February 26, 2022 Nick Hart
Hållander on the ice. Filip Hallander


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Led by a hat trick from Filip Hållander, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Bridgeport Islanders, 5-3, on Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (22-21-2-4) rattled off three-straight goals in the first period, but still needed Hållander’s first career hat trick to secure a crucial victory over its division rival.

Drew O’Connor got the scoring started early, taking a lovely feed from Mitch Reinke and tapping it across the goal line three minutes into the contest.

Hållander’s first on the night arrived at 7:30 of the opening frame as he pounced on a rebound and slammed it behind Islanders goalie Jakub Škarek.

Anthony Angello drove a blistering slap shot to the top corner during a Penguins power play at 11:25, running their lead to 3-0. However, that goal was swiftly followed by Parker Wotherspoon putting Bridgeport on the board while the teams were skating at four-on-four.

Hållander reestablished the Penguins’ three-goal edge at 7:13 of the second period. The Swedish forward intercepted an ill-advised breakout pass in the Islanders’ zone, and then in one motion, wired a snap shot to the back of the net.

Bridgeport pulled back within two with a man-advantage marker from Andy Andreoff with 1:26 left in the middle frame.

Arnaud Durandeau made things interesting by scoring 2:29 into the third period, cutting the Penguins’ lead down to 4-3.

The Islanders almost tied the game in the last five minutes of regulation when defensemen Paul LaDue and Robin Salo both hit the post within seconds of one another.

Hållander completed the hat trick and sealed the victory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by wiring another shot past Škarek with 1:43 left in regulation.

Tommy Nappier earned the win for the Penguins with 28 saves, while Škarek turned away 25 shots in the loss.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Feb. 27, a Sunday matinée matchup with the Syracuse Crunch. It is also a Kids Free Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Children ages 14 and under can attend the game for free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Game time for the Penguins and Crunch is slated for 3:05 p.m.

Individual game tickets for the Penguins’ remaining home games as well as season-ticket packages for the upcoming 2022-23 season are on sale now. Full-Season, 22-game, 12-game, Flexbook and Premium Seating plans are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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