SYRACUSE, New York – Nick Petersen
set a franchise record in setting up all five goals that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used to defeat the Syracuse Crunch by a 5-3 score on Sunday afternoon at the OnCenter War Memorial Arena.
The Crunch opened up the scoring on a strange play beginning when Corey Potter carried the puck into the Crunch zone and appeared to be tripped. Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen
vacated the net anticipating the delayed call, but the Penguins were to be the team penalized. Nick Bonino then floated a shot from his own end all the way down ice into an empty net, giving the Crunch a 1-0 lead at 10:53.
The Penguins then came back with two quick strikes in the second frame. With Crunch forward Brian McGrattan in the penalty box, Keven Veilleux
finished off a give-and-go play with Petersen by firing a wrist shot from the slot past Syracuse goaltender Timo Pielmeier at 5:03, tying the score.
Ben Street later forced a turnover that went right onto the stick of Petersen, who carried the puck down the right wing. Petersen passed into the slot where Paul Thompson
collected the puck, settled it down and picked the upper right corner of the net for his first AHL goal at 8:46.
Offense was then the theme of the third period as the Crunch pulled even on a goal by Bonino, when the Crunch center worked free behind the goal line and stuffed a shot past Thiessen from the right of the crease at 1:29.
Potter gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead with his third goal in as many games, after he blasted a slap shot through traffic and past Pielmeier’s stick hand at 6:33 on a power play.
Geoff Walker then snuck out from the left corner on another man advantage and lifted a wrist shot over Pielmeier’s left shoulder at 10:31, giving the Penguins a 4-2 edge.
Nicolas Deschamps brought the Crunch to within one goal when he finished off a two-on-one rush with Josh Green at 16:37, but Veilleux put the game away when he deposited a puck loosened by Petersen underneath Pielmeier with 1:25 left in regulation.
Thiessen improved to a 34-7-1 on the season, making 23 saves. Pielmeier dropped to 15-17-1 in stopping 25 shots.
The Penguins also tied a franchise point-total record set by the 2005-06 squad in moving their record to 56-20-0-1 (113 points).