Penguins rough up the Crunch

SYRACUSE â?? Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got the scoring started early and often against the Syracuse Crunch tonight en route to a 5-3 victory at the War Memorial.

The Penguins posted three goals in the opening period as Simon Despres, Jayson Megna, and Chris Conner each tallied goals. Both teams also totaled a combined 32 penalty minutes in the opening period, which included two fighting penalties for each team.

Captain Mike Angelidis was in the first scrum with Wilkes-Barre/Scrantonâ??s Reid McNeill and Joey Mormina followed with another fight less than 40 seconds later when he dropped the gloves with Brendan Mikkelson.

The Crunch got on the board in the second period as Vladislav Namestnikov recorded his eighth goal of the season. The Penguins responded about five minutes later on a goal from Tom Kostopoulos. Syracuse got back to within two as Evan Rankin tallied a goal, making the score 4-2 at the end of the second period.

Just when the Crunch seemed to be fighting back, the Penguins had the answer as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton added their fifth goal less than two minutes into the final period care of Brian Gibbons. Syracuse managed one more goal before the final horn from Danick Gauthier as the Penguins took the 5-3 win.

The teams were even in shots as they both finished with 27, but the difference was in saves. Wilkes-Barre Scranton goalie Jeff Deslauriers recorded 24 compared to Syracuse goalie Riku Helenius' 22.

The Crunch will be back in action tomorrow night as they play host to the Albany Devils at 7:00 p.m. at War Memorial.