Penguins Grind out Goalie-Duel Win
Brad Thiessen turned aside 20 Phantoms shots on his way to his fourth shutout of the season as the reigning AHL Goalie of the Month led the host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-0 victory on Saturday night.
Scott Munroe took the loss for the Phantoms against his former team and teammate. Munroe shared goaltending duties alongside Thiessen on the Penguins last year. In this one going up against his old team, Munroe kept the Phantoms close at 1-0 for the first 39 minutes of the game and made some big saves on the penalty kill early in the third holding the deficit at 2-0 until almost the very end.
Warren Peters led the attack for the Penguins with a pair of goals and Alex Grant cut his way in from the blue-line for a key tally at the end of the second period for his third of the year.
Adirondack had the early jump in this game and certainly had their chances to take the initial advantage. A rash of Penguins penalties gave the visiting Phantoms three power plays in a row including over a minute of 5-on-3. Marcel Noebels blasted one in the slot off the post and the puck bounced across and spun right on the goal-line. But Thiessen as able to recover and get a whistle and deny the Phantoms the first goal.
The Phantoms went 0-for-5 on the power play ending their streak of seven consecutive games scoring a man-advantage goal. Adirondack stayed in the game with superb penalty-kill keeping the Penguins at 0-for-8. But the frequency of penalties continually hampered the Phantoms' chances of mounting the big comeback.
The game was another typical tight and low-scoring battle for the Penguins as part of their regular modus operandi. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won 8 of their last 9 now as one of the hottest teams in the AHL. Brad Thiessen is not only the reigning Goalie of the Month but he also won AHL Goalie of the Year honors a couple seasons ago establishing himself as one of the elite netminders in the league with his frequency of low-scoring victories.
Both teams got physical, testy and scrappy at numerous points in the fiercely contested battle. Cullen Eddy and Oliver Lauridsen both dropped the gloves with different Penguins' partners. Lauridsen's fight against Zack Sill actually drew an instigation penalty out of the pesky Penguins scrapper and gave Adirondack a key power play opportunity midway through the third and a chance to get back into the game. But then the Penguins penalty kill stepped up similar to how Adirondack's P.K. had done it all game long to help close out the decision.
The game was the Phantoms second, and last, visit to Wilkes-Barre this season. The Phantoms and Penguins next meet on Friday, February 22 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia where the game is already an official sell-out.
Adirondack was without a handful of injured players including Matthew Ford, Garrett Roe and Mike Testwuide as well as Ben Holmstrom who is out for the season with a knee injury. Healthy scratches for the game were Blake Kessel, Zack FitzGerald and Jeff Dimmen.
The Phantoms are back at home next week on Wednesday and the following Sunday taking on Binghamton and Syracuse respectively. Wednesday's game features $1 Hot Dogs. Sunday's game at 3:00 has a Post-Game Skate with the Players presented by Glens Falls Hospital. It is also a Sunday Family Fun Pack Day: $43 for 3 tickets, 3 sodas, 3 hot dogs, 1 large popcorn and 1 program. Call the Phantoms to order yours at 518-480-3355.
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