BRIDGEPORT, CT – Ryan Haggerty had been waiting eight games to crack the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins lineup. When he finally got his chance Saturday at Webster Bank Arena, he made the most of it. Haggerty potted two goals, Zach Aston-Reese added two assists, and Tristan Jarry made 18 saves to lead the Penguins to a 5-2 divisional win on Saturday night.
It was Bridgeport who got on the board first, just 19 seconds into the contest. Steve Bernier took a stretch-pass from Ryan Bourque and beat Jarry on a breakaway. The Penguins were caught flat-footed for the first half of the period, and it nearly resulted in the Sound Tigers doubling their lead.
Chris Summers turned the puck over to Alan Quine, and Quine broke in on a breakaway of his own. Summers had the presence of mind to chase him down, but hooked him in the process of trying to break up the play. On the resulting penalty shot, Quine went forehand-backhand, but Jarry snagged the puck with the glove.
It was at this point the Penguins found their game legs. In fact, they tied the game 16 seconds later. Andrey Pedan broke Thomas DiPauli in on a rush down the right wing. He double tapped a pass to Tom Sestito who was crashing the net, and he banged the puck past Kristers Gudlevskis at the far post. The Penguins dominated the rest of the frame and went to the locker room tied at one.
Bridgeport retook the lead quickly into the second when Ben Holmstrom beat Jarry from the goal line just 52 seconds in. Six minutes later, Adam Johnson pulled Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even with his first professional goal on the power play.
With Seth Helgeson off for a cross-check, Johnson took a pass from Dominik Simon and beat Gudlevskis from the near circle. Bridgeport would battle back and try to tie it, but it was Haggerty’s first of the season with 2:59 left that extended the lead.
Scoring from nearly the same spot as Johnson, Haggerty took a pass from Aston-Reese and put the puck inside the far post.
Bridgeport pushed in the third, with Josh Ho-Sang getting several good chances, including one shot from the half wall midway through the period that hit the post. Late in the period, Christian Thomas got his marker of the season when he deflected a slick Adam Johnson pass into the net with just over three minutes left. Dominik Simon got the secondary assist, his seventh of the season.
Haggerty added an empty-netter with 52 seconds left to close out the tilt.
Notes: Tom Kostopoulos was a healthy scratch. He took the morning skate, and the ailment is not thought to be serious. Gage Quinney was also a healthy scratch, while Kevin Spinozzi replaced Dylan Zink on defense.
★★★ WBS-Christian Thomas (Goal, Assist)
★★ WBS-Adam Johnson (First pro goal, Assist)
★ WBS-Ryan Haggerty (Two Goals)
Up Next: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns to action Friday when they travel to the PL Center to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 PM EST.