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 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Third Period Drops Penguins Behind Crunch in 5-2 Loss

March 22, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins News Release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell behind the Syracuse Crunch in the third period, leading to a 5-2 loss at Upstate Medical University Arena on Friday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (31-21-8-1) didn't trail until the 7-minute mark of the final frame. However, the team mustered just three shots on goal during that third period, as Syracuse eventually pulled away with a pair of empty netters.

A fast-paced first period ended with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holding a 1-0 after a power-play goal by Austin Rueschhoff. Xavier Ouellet lobbed a shot from the point that Rueschhoff tipped past Crunch goalie Brandon Halverson at 16:10 of the opening frame.

Syracuse responded early in the second stanza, scoring 64 seconds in. Phil Myers launched a bid towards the net that hit off of teammate Félix Robert's head and trickled across the goal line. Robert had no time to celebrate, as he ran down the runway to the Syracuse locker room after scoring the tying tally. He returned to play, healthy, two minutes later.

Ouellet set up Joona Koppanen for another man-advantage marker at 7:46 of the second period, reestablishing the Penguins' lead in Koppanen's 300th AHL game. However, Myers rifled one in himself six minutes later to pull the game even, 2-2.

A three-on-one rush in the third period allowed the Crunch to snatch their first lead of the night. Cole Koepke had his backdoor pass deflected by a sliding Penguins defender. That puck then bounced off of Joel Blomqvist's chest and careened off of Waltteri Merelä's knee to the back of the net.

Gabe Fortier and Alex Barré-Boulet buried empty netters for Syracuse to round out the scoring.

The Penguins finished the game two-for-five on the power play and four-for-four on the penalty kill, but did not muster any offense at even strength.

Blomqvist recorded 30 saves on 33 shots faced, whereas Halverson logged 24 stops for Syracuse.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's next game is back on home ice tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 23, as the Utica Comets come to town for STAR WARS Night. The Penguins will be wearing special Ahsoka-themed sweaters for the 6:05 p.m. puck drop at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual-game tickets for the remaining contests in the Penguins' 25th season as well as season-ticket packages for the 2024-25 campaign are on sale now. Full-Season, 22-game, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating plans are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367. Individual-game tickets are also available by visiting, the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office or calling the Penguins' front office at (570) 208-7367.


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