PENGUINS BEAT BEARS IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE, 3-2

 

BOXSCORE

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ended the 2017-18 season on a high note, defeating the Hershey Bears, 3-2, at Giant Center on Sunday evening.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ends the season with a 45-22-6-3 record worth 99 points, and it also concludes the 2017-18 campaign on an eight-game win streak against its bitter rival from Hershey.

Daniel Sprong kicked off the scoring for the Penguins on the power play at 10:32 of the opening period. Sprong notched his team-leading 11th man advantage marker and 32nd goal overall this season, which also pulled him into a tie for the second-most tallies in the AHL.

As time was ticking down in the first period, Jarrett Burton shot the puck off the post and in with 18.1 seconds left in the frame to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-0 lead. Making his AHL debut, Jan Drozg recorded his first pro point with the secondary assist on Burton’s goal.

The second period was largely uneventful until Dustin Gazley buried one for the Bears 32 seconds before the intermission.

Gage Quinney re-established the Penguins’ two-goal lead by smacking in a rebound at 6:15 of the third period. Kevin Schulze picked off a breakout pass in the Bears’ zone, tapped it over to Sprong who was denied by Vítek Vaněček, but Quinney was in the perfect spot for the loose puck. Schulze gathered his first AHL point with the assist on the play.

Desperate to try and tie the game in front of their home fans in the season finale, the Bears pulled Vaněček for an extra attacker while they were on the power play with 4:20 left in the game. The gamble paid off as Jeremy Langlois found the back of the net during the six-on-four man advantage, making it a 3-2 contest.

Hershey pulled Vaněček again in hopes of getting another extra attacker goal, but never challenged Anthony Peters again before the sound of the final buzzer.

The Penguins wrap up the season 10-0-1-1 against the Bears, the best single-season record in the 19-year history of the I-81 Rivalry.

Both goalies were billed with 27 saves.

Next up for Penguins is the first round of the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. They will face-off against the Charlotte Checkers in a best-of-five Atlantic Division Semifinal series, starting with Game 1 at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Friday, Apr. 20.

Ticket packages and individual game tickets for the Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

FOUR-GOAL FIRST PERIOD GIVES PENGUINS 5-2 WIN AT BRIDGEPORT

 

BOXSCORE

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins exploded with offense in the first period and leaned on their goaltender in the second half of the game to secure a 5-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday.

Anthony Peters recorded 41 saves for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (43-22-6-2) to ensure its opponent couldn’t stage a dramatic comeback.

For the second night in a row, the Penguins built themselves a 4-0 lead before the first intermission. Adam Johnson scored twice 1:17 apart midway through the opening frame, but the Penguins weren’t satisfied with a two-goal cushion. Christian Thomas and Patrick McGrath tacked on tallies at 12:41 and 16:03 of the first period, respectively.

Patrick McGrath redirects his second goal of the season to give the Penguins a four-goal cushion.

McGrath missed the previous 23 games for the Penguins, but in his first game back in the lineup, he drove to front of the net and tipped in a shot by Zach Trotman for his second goal of the season.

Bridgeport got on the board when John Stevens scored at 11:47 of the middle frame, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton still had a commanding lead heading into the third period. Peters posted 16 saves in the second period with the Stevens goal being the only shot to get past him.

Gage Quinney earned a tap-in on the backdoor following a defensive zone turnover in the Sound Tigers’ zone, but roughly two minutes later, Steve Bernier cut Bridgeport’s deficit back down to three.

Peters continues to make some great saves on the Sound Tigers who hacked and whacked at any puck they could get their sticks on near the Penguins’ net. Peters’ strong play in net until the final buzzer helped the visitors maintain their lead and bring the game to a 5-2 final score.

Eamon McAdam recorded 10 saves in the first period before being replaced by Kristers Gudļevskis at the start of the second period. Gudļevskis ended up with 12 saves on 13 shots faced.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Apr. 13, when they trek to MassMutual Center and attempt to complete the season sweep of the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Ticket packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Individual game tickets for the postseason will go on sale on Monday, Apr. 9 at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, TicketMaster.com, or also by calling the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS COME BACK FROM DOWN 3-0, BUT LOSE IN OVERTIME

 

BOXSCORE

UTICA, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins erased a three-goal deficit to force overtime, but ultimately fell in the extra frame, 5-4, to the Utica Comets at Adirondack Bank Center on Friday night.

