SPECIAL TEAMS NOT ENOUGH AS FALCONS DOUBLE UP PENS
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Chad Wiseman tied a franchise record with four goals and two assists, and goaltender J.P. Levasseur won his second straight start as the Springfield Falcons tripped up the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at MassMutual Center.
Wiseman started his career night by beating Penguins netminder Adam Berkhoel with a low wrist shot just four minutes into the contest. But this time, the Penguins answered back and fought to take the lead by the end of the first period. Chris Conner never quit on a bouncing puck in front of Levasseur’s goal crease, and with help from Ryan Bayda and Wyatt Smith, cashed in with his third goal of the season while the Penguins were working on their first power play. On the Penguins’ third man advantage of the first period, Eric Tangradi would muscle a puck into the net off of a Chris Conner assist, and the visitors would take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room, outshooting the Falcons 17-9 in the process.
The second period belonged to Wiseman as he scored twice within a span of 6:32 to complete his hat trick. Liam Reddox would then net a power play marker at 14:37 of the middle frame to give the Falcons a two-goal edge.
Leading scorer Charles Linglet increased the hosts’ lead to 5-2 with his 10th of the season at 6:28 of the third, wrapping a puck around the outstretched right pad of Berkhoel for the Falcons’ third power play goal of the evening.
Robert Bortuzzo would then send a perfect pass onto the tape of Dustin Jeffrey, who would go on to put several nice moves on Falcons defenseman Theo Peckham and one final move on Levasseur to net the Penguins’ fifth shorthanded goal of the season and cut the Falcons’ lead to 5-3.
The Penguins had a late power play chance and opted to get Berkhoel to the bench for an extra attacker for a 6-on-4 man advantage. The Falcons gambled and missed the empty net several times during and after their penalty kill. But with 1:04 remaining in regulation, Colin MacDonald fired a shot from the right half-boards that hit Wiseman’s stick about two inches before the goal line, giving Wiseman his fourth goal of the contest and sixth point of the night.
The Penguins finished 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Falcons went 3-for-7. The Falcons outshot the Penguins 39-37 in the contest.
Berkhoel took the loss to fall to 3-3-0, while Levassuer improved to 3-9-0.
The team will break for the 2010 Time Warner Cable All-Star Classic to be held in Portland, Maine tomorrow and Tuesday, January 18th and 19th. The five-game road trip will conclude next weekend, as the Penguins visit the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, January 22nd at 7:30 pm, and the Rochester Americans on Saturday, January 23rd at 7:05 pm.
NOTES: The Penguins lost four consecutive games for the first time this season and enter the All-Star Break tied for third place with the Adirondack Phantoms… Chad Wiseman became the first Penguins opponent to tally four goals in a single game… The Penguins have just one win in team history over the Falcons at Springfield, a 5-4 shootout victory on New Years’ Day 2005.