BRIDGEPORT, CT-One night after a 7-3 thrashing at the hands of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came into Webster Bank Arena looking to salvage four of a possible six points on the week.
Thanks to a costly penalty on Frank Corrado with 60 seconds left in regulation, Sebastien Aho had other ideas. Aho’s tally 26 seconds into the extra session gave Bridgeport the extra point in a 3-2 victory.
It was the Penguins’ who got on the board first but not before some early Bridgeport chances. Casey DeSmith stopped a redirect by Ryan Bourque. Minutes later, Brian Gionta tipped a Mitch Vande Sompel shot just wide.
After Aho was stopped on a rush, Greg McKegg scored his second goal in five games since being reassigned from Pittsburgh. After a Parker Wotherspoon turnover, Ryan Haggerty found McKegg behind the net, and he stuffed the puck through Kristers Gudlevskis on a wraparound.
After DeSmith stopped John Stevens point blank two and a half minutes into the second, Gudlevskis removed himself before the ensuing faceoff. He was replaced by Christopher Gibson. The best chance for the Penguins to double their lead came on a three on two with seven minutes left in the period. On a three on 2, Jean-Sebastien Dea found Christian Thomas cutting to the front of the net, but Gibson stopped his redirect.
It looked like Wilkes-Barre/Scranton might take their one-goal lead to the locker room, but Devon Toews struck with just 1:14 left in the period.
Josh Ho-Sang found Kyle Burroughs at the point, and he got the puck to Toews. Toews’ shot from the near circle beat DeSmith’s glove and found its’ way inside the far post.
The Penguins would only manage four shots in the third, and if not for some puck luck, the game would have never seen overtime. After Scott Eansor gave Bridgeport the lead at 13:46, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied the games 1:54 later.
Thomas was checked down on a rush, as he was falling, the puck came right to Zach Aston-Reese in the slot and he beat Gibson with a wrist shot. With sixty seconds left in regulation, Corrado hammered Tanner Fritz in the corner, leading to an interference penalty that would ultimately decide the game.
Starting overtime with a four on three power play, Shane Prince’s from the top of the slot would be stopped by DeSmith, but Aho was right there to put home the rebound, winning the game for Bridgeport.
Notes: D Jarred Tinordi returned to the lineup for the Penguins after a three-game absence due to an unspecified injury. D Kevin Spinozzi, who was signed to a 20 game tryout out of training camp, saw those 20 games run out after Friday’s loss to Hartford. On Saturday, he was rewarded for an AHL Contract for the rest of the season.
Three Stars: 3) BST-Devon Toews (Goal, Assist) 2) BST-Scott Eansor (Goal) 1) BST-Sebastien Aho (Game-Winning Overtime Goal)
The Penguins (15-8-2-1) get to enjoy some home cooking for their next four games. They’ll host Binghamton on Friday, December 22nd and then their in-state rival Lehigh Valley on Saturday, December 23rd.