NOOSED BY THE CUSE - PENGUINS DEFEATED 4-3
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Kevin Harvey caused his team to fall behind early, but ended up getting the game winner as the Syracuse Crunch won for just the second time on the road, a 4-3 decision over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Off of the opening faceoff, Harvey came up with a high stick on winger Tim Wallace, earning the Penguins a four-minute power play. On its second half, Dustin Jeffrey made a steal in the left corner, fed a perfect pass to Luca Caputi who one-timed the puck upstairs behind Crunch netminder Kevin Lalande for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Caputi’s team-leading ninth of the season, and sixth on the man advantage.
The resilient Crunch would tie the score just over four minutes later, as center Jared Aulin jammed a bouncing puck in the slot past Brad Thiessen, making his first start at home since joining the Penguins from Northeastern University late last season.
The Crunch would take their first lead of the game 4:38 into the second period, as Bates Battaglia finished off a pass from Pascal Pelletier. But the Penguins would come right back as Jeffrey and Mark Letestu led a two-on-one rush the other way. Jeffrey’s pass deflected in off the stick of Crunch defenseman David Liffiton for the equalizer at 10:19.
The see-saw lead went the Penguins way just 39 seconds into the third frame. For the second time in the game, Jeffrey would send a puck off of a Crunch defender and past Lalande, while the Penguins were working on their fourth power play. Syracuse tied it on a one-timer by Dan Fritsche, and then went ahead on a low slider by Harvey that eluded Thiessen through traffic.
Thiessen took the loss, stopping 19 of 23 Crunch shots, while Lalande evened his record at 5-5-1 by stopping 31 of 34.
The Penguins complete a holiday weekend stretch of four games in five nights tomorrow at 5:00 pm on the road against the Hershey Bears. The team will return home for the second and final meeting of the regular season against the Hartford Wolf Pack next Saturday, December 5th, at 7:05 pm.
NOTES: The Penguins lost their first game of the season when scoring the first goal. The Penguins were 10-0-1-0 entering tonight’s contest... The Penguins’ stretch of 15 consecutive games with a fighting major came to an end, as both teams combined for just 16 minutes in penalties… The Penguins went 2-for-5 on the power play, while holding the Crunch to an 0-for-3.