PENGUINS SEIZE VICTORY IN HOME OPENER, 3-1
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won their home opener by defeating the Springfield Thunderbirds, 3-1, on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2-2-0-0) started their home schedule on a high note thanks to a 31-save performance by Joel Blomqvist, who earned his first AHL win.
The first period ended the same way it started with both teams knotted at zero. The Penguins were held at bay despite generating 14 shots on goal in the opening frame.
A breakaway goal from Vinnie Hinostroza just 95 seconds into the second period gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. A touch pass from Rem Pitlick sprung Hinostroza free, and he slid the biscuit through the legs of Springfield goalie Vadim Zherenko.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led for about two minutes before Adam Gaudette answered back for the Thunderbirds. A strange carom behind the Penguins’ net put the puck in front of Blomqvist’s crease and created an easy tap in for Gaudette.
On their fourth power play of the game, the Penguins finally cashed in as Rem Pitlick potted a ga-ahead goal at 9:03 of the third period. An empty-net goal from Jansen Harkins resulted in the 3-1 final.
Sam Houde finished the game with two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Pitlick, who notched an assist on the Hinostroza breakaway, matched Houde’s effort with two points of his own.
Zherenko stopped 33 of 35 shots he faced for Springfield.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns to home ice on Wednesday night for a matchup against the Hershey Bears. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Season-ticket packages for the Penguins’ 25th season of hockey 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. Individual-game tickets are also available by visiting Ticketmaster.com, the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office or calling the Penguins’ front office at (570) 208-7367.