SHARKS STEAL FIRST-EVER WIN OVER PENGUINS
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Ryan Vesce scored with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation to propel the Worcester Sharks past the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Sharks backup Frank Doyle made his first appearance in Wilkes-Barre Township in nearly three seasons, and turned aside all eight Penguins shots sent his way in the first period. Brad Thiessen was just as good through twenty minutes as he turned aside 14 Sharks shots. Penguins captain Wyatt Smith was assessed four minutes in penalties toward the end of the first, and the carry-over power play was killed off entirely by the Penguins.
Unable to convert on their first power play of the game in the second period, the Penguins would work the puck to the center point with just over four minutes remaining. Doyle, who denied a two-on-one between Joe Vitale and Eric Tangradi moments before, stood up to make a save on Brian Strait’s shot. The puck deflected down and through his legs, courtesy of Joey Haddad stationed at the net front. The goal was Haddad’s first of his AHL career, and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead which they carried to the dressing room.
The Sharks bit back at 3:27 of the third period when defenseman Danny Groulx sent a pass from the right corner toward the front of the Penguins net. Dan DaSilva collected the puck and fired over Thiessen’s glove for the tying goal. The Sharks went on to put nine more shots on goal, all of which Thiessen turned aside. But in the game’s waning seconds, Groulx made another good play to keep the puck in the offensive zone from the right point after taking a hit. Vesce emerged from behind the net, faked a pass, and put a shot upstairs for the game-winner.
Thiessen stopped 37 of 39 shots and took the tough loss to fall to 11-12-1. Doyle won his fifth game in just his seventh appearance of the year, improving to 5-2-0 while making 27 saves.
The Penguins host the Adirondack Phantoms this Wednesday, March 31st at 7:05 pm. It is 1980s night at Mohegan Sun Arena! Great seats are available by calling 570-208-PENS. Tickets are also available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, any Ticketmaster outlet, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
NOTES: The Penguins’ ten-game home points streak came to an end with the loss (9-1-0-1)… The Penguins lost for the first time when leading after two periods (26-1-1-0)…The loss was the first-ever suffered by the Penguins against Worcester as the top AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks (4-1-1).