Hat trick helps Monarchs to 3-1 series lead
WILKES-BARRE, PA – Jordan Weal tallied a hat trick in the Monarchs’ 5-2 win over the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The win gave Manchester a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Weal became the third player in franchise history to record three goals in a playoff game, joining Bud Holloway (Apr. 17, 2011) and Adam Mair (Apr. 17, 2002).
The Monarchs have had seven multi-goal games in these playoffs from three different players with Weal (3 games), Michael Mersch (2 games) and O’Neill (2 games) all tallying multi-goal games.
The Monarchs (6-3) will have a chance to clinch the series tomorrow night in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Weal scored the first goal of the game 42 seconds into the opening period when he potted a rebound chance in front of Matt Murray.
Mersch extended Manchester’s lead to 2-0 when he scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 5:45 in the second period. The goal was Mersch’s sixth since the start of the playoffs.
Weal tipped home a slap shot from Colin Miller at 12:57 in the second period for his second goal of the game.
David Van der Gulik scored his second goal in as many games when Nick Shore sent him a pass in the slot and Van der Gulik buried a one-time shot to make it 4-0 at 16:53 in the second.
Weal completed the hat trick when he struck on the power play at 9:45 in the third period, giving the Monarchs a 5-0 advantage.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton broke J.F. Berube’s shutout bid at 10:58 in the third when Tom Kostopoulos scored. The Penguins added their second of the game just over a minute later on a goal from Bryan Rust at 11:35.
Game 5 will be Tuesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena beginning at 7:05 p.m.
- Jordan Weal’s first-period goal was his 18th career point in the playoffs, moving him into sole possession of third place on the Monarchs’ all-time playoff points list. He is now one point shy of Justin Azevedo (21 points) for second place on that list.
- Weal has a team-high 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists) since the start of the playoffs. He is the first Monarchs player ever to score 10 goals in a single playoff and is two points shy of Patrick O’Sullivan (17 points) for the most points ever by a Monarchs player in a single postseason.
- The Monarchs are 6-0 in these playoffs when scoring the first goal of the game.
- Michael Mersch (goal, assist) has 13 points in the playoffs (6 goals, 7 assists), the most points ever by a Monarchs rookie in a single postseason.
- Mersch scored the Monarchs’ second shorthanded goal of the playoffs. Vincent LoVerde scored the other in Game 1 of the Portland series.
- Manchester has scored at least five goals in five of its nine games during the playoffs, going 5-0 in those games.