Monarchs Open Series With Triple Overtime Win

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Penguins and Monarchs battled in Game One tonight. Game Two tomorrow night. Photo credit: @ErinMBarry.
In what was the second longest game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins franchise history, the Pens rallied from three one-goal deficits to force overtime but came up short 4:13 into triple overtime as Manchester took Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 4-3 to take a 1-0 series lead heading into Thursday night's Game Two.

Zach O'Brien played the role of hero for the Monarchs, who's first tally of the postseason ended a game that lasted 104:13.

The play in the first overtime was even, but Manchester out shot 12-3 in a second overtime dominated by the home team before they ended things early into the third extra session. Matt Murray finished with 52 saves on 56 shots in the loss for the Pens, while Jean-Francois Berube stopped 40 of 43 in the win for the Monarchs.


A frantically paced first period saw the Penguins try to play Manchester's run-and-gun, high-powered offensive style. The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead on the opening shift after a turnover by the Penguins in their own left Nick Shore all alone in front with the puck for an easy goal 18 seconds into play.

The Penguins seemed to get to their game from there - evening the score at 1-1 just over three minutes later after a face-off win by Jayson Megna allowed Kasperi Kapanen to find Taylor Chorney open at the point for a blast that found it's way past J-F Berube.

Manchester's pressure came in waves in the 1st period, and they re-gained the one goal lead midway through the 1st period on AHL regular season MVP Brian O'Neill's 4th tally of the playoffs. But a late period penalty on Nick Schultz, drawn by WBS fan favorite Bobby Farnham, gave the Pens a power play with 17 seconds left before the first intermission.

On the ensuing face-off, Andrew Ebbett muscled a puck over to Conor Sheary who got the puck back to Derrick Pouliot at the point. Pouliot faked a shot and slid a pass over to Scott Wilson at the top of the right-wing face-off circle for a one-time blast that beat Berube to the spot with 11 seconds left in the period to send the two teams tied at 2-2 heading to the first intermission.

The middle frame was more of what was expected between these two teams - who were first and second in the league during the regular season in terms of least goals allowed.

The Pens had the early push and were out shooting the Monarchs 4-1 in the first half of the period, but a key offensive zone face-off win by Jordan Weal gave the home team it's third one-goal lead of the night. Weal won a face-off back to Colin Miller, whose point shot eluded a screened Matt Murray to make it a 3-2 game with 8:10 left in the 2nd period to give the Monarchs the lead heading to the third period.

The never-say-die Penguins evened things up for a third time, at 3-3, via a Conor Sheary goal 8:19 into the third period to force overtime.

While the first period was an offensive slug fest (four goals and 26 shots combined between the two teams) the final 40 minutes was a relatively tight-checking affair - two goals and 30 shots combined between the Pens and Monarchs.

The Penguins battled back from three one-goal deficits, but Manchester never trailed. The Pens had their chances in the extra sessions but it was Zach O'Brien playing the role of hero tonight in the Pens' 1st loss of the 2015 postseason.


Matt Murray (52 saves - 56 shots) got the start in net for the Penguins tonight in Game One, with veteran Jeff Zatkoff serving as the team's backup.

No changes on defense for the Penguins, but one lineup change up front as Matia Marcantuoni slotted into the 4th line center position for Jean-Sebastien Dea. Josh Archibald took warmups, but was a healthy scratch.

WBS Scratches: Eric Hartzell, Tristan Jarry, Harrison Ruopp, Sean Escobedo, Alex Boak,
Jean-Sebastien Dea, Nick Drazenovic, Bryan Rust, Josh Archibald, Danny Syvret, Nick D’Agostino, Ryan Parent, Adam Payerl, Sahir Gill, Clark Seymour and Oskar Sundqvist.


Conor Sheary - Andrew Ebbett - Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson - Jayson Megna - Kasperi Kapanen
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Dominik Uher
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Matia Marcantuoni - Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney - Brian Dumoulin
Scott Harrington - Barry Goers
Reid McNeill - Derrick Pouliot

Matt Murray - Jeff Zatkoff


Jean-Francois Berube (40 shots - 43 saves) got the start in net for the Monarchs in Game One, with rookie Patrik Bartosak serving as the team's backup.

Only one lineup change for the Monarchs from Game Five of their first round series to tonight's Game One versus the Penguins, with David Van Der Gulik in up front for rookie Ryan Horvat.

MCH Scratches: Stephen Mastalerz, Jonny Brodzinski, Paul Bissonnette, Nick Ebert, Ryan Horvat, Scott Sabourin, Kevin Raine and Alex Lintuniemi


Michael Mersch - Jordan Weal - Brian O'Neill
Adrian Kempe - Nick Shore - Sean Backman
David Van Der Gulik - Nic Dowd - Zach O'Brien
Josh Gratton - Andrew Crescenzi - Justin Auger

Vincent LoVerde - Andrew Bodnarchuk
Colin Miller - Jeff Schultz
Derek Forbort - Kevin Gravel

Jean-Francois Berube - Patrik Bartosak


1st Period

0:18: MCH - Shore (1) - Kempe, Backman
3:34: WBS - Chorney (1) - Kapanen, Megna
10:49: MCH - O'Neill (4) - Weal, Miller
14:09: MCH - Gratton, major (fighting)
14:09: WBS - Leblond, major (fighting)
14:09: WBS - (PP) Leblond, minor (goaltender interference)
19:43: MCH - (PP) Schultz, minor (hooking)
19:49: WBS - PPG Wilson (2) - Pouliot, Sheary

2nd Period

11:50: MCH - Miller (1) - Weal

3rd Period

8:19: WBS - Sheary (3) - Ebbett, Kostopoulos


No scoring

2nd OT

No scoring

3rd OT

4:13: MCH - O'Brien (1) - Van Der Gulik, LoVerde


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