WILKES-BARRE, PA- The Springfield Thunderbirds could not stop the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins last night as the Penguins scored four unanswered goals between the second and third period. They defeat the Thunderbirds by a final score of 4-2. Thunderbirds goaltender Mike McKenna set a franchise record last night with a 38 save performance.
McKenna stopped all 13 of the Penguins shots in the first period. The Thunderbirds got a power play in the first period as Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry tripped Thunderbirds Anthony Greco but the Thunderbirds could not capitalize on the man advantage. The opening frame would end scoreless.
Chase Balisy got the Thunderbirds on the board first in the second period. Jarry made a save from Chase Balisy’s shot from the point blank. Balisy received his own rebound and put it past Jarry to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. The Penguins would respond in force, as they went on to score three unanswered goals in the second period. Penguins defenseman David Warsofsky scored his fifth goal of the campaign to tie it at 1-1. The Penguins would score two more goals late in the second period. Oskar Sundqvist gave the Penguins the lead as he put one in past McKenna with 3:54 remaining in the second period. Garrett Wilson scored for the Penguins 57 seconds later after getting a rebound off of Sundqvist’s backhand to put his team up by two.
Jake Guentzel gave the Penguins insurance in the third period with scoring on a two-on-one play to go up 4-1. Anthony Greco scored to stop the bleeding for the Thunderbirds late in the third period to make it 4-2. The Thunderbirds rally was just a little too late. Balisy finished the game with one goal and one assist.
The Thunderbirds will finish another three games in three nights when they play the Hershey Bears this afternoon at the Giant Center at 5:00 P.M.
The Thunderbirds and Penguins will meet again in Wilkes-Barre after Christmas on Tuesday, December 27th.