The Rampage headed east for a back-to-back with the Penguins. Riding the hot play of both special teams and Ville Husso, they looked to get back to their winning ways.
Friday, October 25, 2019
Friday night featured a goaltending matchup between Husso and Emil Larmi for the Pens. Stefan Noesen opened the scoring early in the first and Joseph Cramarossa extended the lead to 2-0 early in the first period for Wilkes-Barre. Nathan Walker scored his fifth goal of the young season just two minutes later to cut into the Penguins’ lead. However, Wilkes-Barre regained their two-goal lead before the end of the first period.
Just 13 seconds into the second period and with 43 seconds left on a left over power play, Walker again came up big to make the game 3-2. Four minutes later Klim Kostin found the back of the net for the first time this season to tie the game. Nathan Walker got the primary assist for his third point of the night. The Rampage cashed in on yet another power play. Before the end of the third period, Mitch Reinke put one past Larmi for the Rampage’s first lead of the night.
In the third period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would send out NHL part-timer Casey DeSmith to take over for Larmi after surrendering 3 unanswered goals. Nick Lappin scored another power-play goal 12 minutes into the period. He set up on the point, walked up to Mr. Ovechkin’s office at the top of the left dot and ripped one home for his third goal of the season. The Rampage closed out the game with a 5-3 victory and a stunning 3/4 on the power play and 2/2 on the PK.
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
The second game of the weekend series was all about the special teams. The game featured 13 total power plays with both teams cashing in a few times. Casey DeSmith would face off with Adam Wilcox on Saturday.
In the first, the Rampage continued the risky habit of giving up the first goal early in a contest of this game as well. Nick Lappin would net the equalizer just 3 minutes 30 seconds later on the power play. With 16 minutes gone in the first, Walker would push in a rebound from a Derrick Pouliot shot for his 7th goal of the season and yet another power-play goal.
The Rampage’s penalty kill would show some chinks in the armor at the start of the second period. Stefan Noesen scored back to back power-play goals for a 3-2 Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton lead. Mike Vecchione hooked up with Walker and D-man Jake Walman to even it up before the end of the second.
Just 31 seconds into the third period, Vecchione would take a feed from Walker and Walman again and put the Rampage in the lead again. A lead that would hold for the 6 minutes. On the power play, Jordy Bellerive tied the game. A goal that would hold all the way into overtime and a game for the extra point would begin.
An offensive zone breakdown 1:44 into overtime lead to a 3 on 0 chance that Cramarossa wouldn’t miss on. Game over, the Rampage took 3 out of a possible 4 points from the trip and the special teams continue humming along.
I feel like this section is becoming a bit of a broken record. Thankfully this isn’t really a problem because it means the power play and penalty kill are still hot, Ville Husso hasn’t broken down, and Nathan Walker is still dominating the play. Jordan Kyrou should be returning to play soon. This will give a boost to an already productive forward group. I was glad to see Klim Kostin score his first of the season but I wish to see more dominant play from the big Russian.
The Rampage face off in Rockford, Illinois for a game with the Ice Hogs (Chicago Blackhawks affiliate). Check-in Thursday for a one-off recap of that game!