Coming from behind to extend the game past regulation for the second contest in a row, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-6-2) reduced their magic number to clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs down to 11.

Utica started constructing their lead at 91 seconds into the game when Michael Carcone beat Tristan Jarry following a turnover in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s defensive zone.

Michael Chaput struck on the Comets’ first power play of the contest, sniping the near-side top corner over Jarry’s shoulder midway through the opening frame. The puck blistered in and out of the net so quickly that the referee initially deemed there to be no goal, but a short video review revealed Chaput’s shot had crossed the goal line.

Chaput scored again to make it 3-0 at 15:27 of the first period, only to see Jean-Sébastien Dea answer back 29 seconds thereafter. Dea’s tally marked a dramatic momentum shift in the game as the Penguins proceeded to unload a barrage of shots at Thatcher Demko in the last four minutes of the frame, but they couldn’t cut into the 3-1 hole before the first intermission.

Daniel Sprong worked to get Wilkes-Barre/Scranton within one at 5:30 of the second period by stripping Utica defenseman Ashton Sautner of the puck at the blue line and converting on a two-on-none rush for his team-leading 24th goal of the year.

Midway through the game a hit away from the play by Guillaume Brisebois on Thomas Di Pauli knocked the Penguins forward out of the contest. Afterwards, chaos ensued. The Penguins and Comets combined for 38 penalty minutes in the middle frame.

The Comets cooled from their hot tempers first, and composed themselves enough for Zac Lynch to deposit a bar-down goal with 3:02 left in the second period. Lynch’s first of the season made it 4-2, Utica.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s captain, Tom Kostopoulos, knocked in a rebound to bring his team back within one goal at 11:15 of the final frame of regulation. Then, Gage Quinney mustered the 4-4 equalizer when only 2:10 remained.

The Penguins earned a point in the standings by forcing overtime, but the Comets walked away with the win thanks to Sautner’s game-winner 1:15 into the extra session.

Jarry recorded 33 saves, while the opposing Demko posted 37 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 24, when they visit the Binghamton Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday, Mar. 25. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 3:05 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS USE OFFENSIVE OUTBURST TO BEAT ICEHOGS, 6-3

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ offense shined to defeat the visiting Rockford IceHogs, 6-3, on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (31-15-4-1) received goals from six different players throughout the course of the game, and Tom Kostopoulos recorded two assists in his 700th AHL game.

Joseph Cramarossa got the Penguins on the board first when he collected a rebound and fired it into the IceHogs’ net at 5:36 of the opening period. It marked Cramarossa’s fourth point (2G-2A) in his fourth game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since being acquired in a trade on Feb. 14.

Kostopoulos delivered a nifty pass to Daniel Sprong and then set the screen on Jeff Glass as the rookie sniper whipped home a power play goal to put the Penguins up, 2-0, at 8:04 of the first period. The IceHogs struck back a little over two minutes following Sprong’s team-leading 21st tally of the season, cutting their deficit in half. John Hayden spun a shot towards the Penguins’ cage, and Tyler Sikura got just enough of it on a redirect for the puck to slip through Casey DeSmith and make it 2-1.

The Penguins increased their lead back to two in the final minutes of the first period when Gage Quinney shot beat Glass.

After most of the second period came and went without a goal for either side, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored the lone tally of the middle frame with only 2:26 remaining before the intermission. Kostopoulos found Garrett Wilson who whistled a shot low along the ice and through Glass’ five-hole, bringing the score to 4-1.

Adam Johnson and Reid Gardiner tacked on goals in the final period, the latter of which notched his first of the season. Rockford fought back with goals by Chris DiDomenico and Anthony Louis in the third, but it was too little too late to combat the Penguins’ earlier offensive surge.

DeSmith denied 24 shots for the win, while Glass made 19 saves on the night.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 24, when they take on the Syracuse Crunch at Onondaga County War Memorial. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Sunday, Feb. 25, and its opponent will be the Hershey Bears. Sunday’s game is also a Kids Free Sunday, with all children age 14 and under can enter the contest free of admission with the paid purchase of an adult ticket.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. 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 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 2/13/18

 

Penguins return from New England maintaining first place in the Atlantic Division

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (30-13-3-1) hosts Military Appreciation Night Presented by MetLife this Saturday

 

Weekly Rewind

Wednesday, Feb. 7 – PENGUINS 3 at Springfield 1
The Penguins’ special teams came through in a tight battle against Springfield. Gage Quinney opened the scoring, followed by power play goals by Thomas Di Pauli and Garrett Wilson. Goalie Casey DeSmith and the penalty kill prevented Springfield from scoring on all three of their power play chances.

