24 Apr, 24
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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell behind 1-0 in their best-of-three, first-round Calder Cup Playoff series due to a 2-1 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Ville Koivunen’s first goal as a Penguin was not enough as Lehigh Valley held on to take control of the short series and put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season on the brink.

Adam Brooks opened the scoring 14:37 into the first period. During a four-on-four session, Brooks jammed the puck short-side on Joel Blomqvist and somehow found room to squeak beyond the goal line.

Lehigh Valley took a two-goal lead 58 seconds into the middle frame, when a net-front scrum resulted in Rhett Gardner sliding home a rebound.

The Penguins refused to go down without a fight. With 1:44 left in the second period, Sam Poulin set up the newcomer Koivunen, who was making his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton debut. Koivunen, alone in the slot, took Poulin’s centering pass  and ramped it behind Phantoms netminder Cal Petersen.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton showed urgency and pressed hard as time slipped away in the third period, but an equalizer never materialized. The Penguins are in a must-win situation in Game Two to keep their season alive and force a decisive Game Three.

Blomqvist finished with 30 saves on 32 shots in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut, while Petersen turned away 21 of 22 bids for the win.

Game Two of this first-round series moves to Lehigh Valley’s home ice on Friday, Apr. 26. Opening puck drop for between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at PPL Center.

2024 Calder Cup Playoff Packages are available exclusively through the Penguins’ front office. Individual playoff game tickets and full season-ticket packages for the 2024-25 season are also 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, the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office or calling the Penguins’ front office at (570) 208-7367.

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