MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scratched and clawed their way to a shootout loss in their final game of the weekend’s Midwest road trip, falling 3-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Sunday evening.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (33-17-4-2) peppered Anders Lindbäck with shots throughout the game, and it took until Josh Jooris shoved a puck across the goal line in the last minute of regulation for the Penguins to force overtime.
Both Lindbäck and Anthony Peters goaltenders made dazzling saves in the first period. Lindback robbed Gage Quinney on the power play with a diving effort midway through the frame, and Anthony Peters delivered an old-school, cartwheel, two-pad stack while the Penguins were on the penalty kill to keep the game even.
The Penguins dominated possession for most of the opening period, firing 20 shots at the net. However, the game’s first goal came on the Admirals’ second shot of the game. Anthony Richard picked off a pass and fed Frédérick Gaudreau on a shorthanded two-on-none rush at 10:38 of the first period.
Ethan Prow evened things up, 1-1, in the final minutes of the opening frame. Christian Thomas slid a pass from the wall to a wide-open Prow, who stepped up and rocketed a wrist shot over Lindbäck’s glove.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton once again out-possessed Milwaukee in the second stanza, but late in the period, the Penguins had trouble clearing the puck out of their zone, and the Admirals took advantage. Richard put the Admirals back on top, 2-1, when his shot following the failed clear deflected off of Thomas Di Pauli and sailed in the top right corner of the Penguins’ net.
Lindbäck continually turned aside the Penguins’ bids throughout the third period. In a last ditch effort to tie the game, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled Peters for an extra attacker in the final minute of regulation.
A blocked shot skipped back to the point for the Penguins, and Ethan Prow dished it over to Jean-Sébastien Dea. Dea’s slapshot was stifled by Lindbäck, but Jooris would not be denied. He fought to collect the rebound and kept the Penguins’ hopes alive by tying the game, 2-2, with 39.3 seconds remaining.
Both goaltenders stood tall during an active overtime period, weathering the storm without allowing a goal. Lindbäck shut the door on Daniel Sprong during a breakaway in the extra session and stopped Jooris from reprising his role as hero in the waning moments of OT.
In the shootout, Justin Kirkland and Christian Thomas scored in the opening round, but neither team found the back of the net in rounds two and three. Richard notched the game-deciding goal for Milwaukee in round four.
Peters made 20 saves on the night, as well as two more in the shootout session. Lindbäck steered away 38 shots in regulation and overtime, and made three stops during the shootout.
The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Mar. 9, when they take the bus up I-81 to face-off with the Binghamton Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, Mar. 10. The Griffins’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since 2009 also serves as the Penguins’ Star Wars Night.
Puck drop between the Penguins and Griffins on Star Wars Night is scheduled for 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.