Pack Nipped by Penguins in Home Ice FinaleApr 8, 2017
By Chris Kohler
The Wolf Pack outshot the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 35-27 Saturday night at the XL Center, but Penguin goaltender Casey DeSmith made 34 saves, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton prevailed 2-1, in the Wolf Pack’s last home game of the season.
Adam Tambellini scored the only Wolf Pack goal, and Magnus Hellberg finished with 25 saves. Second-period Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goals by Patrick McGrath and Jean-Sebastien Dea proved decisive for the Penguins.
The Wolf Pack and Penguins opened up the game with a scoreless first period, despite four Hartford power-play chances. The Wolf Pack outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 15-6 in the frame.
The Penguins would then open the scoring at 3:06 of the second period. Derrick Pouliot took the puck behind the net and passed it in front to McGrath, who one-timed it into the back of the net to score his first goal of the season.
The Penguins were able to add their second tally of the night at 8:51, as Teddy Blueger worked the puck off of the right-wing boards to Dea high in the slot, and Dea’s shot beat Hellberg from about 40 feet out.
Just fifteen seconds into the final period, the Wolf Pack finally got on the board and cut the Penguins’ lead in half. Center Dan Catenacci found Tambellini, who let go a sharp-angle shot from the left-wing side that flew past DeSmith’s right ear and into the net.
At 17:36 the Wolf Pack had their last true opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime, when the Penguins were called for too many men on the ice. Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander decided to pull Hellberg to give Hartford a two-skater advantage, but they were unable to finish the job and fell by a score of 2-1.
Tambellini said of the Penguins, who finished 8-0-0-0 in the season series against the Wolf Pack, “They’re a really good team. It just kind of shows that if we play the way we need to, we can compete with anybody in the league.”
Hellberg reiterated those sentiments and noted, “We gave them an honest fight today. They’ve been winning a lot against us this year, and we really wanted to give it to them. I thought we had some good looks, but it was a tight game.”
The Wolf Pack now finish the season with four straight road games, starting Sunday in Bridgeport with a 3:00 PM date with the Sound Tigers. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Saturday, April 8, 2017 - XL Center
W-B/Scranton 0 2 0 - 2
Hartford 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Summers Hfd (interference), 3:27; Prow Wbs (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:25; Pouliot Wbs (tripping), 16:28; Josephs Wbs (high-sticking), 18:49.
2nd Period-1, W-B/Scranton, McGrath 1 (Pouliot, Krause), 3:06. 2, W-B/Scranton, Dea 17 (Blueger), 8:51. Penalties-Josephs Wbs (hooking), 9:46.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Tambellini 13 (Catenacci), 0:15. Penalties-Catenacci Hfd (interference), 4:13; served by Wydo Wbs (bench minor - too many men), 17:36.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 6-15-6-27. Hartford 15-11-9-35.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 2; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, DeSmith 20-4-2 (35 shots-34 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 12-14-5 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Frank Murphy (29).