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Duco, Cats Register Win Against Pens

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers prospect Mike Duco (Photo Credit: Kitchener Rangers)
Kitchener, Ontario – The Florida Panthers prospects skated to a feisty and hard working 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins rookies on Sunday afternoon, behind a two-point performance from LW Mike Duco, along with goals from RW Michal Repik, LW Kenndal McArdle, RW Michael Frolik and C David Brine. Duco, who played his junior hockey for the host city Kitchener, did it all for Florida, scoring a goal, recording an assist, while also getting into a pair of fights.

With the win, Florida improved to 1-1 for the three day tournament and they will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the tournament’s final game on Monday at 7 p.m.

In a hard hitting, high energy first period of action, the Penguins grabbed an early 1-0 lead when LW Casey Pierro-Zabotel grabbed a loose puck in the slot and flipped it past Cats netminder David Shantz. The Panthers prospects out shot the Penguins 10-5 in the opening frame.

Florida wasted no time in the middle frame picking up a goal just 47 seconds into the period.  Repik took a pass from C Shawn Matthias and found the back of the net to even the score at one. The Penguins regained the lead when C Dustin Jeffrey banged a rebound past Shantz at 12:37.

The Panthers knotted the game at two after Duco stole the puck from Penguins RW Aaron Boogaard and fed a pass to LW Kenndal McArdle, who let a shot go that trickled through the pads of G David Brown. Late in the second period, the Cats took their first lead of the game on a wrap around by Brine at 18:09.

In the third period, the Panthers did not look back receiving unassisted tallies from both Frolik and Duco to pad their lead. Shantz shut the door on the Penguins in the final period making 10 stops and finishing with 23 saves for the game.

The game included three fights and the Panthers finished with 56 penalty minutes, while the Penguins were assessed 38 minutes in penalties. Florida went 1-5 on the power play and had a short handed goal, while Pittsburgh failed to convert on nine power play opportunities.

In other rookie tournament play, the Toronto Maple Leafs (0-1) take on the Ottawa Senators (1-0) in the late game on Sunday.

Scoring Summary:
First Period: PIT Pierreo-Zabotel (Daoust, Veilleux) 15:33
Second Period: FLA PP Repik (Matthias, Ellerby) :47; PIT Jeffrey (Haddad, Reed) 12:37;  FLA SH McArdle (Duco) 14:25 ; FLA Brine (Collins) 18:09
Third Period: FLA Frolik (unassisted) 2:00 ; FLA Duco (unassisted) 5:04

Florida: 28
Pittsburgh: 25

Power Play:
Florida: 1-5
Pittsburgh: 0-9
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