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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
Did some freelancing for Chris Roy and the Maine Hockey Journal tonight and was back in the WBS press box again. That’s why if you tuned into the live-tweeting earlier you saw a much more reserved game call.
What a difference a day makes.
The Penguins, who were frustrated by the Hershey Bears the night before, had a goal fest in the first 6:10 of the first period of the game tonight.
But, you play sixty minutes. Not six minutes and ten seconds. The Pirates won tonight in a shootout 4-3 bolstered in net by Mike Lee, who saw his first action at the AHL level. He didn’t start the game though.
Classic game really that had a bit of everything. A big lead by the home team early. A rookie goaltender who never saw any AHL action thrust into duty against one of the leagues sharpest teams. Fights, lots of them. A comeback by the visitors and a hero in the aforementioned rookie in the end.
Brad Thiessen vs. Mark Visentin – Steve MacIntyre was in for Paul Thompson, Joey Mormina and Alex Grant for Simon Despres an Philip Samuelsson.
First Period: Philippe Dupuis swings around the net and does a spin-o-rama which fools Visentin. He fires the puck at him, then Trevor Smith deflects it in for a 1-0 Pens lead. Less than a minute later, Philippe Dupuis fires a puck towards the net, Visentin leaves a rebound that Jayson Megna gets a stick on and settles and slips past Visentin. Portland head coach Ray Edwards saw enough and replaced Visentin with Mike Lee, fresh from ECHL Gwinnett. Visentin, the night before got tuned up to the total of six goals in Binghamton last night. The Pirates settled from there and it was on to the…
Second Period: Pacquiao / Marquez 4 had nothing on this period. Steve MacIntyre finally got his chance to fight Joel Rechlicz. MacIntyre buried him with one punch. That wasn’t even the best fight of the period though as Andy Miele, not known as a fighter fought pest Baobby Farnham. Miele really represented himself well and stood right in there with the more established Farnham. Eric Tangradi and Alex Bolduc were the undercard with Tangradi dropping Bolduc.
Edit: Here is the MacIntyre / Rechlicz fight I captured on my phone from the press box. Yes, it looks like they are on Earth and I on the Moon. Check out the videoboard above them for a better view or hope that the highlights go up on the SendToNews package later.
Oh, there were goals too. Riley Holzapfel picks off a Pirates pass as they were attempting to clear the defensive zone and blasted it past Mike Lee. It looked like it caught Lee by surprise. Then rookie sensation Chris Brown scored for the Pirates after the MacIntyre and Farnham fights.
Third Period: Jordan Martinook scores a goal nearly the same way that Riley Holzapfel did the period prior. The Pirates had life. Later, Oliver Eckman-Larsson scored an NHL quality wrist shot on Brad Thiessen while Brian Dumoulin was in the penalty box. Tie game. Through penalties, no other goals were had in regulation or…
Overtime: There were penalties, but no scoring. Lee really showed himself well for this being his first AHL minutes.
Shootout: Lee really deserved a star of the game because he stopped Jayson Megna, Benn Ferriero, Trevor Smith and Beau Bennett. Bennett on his attempt tumbled into the boards hard and was down for a second. He left the ice on his own power. Chris Conner and Rob Klinkhammer scored for the Pirates.
Three Stars: 3) Rob Klinkhammer (shootout goal) 2) Riley Holzapfel (goal, +2) and 1) Oliver Eckman-Larsson (goal, assist, -1)
Around the Division: Syracuse was in Glens Falls tonight and lost in a shootout 4-3. Bingo had it’s win streak snapped at nine games losing 3-1 vs. Norfolk and Hershey hosted the Hamilton Bulldogs and lost 3-2.
Editorial: Missed opportunity for the Pens to pick up ground on teams ahead of us that straight lost or did not maximize points. Can’t be happy with this effort this weekend at all.
Standings: Syracuse 31 — Bingamton 28 — Penguins 28 — Hershey 23 — Norfolk 20
Conference: 1) SPR 32 2) SYR 31 3) WOR 25 4) BNG 28 5) WBS 28 6) MCH 25 7) PRO 23 8) POR 24
Wheeling Update: The Nailers rematched against the defending champion Florida Everblades tonight and lost a heartbreaker in the shootout 5-4. Nailers allow Florida to score three goals in the third period to force overtime and lose in the shootout.
SendToNews Highlights: I think I can see Brian Coe editing these for everyone over in the media box. Maybe not, that looks like an empty popcorn box on second look.
The highlights aren’t up yet. They may be when I get home. Here they are.
Pens are off until Wednesday when they are in Albany on December 12. I have a couple of things kicking around in my head I can use for blog fodder between now and then.
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