Penguins Stun Pirates in Overtime
Thompson’s three-point night leads comeback for W-B/Scranton
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins flashed their comeback magic once again, rallying for a 4-3 overtime win versus the Portland Pirates on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Paul Thompson scored the game-tying goal with 1:56 left in regulation and then set up Alexandre Picard for the winning tally.
Down by a score of 3-1 after forty minutes of hockey, the Penguins pulled within a goal at 11:51 of the third. Portland goalie Marc Cheverie denied Brian Strait’s point shot, but a pile-up in the crease prevented him from stopping Brian Gibbons on the rebound for his eighth of the season.
With less than two minutes left, Gibbons then led a 3-on-2 rush and hit Matt Rust in the slot, who quickly found Thompson streaking down the right wing for a wrist shot to the top of the net that knotted the score at three and forced the extra session.
Thirty-six seconds into overtime, Thompson settled down a bouncing puck at the left goal line and slid a pass to the pinching Picard for a one-timer over the blocker of Cheverie. Playing in his first game since January 4, Picard’s game-winner was his second goal of the season.
Only 18 seconds had ticked off the clock in the first when the Pirates took a 1-0 lead as Marc-Andre Pouliot dropped a pass in the slot that David Rundblad wristed into the left corner.
Rundblad later did the honors on the power play and made the score, 2-0, at 9:07 with a slapshot from the top of the left circle that found its way through the pads of Brad Thiessen.
The Penguins cut the lead to one with a four-minute man-advantage late in the period. Geoff Walker skated out of the near corner and had his centering pass kick off the boot of a Portland defender and over the shoulder of Cheverie.
Trailing 2-1 coming into the second, Wilkes-Barre had a chance to even the score with 1:41 of power play time to begin the frame. Instead, it was Portland going back up by two as Rundblad stepped out the penalty box to lead an odd-man break that Patrick O’Sullivan completed at 1:49.
Thiessen turned aside 20 shots on the night to pick up his 20th win of the season. Cheverie stopped 24-of-28 in the loss.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head to Hershey on Sunday, February 12 to battle the Bears at 5:00 PM. For more information, call the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS or visit www.wbspenguins.com
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