12/11/2013 9:01 PM
The Springfield Falcons (17-4-1-1) defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by the final score of 3-2 Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena, as Springfield defenseman Patrick McNeill found the back of the net twice and assisted on the team’s only other goal.
McNeill doubled his goal total Wednesday night, as he entered the tilt with two in 16 games this season. The Strathroy, Ontario native gave Springfield a 1-0 lead at 10:42 of the first period, firing a wrist shot past Penguins netminder Jeff Deslauriers from the right-wing circle. McNeill gave the Falcons a two-goal advantage just before the end of the second period with a power-play goal on a slap shot from the right-wing point.
Jonathan Marchessault scored his second consecutive game-winning goal at 12:38 of the third period, ripping a slap shot from the left-wing circle on a Springfield 4-on-3 man advantage. Marchessault leads the Falcons with six goals and three game-winners this season.
Harry Zolnierczyk and Paul Thompson scored for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the third period to even the score at 2-2. Zolnierczyk’s score came on a shorthanded penalty shot the 2:58 mark, awarded after he was taken down from behind on a breakaway opportunity.
Springfield goaltender Jeremy Smith earned his third consecutive win, making 16 saves on 18 shots to improve his record to 11-3-1 this season. Deslauriers stopped 18 of 21 shots in a losing effort, falling to 11-6-2 in 2013-14.
The Falcons went 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Penguins were blanked on three opportunities with the man advantage.
With Wednesday’s win in Wilkes-Barre, the Falcons snapped a two-game road losing streak improved to 7-2-1-1 away from the MassMutual Center. Springfield has won 10 of its last 12 games, leads the Northeast Division by four points over the Albany Devils and is tied for the best points percentage (.783) in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Falcons continue their current six-game road trip in Norfolk, Virginia Friday and Saturday to take on the Admirals on back-to-back nights. The team returns to the MassMutual Center Thursday, December 26 to host the Adirondack Phantoms.