PENGUINS SECURE 3-1 WIN IN LEHIGH VALLEY BEFORE BREAK

February 3, 2024 Nick Hart
Penguins players on the ice

BOXSCORE

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins took care of business in their last game before the All-Star break, landing a 3-1 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night at PPL Center.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (24-16-6-0) played a steady, blue-collar game throughout, and was rewarded for its efforts with goals from Ty Smith, Joona Koppanen, and Jonathan Gruden.

How Did the Game Go?

A dominant first period by the Penguins ended with a 10-2 shots advantage and a 1-0 lead for the Black and Gold. Smith took a faceoff win and snapped a shot past the short side of Phantoms goalie Parker Gahagen at 12:44 of the opening frame.

That one-goal lead persisted through the second period thanks in large part to Gahagen making a series of strong stops during a full, two-minute five-on-three power play awarded to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

When Lehigh Valley went on its first power play of the night, it quickly flipped into a 2-0 lead for the Penguins. Koppanen buried a shorthanded goal at 4:41 of the third period and just 10 seconds into the Penguins’ penalty kill.

The Phantoms busted Joel Blomqvist’s shutout bid with an extra-attacker goal late in regulation. After a collision between three players opened up a lane for Jon-Randall Avon, the Phantoms’ rookie lasered a shot to the top corner with 1:54 left to go.

Lehigh Valley pulled Gahagen again for an extra attacker, but this time, Gruden secured the win for Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton with an empty netter.

Blomqvist notched 20 saves, while Gahagan was credited with 23 stops.

Don’t Miss the Next Penguins Game

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is once again against Lehigh Valley at PPL Center on Friday, Feb. 9. The first game out of the All-Star break for the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.

The Penguins’ next home game isn’t until Saturday, Feb. 17, when they don the moniker of the Pittston Tomatoes for one night only in the latest installment of the Penguins’ community series presented by Visit Luzerne County. The Tomatoes will take on the Laval Rocket with a 6:05 p.m. puck drop 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.

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