Manderson "The Hometown Hero" as Penguins Hold Off Hamilton

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Denver Manderson (Fergus, Ontario native) with the game-winning goal in a road game that was close to home for Manderson.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell behind late in the first period tonight against the Hamilton Bulldogs but tallied three straight in the second period, including back-to-back power play goals 1:39 apart to start the middle frame, and held off a furious Hamilton attack in the third period en route to a 4-2 win for the Penguins.

Peter Mannino picked up the win in his second straight start of the weekend, stopping 30 of 32 shots. Andrew Ebbett picked up three points (2G-1A), while Tom Kostopoulos added a goal and an assist. Denver Manderson, a Fergus, Ontario native, tallied the game winning goal in his return close to home.

The win, coupled with regulation losses by Albany and Providence, moves the Penguins into 6th place in the Eastern Conference. In the East Division, Norfolk defeated Hershey 3-1 to move into first place, leapfrogging the Binghamton Senators after the BSens see a 4-0 lead over Utica on home ice evaporate into a 6-5 shootout loss. The Penguins remain third in the division, two points behind Norfolk and one point behind Binghamton.

The Penguins finish their three-game weekend road trip against teams from the Western Conference with a 3 p.m. ET face-off against North Division leader Toronto Marlies Sunday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum.

The Penguins got into penalty trouble in the second half of the first period, taking three minor penalties in a span of 5:03. The Pens technically killed off all three minors, but the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead one second after their third power play of the period expired. Gabriel Dumont tallied his 15th of the season with 4:43 left in the opening period, putting the Bulldogs in front 1-0.

The Penguins responded with a great 2nd period, starting with goals on back-to-back power plays (yes, consecutive power plays) 1:39 apart in the first two and a half minutes.

First, Andrew Ebbett deflected a Nick Drazenovic point shot 42 seconds into the middle frame for his 10th of the season to tie things at 1-1. Then Ebbett won an offensive zone face-off after another Hamilton penalty, getting the puck to team-captain Tom Kostopoulos, who tallied his 21st of the season and 13th on the power play to put the Penguins in front 2-1 just 2:21 into the period.

The third line was rewarded for their work on the forecheck  midway through the hockey game as Adam Payerl and Denver Manderson teamed up for the Penguins third straight goal of the middle frame with 9:01 left, putting the Penguins up 3-1 on Manderson's 2nd of the season. Scott Harrington picked up an assist on the play as well.

The Pens continued to pour it on and if not for some big saves by Bulldogs goaltender Robert Mayer - a breakaway stop on Bobby Farnham and a brilliant save on Spencer Machacek on back-to-back shifts midway through the hockey game come to mind - this game could have easily turned into a route. It didn't.

The Penguins got back into penalty trouble in the final minutes of the 2nd period and the undisciplined penalties continued early in the third period, allowing the Bulldogs to draw within one 3:53 into the final frame on a power play re-direct goal by Mike Blunden.

The Bulldogs dominated much of the third period, but the Penguins added an empty net goal in the final minute to hold on for the 4-2 victory.


Peter Mannino got his 2nd straight start in net tonight, stopping 30 of 32 for his third win of the season. Good game by the Pens netminder who is quietly now 3-1-1 on the season with 2.22 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

Nick D'Agostino replaced Bary Goers in the WBS lineup on defense, while Adam Payerl returned to the WBS lineup after a one-game absence as a healthy scratch. Payerl replaced Anton Zlobin up front.

Chuck Kobasew is reported to be joining the team sometime next week and isn't with the team on their current road trip.


Machacek - Ebbett - Megna
Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Uher - Manderson - Payerl
Farnham - Carman - Leblond

Samuelsson - McNeill
Harrington - Mikkelson
Dumoulin - D'Agostino


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