PENGUINS MELT CHOCOLATE IN FIRST PRESEASON WIN
HERSHEY, PA – Keven Veilleux’s second goal of the game highlighted a three-goal second period, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled their way to their first victory of the preseason, 4-2 over the Hershey Bears on Friday night at Giant Center.
Veilleux started the damage by keeping the puck on a two-on-one break late in the first period. He sent a wicked wrist shot high over the blocker of Bears starting goaltender Jason Bacashihua for a 1-0 Penguins lead. Mitch Ganzak and Casey Pierro-Zabotel picked up the helpers. Chris Cloud and Aaron Boogaard would drop the gloves late in the opening frame.
Veilleux’s second tally came unassisted at 5:13 of the middle period. An errant slap shot by the Bears’ Andrew Joudrey banked all the way out to neutral ice, where Veilleux picked it up, skated in and whacked home his own rebound on a superb individual effort. Joe Finley would answer for the Bears at 10:12, firing a slapper that eluded Penguins netminder Jordan Parise.
The Bears would change goaltenders, inserting Todd Ford into the crossfire. The Penguins went to work immediately on the man advantage, and notched their first power play goal of the preseason with Joey Haddad converting. Just 1:19 later, Aaron Boogaard would lead a two-on-one with Chris Cloud. His attempted pass would bank right back onto his stick, and with Ford out of position, Boogaard buried a virtually empty netter for his first of the preseason and a 4-1 Penguins lead.
A late goal by Michael Dubuc would bring the Bears to within 4-2, but a stellar third period by Parise would seal the win. Parise stopped 12 of 13 shots in the final frame, and 21 of 23 overall.
The Penguins wrap up their 2009 preseason schedule tomorrow, with a 7:05 pm faceoff against the Hershey Bears at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. The 11th regular season opener is set for Saturday, October 3rd at 7:05 pm against the Syracuse Crunch.
NOTES: The Penguins converted for their first power play goal of the preseason, and are 1-for-14 overall… the penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4… Four of the five Penguins draft picks (Grant, Pierro-Zabotel, Veilleux, and Vitale) tallied at least one point in the contest.