Ebbett Powers Penguins Past WolfPack

Sunday, February 22, 2015
Andrew Ebbett's first of two goals this afternoon was his 100th career AHL goal.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins used timely goals from Andrew Ebbett in the first and third periods and a dominant middle frame to power past the Hartford Wolfpack 4-1 in the first of four meetings between the two teams this season.

The first of Ebbett's two goals, coming 5:48 into the contest, was his 100th career AHL goal and it gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead after the WolfPack had dominated play from the opening face-off. His second of the night, just 10 seconds into the third, gave the Penguins all the insurance they would need at a 3-1 advantage.

It was a good afternoon for fourth line enforcers as Hartford's Nick Tarnasky scored his first of the season to tie things up at 1-1 late in the first period. The Penguins' Pierre-Luc Leblond also tallied his first goal of the season Sunday in what turned out to be the eventual game winner.

While Scott Wilson has been the rookie in the spotlight lately, and deservedly so with nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last eight games - including three game-winning goals - Conor Sheary extended his points scoring streak to eight games with a secondary assist on Ebbett's goal on the opening shift of the third period.

Jeff Zatkoff kind of quietly put together a strong performance in net, with 22 saves on 23 shots - particularly sharp in the opening minutes of play when Hartford was all over the Penguins. The win is just Zatkoff's 2nd in the calendar year of 2015, though he is 2-0-2 in his four starts in February.

There could be some bad blood between the Penguins and WolfPack when they next play again this upcoming Saturday up in Hartford after a questionable second period hit by Dylan McIlrath on Bobby Farnham knocked the WBS fan favorite out of the game. Farnham first went to the WBS bench but later retreated to the locker room with trainer Kyle Moore and did not return.

The WolfPack had the early jump from the opening face-off, controlling things and drawing a power play 3:06 into play. Zatkoff was particularly sharp in the early going, shutting the door on Hartford's power play and giving the Pens enough momentum to get on the board first.

Tom Kostopoulos got a puck to Scott Wilson, who found an open Andrew Ebbett for his 11th of the season and 100th career AHL goal. Incidentally, the assist by Kostopoulos was his 400th career AHL point, excluding his 55 points in the Calder Cup Playoffs throughout his career.

Hartford failed on a second power play midway through the first and got in a bit of penalty trouble shortly after, but were able to tie the game at 1-1 late in the first period with their fourth line on the ice. Noted enforcer Nick Tarnasky re-directed a shot from the outside by Justin Vaive with 1:41 left before the first intermission to even things up heading into the second period.

The Penguins were dominant in the middle frame, out shooting Hartford 12-2 in the period and re-gaining their one-goal lead courtesy of Leblond's first tally of the season off a beautiful feed from Matia Marcantuoni 6:55 into the period.

Tempers flared midway through the period after Dylan McIllrath trucked Bobby Farnham in the neutral zone, appearing to leave his feet on the hit that knocked Farnham out of the game.

Leblond went after McIllrath on the next shift but to no avail, instead racking up a minor penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions and giving the WolfPack a power play. Luckily for the Pens, they were able to kill it off.

The Pens took the 3-1 lead 10 seconds into third and never looked back, keeping their foot on the pedal so to speak and not allowing Hartford any chance to get back in the game. They added a late power play goal by Carter Rowney in the final minutes to complete the impressive 4-1 win.


Jeff Zatkoff (22 saves - 23 shots) got the start in net this afternoon for the Penguins, while Matt Murray was given the day off after another shutout - a 22-save shutout - last night at home against Providence.

No changes on defense as Alex Boak was the seventh defenseman and a healthy scratch for the second straight night.

Bryan Rust, who didn't return after being boarded by Providence's Jared Knight in the first period Saturday, missed today's game with a lower body injury. Adam Payerl returned to the lineup in his absence.

Bobby Farnham, who was promoted to the second line for today's game, was knocked out of the game in the second period after a questionable open ice hit by Dylan McIllrath. McIlrath wasn't penalized on the play and declined an invitation from Pierre-Luc Leblond on the next shift.

Scratches: Alex Boak (healthy), Nick Drazenovic (upper body, week-to-week), Bryan Rust (lower body) and Anton Zlobin (shoulder surgery - out for season).


Conor Sheary - Andrew Ebbett - Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson - Jayson Megna - Bobby Farnham
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Dominik Uher
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Matia Marcantuoni - Adam Payerl

Taylor Chorney - Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill - Scott Harrington
Nick D'Agostino - Barry Goers

Jeff Zatkoff - Matt Murray


1st Period

3:06: WBS - (PP) Marcantuoni, minor (high-sticking)
5:48: WBS - Ebbett (11) - Wilson, Kostopoulos
11:57: WBS - (PP) Harrington, minor (interference)
12:20: HFD - (PP) McIllrath, minor (roughing)
15:20: HFD - (PP) C. Bourque, minor (interference)
18:19: HFD - Tarnasky (1) - Vaive

2nd Period

6:55: WBS - Leblond (1) - Marcantuoni, Payerl
9:23: WBS - (PP) Leblond, minor (unsportsmanlike)
9:23: WBS - Leblond, ten-minute misconduct
9:23: WBS - Payerl, major (fighting)
9:23: HFD - Vaive, major (fighting)
14:14: HFD - (PP) C. Bourque, minor (roughing)

3rd Period

0:10: WBS - Ebbett (12) - Kostopoulos, Sheary
3:54: WBS - (PP) Harrington, minor (holding)
8:01: HFD - (PP) Lindberg, minor (tripping)
15:44: HFD - (PP) Bodie, minor (slashing)
16:51: WBS - PPG Rowney (6) - Kuhnhackl, Megna


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