Come Back! Pens Rally To 3-2 Win

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Another night. Another comeback. Joey Mormina called it "one of the biggest wins of the year."

A big win indeed for the Penguins, who come back from a 2-0 deficit and win 3-2 in regulation  tonight over the Portland Pirates. And with that, the road trip has come to an end. Sure, they have a road game coming up Wednesday in Syracuse, but the team boarded the bus and will head back to Wilkes-Barre overnight. 

Down 2-1 heading into the third, the Penguins needed a strong start to put the pressure on Portland. Mormina did just that, following his shot and putting the rebound past Chad Johnson to tie things up 1:13 into the final frame.

"We felt like our game was really coming along in the 2nd and we knew if we stayed with it we would get opportunities," Mormina said. "Collins made a great play in the offensive zone, I just put two pucks on net and one of them went in."

From there, the Penguins had the Pirates on their heels, outshooting them 10-3 at one point in the period and spending the majority of the period in the offensive zone.

Halfway through the third, the referee inadvertently gets in the way of a Pirates clear out. Trevor Smith keeps a puck alive and gets it to Riley Holzapfel, who finds a streaking Joe Morrow open at the point. Johnson stopped Morrow's blast, but Smith found the rebound and completed the comeback. 3-2 Penguins.

"I think the best part about it is it's been different individuals every night," Warren Peters said. "That's the most encouraging part. If we don't have certain guys going other guys are willing to pick them up and make up for the difference and hold the fort until we get 20 guys rolling the way we want to."

Despite a few good shifts to start the game, the Penguins quickly found themselves down 2-0 just 3:54 into the contest. It took good resolve and again showed the Penguins' will to win that they were able to come back tonight. It certainly wasn't looking very good in the first period.
A neutral zone turnover sprung the speedy Andy Miele on a mini-breakaway and Miele went forehand to backhand to the top shelf to put the Pirates in front 1-0 early in the first. Just 30 seconds later, former Penguin defenseman Boris Valabik floated a wrist shot from the point through traffic and found the back of the net to make it 2-0.

It wasn't until the 2nd period, with Mathieu Brodeur and Mark Louis in the penalty box for the Pirates, that the Penguins power play clicked on got the team on the board.

Dylan Reese fed a pass across to his defense partner Brian Dumoulin and Dumoulin buried a shot past Johnson high and to the glove side to get the Penguins on the board. Dumoulin, the Biddeford, Maine native got a pretty audible cheer from the Portland crowd when he was announced as the WBS goal scorer. Trevor Smith also picked up an assist on the play that drew the Penguins within one.

Having played his high school hockey in the same arena, it was a feel good story for Dumoulin to put one on the board in front of his family and hometown friends. He was later named game's first star for his efforts tonight.

The Penguins next game isn't until Wednesday, but I have plenty to write about leading up to the game in Syracuse. Be sure to be on the lookout for some reactions from the team on their recent road trip as well as a special interview with a former WBS Penguin.


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net tonight, alternating starts with Brad Thiessen this weekend. 

Injured list: Tom Kuhnhackl (upper body) and Phil Dupuis

Healthy Scratches: Cody Wild, Christian Minella and Steve MacIntyre

Lines tonight:

Holzapfel - Smith - Kolarik
Megna - Gibbons - Collins
Payerl - Peters - Thompson
Farnham - Sill - Uher 

Reese - Dumoulin
Grant - Mormina
Samuelsson - Morrow


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