League-leading Penguins Best Wolf Pack, 6-2Dec 14, 2016
By Henry Lucey
Kevin Porter and Tom Sestito had a goal and an assist apiece, and Dominik Simon had four assists Wednesday night at the XL Center, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Wolf Pack by a score of 6-2.
Nicklas Jensen and Chris Summers scored the Wolf Pack goals.
Despite a strong start, the Wolf Pack once again found themselves trailing after the first period.
Harford controlled the puck for the frame’s first seven minutes, but was unable to capitalize on a number of promising opportunities.
As the Pack’s early momentum faded, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Garrett Wilson broke the deadlock at the 13:26 mark. With the help of Oscar Sundqvist, Wilson dug the puck out of the right corner, drove towards Hartford’s net, first attempting a short-side shot, which Wolf Pack goaltender Hellberg blocked but could not control, and Wilson flicked his own his rebound into to the top of Hellberg’s net. The score, Wilson’s fourth of the year, sent the Penguins into the dressing room with a 1-0 advantage.
In his first game back from a four-game stint with the New York Rangers, Jensen leveled the score at 9:34 of the second period. After winning the puck in the left corner, Adam Tambellini found Robin Kovacs, who quickly relayed the puck to Jensen on left wing. With little hesitation, Jensen fired a snap shot over Tristan Jerry’s left shoulder.
It would not take long for Clark Donatelli’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton club to respond, however. Just sixteen seconds after Jensen’s tally, Kevin Porter knocked in the rebound produced by Lukas Bengtsson’s slap shot from the right point.
After Hartford proved unable to capitalize on a late power play opportunity, Porter send a perfectly placed pass to Cameron Gaunce, who, from the left flank, fired a snap shot past Hellberg on the glove side at 19:31, making the score 3-1.
With a two-goal advantage, the Penguins kept their foot on the gas, adding another goal two minutes and thirty-three seconds into the third period. This time, Tom Sestito beat a Hartford defender on the left flank, and preceded to send a crisp centering pass to Ryan Haggerty, who seamlessly directed the puck past Hellberg.
Justin Fontaine’s high-sticking penalty at 14:07 gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton yet another opportunity to add to their lead. Playing with a man advantage, Tom Kostopoulos put his own rebound past Hellberg’s glove to stretch his team’s lead to 5-1 at 14:37.
Hartford’s lone breakthrough in the period came when Summers beat Jarry stick-side high to record his first goal of the season at the 15:48 mark.
In eerily similar fashion to the preceding period, Wilkes-Barre Scranton notched its sixth, and final, goal with just twenty-six seconds to play in the contest. Accurate passes from Dominik Simon and Teddy Blueger gave Sestito an uncontested opportunity from right-side circle, which he drilled past Hellberg’s glove side, bringing the final score to 6-2.
In his post-game interview, Jensen said, “Too often we had little breakdowns, and they scored on nearly all of them. We have to try to minimize those little mistakes as much as possible.”
The Wolf Pack are back at the XL Center this Friday night, December 16, for their last home game before the Christmas holiday, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the Syracuse Crunch. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - XL Center
W-B/Scranton 1 2 3 - 6
Hartford 0 1 1 - 2
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Wilson 4 (Sundqvist), 13:26. Penalties-Bodie Hfd (interference), 3:54; Percy Wbs (interference), 8:27.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Jensen 9 (Kovacs, Tambellini), 9:34. 3, W-B/Scranton, Porter 6 (Simon, Bengtsson), 9:50. 4, W-B/Scranton, Gaunce 1 (Porter, Simon), 19:31. Penalties-Dea Wbs (holding), 17:00.
3rd Period-5, W-B/Scranton, Haggerty 2 (Sestito, Sundqvist), 2:33. 6, W-B/Scranton, Kostopoulos 8 (Simon, Ruhwedel), 14:37 (PP). 7, Hartford, Summers 1 (Chapie), 15:48. 8, W-B/Scranton, Sestito 1 (Blueger, Simon), 19:34 (PP). Penalties-Oksanen Hfd (high-sticking), 10:29; Fontaine Hfd (high-sticking), 14:07; Kampfer Hfd (roughing), 17:35.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 11-8-14-33. Hartford 10-9-14-33.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 2 / 4; Hartford 0 / 2.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Jarry 11-5-1 (33 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 6-7-4 (33 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Brett Iverson (56), Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Kevin Briganti (39), Ryan Daisy (81).