PENGUINS EARN 40TH WIN WITH 4-3 VICTORY AT HARTFORD

BOXSCORE

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins got a third-period equalizer to force overtime and got the deciding goal in the extra frame for a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center on Friday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (40-20-6-2) received a three-point effort from Christian Thomas, and Daniel Sprong potted the game-winner for his team-leading 27th goal of the season. Furthermore, the Penguins achieved 40 wins for the 13th season in a row, the league’s active record.

Ethan Prow was reinserted into the Penguins’ lineup due to a pregame suspension levied to Andrey Pedan, and made an immediate impact by setting up the game’s first goal. Prow ushered the puck out of the Penguins’ defensive end and then dished it to Christian Thomas, who wired a shot through Alexandar Georgiev’s five-hole 9:16 into the contest.

The Wolf Pack unleashed three-straight goals in the second period to stun the visitors and assume a 3-1 lead. First, Gabriel Fontaine deposited a tap-in on the power play at 1:34 of the middle frame. Less than two minutes later, Dawson Leedahl’s backhander gave Hartford its first lead of the night. Cristoval Nieves delivered a behind-the-back set-up to Scott Kosmachuk for the Wolf Pack’s third goal of the frame at 11:13.

After Wilkes-Barre/Scranton couldn’t get any puck luck on a dominant man advantage, Zach Trotman unloaded a slap shot that snuck behind Georgiev and pulled the Penguins within one goal. Trotman’s tally was assisted by Thomas and Jarred Tinordi with 3:07 left in the second period.

Thomas completed his three-point night and evened the score, 3-3, with a goal at 6:25 of the third period. Tom Sestito stripped a Hartford defenseman of the puck in the Wolf Pack’s zone and fed Thomas on the backdoor for the slam dunk.

Adam Johnson was afforded an opportunity to put the Penguins back on top when he was awarded a penalty shot midway through the third period, but Georgiev slammed the door shut.

The three-on-three overtime was filled with scoring chances for both sides as the two clubs combined for 10 shots on goal. However, the final shot was the only one that mattered, coming from the stick of Sprong with 39.8 seconds left in the extra frame.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 31, when they host the Providence Bruins for the second time this week. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS DEFEAT BRUINS, 5-2, RECLAIM SECOND PLACE IN DIVISION

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used a second period surge to defeat the visiting Providence Bruins, 5-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday night.

Daniel Sprong scored his team-leading 25th and 26th goals of the season within the opening minutes of the middle frame to spur Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (39-20-6-2) on to beat their rival and reclaim second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Penguins came out with a strong offensive effort in the first period, throwing 14 pucks at the net, but were unable to solve goaltender Zane McIntyre. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got its greatest scoring chance of the opening frame when Jean-Sébastien Dea was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway, only to be denied by McIntyre.

Shortly after McIntyre stoned Dea on the shorthanded opportunity, the P-Bruins eventually converted on that man advantage with 41.5 seconds left in the first period. Jakub Zbořil released a rocket slap shot that found its way through traffic and into the Penguins’ net to put the visitors on the board first.

The Penguins came roaring back to start the middle frame, using three goals within the first 6:05 of the period to gain a two-goal lead. First, Sprong fooled McIntyre with a spin-o-rama backhander from the left wall as the puck somehow leaked past the Providence goalie’s pad and inside the near post. Less than three minutes later, Garrett Wilson fed Sprong for an opportunity that he ripped through McIntyre’s five-hole.

Sprong’s second goal on the night pulled him into a tie with Charlotte’s Warren Foegele for the league lead in rookie goal scoring (26).

On his first shift back after retreating to the locker room for an injury evaluation, Joseph Cramarossa sniped the glove side of McIntyre and extended the Penguins’ lead to 3-1.

Anton Blidh halted the spread of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s wildfire when he beat Tristan Jarry clean over the glove on the rush, pulling the P-Bruins back within one at 8:54 of the second stanza.

Both teams’ offenses were held in check until midway through the final period. Teddy Blueger pulled off a sensational deke in tight quarters and roofed a shot right under the crossbar for a Penguins insurance maker, putting them up, 4-2.

Jarred Tinordi flipped the puck into the empty net in the game’s closing seconds to round out the scoring at 5-2.

Both Jarry and McIntyre ended up with 27 saves on the night.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Mar. 30 when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack for the final time this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Mar. 31, and they’ll host the Providence Bruins once again. Saturday’s puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS LOSE FINAL GAME OF WEEKEND TO BRIDGEPORT, 6-3

 

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins couldn’t muster the same comeback magic they showed earlier in the week as they closed out their three-in-three weekend set with a 6-3 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Sunday afternoon.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s (38-20-6-2) excellent power play effort early in the final period was not enough to draw even with the well-rested Sound Tigers, who were idle the night earlier after the Penguins were coming off of three-straight overtime contests.

