It didn’t take long to shed all of that frustration.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had struggled to score in a four-game losing streak that dropped the Penguins from their perch atop the Atlantic Division.
A trip down Interstate 81 for a rivalry game, however, seemed to do the trick.
The Penguins exploded for three quick goals in the first period and finished off a strong performance to earn a 4-1 victory over Hershey on Sunday at Giant Center.
Christian Thomas, Daniel Sprong and Thomas Di Pauli all scored in a five-minute span to give the Penguins (14-7-1-1) a commanding lead and some much-needed confidence.
Defenseman Zach Trotman added an insurance marker in the third period as Sean Maguire picked up the win in net, needing to make just 18 saves to pick up his first victory with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Hershey certainly helped the Penguins’ cause by committing eight penalties, including giving away a pair of two-man advantages, both of which turned into goals.
The opportunistic Penguins also cashed in on multiple Bears’ turnovers, including on the game’s opening score as Thomas got the puck in the slot after a Hershey giveaway at the 7:15 mark.
Sprong scored on the first 5-on-3 at 10:10 before Di Pauli put another Bears turnover into the back of the net less than two minutes later. Sprong’s goal was his team-leading 12th of the season.
Hershey got a goal in the final minute of the first period from Tyler Graovac, but the Penguins didn’t allow the Bears to grab momentum in the second period. Maguire made sure of that, coming up with 10 of his saves in the middle frame.
Trotman put the game away midway through the third on another 5-on-3 advantage, blowing a slapper past Bears goalie Pheonix Copley.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns to the ice on Wednesday, hosting Springfield at 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Prior to the game, defenseman Ethan Prow was reassigned from ECHL Wheeling to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Prow was in the lineup against the Bears, picked up an assist and recorded four shots on goal.