WBS Penguins Fend Off Pirates
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had a three-goal lead erased by the Portland Pirates, but would prevail in shootout for a final score of 4-3 on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Through ten games this season, the Penguins had yet to hold a lead after the first period, but Trevor Smith and Riley Holzapfel would ensure that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took a sizeable edge into the intermission.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got on the board at 13:08 when Paul Thompson found a loose puck near the crease and touched a pass to Holzapfel for a lift shot over the shoulder of Pirates goalie Mark Visentin.
Smith then scored at the 14:31 mark as he directed a Beau Bennett centering pass to the top left corner of the net. With less than three minutes remaining in the first frame, Smith potted his second of the night, stealing a puck in the neutral zone and driving down the near wall. The Penguins center threw a wrist shot that caromed in off of the far post to put his team up, 3-0.
Portland would start to chip away at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead with a pair of markers in the second. Brandon Gormley converted on the power-play, beating Brad Thiessen with a one-time slap shot from the far circle at 2:10. At 12:27 of the same period, Chris Connor fed a one-handed pass to the top of the goal-mouth where Chris Brown fired a shot in over Thiessen’s pad.
After Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had a near miss in the Portland zone, the Pirates countered on a 4-on-2 rush that Alexandre Bolduc completed with 16:21 left in regulation to knot the score, 3-3.
The game would head to the shootout where Benn Ferriero broke the deadlock in the top of round three. Thiessen stopped all four Pirates shooters he faced before Eric Tangradi shelved a wrister in the top of the fifth round to clinch the win.
Thiessen made 36 saves through overtime to help raise his record to 2-1-0 on the season.