Pens Down Tigers, 3-1

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. –  The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored just 70 seconds into the game and never looked back, beating the Sound Tigers 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena.

The Penguins jumped out to the early lead thanks to a quick score by Jayson Megna at 1:10 of the first period.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Carter Rowney took the puck from behind Bridgeport’s net and whipped it towards the slot. From there, Megna back-handed a shot through Leggio’s five-hole for his 14th tally of the year.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s offense struck again when Rowney scored at 12:24.  Bridgeport defenseman Matt Lashoff pushed a Penguin into David Leggio, resulting in an open net.  From there, all Rowney had to do was put the puck on the empty cage for the goal.  Leggio felt that he was interfered with, but the referee let the goal stand, making it 2-0 Penguins.

The period ended with the Penguins up by a pair.  The Sound Tigers didn’t test Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder Matt Murray very much, mustering only eight shots on goal.

A brawl ensued in the second period after Lashoff crushed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Matia Marcantuoni, giving the Sound Tigers a power play opportunity, but despite a number of good scoring chances, Bridgeport was unable to score.

The middle frame ended with the score remaining the same.  Despite playing a far better period and testing the Penguins netminder several times, the Sound Tigers were still unable to beat Murray.

The Penguins added an insurance marker at 9:22 of the third period. Tom Kostopoulos and Nick Drazenovic streaked into the Bridgeport zone on a 2-on-1. Despite a sliding Mayfield blocking Drazenovic’s initial pass, the Penguins forward was able to get the puck across the crease to his captain, who then tapped the puck into an open net to make it 3-0.

The Sound Tigers had an excellent chance to cut into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead when the Penguins took two penalties in a row, resulting in a full 5-on-3 power play for the Sound Tigers.  Bridgeport capitalized on the Penguins sloppy play when Kael Mouillierat was able to bury a rebound, breaking the shutout.  Mouillierat’s score came on the latest of many outstanding scoring chances that Murray was somehow able to keep out of his net.

That was all the Sound Tigers would get, as Murray made 36 saves in the win, putting in a strong performance and earning first star honors.  Leggio made 24 saves in the loss, including a number of excellent stops that could have put the game out of reach early.

The Sound Tigers return to action on Friday, February 13 at 7:05 p.m. when they visit the Providence Bruins.

Notes: It was Brett Gallant Bobblehead Day, as the first 2,000 fans in attendance received bobbleheads…The Sound Tigers killed off all 14 power plays they faced this weekend…Despite a large number of scrums, no fighting majors or misconducts were issued.

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