WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – In their final home game of the 2020-21 season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins gave their fans a reason to celebrate with a 4-1 win over the Binghamton Devils on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (12-11-4-2) ran its point streak to six games on the back of a two-goal outing from Nick Schilkey and a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” by rookie Jonathan Gruden. Another rookie, goaltender Tommy Nappier, played a key role in the victory as well, stopping 22 shots for his first win as a pro.
Nappier was locked in from the start, turning aside an early flurry of scoring chances for Binghamton. Both teams traded looks throughout the first period, but a 0-0 tie persisted into the middle frame.
Schilkey broke the deadlock at 8:24 of the second period. A long shift in the Devils’ zone ended with Gruden making a shrewd pass to set up Schilkey for the one-timer.
Early in the third period, Gruden dropped the gloves with Binghamton’s Travis St. Denis. Both players were assessed five-minute fighting majors, but the spat further spurred Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Schilkey scored his second of the game at 9:43 of the third period, depositing a rebound for a power-play goal.
Anthony Angello ran the Penguins’ lead to 3-0 on a tremendous individual effort that started in his team’s defensive end. Angello knifed the puck away from Devils forward Graeme Clarke along the right-side boards, and then outraced every Binghamton defender through the neutral zone to earn a point-blank chance on Evan Cormier. Angello buried his opportunity with a devastating snap shot at 12:16 of the third period.
Clarke spoiled the party momentarily by ruining Nappier’s shutout bid with 2:05 left in regulation, but the crowd leapt back to its feet shortly thereafter when Gruden completed the Gordie with an empty-net goal.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s has three road games remaining to close out the 2020-21 season. The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Sunday, May 9 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at PPL Center.
Penguins fans can become a season ticket member for the upcoming 2021-22 season by contacting the team’s front office directly at (570) 208-7367.