Penguins Prevail over Pirates
W-B/Scranton pulls back into first place with 20th road win
PORTLAND, Maine – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins outlasted the Portland Pirates in a back-and-forth affair to take a 5-3 victory on Monday afternoon at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The win was the team’s league-leading 20th on the road this season and also allowed the Penguins to pull into a tie with the Norfolk Admirals for first place in the East Division.
With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton up 3-2 coming to the third period, Portland was able to even the match just 3:07 into the third period. During a 5-on-4 advantage, Brett MacLean got a stick on Patrick O’Sullivan’s shot to deflect it past Penguins goalie Scott Munroe
The Penguins answered back with 7:43 left in regulation during a delayed penalty call on Portland. Brian Strait snuck his third goal of the year past Justin Pogge to put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead for good.
The Pirates had a chance to tie with a late power play and Pogge pulled for the extra attacker, but Alexandre Picard iced the game with the shorthanded empty-net goal at 19:25 of the third.
After the first period saw neither team find the back of the net, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Portland combined for five goals with the Penguins getting on board first. Nick Petersen was able to deposit the rebound from Ryan Craig’s shot to make it 1-0 at 3:12 of the second.
Just over three minutes later, Portland defenseman Tyler Eckford had room to walk in from the blueline and bomb a slapshot to the back of the net and tie the score, 1-1. The Pirates then took their first lead of the contest at 8:39 of the same period after Munroe left a rebound out in front of his net and Ryan Duncan slammed it home.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton soon after went to work on the man-advantage to take back its one-goal edge. Ben Street was able to keep in a failed clearing attempt by Portland’s penalty kill and quickly sent a pass down low to Geoff Walker, who swept in his 15th goal of the season at 13:10.
Roughly four minutes later, Street drew two hooking penalties on the same rush up-ice to give the Penguins a 5-on-3 power play. Some quick tic-tac-toe passing through the Pirates zone gave Bryan Lerg the easy tap-in past Pogge with 1:25 until the second intermission.
Munroe stopped 25 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to send his record to 11-4-3 on the season.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins host the Manchester Monarchs on Thursday, February 23 at 7:05 PM. For tickets and more information, call the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS or visit www.wbspenguins.com
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