WILKES-BARRE, PA – Two quick power play goals were the demise of the Manchester Monarchs as they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 in front of 7,226 fans at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.
Manchester (12-13-3-1) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 28 points. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15-12-0-1) is in fourth place in the East Division with 31 points.
At 13:36 of the second period, center Ryan Stone buried the rebound from center Tim Brent's initial shot for his fourth tally of the season. Brent blasted a shot from the top of the right face-off circle that Monarchs goaltender Erik Ersberg made a pad save on but the puck poked free to the left of the netminder and onto the stick of Stone for the one-timer into the middle of the net. Center Nathan Smith collected the second assist on the game-winning goal.
Defenseman Brian Boyle scored his 10 tally of the season, unassisted at 16:12 of the opening period to send both teams to the locker rooms with the Monarchs on top 1-0. Boyle carried the puck into the Penguins zone along the left wing and unleashed a slap shot at the top of the face-off circle. The puck soared by goaltender John Curry on the stick side and into the net.
Two power play goals just over two minutes apart put the Penguins on top 2-1 in the second period. On a 5-on-3 man advantage with Monarchs center Brady Murray in the box for slashing and defenseman Peter Harrold serving a five-minute major for high sticking, the Penguins went to work. Brent scored his third goal of the season at 11:35 of the middle frame. Center Chris Minard fired a shot off the end boards and Brent was on the left doorstep to roof the puck into the top of the net to even the score at 1-1. Defenseman Mark Ardelan earned an assist on the tying goal.
Ersberg stopped 22-of-24 shots in the loss. Curry earned the win with 15 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 2-for-6 with the man advantage.