WBS Pens Enter Holiday Break with Win over Crunch
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins avenged last Saturday’s shutout defeat against the Syracuse Crunch, picking up a 3-2 win at Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. The win put Coach Hynes atop the leaderboard with the most wins in WBS Penguins’ franchise history (116).
Leading 2-1 at the 10:20 mark of the second, the Penguins went ahead by two on Trevor Smith’s 10th of the season. Eric Tangradi worked by the Crunch defense to muscle a backhander on goal that was stopped with the pad by Dustin Tokarski, but Smith swooped in to roof the rebound.
Syracuse shrunk the Penguins’ edge to just one with 1:15 remaining until the intermission as Tyler Johnson found a loose puck among traffic in front of goalie Jeff Zatkoff and knuckled a shot across the goal line.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Zatkoff held the Crunch off the board for the rest of the contest to earn the 3-2 victory and snap a six-game winless streak. Zatkoff stopped 29-of-31 shots to go to 11-7-0 on the season.
Paul Thompson ended the Penguins recent 0-for-27 drought on the power-play at 3:57 of the first period. Thompson finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Brian Gibbons and Riley Holzapfel by elevating the puck over Tokarski’s shoulder to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
The Crunch’s Alex Killorn continued to add to his goal streak, tying the game at the 9:21. The tally marked his sixth goal in as many games; the longest current streak in the AHL. J.T. Wyman and Gudas assisted on the goal.
Fourteen seconds later, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton regained its lead when Joey Mormina pounced on a turnover at the near blueline and ripped a shot by Crunch goalie Dustin Tokarski for his first goal of the year.
The Penguins will be in action next on Wednesday, December 26 at the Giant Center in the first game of a home and home series against the Hershey Bears.