Hat tricks are a rare thing. Back to back hat tricks are extremely rare. But that is what happened Saturday afternoon in Laval, QC as Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defensemen Andrey Pedan scored a hat trick, his first of his professional career. Last night, Ryan Haggerty scored his first professional hat trick last night in Belleville.
Wilkes-Barre wins 4-3. Seven straight for the Penguins, their longest winning streak of the season.
Had the conversation on here a week ago whether the Penguins are, “back” after their horrific December. I think so. Today’s game was a terrific, physical and exciting affair between two teams that knocked the snot out of each other. It was a game that could have went either way, and Pedan and his heroics are enough to lift the Penguins past the Rocket today in Quebec.
Anthony Peters opposed Michael McNiven.
Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea — Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Greg McKegg – Christian Thomas
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Thomas DiPauli
Freddie Tiffels – Jarrett Burton – Patrick McGrath
Andrey Pedan – Kevin Czuczman
Jarred Tinordi – Ethan Prow
Chris Summers – Kevin Spinozzi
Anthony Peters – Adam Morrison
Lineup Notes: Freddie Tiffels, Jarrett Burton and Patrick McGrath replaced the fourth line from last night. Ethan Prow, Kevin Spinozzi and Chris Summers were in on the blue line. Thomas DiPauli bumped up to the third line, replacing Colin Smith.
First Period: :32 in, Eric Gelinas puts a shot on net that through a heavy screen to put the Rocket on the board first. Later, Andrey Pedan carried the puck through the neutral zone, unleashed a shot from high slot that McNiven got a piece of with his glove, but it went over the glove and in his net.
Christian Thomas assisted here, extending his point streak to four games.
Physicality picked up, as both teams were throwing big time hits.
Second Period: 1:03 in, the Rocket would jump out to another lead. A shot from the point was put in by Adam Cracknell. A Penguin lost his stick.
:23 later, Teddy Blueger scored. A great rush by Adam Johnson set the whole thing up…
Peters was keeping his team in the game, with this nice save here…
That was Noah Juulsen off a nice pass from Nikita Scherbak being denied by the Penguins netminder.
Andrey Pedan would add his second goal of the game while the Penguins were on a power play with this snapper of a shot that gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead…
Physicality was picking up huge. Neither team was backing down.
Laval drew even again on a power play goal. Wilkes-Barre found themselves in some penalty trouble and this one bit them. Adam Cracknell again, and it was tied again at three.
Pedan would complete his hat trick with four minutes to play in the second period exactly on a power play.
That’s Garrett Wilson down there setting the screen.
Penguins defensemen just don’t score hat tricks that often. Here is the last time that it happened…
Oh, and Ryan Haggerty assisted on that Pedan goal, giving him six points on the weekend. Give him AHL Player of the Week honors immediately.
Third Period: No scoring here, but it was a period highlighted by lots of fantastic saves from McNiven and Peters. McNiven with the toe denying Zach Aston-Reese and Peters here in a pile of bodies with time ticking down…
This time it was Laval that found themselves in penalty trouble late in the period, nullifying any attempted comeback that the home team would have planned.
Three Stars: 3) Ryan Haggerty (two assists, -1) 2) Adam Cracknell (two goals, +2) and 1) Andrey Pedan (hat trick, +1)
Around the Division: Toronto sweeps Charlotte 3-1. Checkers are in a free fall, out of a playoff spot and 3-7 in their last ten….Belleville beats Hartford 4-2…Bridgeport beats Providence and sweeps the P-Bruins this weekend beating them 2-1 in a shootout. The Sound Tigers take the fourth spot in the Atlantic….Lehigh Valley beats Hershey 2-1, the Bears five game point streak ends. These two teams rematch tomorrow in Hershey. Springfield had the night off.
Standings: Penguins (.681 percentage points) — Providence (.649) — Lehigh Valley (.628) — Bridgeport (.568) — Charlotte (.556) — Hershey (.500) — Hartford (.450) — Springfield (.436)
Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Norfolk 4-2. J.C. Campagna had a pair of goals.
Pens will travel home Sunday.
Week 15 AHL Power Rankings are yours Monday at 4 but for anything breaking between now and then.
Let’s Go Pens!