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.