Though the Penguins opened the game with a 4-0 shot advantage through the first six minutes, the Sound Tigers eventually struck first. Rookie Ryan Hitchcock collected his own rebound on a blocked shot, and his second attempt bounced off of a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman past Tristan Jarry midway through the opening period.

Hitchcock caused problems for the Penguins again by factoring in on the Sound Tigers’ second goal of the game. During a power play in the final minutes of the opening frame, Hitchcock nailed the crossbar and the rebound rolled right to a wide open Travis St. Denis who buried it into the Penguins’ net.

Ryan Bourque scored a pair of goals at 4:53 and 9:40 of the second period to put the Sound Tigers up, 4-0.

Chris Summers put the home team on the board with under five minutes left in the middle frame, marking his first goal in a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton uniform. The celebration for Summers’ first goal in over a year was short-lived, as Steve Bernier reestablished the Sound Tigers’ four-goal lead less than two minutes later.

The Penguins came out with a purpose in the third period, and took advantage of some early power plays dealt their way. First, Jean-Sébastien Dea buried during a two-man advantage, swiftly followed by a strike by Andrey Pedan. Suddenly, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had slashed its deficit in half with 16:15 still left to play.

However, the rest of the final frame of regulation was marred by penalties assessed to both sides, and St. Denis eventually added a power play, empty net goal in the game’s dying seconds to close out the scoring, 6-3.

The Penguins finished the game two-for-six on the power play, while their penalty kill unit was put to work 11 times on the afternoon.

Jarry stopped 25 shots for his first regulation loss in the AHL since Oct. 14, 2017, while the opposing Eamon McAdam made 24 saves on the afternoon.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Mar. 28 when they host the Providence Bruins. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

 

PENGUINS DOWN DEVILS IN SHOOTOUT, 5-4

 

BOXSCORE

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored early and often through the first half of the game, but still needed the shootout to nab a 5-4 win over the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (38-19-6-2) got a big game from Garrett Wilson, including the game-winning goal in the eighth round of the shootout, so it could remain unbeaten in five games against Binghamton this season.

The Penguins got off to a quick start by tallying the first goal of the night just 1:14 into the contest. Jarred Tinordi ripped a shot from the point that beat Mackenzie Blackwood over the shoulder for a career-best fourth goal of the season. The lead was short-lived though, as the Devils’ Jacob MacDonald scored just 2:10 later to tie it up, 1-1.

Joseph Cramarossa sniped a shot bar-down just before the halfway point of the first period to put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton back on top, 2-1.

The Penguins extended their lead to 3-1 and got a monkey off their back with a power play goal, their first in 18 attempts against the Devils. Andrey Pedan snapped one past Blackwood with Wilson setting a blinding screen in front at 6:38 of the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton added another goal at the 13:39 mark of the middle frame when another Pedan shot from the point was tipped in by Wilson.

With less than 30 seconds left in the second period, Binghamton cut their deficit down to two thanks to a man advantage marker set up by Bracken Kearns to Nick Lappin.

The Devils carried the momentum of the late power play goal through the intermission, reducing the Penguins’ lead to 4-3 a little over two minutes into the third period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Zach Trotman broke up a centering pass sent across the net-mouth, but the bouncing puck then hopped onto Blake Speers’ stick, and the rookie rifled it past Michael Leighton.

Binghamton finally pulled even at 10:29 of the third period as Mario Lucia came down the right wing on a two-on-one rush and ripped a shot into the Penguins’ net.

The Devils even had an opportunity to take their first lead of the game when Andrey Pedan was assessed a four-minute double minor for high-sticking with 5:59 left in regulation. However, the Penguins put forth a textbook penalty killing performance and forced the game to overtime for their third game in a row.

Daniel Sprong scored the shootout’s first goal on the Penguins’ third attempt, but with the game on the line, the Devils’ John Quenneville responded in kind immediately thereafter. Both teams were turned aside by the opponent’s netminder until round eight, where Wilson put one over Blackwood’s shoulder for the victory.

Leighton made 37 saves in regulation and overtime before denying the Devils on seven of their eight shootout bids. Blackwood turned aside 28 of the Penguins’ 32 shots on goal and made six stops in the shootout.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Mar. 25, when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Tomorrow’s tilt with the Sound Tigers is also a Kids Get In Free Sunday. Children aged 14 and under can attend the game free of charge with the paid purchase of an adult ticket.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers 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 Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly 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 FORCE OVERTIME AGAINST FIRST PLACE MARLIES

 

BOXSCORE

TORONTO, Ont. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins put forth a strong offensive effort in a match-up with the Toronto Marlies with 40-shots and twice coming from behind, but still lost in overtime, 4-3, at Ricoh Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-5-2) matched the AHL’s top ranked team throughout regulation, and still earned a valuable point in the standings with the loss in extra time.

