CRUNCH SEND PENGUINS TO THIRD CONSECUTIVE LOSS
SYRACUSE, New York – Nick Bonino scored twice and J.P. Levasseur made 36 saves to help the Syracuse Crunch send the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to its third consecutive loss, a 4-2 setback on Saturday night at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena.
After the Penguins killed off the first power play of the game, Syracuse earned its second at 10:46 when Ben Street went off for slashing. Matt Beleskey was able to quickly tap a pass back to the right point where Bonino was waiting. The rookie took a slap shot that beat John Curry over the blocker at 11:16.
But Street redeemed himself by scoring his first AHL goal at 13:50, driving the middle lane and tipping a Nick Johnson pass behind J.P. Levasseur. Brett Sterling earned the secondary assist.
After Ryan Craig and Patrick Maroon earned matching roughing calls late in the period, the teams would play a short four-on-four to the intermission without further scoring.
Just past the halfway point of the second frame, the Penguins were guilty of a tripping call and on the penalty kill, missed on an opportunity to clear the zone. Kyle Palmieri fired a slap pass from the right point toward defenseman Mark Mitera, but Mitera’s one-timer ended up right on the stick of Maxime Macenauer who had an empty net at which to shoot. The goal came at 10:10. The Penguins were unsuccessful on two second-period power plays and entered the third trailing 2-1.
Beleskey scored his second of the contest at 14:27, the third power play goal of the game for Syracuse, giving the hosts a 3-1 edge.
With Curry off for an extra attacker, Johnson set up Steve Wagner with a cross-zone pass that the blueliner one-timed low along the ice and into the net with just over a minute to play, but Bonino iced the victory with an empty net tally with 20 seconds remaining.
Curry falls to 18-10-0 with the loss, making 25 saves. Levasseur improved to 8-14-3 in earning the win.
The loss drops the Penguins to 36-14-0-0 on the season.