NORFOLK, Va. – Eric Hartzell made 33 saves through overtime and did not allow a goal during an eight-round shootout as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins skated to a 2-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals at the Norfolk Scope.
The Penguins opened up the scoring at 12:27 of the first period after Denver Manderson jarred a puck loose behind the Admirals net and sent a pass to the right point for Scott Harrington. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman fired a shot that was initially denied by goalie Brad Thiessen, but the loose puck was eventually poked across the goal line by Mike Carman.
The score remained 1-0 in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s favor until the closing seconds of the middle period. Skating on the man-advantage, the Admirals tied things up when Penguins goalie Eric Hartzell stopped a shot from the blueline by Sami Vatanen, but Devante Smith-Pelly lifted the rebound to the top of the net with 8.2 seconds remaining until the intermission.
Norfolk carried that momentum into the third period and outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 14-5, over the final 20 minutes of regulation. Hartzell kept it a tied contest through the remainder of the third and overtime, where the Admirals also held a 4-0 shot advantage.
In the shootout, a scoreless tie was finally broken in the top of the eighth frame when Tom Kuhnhackl beat Thiessen with a wrist shot from between the hash marks. Alex Grant looked to extend the contest in the bottom half of the round, but Hartzell turned aside the bid from the Norfolk defenseman to secure the victory.
Hartzell won his fourth straight start to raise his record to 8-2-1 on the season. Facing his former team for the first time, Thiessen made 25 saves on 26 shots through overtime for Norfolk and 7-of-8 in the shootout.
The Penguins close out the weekend on Sunday, Jan. 26 with a 5:00 p.m. tilt versus the Hershey Bears at GIANT Center. Tune into the live game action on the Sports Hub 102 or AHL Live.
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