WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Not even the luck of the Irish could save the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from more misfortune.
And it’s starting to make them look more jumpy than dancers performing an Irish jig.
On a St. Patrick’s Day-themed Saturday night, the Penguins allowed two goals in each of the first two periods at Mohegan Sun Arena, sending them to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Norfolk.
That was the second consecutive loss of the week for the Penguins, who dropped three of their last four home games and are just 5-6 since Feb. 27.
While the Penguins pulled out their green Shamrock uniforms, and Irish songs and dances made the first Penguins home game since St. Patrick’s Day seem upbeat, the mood in their locker room was anything but festive.
Starting center Zach Sill smacked his stick on the ice and slammed the penalty box door in the second period as he was tagged with a tripping penalty — and a 10-minute misconduct.
The score was still 2-1 at that point, but it soon turned ugly for the suddenly snake-bitten Penguins, who have scored just one goal in their past six periods.
Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly punished the Penguins with goals over the final 2:40 of the second period, putting the game out of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s reach and putting the team’s starting goalie on the bench.
Jeff Zatkoff replaced Brad Thiessen in the Penguins crease for the start of the final period.
But it was a dubious start for the Penguins that had them trying to crawl out of a hole all night.
Kyle Wilson beat Thiessen high over the glove side less than five minutes into the night, and Norfolk had quick command with the game’s first goal.
Midway through the first period, Chris Wagner registered another Norfolk goal, and the Penguins were put into desperation mode.
They received their only goal midway through the second period when Alex Grant’s power play shot cut Norfolk’s advantage to 2-1.
And the Penguins got a little luck when the score was still 3-1.
Thiessen made a fortunate save on a puck hovering behind him, dangerously close to crossing the goal line, and the no-goal call stood up under replay review with 1:10 remaining in the second period.
It did little good for the Penguins.
Just eight seconds later, Smith-Pelly put the clinching puck in the back of the net with a wicked shot from the right circle, sending the Penguins hope for pulling off a comeback spinning in circles.
Norfolk 2`2`0 - 4
W-B/Scranton 0`1`0 - 1
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Wilson 8 (Smith-Pelly), 4:55. 2, Norfolk, Wagner 6 (Guentzel, Mitchell), 7:02. Penalties-Clark Nor (roughing), 1:58; Parent Nor (delay of game), 16:00; Clark Nor (slashing), 19:41; Farnham Wbs (boarding, diving), 19:41.
2nd Period-3, W-B/Scranton, Grant 3 (Kolarik, Holzapfel), 13:13 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Maroon 18 (Wilson, Vatanen), 17:20 (PP). 5, Norfolk, Smith-Pelly 10 (Wilson, Clark), 18:58. Penalties-Megna Wbs (interference), 6:31; Mitchell Nor (interference), 11:36; served by Rosehill Nor (bench minor - unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:13; Holzapfel Wbs (boarding), 15:19; Sill Wbs (tripping, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:47.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Farnham Wbs (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:17; Irwin Nor (tripping), 9:45; Mormina Wbs (slashing), 11:47; Hendry Nor (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:42; Thompson Wbs (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:42; Farnham Wbs (roughing), 18:05; Sill Wbs (game misconduct - abuse of officials), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 8-15-9-32. W-B/Scranton 9-6-10-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 7; W-B/Scranton 1 / 5.
Goalies-Norfolk, Andersen 17-13-1 (25 shots-24 saves). W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 14-10-1 (23 shots-19 saves); Zatkoff 20-19-0 (9 shots-9 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Scott Adams (20), Bob Goodman (90).