Friday, Feb. 9 – PENGUINS 0 at Providence 4
The Penguins saw their four-game win streak come to an end. Casey DeSmith made an impressive 39 saves while facing a 43 shot attack from Providence.

Sunday, Feb. 11 – PENGUINS 3 at Providence 2 (SO)
The Penguins avenged their previous fall to the Bruins with a brilliant comeback and shootout victory. Trailing 2-0 after one period, the Penguins saw Gage Quinney and Jarred Tinordi feed the comeback, each notching a goal in the second period. Scoreless third and overtime periods led to a shootout, where Jean-Sébastien Dea tallied the only goal.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Feb. 16 – PENGUINS at Rochester
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hopes to respond to a 5-2 loss handed to them by Rochester back in December. The Amerks have played 21 overtime games this season, most in the AHL.

Saturday, Feb. 17 – PENGUINS vs. Utica
On Military Appreciation Night Presented by MetLife, the Penguins host the Comets in the clubs’ first meeting this season. Utica is riding a six-game win streak and has skyrocketed to second in the North Division.

Sunday, Feb. 18 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looks to claim the season series lead at Lehigh Valley, as they both have five wins against the other.

 

Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton became the fourth team to reach 30 wins this season. The Penguins have failed to record 30 wins in only two of their 19 seasons.

– Casey DeSmith has tended goal in all four of the Penguins’ shootouts this season and has made 10 saves on 11 attempts.

–  Daniel Sprong leads all AHL rookies in shots per game (3.16), and he also ranks second in points per game (1.00) and goals (20).

– Thomas Di Pauli ended a 15-game goalless streak by scoring on Wednesday, becoming the sixth Penguin to reach double digits in goal scoring.

– The Penguins are 7-1-1-0 when Gage Quinney scores a goal this season.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 47 30 13 3 1 64 .681
2. Lehigh Valley 50 30 14 3 3 66 .660
3. Providence 49 28 16 3 2 61 .622
4. Charlotte 50 27 20 0 3 57 .570
5. Bridgeport 49 23 19 5 2 53 .541
6. Hartford 51 24 20 3 3 55 .539
7. Springfield 51 22 27 1 1 46 .451
8. Hershey 51 19 25 4 4 45 .441

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 37 20 17 37
Ryan Haggerty 33 16 15 31
Zach Aston-Reese*^ 41 9 20 29
Jean-Sébastien Dea 42 11 17 28
Teddy Blueger^ 45 12 14 26
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith 22 14-6-2 2.50 .917 2
Anthony Peters 13 7-4-2 2.33 .916 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT      LOCATION                           TIME    

Fri, Feb. 16         Rochester          Blue Cross Arena                7:05 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 17        Utica                   Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Sun, Feb. 18      Lehigh Valley    PPL Center                          5:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Thu, Feb. 8        (C) Teddy Blueger                           Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT, 3-2

BOXSCORE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins avenged their two shutout losses at Dunkin’ Donuts Center by defeating the Providence Bruins in a shootout, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon in their last visit to Rhode Island this season.

It took 146:31 of game time over the course of three games, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (30-13-3-1) finally solved Bruins goalie Zane McIntyre to pull together a two-goal comeback before winning in the best-of-three shootout.

The start of the game was a defensive chess match. Neither team could tally a shot on goal during the first five minutes of the contest thanks to tight-checking defense and shot-blocking prowess on both sides.

The Bruins’ Tommy Cross blasted the first goal of the day past Casey DeSmith during a power play at 13:42. Providence built a 2-0 lead at 17:35 of the first period when Adam Payerl rush towards the net and shoved his own rebound across the goal line.

McIntyre had blanked the Penguins for seven-straight periods at Dunkin’ Donuts Center at this point, but that streak finally came to an end in the middle frame.

Gage Quinney came streaking in on an odd man rush and fired the puck up and over McIntyre’s glove to bring Wilkes-Barre/Scranton within one 6:31 into the second period. The Penguins tied it up on a Jarred Tinordi chip shot over a sprawled-out McIntyre, finished the work done by Reid Gardner who racked up several rebound bids at the side of the net. Tinordi’s tally at 11:06 of the second period was his first goal since Nov. 12.

