Having already won six straight games and getting a hat trick from winger Ryan Haggerty on Friday night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins found a way to top themselves on Saturday.
Less than 24 hours after earning a win at Belleville, the Penguins got a far less likely hat trick to wrap up their Canadian road trip with a 4-3 win at Laval.
The source? Defenseman Andrey Pedan, who entered the game with two goals in his first 30 games this season, before exploding for three on Saturday, including the game-winner on the power play with four minutes left in the second period to break a 3-3 tie.
It was just the second hat trick by a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman in franchise history, joining Alexandre Picard, who accomplished the feat in 2012.
And it was enough to give the Penguins (23-10-2-1) a season-high seventh straight victory, which moved them two points ahead of Providence and Lehigh Valley atop the Atlantic Division. Both the Bruins and Phantoms were set to play later Saturday night.
Pedan answered an opening-minute goal by Laval with one of his own from just inside the blue line three minutes later. His other two scores both came in the second period on the man-advantage, blasting pucks past Rocket goalie Michael McNiven from the the top of the left circle off of feeds from Ethan Prow and Haggerty.
Teddy Blueger scored the other goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, tying the game at 2-2 just 23 seconds after Laval had taken the lead early in the second.
With Casey DeSmith recalled to Pittsburgh, Anthony Peters got the start in goal for the second straight day, stopping 23 of 26 Rocket shots on the afternoon. Peters has won five straight.
Adam Cracknell scored both goals for Laval. The Penguins outshot the Rocket 41-26 and finished 2-for-6 on the power play.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns to the ice on Wednesday, hosting Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena with first place in the division on the line.
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