Monarchs Double Up Penguins

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Manchester Monarchs remain tied atop the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 win over WBS Pens. Photo credit: @ItsJacki

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period, but it was the Manchester Monarchs with the late push and the 4-2 victory over the Pens tonight. Tom Kuhnhackl and Nick Drazenovic scored for the Penguins in the loss, who are back in action tomorrow when they host East Division leading Binghamton at 4:05 p.m. EST.

Recap after the jump.

Monarchs improve to 23-8-2-4 on the season.
The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead 2:34 into the first period when Nick Shore's centering pass banked into the net past Jeff Deslauriers. Derek Forbort added the lone assist.The Pens were having trouble generating much of a forecheck through the first half of the first period as Manchester had the decided edge in play.

Brian O'Neill made it 2-0 just 52 seconds into the 2nd period on a shot that blooped up and over Deslauriers' glove. Tanner Pearson and Andrew Bodnarchuk added assists on O'Neill's eighth of the season.

The Penguins got two second period power plays and were unable to convert, but Tom Kuhnhackl cut the Monarchs' lead in half with 1:51 left in the middle frame, taking a face-off win from Zack Torquato in the slot and firing a wrist shot to the top right corner past Berube for his 7th goal of the season.

Kuhnhackl looked like James Neal with the goal off the face-off on a set play. It was his first goal since a November 30th goal against the Hershey Bears in Giant Center. Hopefully that goal will light a fire under Kuhnhackl, who had been struggling coming into 2014.

The Penguins tied the game in the third period when Nick Drazenovic tapped home the rebound of a Nick D'Agostino shot with 12:17 left in regulation. Harry Zolnierczyk added an assist and has points in all three games this week in his return from Pittsburgh. Zolnierczyk has four points (1G-3A) in his current three game point scoring streak.

The game didn't stay deadlocked at 2-2 for long, as Manchester's Nick Deslauriers took a pass from Ian O'Connor just inside the right face-off cirlce and let a wrist shot fly past the Penguins goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to give the Monarchs a 3-2 lead with 5:55 remaining in the game.

The Pens didn't lay down quietly after that, buzzing around the Monarchs' net in the final minutes of regulation, but Jean-Francois Berube stood tall in his 23rd straight start for Manchester, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced tonight for the victory.

Tanner Pearson added an empty added an empty net goal with 28.5 seconds left to complete the 4-2 final score.


Same lineup as last night. Carter Rowney, Harrison Ruopp and Barry Goers were the healthy scratches.

Injury Update: Bobby Farnham (undisclosed) missed his third straight game. Peter Merth (day-to-day), C.J. Severyn (upper body, week-to-week) and Adam Payerl (upper body, 3-4 months) are out with injuries.


Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Zlobin - Carman - Thompson
Uher - Torquato - Kuhnhackl
Leblond - Manderson - Sylvester 

Dumoulin - Samuelsson
Harrington - Mikkelson
D'Agostino - McNeill



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