PENGUINS LOSE CLOSE BATTLE WITH PHANTOMS IN SHOOTOUT, 2-1

 

BOXSCORE

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Both the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms traded goals in the last two minutes of regulation, but the Phantoms came out on top in a shootout, 2-1, on Saturday night at PPL Center.

With their point earned in the standings, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (44-22-6-3) was able to secure home ice in the first round of the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Penguins will play as the No. 2 seed for the Atlantic Division in the postseason, even though their first round opponent is still to be determined.

The first period featured a strong defensive effort by both teams, keeping the game scoreless and without grade-A scoring chances for either side.

In the middle frame, the Penguins nearly doubled the Phantoms in shots. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earned a 11-6 shot advantage in the second period, but both goalies remained strong. Alex Lyon held down the fort for the Phantoms, while Michael Leighton came up with a series of solid stops for the Penguins.

The Phantoms nearly generated a breakaway opportunity midway through the second period, but defenseman Niclas Almari stepped in to neutralize the headman pass. Almari, making his AHL debut, was the last line of defense on the sequence for the Penguins, but calmly clogged up the passing lane that would have otherwise resulted in a clean chance for Lehigh Valley’s Cole Bardeau.

Leighton also helped power the Penguins to kill off a double minor penalty in the middle frame, too, making numerous key saves to keep the score even at 0-0.

The third period yielded the best scoring chances for both the Penguins and Phantoms, but time and time again, they were foiled by the opposing netminder. The game appeared poised for a scoreless regulation until Garrett Wilson cracked the goose egg for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the contest. With 1:50 left in the third period, Wilson muscled a loose puck under Lyon’s pad for the game’s first goal.

However, the goal was not enough as Chris Conner came back a minute later, scoring for Lehigh Valley with the goalie pulled and extra attacker activated with 45.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

The tight defense continued through the overtime period, as each team only surrendered two shots and allowed no goals.

Nic Aubé-Kubel scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round, granting Lehigh Valley the victory in its last game of the season.

Leighton made 30 saves on the night and denied three Phantoms attempts in the shootout, while Lyon turned aside 26 shots in regulation and overtime and went four-for-four on saves in the shootout.

The Penguins have one more game left in the regular season. They’ll take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 15, at 5:00 p.m. for both clubs’ regular season finale.

Ticket packages and individual game tickets 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.

 

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 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 SIXTH-STRAIGHT IN 6-5 BARNBURNER WITH PHANTOMS

BOXSCORE

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms put forth an electrifying contest at PPL Center on Friday night with the Penguins emerging on top, 6-5, in the shootout.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-2-0-0) traded back-and-forth offense with the Phantoms all night, including a wild second period in which the two clubs combined for seven goals in those 20 minutes.

The Phantoms got on the board first when Tyrell Goulbourne tapped one in on the backdoor at 13:52 of the opening frame.

The zaniness in the second stanza started 1:43 into the period, when Gage Quinney gutted out a 1-1 tying goal amidst a net-front scramble. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went up 3-1 with power play and shorthanded goals separated by only 2:16 of game time. Christian Thomas gave the Penguins their first lead of the game with the man advantage marker, while Jean-Sébastien Dea was responsible for the shorthanded tally.

On the same power play that Dea notched his first career shorty, Danick Martel pulled the Phantoms back within one. T.J. Brennan tied the game, 3-3, five minutes later. A mere 86 seconds after that, Mikhail Vorobyev put Lehigh Valley back on top, 4-3.

The Phantoms were seemingly poised to take their 4-3 lead into the second intermission until Dea forced a turnover and Ryan Haggerty deposited a bar-down snipe, tying the game again with only 10.4 seconds left in the middle frame.

Haggerty scored once more, giving the Penguins a brief 5-4 advantage before Chris Conner potted another equalizer at 11:26 of the third period.

After a heart-stopping overtime, the game went to the shootout. Thomas scored the only goal of the best-of-three series, granting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the 6-5 victory and its sixth win in a row.

