WILKES-BARRE Pa. – Another strong showing between the pipes powered the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Utica Comets at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Sunday afternoon.
On the heels of a shutout the night before, the Penguins (46-18-3-0) won their fourth-straight game with a 45-save performance by rookie goalie Casey DeSmith. DeSmith’s 45 stops were the most he’d ever made in a regular season game in his AHL career, as well as a season-high for the Penguins.
After a scoreless first period in which the two clubs combined for 35 shots, the Comets solved DeSmith with a power play goal midway through the second. Darren Archibald settled a shot from the point and turned it over to his backhand for a slick finish and his 21st goal of the year.
Utica’s lead disappeared 41 seconds later when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered with a man advantage marker of its own. Derrick Pouliot played a quick give-and-go with Sahir Gill who took the shot that snuck its way by Michael Garteig.
The Penguins broke the 1-1 tie at 6:10 of the final stanza as the result of a tremendous effort by Dominik Simon. Shortly after receiving a slap pass from Tim Erixon, Simon faked a shot and patiently outwaited Garteig before flinging the puck into the top corner as he was knocked to his knees by the Comets’ defense.
Despite the extra push from Utica desperate to tie the game, Simon’s go-ahead goal proved to be the difference, his team-leading sixth game-winner of the season.
Garteig made 31 saves on 33 shots while being handed the head-held-high loss.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Mar. 31 when it travels to Mass Mutual Center for the team’s last match-up of the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, Apr. 1, and their opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Penguins ticket packages, including 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.