The Monarchs beat the Penguins by a score of 3-2 tonight in a tightly contested, 50 minute affair.
Wait, what? Aren’t hockey games 60 minutes? Well, yes, dear reader, they are in fact 60 minutes. The Penguins just forgot to put it in drive the first 10 minutes of the game and fell behind 2-0. They scrapped and clawed their way back to a tie score in the second period, but :31 later the Monarchs scored the go ahead goal to lead for good. Wilkes-Barre got close, but not close enough to a point to where there were any more goals scored.
Full credit goes to the Manchester Monarchs for hanging in and either protecting the lead or not allowing the Penguins to score the tying goal. They lead the Eastern Conference for a reason and anyone who attended the game tonight saw why.
Jeff Zatkoff vs. J-F Berube
Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – JS Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Conor Sheary – Carter Rowney – Josh Archibald
Pierre Leblond – Dominik Uher – Bobby Farnham
Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Scott Harrington – Philip Samuelsson
Reid McNeill – Derrick Pouliot
Zatkoff – Matt Murray
Dea was back in the lineup for Jayson Megna, who was recalled to Pittsburgh earlier today.
First Period: Manchester used speed and muscle to push the Penguins around. They did so on a power play for a 1-0 lead and then made it 2-0 on a two on one. A key penalty kill halfway through was the first positive thing that happened for the Penguins in the period. I felt at the time that if Manchester did score, things would spiral out of hand.
J-S Dea scored on a five on three for the Pens and Manchester nearly scored shorthanded on the left over penalty kill.
Second Period: Conor Sheary with a great individual effort dancing around Manchester defenders made it a tie game at two on the power play. But :31 later, Jordan Weal scored on a rebound that Zatkoff left to make it 3-2 Manchester. You didn’t know it at the time, but it would end up as a deflating goal which stood as the game winner.
Jeff Zatkoff had two saves that will end up on his highlight reel. Manchester just killed a penalty. As the player was exiting the box, a two on one developed. Zatkoff got over and made a tremendous toe save that kept the game a one goal deficit for the Penguins.
Third Period: Zatkoff made his second big save of the game on another cross ice pass that he got a pad on, although the replay showed that Nick Shore of Manchester kind of shot it right into his pad.
Time just ran out on the Penguins in the period. Manchester did a good job of bending but not breaking. The shots in the period were an even 10-10. The Penguins with a late power play and an extra attacker with Zatkoff pulled, never found the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) JS Dea (goal) 2) Conor Sheary (goal, -1) and 1) Jordan Weal (goal)
Around the Division: Binghamton throttles Albany 7-0…Hershey nips Worcester 1-0 in another stellar performance by G Philipp Grubauer…St. John’s beats Lehigh Valley in overtime 2-1 and Portland destroys Norfolk 7-1.
Standings: Penguins 23 — Hershey 20 — Lehigh Valley 18 — Binghamton 16 — Norfolk 12
Conference: 1) MCH (25) 2) SYR (23) 3) WBS (23) 4) SPR (23) 5) BRI (22) 6) HER (20) 7) HFD (20) 8) PRO (19)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 6-3 to the Elmira Jackals in New York. Zack Torquato and Nick D’Agostino had goals for the Nailers in the loss.
SendToNews Highlights: Are here.
Pens get some time off now and play again in Hershey on Wednesday. But the blog will be active. Monday I will have the Week 7 AHL Power Rankings. Tuesday I will have the First Quarter Grades and Wednesday is the game against Hershey. So check back then for all of this.
Let’s Go Pens!