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WBS Penguins (D)efeat Manchester 7-6

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If you couldn't figure out why the D in the headline was in parenthesis you will by the end of tonight's post game recap.

The Penguins came out firing but trailed the Monarchs 2-0 after twenty minutes, despite out shooting Manchester 15-5. But you had to have a feeling that if the bounces started going the Penguins way that they could turn this game around.

The Penguins did just that, tallying four straight goals in the middle frame to pull ahead 4-2. Goal scorers were Brandon DeFazio (8th), Gibbons (9th), Williams (9th) and Chupp (1st) but a lot of the credit should go to Colin McDonald, who set up two of the four goals with absolutely amazing passes. 

You have to give credit to Manchester for their effort in the third period. Linden Vey scored two goals in the final period and finished with 3 points and a +5 rating despite his team giving up six goals. I'm sure most in the building tonight thought blowout after Williams and Zach Sill scored 16 seconds apart to make it a 6-3 game.

But the Monarchs kept battling and managed to get a point out of a game where frankly they were outplayed for a good portion of the contest. They got four goals in the final 15:55 of play to send the game to overtime, with the last goal coming from Trent Hunter with the goalie pulled and only 48 ticks left on the clock.

The game needed a shootout to decide the winner and the Pens got goals from Geoff Walker and Bryan Lerg, along with four saves on five Monarchs shooters by Scott Munroe to preserve the win.

The only other game in the AHL tonight was a big one for WBS as Hershey lost in regulation to the Lake Erie Monsters 4-3. The Pens' win, coupled with the Hershey loss, gives the Penguins first place with 71 points and Hershey is stuck on 67 points and moves to third. The idle Norfolk Admirals remain in 2nd place with 69 points.

On a personnel note, newly assigned forward Cal O'Reilly didn't play tonight but I was told he made it to Wilkes-Barre late this afternoon and was given the night off. Expect to see him this weekend. Carl Sneep is still not 100% and Cody Wild and Philip Samuelsson were healthy scratches on the blue line tonight. Up front, Matt Rust and Steve MacIntyre were healthy scratches.

It was interesting that Nick Petersen didn't play much at all and was replaced by DeFazio on his usual spot with Walker and Craig where he started the game. Didn't appear hurt and sat in the middle of the bench the whole third period.

Penguins play home Saturday against Syracuse and Sunday afternoon against Norfolk. Highland Park Hockey will keep you covered with Penguins hockey all weekend long!

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