PENGUINS STYMIED BY LEVI’S 41 SAVES, LOSE 5-3

February 16, 2024 Nick Hart

BOXSCORE

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins concluded their five-game road trip with a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena on Friday night.

Rochester goalie Devon Levi stole the show, stopping 41 of 44 shots from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (25-17-6-1) to bring an abrupt end to the Penguins’ four-game point streak.

Rochester lit the lamp first at 3:09 into the first period by way of a deflection from captain Michael Mersch.

Just as it looked like Levi’s heroics were poised to keep the Americans’ one-goal lead afloat going into the first intermission, the Penguins struck twice late in the frame. An explosive wrister from Ryan Shea left a trail of smoke as it soared past the glove of Levi with 64 seconds left in the period. Thirty-one seconds later, Radim Zohorna put the Penguins ahead, 2-1.

Unfazed, Levi went back to making jaw-dropping saves in the second period, holding the Penguins at bay. Eventually, Mersch scored again midway through the second, bringing Rochester even, 2-2.

With time winding down in the second stanza, Tyson Kozak jumped on a loose puck that took a wacky bounce behind the Penguins net. Kozak shuffled it underneath a scrambling Magnus Hellberg and put the Amerks ahead, 3-2.

Jiří Kulich extended Rochester’s lead to 4-2 with under 12 minutes to play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded less than two minutes later thanks to Ty Smith, bringing the Black and Gold back within one.

Despite a heavy press by the Penguins in the back half of the third period, Levi held his ground and kept his team ahead. An empty-net goal from Linus Weissbach rounded out the score.

Hellberg turned away 23 of the 27 shots he faced from Rochester.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s returns home for its next game tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 17, against the Laval Rocket. The club will also adopt the name of the Pittston Tomatoes, complete with special uniforms, merchandise and game presentation for one night only. Opening puck drop between the Tomatoes and Rocket is slated for 6:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Season-ticket packages for the Penguins’ 25th season of hockey 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. Individual-game tickets are also available by visiting Ticketmaster.com, the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office or calling the Penguins’ front office at (570) 208-7367.

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