOMESTAND WITH 3-1 VICTORY
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Rookie netminder Jeff Zatkoff posted 37 saves and Jon Zeiler’s first-period goal stood up as the game winner as the Manchester Monarchs took a 3-1 victory from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
Zeiler’s goal came just 49 seconds after newcomer Tom Cavanagh lit the lamp in his Monarchs debut. Linemate Bud Holloway took a shot from the right circle that bounced off of traffic in front of John Curry and right onto his tape. The former San Jose Sharks prospect wasted no time in pushing in his first of the season. Manchester would then make it 2-0 after Kevin Westgarth hacked the puck free of Curry from behind the goal line and centered a pass to Zeiler who one-timed the puck into the vacated net.
With Chris Conner serving a controversial second-period tripping call, the Monarchs would extend their lead to 3-0 on the ensuing power play as rookie leading scorer Corey Elkins tipped a Holloway pass behind Curry at the 14:19 mark.
The Penguins got on the board just 47 seconds into the third, as former Monarch winger Konstantin Pushkarev flew toward a loose puck sitting against Zatkoff’s right pad and the goal line and touched it home for his second goal in as many nights.
The hosts would be handed four straight power play opportunities immediately after Pushkarev’s goal, including a 5-on-3 chance, but the league’s second-best penalty kill would wipe out all four and go 6-for-6 overall.
Zatkoff stopped 15 of 16 Penguins shots in the third period, and 37 of 38 overall to win his 12th game of the season. Curry turned aside 18 of 21 and fell to 16-13-1.
The Penguins now take to the road for five straight games beginning next Friday at 7:05 in Binghamton. The Penguins will return home on January 29th at 7:05 pm as the Hershey Bears bring their challenge to the newly named Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Great seats are available by calling the Arena box office or visiting any Ticketmaster location. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000.
NOTES: The Penguins ended their seven-game homestand with a record of 6-3-0-0… C Joe Vitale extended his point streak to a season-high seven games... The Penguins are 0-14-0-0 when trailing after two periods.