|John Zeiler scored the game-winning goal for Manchester.
SCRANTON, PA – Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
stopped 37 shots and right wing John Zeiler picked up the game-winning goal as the Manchester Monarchs handed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 3-1 loss at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.
Manchester (25-11-1-4) remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20-17-1-1) is in third place in the East Division with 42 points.
“Jeff Zatkoff stood tall in the net,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “He did an outstanding job. We had to kill off several penalties and our penalty killing crew did an outstanding job. (Corey) Elkins’ goal was a pretty power play goal. The line of (John) Zeiler, (Kevin) Westgarth and (Dwight) King brought a lot of energy to the game and Zeiler’s goal came at a defining moment in the game.”
Just 49 seconds after the Monarchs went up 1-0, Zeiler tallied his third goal of the season to double Manchester’s lead at 2-0. Defenseman Joe Piskula dumped the puck into the Penguins zone and goaltender John Curry stopped it behind his net. Right wing Kevin Westgarth stole the biscuit from the netminder and fed it to the slot for a one-timer by Zeiler into the open net.
Center Tom Cavanagh put Manchester on the scoreboard with his first tally of the season in his Monarchs debut. Center Gabe Gauthier carried the puck around the Penguins cage before finding left wing Bud Holloway in the right face-off circle. Holloway ripped a one-timer that deflected off of Wilkes-Barre defenseman Deryk Engelland’s stick and then off of Cavanagh’s stick and into the net for the 1-0 lead at 9:43 of the opening period.
“It was nice to see Tom Cavanagh get on the scoreboard early” said Morris. “I think it was his third shift and it was a well executed play. It looks like he’s going to be a welcomes addition to our team.”
The Monarchs added a power play goal by center Corey Elkins to extend their lead to 3-0 at 14:19 of the second period. Defenseman Andrew Campbell kept the puck in the Penguins zone at the left point and found Holloway in the left face-off circle. Holloway collected the pass and sent it over to Elkins at the right doorstep. Dropping down to one knee, Elkins put his one-timer into the top of the net over Curry for his team leading 11th goal of the season.
Former Monarchs right wing Konstantin Pushkarev ended Zatkoff’s shutout bid with his fifth goal of the season only 47 seconds into the third period. Forward Eric Tangradi picked up the puck along the right wing boards and carried it down the ice. Along the end boards, Tangradi tossed the puck into the crease. Center Joe Vitale took a whack at the puck before Pushkarev was able to chip it over the goal line behind Zatkoff to put the Penguins on the board.
Zatkoff (8-3-0) picked up his eighth win of the season with 37 saves on 38 shots. Curry (16-13-1) took his 13th loss of the season stopping 18-of-21 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-of-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is undefeated in regulation in their last four games (2-0-0-2)…Former Monarchs right wing Konstantin Pushkarev’s goal 47 seconds into the third period is the fastest goal by an opponent from the beginning of a period this season…Center Marc-Andre Cliche’s four game goal scoring streak (4-0=4) came to an end tonight…Center Tom Cavanagh scored his first goal of the season in his Monarchs debut…Center Corey Elkins’ 11th goal of the season moved him into sole possession of the Monarchs goal scoring lead.