HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins could not find the same comeback magic they conjured in their previous two visits to Giant Center and fell 4-0 at the hand of the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night.
The Penguins (12-4-1-0) were unable to beat the Bears’ goaltender, Vítek Vanečěk, once in 60 minutes of game time, and as a result, lost to Hershey for the first time in 2016-17.
The contest began with a furious start from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, outshooting the Bears 6-0 before the five-minute mark of the first period and holding an 11-6 shot advantage by the end of the opening frame. The Penguins’ best chances came from Josh Archibald and newcomer Danny Kristo, playing in his first game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. On both occasions, Vanečěk shut the door, and the first period ended in a 0-0 deadlock.
The scoreless tie was finally snapped with just 20.5 seconds remaining in the second period when Hershey’s Zach Sill scooped up a puck in the high slot and potted his first goal of the season.
Christian Thomas extended the Bears’ lead to 2-0 at 2:22 of the third period with a power play goal. Thomas stuffed a puck that was lodged underneath Tristan Jarry’s left leg pad and stuffed it across the goal line. After protest by the Penguins, the play was reviewed, but the goal stood as called.
Forty seconds past the midway point of the third period, Christian Djoos picked the top corner over Jarry’s glove hand, scoring his first goal of the season and putting the Bears up 3-0.
Paul Carey extended his personal point streak to 12 games with a tally on a mini-breakaway with less than a minute left in regulation. Carey’s late-game goal brought the game to its final score of 4-0.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey 24-18 when it was all said and done, but the Penguins never found the back of the Bears’ net and were handed their third shutout loss of the season.
Jarry recorded 14 saves in the loss for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Vanečěk stopped all 24 pucks thrown his way for his second shutout of the season.
The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Nov. 25, when they head up the Long Island Sound to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Nov. 26, also against Bridgeport. Individual game tickets for next Saturday night’s game and all Penguins home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.