SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Zach Trotman scored the game-winning goal in the third period to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at the MassMutual Center.
“Harri (Sateri) was the best player by far for us. He was real good. The guys didn’t start on time and didn’t play very well tonight.” Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear said.
The Penguins got on the board as Garrett Wilson setup Daniel Sprong, who put the puck past Thunderbirds goaltender Harri Sateri to go up 1-0. Sprong set a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise record for the Penguins with the most goals by a rookie in a season with 31.
Throughout the rest of the first period, Sateri came up big for the Thunderbirds stopping 18 shots in the first period.
Teddy Blueger extended the lead for the Penguins with a wrist shot four minutes into the second period to make it 2-0.
The Thunderbirds cut it down to one on the power play when Owen Tippett made a pass on the right side to Joel Lowry. Lowry dished it to Dryden Hunt, who put past Penguins goaltender Tristian Jarry for his 21st goal of the season to make it 2-1.
” Tip (Tippett) made a great play,” Lowry said of the scoring play. “We were trying to play through the guy’s hands kind of mess up their wedge a little bit and he made a good play to freeze the d (defenseman) and slid it into me. Come through the lane and I just knew that Huntsy (Dryden Hunt) would be finishing his rout there so I can kind of throw it to the back post and luckily it got through and he was able to put it in.”
The Thunderbirds earned two separate 5-on-3 power plays in the second period but could not capitalize on them.
Sateri came up big again for the Thunderbirds in the second period as he came out to stop a breakaway opportunity by Christian Thomas. Sateri made 35 saves through two periods of play.
Curtis Valk was able to get the game-tying goal after tipping in a shot from Dryden Hunt to make it 2-2 with 17:03 remaining in regulation. It was Valk’s 20th goal of the season as he was the fourth different Thunderbirds player to score 20 goals this year and is the first Thunderbirds player in franchise history to have 60 points in a single season.
Zach Trotman scored the game-winning goal with the setup from Jean Sebastian Dea. Trotman was able to put a slap shot past Sateri to make it 3-2 with 8:27 remaining in regulation.
Thunderbirds goaltender Harri Sateri finished the game with 46 saves. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 28 saves.
The Thunderbirds will wrap up the home portion of the schedule tonight when the Providence Bruins come to the MassMutual Center in front of a sellout crowd. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. They will wrap up the 2017-18 season on Sunday at the Dunkin Donuts Center against the Providence Bruins at 3:05 p.m.
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