LAVAL, QC – On Friday night in Belleville, it was Ryan Haggerty’s first professional hat trick leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to victory. On Saturday night in Quebec, it was Andrey Pedan‘s to complete the same feat.
Haggerty and Ethan Prow had 2 assists, and Anthony Peters made 23 saves in his fifth start of the season to lead the Penguins to their seventh consecutive win with a 4-3 victory over the Laval Rocket at Place Bell.
Things were looking bleak for the Penguins as the Rocket scored just 32 seconds into the contest. A missed icing call enabled Nikita Scherbak who found Eric Gelinas at the near point and his slapshot deflected off Prow and past Peters.
The Penguins wouldn’t stay down for long, thanks to a little luck. Just 3:07 later. a coast to coast rush saw Pedan rip a shot from inside the blueline. The puck deflected off the glove of Rocket goaltender Michael McNiven and in.
The teams went to the locker room tied at one with the Penguins leading the shots 12-8.
The middle frame saw plenty of scoring, and it started early. Adam Cracknell banged home a wraparound pass from Matt Taormina just 1:03 into the period. That lead was short lived though, as Teddy Blueger hammered home the rebound of a Adam Johnson shot just 23 seconds later.
Pedan’s second of the night put the visitors back in front when he ripped a slapper through traffic at 5:49. Laval wouldn’t go away, putting in a rebound off a Taormina point shot 3:58 later on the power play, and the game was tied again.
Pedan put the Penguins ahead for good with four minutes left in the period, using a slap shot from the exact same spot through a Garrett Wilson screen. Assists again went to Prow and Haggerty.
The Penguins nearly extended the lead in the first minute of the third. Haggerty couldn’t convert on a two on one rush with Zach Aston-Reese, and then J.S. Dea was stopped by McNiven seconds later.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, the Penguins were inches from doubling their lead, but Haggerty hit the crossbar from the left circle on the power play. With 3:10 left, a Gelinas shot caused a rebound that found Cracknell wide open in front, but his shot went wide of the net.
Notes: Pedan’s three-goal effort was his first multi-goal effort in more than three years. The last came on April 6th, 2014 as a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as they faced the Hershey Bears. It was the second ever hat trick by a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman. The only other one to do it previously was Alex Picard, on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 versus the Worcester Sharks.
3) WBS-Ryan Haggerty (Two Assists)
2) LVL-Adam Cracknell (Two Goals)
1) WBS-Andrey Pedan (Hat Trick)
Up Next: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns home Wednesday to host division-rival Lehigh Valley at 7:05.