Toronto got the game’s first goal midway through the first period. Kyle Baun won the puck from the Penguins defense below the goal line, then banged in a rebound beside Tristan Jarry.

On their second man advantage of the night, the Marlies’ Andrew Nielsen capitalized and put his squad up, 2-0, at 15:37 of the opening frame. However, two minutes later, Daniel Sprong stripped Toronto defenseman Martin Marinčin of the puck right at the Marlies’ net-mouth and notched his team-leading 23rd goal of the season to pull the Penguins within one.

After Sprong’s turnover tally, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ended the period with a fury of shots, but goaltender Garret Sparks weathered the storm. The Penguins’ momentum carried into the second period, and Sparks was solved once again when Garrett Wilson tied things up on a tipped shot 1:42 into the middle frame.

Calle Rosén regained the Marlies the lead, 3-2, at 14:48 of the second period.

Heading into the second intermission, the Penguins had mustered 31 shots on goal, but were still trailing by one goal.

Early in the third period, Ethan Prow evened the score with a big blast from the blue line that navigated through traffic and past Sparks at 3:49 of the final frame of regulation.

Toronto turned up the heat after Prow’s equalizer, but it became Jarry’s turn to stifle an opponent’s bevy of scoring opportunities. Jarry, making his first net appearance for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Feb. 3, denied all 15 of the Marlies’ shots in the third period to help his team force overtime.

The Marlies emerged victorious in the extra frame as Adam Brooks put the game away on a two-on-one 1:17 into OT.

Jarry recorded 36 saves on the night, while Sparks was one better with 37.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Mar. 23 when they visit the Utica Comets. 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 FORGE COMEBACK TO BEAT BEARS, 6-4

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE. Pa. – Even though they found themselves down early, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins erupted with offense in the second half of the game to beat the Hershey Bears, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-4-2) notched five goals in the final two periods of play, including two from Thomas Di Pauli, to emerge victorious and remain unbeaten in regulation against its bitter rival this season (8-0-1-1).

Hershey wasted little time scoring when Liam O’Brien jammed a puck past Anthony 62 seconds into the contest. Shortly thereafter, the Bears struck again as a centering pass took a favorable bounce right to a wide-open Joe Whitney to extend the lead to 2-0.

Étienne Marcoux then came in to relieve Peters, giving the home team a well-needed energy boost. Joseph Cramarossa put the Penguins on the board at 11:49. Jarrett Burton sped down the right side of the ice and fired the biscuit at Hershey’s net. Cramarossa was right there to knock in the rebound and pull his squad within one.

However, Hershey re-established its two-goal advantage when Jonas Siegenthaler stepped up from the point, shot the puck through a crowd and rifled it over Marcoux’s glove with 4:07 left in the opening frame.


The game turned on its head midway through the second period when Bears defenseman Madison Bowey handed Penguins forward Gage Quinney the puck at the Hershey blue line, springing Quinney loose on a breakaway. Quinney hit the post, but regained the puck and on the same offensive zone possession, fed Tom Sestito atop the crease for a goal that made it 3-2 at 11:58 of the second stanza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton proceeded to out-possess Hershey throughout the second period, peppering Pheonix Copley with grade-A scoring chances. The team’s hard work culminated in Di Pauli burying a buzzer-beater goal at the end of the second period. After being reviewed by the officials, it was determined that the puck crossed the goal line with one second before the second intermission.

The Penguins took a 4-3 lead 2:38 into the third period thanks to Christian Thomas collecting his own rebound and shoving the puck underneath Copley’s equipment. Five minutes later, Di Pauli added another goal, shooting a one-timer on the rush set up by Tom Kostopoulos. The tally that made it 5-3, Penguins, marked Kostopoulos’ third assist of the game.

Siegenthaler notched his second goal of the night while the two teams were skating at four-on-four to make things interesting, but Cramarossa and Teddy Blueger combined on a two-on-one race up ice to put the Penguins back in a 6-4 lead with 4:41 left in regulation.

Marcoux denied 17 of 19 shots he faced to earn his first win in the AHL. Peters left the game having made one save on three shots against. Copley made 26 saves in the loss for Hershey.

The Penguins’ next game is on Tuesday, Mar. 20 when they visit the Toronto Marlies. 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 STYMIED BY NELL, WOLF PACK IN 4-1 LOSS

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE. Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins struggled to solve rookie goaltender Chris Nell in a 4-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

After a lackluster start, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-19-4-2) came back with an 18-shot performance in the second period, and eventually got on the board in the third. However, quick-strike offense from the Wolf Pack put them in a position to ride the strong play of Nell to a victory.

