Monarchs win in shootout for third straight home victory
Manchester (9-9-0-1) sits in second place in the Atlantic Division with 19 points. The Penguins (10-3-1-3) rank first in the East Division with 24 points.
“We started the game with pretty good energy,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “We ran into penalty issues and they were able to capitalize on a five-on-three. It kind of nullified what we were able to do earlier in the game. We were able to make one more stop than them tonight. (Jeff) Zatkoff was solid all night. It was a successful weekend and should be encouraged by the improvements we are making.”
Monarchs right wing Jordan Nolan scored the game-winning shootout goal. Left wing David Meckler and center Marc-Andre Cliche also scored for the Monarchs in the shootout. Center Jason Williams tallied the lone goal for the Penguins in the shootout. Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff stopped right wing Colin McDonald, center Ben Street and right wing Niko Dimitrakos. Monarchs right wingers Linden Vey and Stefan Legein were denied by Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen.
The Penguins opened the scoring during a five-on-three situation. Williams passed the puck from the middle of the slot to Dimitrakos in the right face-off circle who maneuvered for a clear shooting lane. Finding his lane, Dimitrakos wristed his shot past Zatkoff high on the stick side. Street also assisted on the tally coming at 19:55 of the first period.
Manchester tied the game at 1-1 with a goal of at 3:36 of the middle stanza. Left wing Dwight King shot the puck from the left point that produced a rebound to the left corner. Center Justin Azevedo corralled the puck and flipped a centering pass for Vey who wristed it from the slot for his fourth goal of the season.
The Monarchs took the lead later in the second period at 15:52 with a goal scored by defenseman Andrew Campbell. King cycled the puck down the left wing boards to Azevedo behind the net. The center carried the puck to the right corner before finding Campbell in the slot for a one-timer that beat Thiessen top-shelf on the stick side for his second goal in as many games.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered 1:07 later in the third period after capitalizing on a Monarchs turnover. Left wing Eric Tangradi stole the puck in the right corner of Manchester’s zone and set up Street skating down from the high slot. The puck beat Zatkoff on the top corner glove side. The goal was Street’s fifth of the season.
Manchester regained the lead when Nolan scored his fifth goal of the season. Skating on the power play, Monarchs defenseman Patrick Mullen wristed a shot from the right point that trickled behind the pads of Thiessen. As a few Monarchs celebrated, Nolan spotted the puck and swiped the puck to the back of the net at 9:02 of the third period. Defenseman David Kolomatis also tallied an assist on the power play strike.
The Penguins knotted the game at 3-3 when defenseman Robert Bortuzzo at 10:18 of the third period. Right wing Geoff Walker passed the puck from the left corner to Bortuzzo at the right point. The defenseman wristed a shot five-hole on Zatkoff for his first goal of the season. McDonald assisted on the tying goal.
Zatkoff (4-2-1) earned his fourth victory of the season stopping 35-of-38 shots in regulation and 3-of-4 shootout snipers. Thiessen (9-3-1) took his first shootout loss of the season making 25 saves on 28 shots in regulation and 2-of-5 shootout attempts.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Penguins were 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are on a three-game winning streak and have won their last three games at the Verizon Wireless Arena after ending a five-game winless streak…Manchester scored their first power play goal in six games; they were 0-for-20 heading into tonight’s game…Right wing Jordan Nolan has four points (3-1=4) in his last two games…Defenseman Andrew Campbell is on a two-game goal-scoring streak…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has won his last three starts in net, stopping 109-of-116 shots…