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2014 Sports Blog of the Year
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A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Penguins get three power play goals from Eric Tangradi and Jeff Zatkoff continues to be a rock wall in net as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score of 3-1.
I really don’t know who was more of a story in this game. You have Tangradi scoring a hat trick, the Penguins special teams unit scoring three power play goals in the game or Jeff Zatkoff who was pretty much awesome in the third period keeping the Sound Tigers out of his net. Since there is no “I” in team, you can say yes to all three.
Jeff Zatkoff vs. Kevin Poulin – Brian Strait returned from scratchdom. Brian Gibbons took warmups and was scratched again. Keven Veilleux did not take warmups and was a scratch. I am very curious to see what is up with that.
First Period: Tangradi wastes no time in getting the Penguins on the board. After getting cross checked into the boards by Bridgeport’s Travis Hamonic, Trevor Smith centered Tangradi who snuck it past Poulin to put the Pens on the board first. Penguins did not let up. It seemed that whenever a Sound Tiger touched a puck, there were three Penguins in the vicinity to take the puck off of him. Later, on a power play, Johan Sundstrom finishes off a nice passing sequence to tie it at one apiece. Even later on a power play, Beau Bennett skates out from behind the goal line and passes to Benn Ferriero who passes to Tangradi who scores his second.
Second Period: Heard someone say in my section that Simon Despres takes a lot of silly penalties. Well, they were right. He high sticks Ty Wishart and took his 21st PIM of the season, second to only Brian Strait for the WBS defense who was a healthy scratch last game. I personally don’t think Despres will ever get scratched, but it is worth noting. Regardless, the infraction was killed. Penguins really ramped up the physicality this period just mugging Bridgeport whenever they came close to a puck. On yet another power play, Brian Dumoulin wrister from the point gets deflected in past Poulin by Tangradi for the hat trick. Initially, there was confusion on who scored it, but I heard the tip and knew it was Tangradi’s hat trick.
Third Period: Bridgeport really ran over the Pens this period. Here’s where Jeff Zatkoff earned his postgame meal because it really could have been a tie game on several occasions. It essentially was a reverse of the first forty minutes for the Penguins. Thankfully for the Penguins, no Sound Tiger was able to get one past Zatkoff.
Three Stars: 3) Trevor Smith (two assists, even) 2) Benn Ferriero (two assists, even) and 1) Eric Tangradi (hat trick, even)
See I would have replaced either Ferriero or Smith with Zatkoff. He deserved a star tonight for his work in the third period alone.
Around the Division: Syracuse beats Hershey 6-1. Braden Holtby started the game, but was chased in the second after allowing four straight Crunch goals. Binghamton beat Adirondack 5-2. Norfolk loses to Springfield in Virginia 3-2
Standings: Syracuse 18 — Penguins 16 — Binghamton 14 — Norfolk 14 — Hershey 11
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off tonight, tomorrow they play the Toledo Walleye in Toledo.
Conference: 1) SPR (20) 2) SYR (18) 3) WOR (16) 4) BRI (16) 5) WBS (16) 6) MCH (15) 7) BNG (14) 8) POR (14)
SendToNews Highlights: Have Tangradi’s first goal and Johan Sundstrom’s only goal.
Penguins travel to Hershey tomorrow for a date with the Bears at 7. Gameday for that will be here at 3 p.m.
I will be making the trip. Not as a fan, but as Jonathan Bombulie’s proxy. Yes, you read that right, I will be covering the game and writing a story for The Citizens Voice for Sunday’s paper. I was honored when Chris Roy from the Maine Hockey Journal asked me to write for him last Saturday. To have Jonathan Bombulie, who I consider one of the best at what he does, ask me, a yak with a blog and too much time on his hands, to write and cover for him is humbling.
Look for my tweets of the game tomorrow. I’ll be “reporting” on the game and not “cheering” on the game. Then make sure you buy a paper Sunday.