GAUTHIER, PENGUINS BLANK CRUNCH, 4-0
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Syracuse Crunch, 4-0, on Friday night at Upstate Medical University Arena.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (6-4-1-0) rode stellar goaltending from 22-year-old rookie Taylor Gauthier to victory. With 34 saves, Gauthier recorded his first AHL shutout. Alex Nylander spearheaded the team’s offense by posting three points (2G-1A).
The highlight of a scoreless first period was the play of Gauthier, who recorded 11 saves in the opening frame. Gauthier’s biggest stop came on a penalty shot awarded to Gabriel Fortier four minutes into the game.
Alex Nylander broke the deadlock 37 seconds into the second period with a pretty backhander from the slot. Rem Pitlick, who was skating in his 100th AHL game, found Nylander as the third man joining the rush, and then a swift deke got Nylander enough room to shovel the puck into the twine.
Gauthier was under siege at various points of the second period, including three power plays that were given to Syracuse during the frame. Gauthier rebuffed all 14 shots in the second to keep his team in the lead.
Ty Smith opened the third period with a goal that extended the Penguins lead to 2-0. Jansen Harkins swiftly followed up Smith’s tally with a power-play goal, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 3-0 lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.
Nylander notched his second goal by smacking in a rebound midway through the third period, widening the gap to 4-0 in favor of the Penguins. Nylander’s second goal also spelled the end of the night for Crunch starting goalie Hugo Alnefelt, who was replaced by Brandon Halverson.
Alnefelt made 16 saves on 20 shots faced, and Halverson stopped the only shot he faced in relief.
The Penguins won the special teams battle as well, scoring once on four power plays and staving off all five penalty kills.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will take on Syracuse again tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 11, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Opening puck drop for the Penguins and Crunch will arrive at 6:05 p.m.
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.