WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Alex D’Orio had a very happy birthday as his career-best 41 saves spurred the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 2-1 win in overtime against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Celebrating his 22nd birthday, the rookie goaltender locked down his net amidst an onslaught of Phantoms shots in the third period. D’Orio’s heroics gave way to Tim Schaller’s overtime winner and improved the Penguins to 9-11-3-2 on the season.
The Phantoms earned the game’s first goal 11:27 of the opening frame, capitalizing on a turnover at the Penguins’ blueline and turning it into a net-front tuck by Linus Sandin.
It wasn’t until early in the third period that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was able to tie things up. A mere seven seconds into a two-man advantage, Anthony Angello ripped a shot past Lehigh Valley’s goaltender and evened the scales at one goal apiece.
Shortly thereafter, the Phantoms were given a third-period, power-play opportunity of their own. That’s when D’Orio really stepped up. Slapshots, point-black rebounds, nor cross-ice one-timers could slip past the birthday boy. Even after the Lehigh Valley power play proved unfruitful, D’Orio continued to make acrobatic saves in the line of fire and kept the game tied at 1-1.
The Phantoms steered 18 shots at D’Orio in the third period. He stopped all 18.
The Penguins, to their credit, also generated 14 shots in the final frame of regulation, but Phantoms goalie Felix Sandström was up to the task after allowing the Angello goal.
Sandström stopped Josh Currie on a two-on-one rush in OT, but Currie grabbed his own rebound and threw it across to Schaller for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Schaller’s clincher arrived at 1:36 of the extra frame.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Apr. 30, when it treks to Newark, New Jersey to take on the Binghamton Devils. The Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, May 1, against the Hershey Bears. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is slated for 5:00 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Tickets to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s home games in May can be purchased by calling (570) 208-7367.
Fans can become a Penguins season ticket member for the upcoming 2021-22 season by calling the team’s front office directly at (570) 208-7367.