PENGUINS OUTWORK PHANTOMS IN VALENTINE’S DAY VICTORY
GLENS FALLS, NY – Luca Caputi, Jesse Boulerice, and Dustin Jeffrey each tallied third-period goals, and Adam Berkhoel stopped 26 shots to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to their third straight win, 4-3 over the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday afternoon at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Both teams had scoring chances in the opening twenty minutes, but both Berkhoel and Phantoms netminder John Grahame came up with big saves to keep the game scoreless. The Penguins were forced onto the penalty kill just 23 seconds into the contest when Steve Wagner was whistled for cross-checking. The Penguins covered the front of Berkhoel’s crease well and kept the Phantoms off the scoresheet.
The hosts would get on the board just past the halfway point of regulation when Rob Bellamy, who just exited the penalty box, carried the puck to the left circle and sent a shot toward Berkhoel. Andreas Nodl was there to push a rebound shot into the net for the 1-0 lead. But the Penguins would only need 53 seconds to tie the score. With the puck in the left corner of the Phantoms’ defensive zone, blueliner Sean Curry looked to pass across the slot but Zach Sill was there to pick off the pass. He turned a wrist shot past the blocker of Grahame to tie the game at one.
With the score tied early in the third, Caputi worked free of a hit by Joey Mormina in the left corner, backed up into the slot, and wristed a Tim Wallace pass behind Grahame for a 2-1 lead. But the Phantoms did what the Penguins did in the second period, and tied the score just 46 seconds later. Stefan Legein picked up his team-leading 21st goal of the season by shoving the puck in off of a goalmouth scramble.
After two successful penalty kills, Sill would force a neutral zone turnover. Boulerice picked up the puck and led a two-on-one from the blueline. He held the puck himself and slapped a low shot through the pads of Grahame to give the Penguins a 3-2 advantage. Jeffrey added the insurance marker with just 1:30 left to play.
With the Phantoms net empty, Jared Ross was able to cash in behind Berkhoel to pull the hosts within one. But two icing calls and two defensive zone faceoff losses allowed the Penguins to work the rest of the time off the clock and hold on to win.
Berkhoel improved to 4-3-0 with the Penguins, while Grahame fell to 2-9-0 in stopping 26 shots. The Penguins power play ended 0-for-1, but had a 3-for-3 penalty kill.
The team returns home on Wednesday night, February 17th to host the Albany River Rats for a 7:05 pm faceoff at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
NOTES: The Penguins scratched D Jon D’Aversa, D Alex Grant, RW Chris Conner, LW Ryan Bayda, and C Keven Veilleux… The Penguins ended a three-game road losing streak, dating back to a 6-3 win on January 22nd at Syracuse… The visiting team won for the first time in the season series… The Penguins improved to 3-6-0-0 on Sundays… LW Luca Caputi extended his point streak to four games, and has registered a point in ten of his last eleven contests (5G, 9A).