The third period decided nothing as the score remained 2-2 at the end of 60 minutes, and the shots were dead even at 30-30. No victor emerged after a five-minute overtime session, either.

Jean-Sébastien Dea used crafty puckwork to score in the first round of the shootout and DeSmith was perfect on three Bruins shootout attempts, giving the Penguins their first win at Dunkin’ Donuts Center this season.

DeSmith slammed the door on 32 of 34 shots faced in regulation and overtime, while McIntyre recorded an identical statline at the opposite end of the ice.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Feb. 16 when they travel to upstate New York for a tilt with the Rochester Americans. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Feb. 17, and they’ll take on the Utica Comets for the first time this season. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets 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 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WIN SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE, BEAT T-BIRDS, 3-1

BOXSCORE

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used a great night on the special teams front to defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds, 3-1, on Wednesday night at MassMutual Center.

In addition to receiving excellent goaltending by Casey DeSmith, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (29-12-3-1) used two power play goals and an impenetrable penalty kill to earn its first win at MassMutual Center since Feb. 5, 2016.

The first period was a back and forth affair that ended in a scoreless tie. The Thunderbirds had their best opportunity to pull ahead late in the frame when they went on a 1:24-long two-man advantage, but DeSmith came up with a series big with saves, keeping the score knotted at zero.

The teams traded goals in the second frame with Gage Quinney breaking things open at 10:49 of the second period. Quinney raced onto the ice following a line change and ended up in perfect position to receive a pass from Reid Gardiner. However, a mere 2:04 later, Springfield’s Dryden Hunt tied it up, 1-1.

With just 13.1 seconds left in the second period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled ahead on a power play goal from Thomas Di Pauli. Di Pauli buried his own rebound, snapping a 15-game scoreless drought and putting his team back on top, 2-1.

Late in the third and final frame of regulation with the game still separated by only one goal, DeSmith conjured one of the finest saves made by a Penguins goaltender this year. After a shot from the point created a rebound directly to the left of DeSmith, Ed Wittchow was staring at a wide open net with the puck on his stick. Wittchow threw the puck at the yawning cage, only to see DeSmith reach back with his glove, slap the puck out of midair and away from danger to keep his team in the lead.

Garrett Wilson tallied a power play, empty net insurance marker with 1:13 to go in the third period.

The Penguins finished the night two-for-seven on the man advantage, while the Thunderbirds couldn’t capitalize on any of their three power play opportunities.

DeSmith made 23 saves in his return to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Springfield goalie Evan Cowley posted 37 saves in defeat.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Feb. 9 when they visit the Providence Bruins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Feb. 17, and they’ll take on the Utica Comets for the first time this season. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets 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 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS CAPTURE EIGHTH-STRAIGHT WIN BY BEATING PHANTOMS, 4-1

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their season-best winning streak to eight games by virtue of a 4-1 triumph over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (24-10-2-1) forged a new first line of Zach Aston-Reese, Gage Quinney and Ryan Haggerty for the rivalry match-up with Lehigh Valley. The move paid immediate dividends as all three players found the scoresheet, combining for six points, and Haggerty assumed the team lead with 29 points on the season.

BOXSCORE

Lehigh Valley struck first, using a power play goal from Philippe Myers to take a 1-0 lead at 15:11 of the opening frame.

The Phantoms appeared poised to build on their lead with a raucous start to the second period. However, the Penguins survived those tense moments and calmed things down by scoring at 5:32. Quinney was the goal-scorer for the Penguins, after being set-up by his new linemates, Aston-Reese and Haggerty.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton quickly grabbed a 3-1 lead with tallies from Christian Thomas and Teddy Blueger, separated by 3:25 of game play in the second stanza.

Lehigh Valley pressed hard early in the third period, but Anthony Peters would not yield, denying the Phantoms on 10 shots faced in the final frame of regulation. Desperate to solve Peters and cut into the Penguins’ two-goal lead, Phantoms coach Scott Gordon pulled his goalie for an extra attacker with 5:31 left in the game. The gamble didn’t pay off, as Aston-Reese completed a three-point night with an empty net goal 30 seconds later.

