Penguins Take Weekend Finale in Overtime 2-1
October 24, 2021
Lehigh Valley, PA – The never-say-die Phantoms kept coming and coming in their relentless third-period attack and eventually were able to push through for a tying goal with just 46 seconds left on Max Willman’s second conversion of the weekend via a 6-on-5 marker. But Valtteri Puustinen of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins struck in overtime for his second marker of the game and third of the season as the Penguins secured the bonus point in a 2-1 overtime final at PPL Center on Sunday afternoon.
In the first overtime game of the season, Tyson Foerster offered another big blast from the top of the left circle on a handoff from Egor Zamula. Penguins goalie Louis Domingue was handcuffed by the shot and Willman deposited the rebound to tie the game and force overtime. The Phantoms almost won the game with two seconds left in regulation on a scramble at the doorstep but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3-1-0) escaped and were saved by the horn with the standings point secured and a chance to find the victory in the 3-on-3 bonus session.
Sam Ersson was terrific in net for the Phantoms particularly through the first two periods when he made a handful of strong stops. He also came through clutch on a couple breakaways and 2-on-1’s. But Louis Domingue was equally up to the task when he needed to be particularly against the third-period push the Phantoms displayed.
The game also marked the conclusion of the Phantoms’ Opening Weekend celebration welcoming fans back to full capacity at PPL Center. Friday night’s USA vs. Canada women’s game was followed by a raucous Whiteout crowd in the Phantoms’ Opening Night game on Saturday vs. Hartford and then the big stretch in Center City’s triumphant return of hockey WITH FANS concluded with the Sunday matinee rivalry overtime drama against the Penguins.
Puustinen had scored midway through the first period on a puck that squirted out to him alone in the slot after a battle in the corner. His tally for a 1-0 lead held up until the last minute of the game when Willman finally broke through.
The Phantoms and Penguins played to overtime in six of their eight meetings last year and it looks like the rivalry may continue that trend this year with another overtime between these foes and a pair of one-goal decisions.
Lehigh Valley (0-3-1) had a pair of power plays in the third period but Domingue came up with the timely stops and helped hold the Phantoms to 0-for-6 on the game.
The Penguins out shot the Phantoms 30-29. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.
The Phantoms and Penguins will rematch in the back-end of this home-and-home set with a Wednesday encounter up in Wilkes-Barre. The Phantoms travel to Utica to face the Comets on Friday night before returning for their next home game on Saturday, October 30 against the Syracuse Crunch. Tickets for the next Phantoms home game are available online at PPLCenter.com
1st 9:49 – WBS, V. Puustinen (2)
3rd 19:14 – LV, M. Willman (2) (T. Foerster, E. Zamula) (6×5)
OT 0:57 – WBS, V. Puustinen (3) (M. Chaput, T. Fedun)
Shots: WBS 30 – LV 29
PP: WBS 0/3 – LV 0/6
Sam Ersson (OTL) (0-1-1) (28/30)
Louis Domingue (W) (1-0) (28/29)