WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Defenseman Nick Crawford not only potted two goals during regulation, but also notched the game-winner in the shootout to give the Rochester Americans a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The game was a 2-2 deadlock going into the third period, but the Penguins were able to pull ahead on their third power play of the game. Brian Dumoulin pinched into the slot to poke a loose puck over to Trevor Smith, who wheeled and swept a shot inside the near post.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would be unable to hold on to the lead as Crawford weaved toward the high slot and sent a shot that found the top of the net with 5:05 left in regulation.
Overtime failed to provide a conclusion to the match and it was Crawford who recorded the clinching tally in the shootout. After Phil Varone and Jonathan Parker were able to convert, Crawford placed a wrist shot past Patrick Killeen in the bottom half of round four to seal the win. On the other end of the ice, Nathan Lieuwen turned aside three of four Penguins shooters.
It was Rochester striking first at 4:09 of the opening period when Crawford lofted a shot from the point that found its way over the shoulder of starting goaltender Brad Thiessen.
Eric Tangradi helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton knot the score going into the first intermission. The Penguins winger whipped a shot from the far circle that went off the blocker of Americans netminder Connor Knapp and into the net.
Working on the man-advantage during a 1-1 tie in the second period, Frederick Roy scored the Americans’ third power play goal versus the Penguins this preseason and gave his team the 2-1 lead at 15:15.
With just 27 seconds left until the intermission, Philip Dupuis banged home his own rebound to pull Wilkes-Barre/Scranton back into a 2-2 tie.
Thiessen made 12 saves on 14 shots during the first two periods of play. Killeen took the loss, stopping 7-of-8 over the final 25 minutes of hockey.