The visiting Wolf Pack more than doubled the Penguins’ shot total in the first period, firing 16 pucks on net. Anthony Peters stood tall, turning the first 11 shots aside until Cole Schneider tipped a bid from the point through Peters’ equipment at 16:14 of the opening frame. The Wolf Pack struck again 34 seconds later when Dan DeSalvo jammed in a rebound.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took control of the pace of play in the second period and used four power play opportunities to out-shoot Hartford, 18-3. Time and time again, Nell stifled the Penguins’ scoring attempts, whether they were on the man advantage or skating at even strength.

Still trailing by two after the second intermission, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came out determined in the final frame of regulation. Just under five minutes into the third period, Daniel Sprong finally beat Nell and put the Penguins on the board with his first even strength goal since Jan. 26.

The Penguins continued the press, and Kevin Czuczman hit the post on a shot through traffic that appeared destined to be the tying goal. However, Hartford stormed down the ice moments after Czuczman’s post shot and took advantage of a turnover in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s zone to pull back ahead by two. Less than a minute after Steven Fogarty made it 3-1, Vinni Lettieri added another goal with 4:17 left in regulation to put enough distance between the Wolf Pack and Penguins and secure the victory.

Peters made 26 saves on the night, while Nell stopped 30 shots.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Mar. 18, against the Hershey Bears. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears 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 LOSE TO CHECKERS, 3-1

BOXSCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Charlotte Checkers faced one another for the second night in a row at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but this time, the Penguins were on the losing end of a 3-1 final on Wednesday.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-18-4-2) pressed hard in the third period, but couldn’t muster the comeback to suffer its first loss in Charlotte in franchise history (5-1-0-0).

The two clubs played to a scoreless tie in the first 20 minutes of play, despite the Penguins forcing plenty of turnovers and generating several odd-man rushes.

Charlotte finally found the game’s first goal at 7:30 of the middle frame when Julien Gauthier muscled his way from the corner to the hashmarks and overpowered Anthony Peters with a heavy snap shot. The Checkers expanded their lead to 2-0 six minutes later on a power play goal generated on a tic-tac-toe setup finished by Greg McKegg.

As the Penguins entered the third period, they wasted no time peppering Alex Nedeljkovic with shots. The Checkers’ goalie continually stifled their efforts until Tom Sestito pitchforked a rebound through Nedeljkovic’s five-hole at 8:11 of the final frame. Daniel Sprong raced past Charlotte’s defense for a breakaway, was stopped by Nedeljkovic, but kept his feet moving to gather the loose puck and put it back on goal, creating the rebound opportunity for Sestito.

With the comeback in sights, McKegg dashed his former team’s hopes by notching an insurance marker for Charlotte with 5:23 left in regulation.

Peters recorded 27 saves, while the opposing Nedeljkovic posted 17 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is at home on Saturday, Mar. 17 against the Hartford Wolf Pack and serves as the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack 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.

PENGUINS SCORE IN BUNCHES TO BEAT CHECKERS, 5-2

BOXSCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Quick-succession scoring led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 5-2 triumph over the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-17-4-2) picked up two pairs of goals in a matter of seconds throughout the course of the contest to win its third game in a row and earn points in six of its last seven.

The Checkers were on the Penguins early, dominating possession in the first eight minutes of the game. All of their offensive zone time culminated in a goal, as Valentin Zykov potted his league-leading 31st tally of the season at 8:52 of the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded swiftly though, as Zach Trotman and Tom Kostopoulos scored 31 seconds apart for the Penguins to shock the Queen City crowd and take a sudden 2-1 lead.

Zach Trotman throws a puck on net and ties the game, 1-1
Tom Kostopoulos takes a Gage Quinney feed and makes it 2-1

After a largely uneventful first half of the second period, the Penguins struck twice in quick fashion again. First, Tom Sestito forced a turnover by levying a crunching hit at the Checkers’ blue line, and Sam Lafferty delivered an on-the-money pass to Joseph Cramarossa for a breakaway goal. Twenty seconds after

Sam Lafferty sets up Joey Cramarossa for the eventual game-winner.

Lafferty earned his first pro point with the helper on Cramarossa’s tally, Teddy Blueger found the back of the net during the power play. Blueger’s man advantage marker gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 4-1 lead at 15:02 of the middle frame.

Teddy Blueger pokes home a power play goal to seal the deal.

Charlotte cut into the deficit with a power play goal of its own. Andrew Poturalski did the honors with a one-timer in the high slot with 3:02 left before the second intermission.

Still trailing by two late in the third period, Checkers head coach Mike Vellucci got aggressive and pulled his goalie for an extra attacker with 4:44 remaining in regulation. Charlotte’s bold move only resulted in Kostopoulos setting up Blueger for an empty net goal with 1:31 left in regulation.

Anthony Peters recorded 29 saves for the win. Charlotte goalie Alex Nedeljkovic posted 23 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 14, and their opponent will be the Checkers once again. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack 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.

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