The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fended off a late attack by the Manchester Monarchs to hold on for a 2-1 win at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Manchester leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
Returning from injury and in the line-up for the first time since April 11, Bryan Rust gave the Penguins their first lead of the series with his first pro goal. After Sheary headed down the left side of the Manchester zone, he was able to find Rust trailing into the high slot for a wrist shot past the blocker of Monarch goalie Jean-Francois Berube at 6:22 of the first.
On their fifth power play chance of the game, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would convert with 6:23 left in the second period to push the score to 2-0. As Andrew Ebbett’s shot from the left hashmark was blocked by the Monarchs defense, the puck bounced to Tom Kostopoulos, who quickly lifted a shot inside the far post.
With the tally, the Penguins captain tied Chris Minard for the team’s all-time lead with 17 career playoff goals.
The Monarchs would cut Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead in half with 6:01 left in regulation as a blueline to blueline pass from Nic Dowd sprung David Van der Gulik behind the defense for a breakaway goal past Matt Murray.
Manchester pulled Berube in the final minutes in favor of the extra attacker, but their bid to tie the game was foiled by Murray and a last-second shot block by Kostopoulos.
Murray made 11 saves in the third period and 29 overall to help the Penguins to the victory. Berube stopped 18-of-20 for the second straight contest, but suffered the loss.
Sheary registered two assists in the match for his third multi-point game of the playoffs. The rookie forward now has 21 points (10G-11A) in 21 postseason appearances for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Penguins and Monarchs return to action for Game 4 on Monday, May 11 at 7:05 p.m.