ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were out-dueled in a clash between the Atlantic Division’s top two teams, as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms skated to a 5-2 victory at PPL Center on Friday night.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (25-12-3-1) still hold first place in the Atlantic despite the loss and appeared to be in control of Friday’s contest until an early goaltending change turned the tide.
Daniel Sprong wasted little time to start the scoring, charging forth on a breakaway and rifling a shot through Dustin Tokarski’s five-hole 56 seconds into the game.
Lehigh Valley’s Greg Carey tied the game at 5:06 of the first period, but a redirect by Zach Aston-Reese put the Penguins back in the lead 1:20 later. At this point, Phantoms coach Scott Gordon decided to pull Tokarski and replace him with back-up Alex Lyon.
With time ticking down in the opening frame, Nic Aubé-Kubel got loose for a mini-break and hoisted a backhand shot over the pads of Anthony Peters. Aubé-Kubel’s goal tied the game, 2-2, three minutes before the second intermission.
The Phantoms took their first lead of the game when T.J. Brennan converted on a two-on-none rush at 11:48 of the second period.
Lehigh Valley tacked on two goals in the third period with tallies from Mike Vecchione and Aubé-Kubel separated by 1:21 of game time. Peters finished the game having made 25 saves. Tokarski only stopped two of the four shots he faced, but Lyon denied all 26 shots thrown his way in relief.
The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 27 against the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.