WILKES-BARRE, Pa – In their final meeting of a 12-game season series, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell, 2-1, to the Hershey Bears on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Casey DeSmith made 19 saves while manning the crease for the Penguins (50-20-3-2) and was handed his first regulation loss since Feb. 18.
After a quiet first period, Hershey broke the scoreless tie at 3:31 of the middle frame with a tally from Jakub Vrána. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded to the go-ahead goal with mounds of pressure, outshooting Hershey in the period by a 12-6 margin at one point. However, the Penguins still went into the second intermission facing a 1-0 deficit.
Tim Erixon scored a power play goal on the Penguins’ lone man advantage opportunity of the contest to tie the game. Erixon took a one-timer on a swift pass from Teddy Blueger, and his rocket snuck through Pheonix Copley’s pads at 10:33 of the third period.
The Bears came roaring back and jumped back on top just 27 seconds later when defenseman Christian Djoos wristed a shot past DeSmith for his 13th goal of the year.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got DeSmith to the bench in exchange for an extra attacker with 90 seconds left in regulation, but couldn’t solve Copley again. The Hershey netminder turned away 22 shots on the night for the win.
The Penguins’ special teams were perfect on limited opportunities, as their power play went one-for-one, and the penalty kill snuffed a pair of Bears opportunities.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completes its regular season tomorrow night, Saturday, Apr. 15, when the Penguins host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Individual game tickets for Saturday’s game 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 packages for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.