BERKHOEL DOES IT AGAIN, SHUTS DOWN DEVILS, 4-0
WILKES-BARRE, PA – Adam Berkhoel posted his second shutout of the season - and second against the Lowell Devils - turning aside 26 shots in a 4-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton victory Friday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
The win upped the Penguins record to 6-4-0-1 (13 points), good for fourth place in the East Division. Lowell, meanwhile, fell to 4-6-0-1 (9 points), and now sits in sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
The win was the Penguins’ second in as many tries against the Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton posted a 5-0 win in Lowell on October 22, behind a 46 save performance from Berkhoel.
The tone was for Friday night’s game - the first home game for the Penguins since October 17 - was set from the get go as Tim Wallace and Matthew Corrente dropped the gloves just three seconds into the game, signaling a scrappy contest was on tap for the evening.
It didn’t take much longer for the Penguins to break the game open, and it was one of the usual suspects doing the damage for the Penguins.
Chris Minard, who entered the game with a league-high 11 goals and a nine-game scoring streak, tipped home a Reid Cashman feed at 2:57 of the first. It was the Penguins’ first power play goal since October 25 against the Portland Pirates, snapping a string of 15 unsuccessful attempts.
Minard wasn’t done yet, though, as he swatted home a rebound from about a foot out, beating Dave Caruso for the second time in a three minute span to up his goal total to 13 in just 10 games this season.
Ryan Stone and Wallace continued the offensive output, scoring 44 seconds apart to make the score 4-0 before the opening frame was half way over. Wallace’s goal also chased Caruso from the net, after the starter allowed four goals on just six shots.
As it turned out, that was more than enough scoring for the Penguins, who posted their first home victory since October 11 to raise their record in Wilkes-Barre to 2-1-0-1 on the young season.
Bill Thomas, making his Penguins home debut, notched two assists in the game, while Janne Pesonen picked up his team-leading 11th helper.
NOTES: Jeff Frazee, who took over for Caruso midway through the first period, stopped all 23 shots he faced…Jeff Taffe was scoreless on the night, snapping a six-game scoring streak, which saw him pick up multiple points in each of those contests.