HARTFORD, Conn. – In the first contest of a three-game, three-day weekend, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins opened up the calendar year with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center.
Neither team would be able to find the back of the net through forty minutes of hockey, but it was the Wolf Pack breaking the scoreless tie at 6:36 of the third. Sam Klassen accepted a pass at the near point and fired a slapshot toward the Penguins net. Goalie Jeff Deslauriers made the chest save, but the rebound caromed off a player in front and trickled across the goal line.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton knotted the score with 3:59 left in regulation when a miscommunication between the Wolf Pack defense gave the puck to a wide-open Harry Zolnierczyk along the right post. He roofed the shot over fallen goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris for his 11th goal of the year.
The tied game carried through the rest of regulation and an overtime period. In the ensuing shootout, Danny Kristo struck first for Hartford when he beat Deslauriers in the top of round three, but Nick Drazenovic countered for the Penguins with a wrist shot inside the far post.
After the both teams failed to convert over the next two frames, the Wolf Pack’s Micheal Haley began the sixth round with a wrist shot that went wide of Deslauriers. Paul Thompson clinched the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when he got Grumet-Morris moving across the crease and tucked a forehand shot through the five-hole.
Deslauriers raised his record to 14-7-2, making 24 saves on 25 shots through 65 minutes of play and going 5-of-6 in the shootout.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins return home to host the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 7:05 p.m. Tune into the live action on MyNetworkTV or AHL Live.
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