That’s five wins in a row now for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
A complete domination on offense and defense, including special teams, and Wilkes-Barre rolls Lehigh Valley 5-2.
Ryan Haggerty had a hat trick, Sam Lafferty and Teddy Blueger had shorthanded goals. The Penguins abomination on the penalty kill in the past carried the Penguins Saturday night against the Phantoms.
Tristan Jarry opposed Carter Hart.
Lineup Notes: Tim Erixon slotted in for the injured (week to week) Chris Summers.
First Period: Penguins dominated shots, had long offensive shifts and threw a lot of shots at Hart, but nothing went in. 13-3 was the shout count for the Pens after twenty.
Second Period: All of that momentum that the Penguins charged out of the room with in the first was deflated when Philip Samuelsson scored through a crowd to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.
But then the Penguins were able to score when Teddy Blueger scored shorthanded which set off an avalanche of stuffed animals for the annual Teddy Bear Toss. It was Blueger that did the honors last year against Rochester. Teddy unleashed the teddies? Sometimes the puns just write themselves.
Penguins made it 2-1 when Zach Palmquist turned over the puck in the neutral zone which set off Adam Johnson and Ryan Haggerty who finished for his first goal of the night and the Penguins were off to the races.
Haggerty again, a few minutes later, made it 3-1 when he tried to set up a one time slam dunk with Jeff Taylor for a goal that drew Hart out of position. Joseph Cramarossa kept it alive in front of the goal and Hggerty crashed and scored his second.
Phantoms get one back when Mike Vecchione scored. It was a changeup at Jarry that Vecchione pounced on that brought the Phantoms to within one.
A scrum at the end of the period saw Will O’Neill and Taylor Leier get game misconducts for secondary altercations when T.J. Brennan and Sam Lafferty got mixed up. Brennan had got things to a boiling point a few times tonight but when he was going to step across the line and be asked to answer for his line stepping, he seemed disinterested in actually engaging.
Third Period: Penalty fest that saw Wilkes-Barre on the short end. Maybe a month ago Lehigh Valley cashes on each power play individually and get back into the game, but it was on a Teddy Blueger slashing call that Anthony Angello dropped a pass for Sam Lafferty that made it 4-2 and essentially iced the game away for the Penguins. It was the second shorthanded goal of the night for Wilkes-Barre.
(Taylor or Coal Street didn’t GIF this sequence, or the Ryan Haggerty empty netter which made it 5-2, sorry)
The Good: Seems like a totally different team, doesn’t it? The Penguins dominated both ends of the rink and all sides of the puck tonight. Power play didn’t cash tonight, but that looked threatening as well. Ryan Haggerty is heating up in the absences of J-S Dea and Garrett Wilson. The penalty kill essentially won the game for Wilkes-Barre, tying the game in the second and then icing it away late.
The Bad: The Good doesn’t happen without the bad, Wilkes-Barre took three penalties nursing a one goal lead in the third. While some of them were tacky tack called by inexperienced referees, playing with that kind of fire will get you burned more times than not.
Around the Division: Charlotte keeps winning, this time 3-2 over the Hartford Wolf Pack who are swept in North Carolina….Bridgeport beats Springfield 5-3….Providence crushes Hershey 6-2.
Standings: Charlotte 43 — Bridgeport 36 — Lehigh Valley 32 — Penguins 32 — Springfield 31 — Providence 29 — Hartford 25 — Hershey 24
Wheeling Update: Nailers crush the Norfolk Admirals at home, 5-1. Cam Brown had two goals and two assists.
Pens are bussing to Bridgeport for a 3 p.m. start against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Gameday setup will hit the blog Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!