CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came up with a 4-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night at BoJangles’ Coliseum.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (22-16-3-4) received two goals from both Jordy Bellerive and Thomas Di Pauli, including one that gave the team a lead with 1:27 left in regulation.
Charlotte got on the board early, scoring 55 seconds into the contest. Eetu Luostarinen fed Julien Gauthier on a two-on-one rush, and Gauthier hurled the puck past a lunging Emil Larmi.
With Penguins coach Mike Vellucci looking for a way to spark some offense, he started shuffling his lines early in the second period. That tinkering quickly paid dividends, as a new-look line of Bellerive, Joseph Blandisi and Kevin Roy delivered two tallies for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bellerive tipped in a pass at the Checkers’ net-front to tie the game at 12:42 of the middle frame, and three minutes later, Bellerive buried a one-timer that put the Penguins up, 2-1.
Charlotte formulated a swift response to Bellerive’s two goals, evening things up 40 seconds later with a strike by Morgan Geekie.
Larmi fended off a series of fantastic, third-period scoring chances for the Checkers with even better saves, holding the home side at bay until Di Pauli sealed the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Di Pauli sped past a Charlotte defender, walked in all alone against Alex Nedeljkovic and slipped a backhand shot through the goalie’s five-hole. Di Pauli’s strike came with 1:27 left in regulation, and then he further secured victory for the Penguins thanks to an empty netter with 14.5 seconds left.
Larmi conjured 23 saves in the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Nedeljkovic made 27 stops in the loss.
Next up for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the 2020 AHL All-Star Break, but the team’s first game out of the break is Friday, Jan. 31 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Individual tickets to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games are on sale now and can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, Ticketmaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins offices at (570) 208-7367. Season ticket packages for the Penguins’ 2019-20 regular season, including Full Season, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating plans, are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Fans can also keep up with the Penguins through the AHL’s state-of-the-art, high-definition streaming service, AHLTV. Subscriptions for AHLTV are available now. Fans can visit theahl.com/AHLTV now to register for a free AHLTV account and purchase 2019-20 subscriptions.