Wlkes-Barre / Scranton uses six goals tonight in Belleville, Ontario to extend their winning streak to six wins with a 6-2 win in Canada tonight.
Ryan Haggerty had three goals, his first ever hat trick as a professional. Anthony Peters picked up his fourth win as a Penguins goaltender since coming in on his second PTO and coupled with a Providence loss, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are once again atop the Atlantic Division.
Another methodical win by the Penguins, who seemed numb to a better Belleville team tonight in my opinion. The Pens have been using the KISS method to win them hockey games recently and it’s been working. Anthony Peters is more than capable enough to win games for the Penguins in goal. The defense remains intact for Wilkes-Barre and the Penguins are getting scoring from the likes of Haggerty, Christian Thomas, J-S Dea, Teddy Blueger and others and it’s turned their season around.
Anthony Peters opposed Marcus Hogberg.
Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea — Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Greg McKegg – Christian Thomas
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Colin Smith
Cody Wydo – Gage Quinney – Thomas Di Pauli
Pedan-Czuczman Tinordi-Trotman Taylor-Corrado
Anthony Peters – Adam Morrison
Lineup Notes: Casey DeSmith was recalled to Pittsburgh earlier in the day today because Matt Murray is away on a personal matter. For the Penguins in Belleville, Gage Quinney was back in for Wilkes-Barre along with Cody Wydo on the fourth line. On defense, Frank Corrado and Jeff Taylor were in for Chris Summers and Ethan Prow. On Thursday, Christian Thomas was selected for the mens hockey team for Team Canada. That’s Olympian Christian Thomas to you.
First Period: Ryan Haggerty got the Penguins on the board early when he unleashed this shot that eluded Hogberg that gave the Pens a 1-0 lead…
That’s a five game point streak for Haggerty and a six game point streak for Zach Aston-Reese, who picked up an assist on the goal. He’s assisted on nine of fourteen goals by Haggerty this season.
Pens had to kill a Jeff Taylor penalty and had a few shorthanded rushes but couldn’t add another goal.
Later, Max McCormick wheeled around the net of Peters and dished a pass to Colin Smith on the far post that Smith pounded home make it a 1-1 game.
Pens had a late power play, and assistant coach Tim Army put five forwards out for it, something that I have noticed the Penguins do recently, but there was no scoring with that man advantage.
Wilkes-Barre ended the period on a 7-0 shot run.
Second Period: Momma, there’s that man again…
Haggerty’s modus operandi coming over from Rockford when the Penguins signed him two years ago was that he had a great shot. He never used it as much last year as he is this year.
1:15 later, Olympian Christian Thomas scores to make it 3-1 for the Penguins.
That was Thomas’ fourth goal in his last three games.
Kurt Klinendorst replaced Hogberg with Danny Taylor in goal. It worked, to some extent, as Belleville would get one back :06 into an Andrey Pedan interference call. Ben Harpur got the Senators back to within one with his quick goal off of the Senators face-off win.
Third Period: Haggerty completes his hat trick here with this firecracker…
Pens made it 5-2 when Garrett Wilson got in on the scoring by finding daylight from a low angle on a power play…
With time dwindling, Belleville pulled Taylor for the extra man. But then Frank Corrado iced a puck down ice that J-S Dea beat everyone to and he scored an empty netter to salt the game away for Wilkes-Barre…
Three Stars: 3) Christian Thomas (goal, +2) 2) Colin White (two goals, +1) and 1) Ryan Haggerty (hat trick, assist, +2)
Around the Division: Bridgeport edges Providence 3-2. This Bruins loss catapults the Penguins to first in the division….Toronto defeats Charlotte 4-1. These two teams rematch tomorrow in North Carolina…Springfield smokes Lehigh Valley in Allentown 6-2…Hartford loses to the Penguins Saturday opponent, Laval by a 4-2 score.
Standings: Penguins (.671 percentage points) — Providence (.653) — Lehigh Valley (.618) — Charlotte (.581) — Bridgeport (.543) — Hershey (.513) — Hartford (.462) — Springfield (.436)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers come back from a 3-0 deficit to stun the Norfolk Admirals 4-3 in overtime at WesBanco tonight. Riley Bourbonnais scored the overtime game winning goal 2:19 into overtime to give the Nailers the win.
Remember that Saturday’s game from Laval starts at 4. Don’t be late! Gameday setup will hit the blog here Saturday at noon.
Let’s Go Pens!