Baby Penguins Banter: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Win East Division
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won the AHL’s East Division last night with a 3-2 overtime win against the Hershey Bears.
The Penguins had a 1-0 lead after the first period thanks to a power-play goal by Andrew Hutchinson. But at 9:56 in the second, Francois Bouchard tied things up.
Just under three minutes later, Ben Street gave WBS a 2-1 lead on the Pens’ second power-play goal of the night. Brett Sterling got his second assist of the night on the goal.
WBS held the lead until 18:19 of the third period, when Keith Aucoin, who had recently scored his 700th AHL point, put a shorthanded goal past John Curry to force overtime. Mathieu Perreault set up the goal for his second assist of the game.
The Bears ended up getting a power play in overtime, but it was the Penguins who capitalized for the win. Bryan Lerg got his second point of the game on the winning goal at the 3:17 mark of overtime. Brian Strait had the assist.
With the win, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton set a franchise record for wins in a season with 52. They broke the previous record of 51 set in 2006 and 2007. They also earned their third division title in six years, having also won in 2006 and 2008. Hershey had won the last two titles.
John Curry Gets 100th Career Win
Goaltender John Curry stood out in Sunday’s win, stopping 24 of 26 shots to earn his 100th win in a Penguins uniform.
Curry, who was undrafted out of Boston University, has been with the Penguins since the 2007-08 campaign. In his career, he has been named to the AHL All-Rookie team and was a 2011 AHL All-Star. He is also the current record holder for all-time playoff wins by a Penguins goaltender with 18.
This season, he is 20-13 with a 2.42 GAA and .905 save percentage.
Andrew Hutchinson, Tim Wallace Play Milestone Games
During last Wednesday’s game against the Albany Devils, Tim Wallace and Andrew Hutchinson hit milestone marks in their AHL careers.
Wallace played in his 300th career game. He is the only player on the current roster who was a member of the 2006-07 East Division championship squad. He was also a part of the team that went to the 2008 Calder Cup Finals.
He currently has 37 points in 61 games with WBS this season.
Wallace has also played 24 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he has two assists and 12 penalty minutes.
Hutchinson played in his 400th AHL game. He is in his first season with the AHL Penguins.
He was on the 2004 Milwaukee Admirals team that swept the Penguins in the Calder Cup Finals, and he was on last year’s Texas Stars squad that went to the Finals in their inaugural season. However, the Stars lost to the Bears in six games as Hershey repeated as Calder Cup champions.
This year, he has 30 points and a plus-two rating in 48 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
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