WILKES-BARRE, PA-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came into Wednesday’s game against the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies on quite a hot streak. Having secured points in seven straight games, they looked to take over the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
That’s precisely what happened. Thomas DiPauli scored twice, and Ryan Haggerty and Andrey Pedan added goals to lead the Penguins to a 4-2 win on Wednesday night.
It took Toronto all of 68 seconds to find the back of the net. An ill-advised clearing attempt by Daniel Sprong found the stick of the Marlies’ Miro Aaltonen. After a pass, a point shot by Martin Marincin was tipped by Dmytro Timashov.
It was Pedan’s first of the season that finally got the Penguins going. Midway through the period, a turnover off a board battle into the corner saw a puck come free to the near circle. Pedan stepped into a one-timer that beat Garrett Sparks five-hole.
The Second Period saw the Penguins hold the Marlies’ to only four shots. By firing 17 of their own, they had Sparks under siege. To his credit, he was the only thing that kept this game from getting out of hand. With 1:12 left in the period, Ryan Haggerty gave the Penguins a two-goal a cushion.
A zone exit pass by Pedan hit a Marlie in the neutral zone and came to Haggerty. Instead of pressing him, Toronto let him skate to the top of the slot, and fired it over Sparks’ glove hand.
If one goal in the final two minutes of the second wasn’t enough, DiPauli made sure his goal in the first two minutes of the third, was.
He took a pass from Tom Sestito in the neutral zone and blazed down the near wing. After making Calle Rosen look silly, he drove to the crease and deked the puck into the back of the net for his third of the season. With a secondary assist, Jarred Tinordi picked up his first point in a Penguins uniform.
Nikita Soshnikov would cut Toronto’s deficit to one at 13:48, picking up the rebound of his shot and putting it past Casey DeSmith at 13:48, but that’s all the closer the Marlies’ would get. Seven seconds after Sparks was pulled, DiPauli would seal the game with an empty-netter from the center red line.
Notes: Forward Freddie Tiffels, and defensemen Jeff Taylor and Dylan Zink were assigned to the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL before the game. Taylor recently returned to practice after sustaining an injury with Pittsburgh in the preseason, While Tiffels and Zink had found playing time hard to come by.
3) WBS-Ryan Haggerty (Goal)
2) WBS-Andrey Pedan (Goal, Assist)
1) WBS-Thomas DiPauli (Two Goals)
Up Next: The Penguins host the Providence Bruins Saturday at 7:05 P.M. EST.