Peters finished the night with 22 saves, winning his sixth-consecutive game in net for the Penguins. Dustin Tokarski was handed the loss, making 24 stops on 27 shots faced.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Jan. 19, as they travel to Dunkin’ Donuts Center for the first time this season for a date with the Providence Bruins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is 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-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PENGUINS LOSE CLOSE ONE TO PHANTOMS, 5-4

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms engaged in yet another tightly contested affair on Wednesday night with the Phantoms narrowly pulling off a 5-4 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Every member of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s (16-10-2-1) line of Garrett Wilson (1G-1A), Gage Quinney (1G-1A) and Daniel Sprong (0G-2A) put forth a strong offensive showing. Despite their six combined points, Lehigh Valley edged their Pennsylvania Turnpike rival and pulled farther ahead in the division standings.

The Phantoms began the scoring 2:57 into the period after Nicolas Aubé-Kubel collided with Jean-Sébastien Dea, who then in turn ran into Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s net vacant, T.J. Brennan’s shot from the point went into the open cage and gave Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead.

Mike Vecchione had a cross-crease pass ricochet off of Penguins defenseman Frank Corrado and past DeSmith during a power play at 14:35 of the first period, making it 2-0.

The Penguins entered the second period on the power play and used that opportunity to create their first goal of the game. Just as man advantage expired, Colin Smith received a between-the-legs drop pass Wilson to get a wide-open view of the net and fired it in just 56 seconds into the middle frame.

Chaos ensued midway through the second period, when a four-goal scoring spree broke out in a three-minute stretch starting with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tying the game, 2-2, on a broken play that resulted in Quinney tucking a puck around the post and off of Lehigh Valley netminder Dustin Tokarski at 10:54 of the second period. Tyrell Goulbourne answered back for the Phantoms at 12:03 of the second stanza, and Chris Conner deposited a rebound created during a two-on-one rush 1:37 later. A mere 17 ticks of the clock after the Conner goal, Garrett Wilson scored on a breakaway, pulling the Penguins back to a one-goal deficit, 4-3.

The dust settled for the third period, and Lehigh Valley received an empty net goal off the stick of Phil Varone to make it 5-3. Adam Johnson scored for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 11.5 seconds left in regulation, but it proved to be too little too late as Varone’s empty netter from moments before stood as the game-winner.

DeSmith stopped 30 of the 34 shots he faced, while Tokarski made 32 saves at the other end of the ice.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Dec. 29 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Friday’s game between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hartford is also an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with upper and lower bowl tickets available for $14 and $2 select draught beers available from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack 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-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS DROP OVERTIME DECISION AT HERSHEY, 4-3

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell in overtime to the Hershey Bears, 4-3, on Sunday at Giant Center.

Daniel Sprong and Gage Quinney led the way offensively for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-5-1-1) with two-point efforts, but Chris Bourque got the last laugh for Hershey by scoring the overtime game-winner.

The Penguins took off early when Quinney fished a puck from a net-front scramble and poked it into the Bears’ net 2:12 into the game. Quinney later set up Daniel Sprong midway through the first period

for his 10th tally of the season, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-0 lead.

Liam O’Brien cut the Bears’ deficit in half with 6:33 left in the second period, opening up the skies at Giant Center for thousands of teddy bears and stuffed animals to rain down onto the ice as part of Hershey’s teddy bear toss game.

O’Brien struck again at 8:49 of the third, pulling Hershey into a 2-2 tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With a delayed penalty upcoming to the Penguins, the Bears pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Following a pitch and catch give-and-go rush through the neutral zone, O’Brien fired his second goal of the night past Anthony Peters.

Hershey assumed a brief 3-2 lead when a point shot by Jonas Siegenthaler slipped in with 6:10 left in regulation, but Tom Sestito brought the game back to an even score less than a minute later.

Sestito’s goal earned the Penguins a point in the standings by forcing overtime, but Bourque found the game-winner on a power play 1:15 into the extra period.

Anthony Peters started in net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second night in a row, making 25 saves in the OT loss. Pheonix Copley turned aside 22 Penguins shots to earn the win for the Bears.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Dec. 6, when they travel to PPL Center to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 8 against the Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers’ visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza is also a WBRE/WYOU Eyewitness News Fan Friday. All tickets for Dec. 8’s contest are $14, and select draught beers are $2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Checkers is 7:05 p.m. 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-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.