Wagner's Hat Trick Lifts Pens Past Admirals

Saturday, April 23, 2011
It's on to the 2nd round! The Pens will play the winner of the Charlotte/Hershey series.
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins did what their NHL club could not today: finish off their opponent at home. The Penguins took advantage of a quick start and early power plays and jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 3:58 into the contest. Both goals were power play tallies from Steve Wagner. The Pens out shot the Norfolk Admirals 13-6 in the first period but before the period ended history was made. Wagner completed the WBS Penguins first ever hat trick by a defenseman, a natural hat trick, with 1:24 left in the first frame.

The Penguins took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission and everything seemed in control. But the Admirals didn't pack it in. They controlled the play in the second half of the middle frame, tallying two goals less than two minutes apart. The scoreboard read 3-2 after two periods and the fans realized that there was no quit in their opponent.

The teams traded goals midway through the third period and the 4-3 score held into the last 1:36 until the Admirals pulled Dustin Tokarski for the extra attacker. Joe Vitale fed a pass off the half-boards in front of the team benches and Tim Wallace fired a puck into the empty net to make it 5-3.

The Admirals pulled the goalie again shortly after and Zach Sill sealed the deal with his empty netter. 6-3 final, Penguins win and advance to the East Division Finals against the winner of the Hershey/Charlotte series. Regardless of the opponent, the first two games will be played in Wilkes Barre on Thursday 4/28 and Saturday 4/30.


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