A three-goal first period provided all of the offense the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins needed to record a 4-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday evening at the XL Center.
The win saw the Penguins improve to 10-2-1-0 on the season, making Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the first American Hockey League club to hit double digit wins this year. Conversely, the loss stretched Hartford’s winless streak to eight games (0-6-2-0) and saw the Wolf Pack fall to 3-8-2-0 for the campaign.
The Penguins hardly looked like a team playing its third game in less than three days, pumping 14 shots on the Magnus Hellberg in the first period, and 40 on the afternoon.
Reid Gardiner wasted little time opening the scoring, blocking a shot in the neutral zone and then taking on Hellberg one-on-one. His blocker-side shot beat the Hartford net minder 1:39 into the contest for his third goal of the season.
A Chris Summers tripping call gave the Penguins their first power play of the game 7:22 into the game, and Dominik Simon made sure the opportunity wasn’t wasted, scoring on a backhand 40 seconds into the advantage for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Marek Hrivik’s stick caught Lukas Bengtsson in the face and drew blood late in the first, sending the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer to the penalty box for a double minor. David Warsofsky made the first half of the penalty count by blistering a shot from the point that beat Hellberg to the far corner for the defenseman’s second goal of the season at 19:30.
That score held until Hrivik finally solved Tristan Jerry 5:19 into the third for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. But Ryan Haggerty, playing against his former club, notched his first goal as a Penguins with 3:10 to play to ice the game for the Penguins.
Jarry stopped 22 shots to raise his record to 6-2-1 on the season, while Hellberg fell to 3-3-2 for the Wolf Pack. The Penguins finished the game 2-for-7 on the power play, and killed both Hartford chances they faced, raising their league-leading penalty kill rate to 90.6%.
The Penguins return to action Wednesday night, when they travel to Allentown to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05pm. The Pens are back home next Friday, November 18, when they play host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Individual game tickets for Friday night’s game, and all Penguins home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket packages, including 22-game, 12-game and 10-voucher flex packs, are available by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.