PENGUINS FALL IN SHOOTOUT TO BEARS, 4-3
HERSHEY, Pa. – For the third game in a row, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins went to a shootout. Unlike the previous two games, the Penguins lost, falling by a 4-3 final score to the Hershey Bears on Tuesday at Giant Center.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (10-5-1-2) saw a productive night from its top line of Drake Caggiula (1G-1A), Drew O’Connor (2A) and Valtteri Puustinen (1G-1A), with each player generating multiple points. Even though the Penguins never trailed in the contest, the Bears hung on long enough to steal the extra point in the shootout.
The Caggiula-O’Connor-Puustinen line wasted little time getting the Penguins on the board, scoring 69 seconds into the game. O’Connor and Puustinen cycled the puck behind the net, creating a gap in coverage for Caggiula to get loose and slam in a one-timer.
Just before the eight-minute mark, that line struck again. This time, Puustinen tipped in a shot from O’Connor for his team-leading seventh tally of the season.
Hershey regained its composure from the early onslaught and cut its deficit in half with a tip-in goal from Mason Morelli at 15:41.
Jake Massie tied the game, 2-2, seven minutes in the second period with a point shot the ricocheted off of a Penguins player and past Dustin Tokarski.
The Penguins hopped back on top with a power-play goal early in the final frame of regulation. Nathan Légaré shoveled in a rebound 93 seconds into the third period, putting his side ahead, 3-2.
The Bears responded with another deflection goal. Mike Vecchione did the honors, knotting the contest at 3-3 at 11:04 of the third.
After Tokarski made three stops in overtime to establish a season-high 40 saves, the game went to a shootout. Alex Nylander hit the post in the first round, followed by an unsuccessful bid by Hershey.
However, the second round saw Sam Anas pick the top corner while falling off balance, giving the Bears the edge. With the game on the line in the top of the third round, Caggiula also struck iron.
Hunter Shepard earned the win for Hershey with 16 saves in regulation and overtime, and he was credited with three denials in the shootout.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is back on home ice, Saturday, Dec. 3 against the Bridgeport Islanders. That night will feature pre-game ceremonies for the induction of Tom Kostopoulos, Tom Grace and Steve Barrouk into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Hall of Fame. Game time is currently slated for 6:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Individual game tickets and season-ticket packages for the 2022-23 season are on sale now. Full-Season, 22-game, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating plans are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
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