Eric Tangradi’s hat trick leads Penguins to 5-1 victory over Marlies

WILKES BARRE, Pa. – Eric Tangradi had his first career American Hockey League hat trick as the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins beat the Toronto Marlies 5-1 Wednesday.

Jesse Boulerice and Brett Sterling also scored for the Penguins.

Justin Hodgman had the only goal for the Marlies (14-10-3).

John Curry won his 90th AHL game, making 17 saves for the Penguins (21-7-0).

Jussi Rynnas and Ben Scrivens combined for 37 saves for Toronto.

Tangradi opened the scoring 1:17 into the game. Sterling sent a shot from the right half boards off Rynnas. Tangradi then batted the rebound underneath Rynnas’s pads before the goaltender could recover.

The Penguins went up 2-0 7:54 of the first on a goal form the fourth line. Bryan Lerg took a pass from Zach Sill and carried the puck behind the Marlies net. His wraparound pass hit Rynnas and deflected right to Boulerice, who fired a shot into an open net.

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Sterling then scored his ninth of the season when Tangradi, double-teamed on the left boards, was able to sneak the puck into the inside of the left circle. Sterling rifled a wrist shot underneath the crossbar at 14:35.

Toronto replied at 16:22 of the first period. The Penguins turned the puck over in the neutral zone, creating a three-on-one rush for the Marlies. Hodgman tapped at a bouncing puck and snuck it under Curry’s pads.

Scrivens came on in relief for the second period and faced a two-on-one rush led by Joe Vitale. The Penguins centre slipped a pass across the slot to Tangradi, who scored his seventh goal of the season underneath a prone Scrivens at 6:46.

Tangradi completed the hat trick at 16:57 by firing a bouncing rebound of a Sterling deflection into a virtually empty net.

Neither team registered a goal in the third period.