MANCHESTER, NH – Zach O’Brien broke a 3-3 tie in the third overtime as the Monarchs took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 4-3 on Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
“You just go on adrenaline, you just go on will,” Head Coach Mike Stothers said. “They work hard, they all wanted to be the guy to make the difference, and they didn’t want to let their teammates down, so you just go.”
The May 6 game was the second-longest overtime game in Monarchs playoff history, trailing only another three-overtime game against Worcester in 2004 that ended six minutes into the third overtime (3-2 loss). O’Brien netted the game winner tonight 4:13 into the third OT.
Manchester started the scoring just 18 seconds into the first period. Nick Shore netted his first goal of the playoffs with assists coming from Kevin Gravel and Adrian Kempe. It was the Monarchs’ fastest goal in postseason history to begin a game.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered back with the tying goal by Taylor Chorney at 3:34 in the period.
Brian O’Neill reclaimed the lead for the Monarchs halfway through the first with a rebound goal at 10:49.
With just seconds left in the first, Scott Wilson capitalized on a power-play goal at 19:49 to end the first in a 2-2 tie.
Colin Miller gave the Monarchs a 3-2 lead at 11:50 in the second when Jordan Weal won a faceoff straight back to Miller who fired home a shot from the point.
Conor Sheary tied the score once more for the Penguins at 8:19 in the third period.
After two straight scoreless overtime periods, O’Brien scored the game-winning goal 4:13 into the third OT.
- The Monarchs’ four goals tonight topped the total number of goals (3) Syracuse scored in three games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their first-round matchup.
- Jordan Weal (2 assists) now has 14 career points in the postseason (5 goals, 9 assists), tying him with Marty Murray and Dwight King for the seventh-most playoff points in franchise history.
- Nick Shore (goal) has a goal and four assists in the postseason, with all five of his points coming in home games.
- J.F. Berube earned the win after making 40 saves on 43 shots, while Matt Murray took the loss with 52 saves on 56 shots.
- The Monarchs have now won the first game of each of their last three playoff series beginning in 2014.
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