WILKES-BARRE, PA -- Shane Harper may not want to return to Wilkes-Barre ever again.
Harper has ties to the Wyoming Valley but tonight it was the local team getting the better of his as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeated the Phantoms by a score of 2-1 Saturday night.
Harper took three penalties in the game and was scoreless.
Paul Thompson scored a power play goal in the first period off of a rebound of his own shot. Harper took two of his penalties in this period. On one power play for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, two shooters lost sticks due to breaking while winding up for shots. Phantoms really could not establish much in the way of offensive zone time, thanks to having to defend three penalties assessed by referee Darcy Burchell.
At the start of the second period, Penguins agitator Bobby Farnham dropped the gloves with Ian Slater in the games opening second. Slater got the better of Farnham with the punches and got the takedown. It seemed to spark the Phantoms as they were rewarded two straight power plays. Theose were met with some stellar goaltending by Brad Thiessen and the Phantoms were not able to score on the man advantage. But they still kept scrapping. Finally, about halfway through the period, Oliver Lauridsen wound up and shot from the blue line and Marcel Noebels was there on Thiessen’s doorstep to collect the rebound and backhand it in to even the score. Late, Brian Gibbons skated up the right wall and centered to Brian Dumoulin who wired a shot over the glove of Munroe to put Wilkes-Barre / Scranton up 2-1.
The Phantoms did not register a single shot on goal the entire first half of the third period. The Penguins didn’t manage much else either, only a pair of shots. The Penguins really played to protect in the period. After a late hold by Warren Peters with less than a minute to play, the Phantoms with Munroe pulled were never able to get the equalizing goal.
“Effort was there. Both teams played a bit of dump and chase type of game, puck off the glass, boards, chasing and hunting it down. there wasn’t a point in the game where there were three or four passes made in a row and it made for a very grinding game” Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said after the game of the game overall.
With the NHL Lockout over, the lines looked something like this:
Tyler Brown - Ian Slater - Mike Testwuide
Harry Zolnierczyk - Garrett Roe - Jason Akeson
Marcel Noebels - Rob Bordson - Matthew Ford
Matt Mangene - Andrew Johnston - Shane Harper
Danny Syvret - Brandon Manning
Oliver Lauridsen - Cullen Eddy
Blake Kessel - Jeff Dimmen
Bordson - Zolnierczyk
Slater - Brown
Syvret - Lauridsen
Manning - Eddy
Ford - Brown - Roe
Zolnierczyk - Testwuide - Bordson
Syvret - Lauridsen
Manning - Dimmen
Nearly every shift, however, Murray jumbled up things. Here’s why: “Result of having to kill three penalties in the first period. Made for a lot of saving your PK unit as we get back to 5x5. You are trying to get and keep everyone going and keep their legs fresh.”
On the second period fight with Ian Slater had with Bobby Farnham: “It was good for both teams, it brought some emotion into the game after all those penalty kills. Lots of guys haven’t played much (at the AHL level) and it energized those guys that you got to come back out and have a pretty good 5x5 play going on.”
On not getting the offense going in the third period: “We didn’t get pucks through the way we’d like to in a one goal game. (WBS) is playing five guys back and you have a lot of guys in front of or over top of you so you got to almost drive it down there almost and get to ugly play, try to recover and get shots through, we got some through but not enough to create opportunities.
Would like to thank Michael for the opportunity to be of service tonight.