Casey DeSmith improved to 4-0-0 on the season by making 35 saves and denying all three Phantoms attempts in the shootout. Dustin Tokarski turned aside 28 shots for Lehigh Valley.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Sunday, Nov. 5, when it takes on its other in-state rival, the Hershey Bears. Puck drop for 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 full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SCORE LATE, BUT LOSE IN SHOOTOUT, 3-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins managed a late-game equalizer to force overtime in their Sunday afternoon game, but ultimately fell in the shootout to the Utica Comets by a 3-2 score at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins dropped to 47-19-3-1 on the season, but still managed to inch closer to a playoff berth as a result of the extra point claimed by losing after regulation.

It did not take long for the visitors to start the scoring as Cody Kunyk tipped in a shot from the point just 2:28 into the contest. Kunyk’s redirection ended up being the only goal of the opening period.

Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos helped tie the game, 1-1, by setting up Zach Aston-Reese from behind the net for a power play goal at 5:08 of the second period.

An own goal by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reestablished Utica’s one-goal lead at 12:58 of the middle frame. Jordan Subban was credited with the goal, his second point of the game.

The Penguins furiously attempted to knot thing up throughout the third period, but were consistently foiled by rookie goalie Thatcher Demko. It wasn’t until Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 15th shot of the period and an empty-net, extra attacker power play that Oskar Sundqvist snuck the puck across the line on Demko’s short side with a mere 58.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

The game went to a shootout after the thrilling three-on-three overtime period that didn’t have a single stoppage. Utica’s Curtis Valk notched the shootout’s only goal and claimed victory for the Comets.

Tristan Jarry recorded 34 saves during the game and made an additional two more stops in the shootout. Demko made 43 saves and denied the Penguins on all three of their shootout attempts.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Apr. 2, when it takes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. The Penguins’ next home game is Wednesday, Apr. 12, and once again, their opponent will be the Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS DEFEAT P-BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT, 5-4

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BOXSCORE

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins went the distance in a Sunday afternoon showdown, but the Penguins emerged victorious with 5-4 shootout victory at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Garrett Wilson scored the lone goal for either team in the fourth round of the shootout, granting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-1-1-0, first in the Atlantic Division) its fourth-straight win and six-of-six possible points in its three-in-three weekend.

After both teams’ goaltenders stonewalled their opponents in the first, second and third rounds of the shootout, Tristan Jarry came up with one extra stop before Wilson ended the game with a wicked wrister to the blocker-side of Dan Vladař.

After an early onslaught of shots thrown at Providence goaltender Vladař, Reid Gardiner put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the board with the Penguins’ 10th shot of the game at 6:32 of the first period.

The Bruins responded with a sharp-angle goal by Jordan Szwarz at 13:43, tying the game, 1-1.

Momentum swung back in the Penguins’ favor following another outburst of opportunities, culminating in an Oskar Sundqvist redirect at the crease that put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton back up, 2-1, at 16:03 of the opening frame. However, Providence answered again with a tally by Danton Heinen 2:02 after Sundqvist’s goal.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton struck twice in the second period with goals from Tom Kostopoulos and Jean-Sébastien Dea. Kostopoulos’ marker at 10:24 of the middle frame was his third goal of the weekend and gave him goals on four-straight contests.

Peter Cehlárik tipped in a point shot from Alex Grant with less than two minutes left in the period, cutting the Penguins’ lead in half and taking a 4-3 score into the second intermission.

Providence tied the game, 4-4, with a man advantage marker by Wayne Simpson 3:50 into the third period.

Neither squad found a go-ahead goal in regulation or sudden death overtime, so onto the shootout it went during which Wilson secured the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jarry ended up with 38 saves in regulation and overtime and went four-for-four on stops in the shootout. Vladař recorded 25 saves during the game and denied the Penguins on three-of-four shootout attempts.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Nov. 11 when they take on the Toronto Marlies at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in a clash of the top two teams in the AHL. Puck drop for the Penguins’ lone home game against the Marlies is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.