Penguins Efficient In Rout Of Hershey

November 13, 2017

One week ago at Mohegan Sun Arena, the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins needed a late rally to steal one point in a shootout loss to the Hershey Bears. But on Sunday, the Penguins controlled the game against their in-state rivals. Jarred Tinordi and Zach Aston-Reese scored goals early in the first period, and Casey DeSmith stopped 31 shots as the Penguins pulled away to a 5-1 victory at the Giant Center. Thomas Di Pauli, Daniel Sprong and Colin Smith also scored for the Penguins, who improved to 10-2-0-1. Turning point After Tinordi and Aston-Reese gave the Penguins an early 2-0 advantage, Hershey responded 11:58 into the second period when a dump-in took a fluky bounce in front of the net and onto the stick of Dustin Gazley. His first goal of the season could have swung momentum, but Di Pauli responded less than a minute later with a shot above the left shoulder of Bears goaltender Vitek Vanecek — who made his season debut. When Sprong stuffed a puck past Vanecek’s pad only two minutes after that, the game was essentially over at 4-1. Three stars ¦ Sprong earned third honors for his goal. He now has points in four of his last five games. ¦ Aston-Reese received second star. After beginning the season with no points in his first five games, the Northeastern product now has five points in his last six. ¦ DeSmith made 31 saves on 32 shots to take top honors. He is tied for second in the AHL among qualified goaltenders in wins (7) and third with a .936 save percentage. Stat to know The Penguins have recorded points in 10 straight games and have won nine of them. The last time they had a double-digit point streak was Oct. 17 through Nov. 15 of 2015, when they won 11 straight games to run their record to 12-1. The takeaway With a pair of wins this weekend, the Penguins helped create a clear three-team breakaway in the Atlantic Division with Charlotte and Lehigh Valley. Their performance Sunday was not as dominant as the score would indicate — the Penguins had only 13 shots — but the number of Grade-A scoring chances they created is encouraging. Pens notes ¦ Shavertown native Pat McGrath made his first start of the season Sunday, skating with Di Pauli and Teddy Blueger. ¦ Defenseman Lukas Bengtsson was under the weather, according to the radio broadcast, and held out of the lineup. Ethan Prow slotted in as a result. Up next Wilkes-Barre/Scranton faces off for the first time against the Binghamton Devils in the regular season Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Online For more Penguins news, visit the Penguins Insider Blog at citizensvoice.com and like our Facebook page, CV Penguins Insider. Penguins 2 2 1 — 5 Hershey 0 1 0 — 1 First period: Scoring - 1, WBS, Tinordi (Smith, Trotman), 2:39; 2, WBS, Aston-Reese (Johnson, Prow), 7:38 (PP). Penalties - Hershey, Siegenthaler, tripping 6:16; WBS, Czuczman, delay of game 19:56. Second period: Scoring - 3, Hershey, Gazley (Williams), 11:58 (PP); 4, WBS, Di Pauli (Pedan), 12:56; 5, WBS, Sprong, 13:56. Penalties - WBS, Aston-Reese, slashing 5:27; WBS, Wilson, fighting 9:29; Hershey, Lewington, fighting 9:29; WBS, Tinordi, tripping 10:15. Third period: Scoring - 6, WBS, Smith (Wilson, Trotman), 16:53 (EN). Penalties - WBS, Wilson, hooking 14:37; WBS, Czuczman, cross-checking 17:06; Hershey, Lewington, 10-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike) 17:06. Penalty shots: WBS, Sprong (no goal, save Vanecek), 1:06 in third period. Shots on goal: Penguins 6 4 3 - 13; Hershey 8 12 12 - 32. Goaltenders: Penguins, DeSmith (31 saves on 32 shots); Hershey, Vanecek (8 saves on 12 shots). Power-play opportunities: Penguins 1 for 1; Hershey 1 for 5. Referees: Brandon Blandina and David Banfield. Linesmen: Bob Goodman and Luke Murray. Contact the writer: tpiccotti@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2089; @CVPiccotti on Twitter