PENGUINS HOLD OFF THUNDERBIRDS FOR 2-1 WIN
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fended off a third-period push by the Springfield Thunderbirds to lock down a 2-1 victory on Friday night at MassMutual Center.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (17-12-3-0) received a stellar, 35-save effort from rookie goaltender Joel Blomqvist, who picked up his 10th win of the season. Blomqvist was bested early in the third period, but was impenetrable the rest of the way.
Vinnie Hinostroza scored quickly in his 500th pro game to put the Penguins in a 1-0 lead. Hinostroza dashed down the right-wing boards, then flicked the puck back to defenseman Jack Rathbone, who was joining the rush. Rathbone shuttled the biscuit right back to Hinostroza for the backdoor tap in at 11:05 of the first period.
The Penguins didn’t cash in on their only power play of the game, but they managed to light the lamp nine seconds after the expiration of that man advantage. A slick set up by Sam Poulin and Rem Pitlick allowed Peter Abbandonato to rifle a shot across the goal line midway through the middle frame.
Adam Gaudette put Springfield on the board and pulled his team within one when he scored 30 seconds into the third period. Blomqvist held firm the rest of way, stopping 12 more shots to snag his fourth consecutive victory.
T-Birds netminder Vadim Zherenko recorded 25 saves in the loss.
The Penguins return home for their next game, tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 6, against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is slated for 6:05 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.