Manchester, N.H. — Brian Gibbons registered a four-point afternoon in propelling the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-3 overtime win Sunday afternoon against the previously unbeaten Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Gibbons, who finished with a pair of goals and two assists, fed Penguins defenseman Brendan Mikkelson as the pair pushed into the Monarchs zone in the opening seconds of the extra period.
Mikkelson’s tally, his first of the season at 22 seconds into OT, advanced the Pens record to 6-0-0. Manchester fell to 4-0-3 with the defeat.
“I feel like we have a great team,” Gibbons said. “Everyone in the locker room believes in each other and go out and do it for the guy next to them. We have players who are mentally tough and have been through games like this.
Both clubs were coming off one-goal wins on Saturday night, the Monarchs taking a 5-4 shootout victory over the visiting Providence Bruins and the Pens finishing off the Worcester Sharks 3-2 on the road.
“We’ve had two tough games in a row,’ said Pens head coach John Hynes of the weekend sweep who is certain the close to the vest games that have transpired thus far will place his club in good stead in the long run. “We’ve been fortunate enough to find a way to win. It’s nice to win on the road. It’s been a real collective effort.”
The Pens got their power play off on a high note at 8:08 into the first when Gibbons who was stationed near the post to the right of Berube took a pass from blue liner Brian Dumoulin, spun and backhanded it off the back of the Monarchs goaltender.
Berube, making his first start of the season faced ten shots in the opening period.
Manchester’s Sean Backman expunged the one goal advantage that the Penguins held when he tapped the puck past Deslauriers from just outside the crease with 91 seconds to go in the first. Backman’s game tying score was his first in a Monarchs sweater.
Gibbons etched his name on the stat sheet for the second instance of the afternoon, this time in middle period when he offered up a go-ahead helper on Andrew Ebbett’s second goal of the season at the 11:35 mark.
Gibbons, the First Star recipient, made good on a golden opportunity as he bolted out of the penalty box and fed Ebbett who was streaking toward Berube.
Ebbett’s subsequent deke and soft backhander capped the play that provided the visitors with what would prove to be a temporary lead. Gibbons’ tripping penalty had expired at 11:29.
“When you’re in the box, you hope they don’t score,” Gibbons said of his goal resulting pass Ebbett. “It was a two on one and he was going to the net hard and he made a great move.”
Manchester hit for its second game-tying, late period score on Andrew Bodnarchuk’s power-play goal with 1:11 remaining in the second.
Gibbons garnered his third point of the game, a goal at 5:50 of the third as a result of an aggressive fore check by the Pens deep in the Monarchs end.
Manchester’s Nick Deslauriers sent the game into overtime at 15:32 of the third.
NOTES: Penguins right wing Tom Kostopoulos revisited the Verizon Wireless Arena for the first time since the 2004-05 season when he suited up for Manchester… Paul Thompson, tied for second on the team in penalty minutes (14) entering the match up returned to his home roots yesterday as well. The Derry, NH born forward was the Hockey East player of the year in 2010-11 as a result of his 28-24-52 numbers he posted while toiling for the University of New Hampshire…Berube got the call in net in place of the Martin Jones who earned CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors for the period ending Oct.13. Jones won three consecutive road starts while registering a 1.27 GAA to go with a.956 save percentage.
Penguins 4, Monarchs 3, OT
Penguins` 1` 1` 1` 1` - 4
Manchester` 1` 1` 1` 0` - 3
First Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Gibbons 3 (Dumoulin, Mikkelson), 8:08 (PP). 2, Manchester, Backman 1 (Andreoff, Shore), 18:29. Penalties-Forbort Mch (holding), 6:58; Czarnik Mch (tripping), 9:34; Kuhnhackl Wbs (tripping), 11:20; Farnham Wbs (diving/embellishment), 19:04.
Second Period-3, W-B/Scranton, Ebbett 2 (Gibbons, Carman), 11:35. 4, Manchester, Bodnarchuk 3 (Weal), 18:49 (PP). Penalties-Shore Mch (high-sticking), 2:12; Shore Mch (hooking), 5:04; Gibbons Wbs (tripping), 9:29; Kozun Mch (interference), 13:00; Bishop Mch (tripping), 15:00; Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (roughing), 18:14.
Third Period-5, W-B/Scranton, Gibbons 4 (Carman), 5:50. 6, Manchester, Deslauriers 1 (Weal, Kozun), 15:32. Penalties-McNeill Wbs (tripping), 10:39; Kuhnhackl Wbs (goaltender interference), 16:34.
Overtime-7, W-B/Scranton, Mikkelson 1 (Gibbons, Megna), 0:22. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 10-8-4-1-23. Manchester 7-15-12-0-34.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 6; Manchester 1 / 6.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Deslauriers 5-0-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Manchester, Berube 0-1-0 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (40), Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-Landon Bathe (80), Jeremy Lovett (78).