Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Defensive Disaster – Pens LOSE 4-2

WBS          @          HER

2                                                   4

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Take the tape of all the defensive plays and burn them.

A forgettable defensive effort tonight by Wilkes-Barre and they lose tonight 4-2 in Rochester.

Rochester is one of the highest scoring teams in the AHL, averaging 3.44 goals a game. Coaching knows this. The players know this. The effort just was not there tonight defensively. Hopefully its a learning experience and you move on.

Brad Thiessen vs. David Leggio

Lineup Notes: Chad Kolarik started on the second line with Brian Gibbons. He and Gibbons worked well tonight. Beau Bennett is still battling the flu and also has a small lower body injury. His status for All-Stars at Providence is up in the air. Philippe Dupuis didn’t take morning skate in the morning and should be ready after the All-Star break. Cody Wild has the flu. Warren Peters is on the cusp of returning. He may tomorrow. Dom Uher took warmups but was scratched.

First Period: In his very first shift, on his very first shot, newcomer Chad Kolarik scores a goal for the Penguins to push Wilkes-Barre out to a 1-0 lead. Kolarik’s impact could be felt almost immediately, with his vision making the players around him better. No scoring the remainder of the period, mainly because the goalies were sharp.

Second Period: Nightmare period for Wilkes-Barre. Mark Pysyk blows by a D-man and wrists one past Thiessen to tie the game. Later, Tom Kostopoulos keeps a puck in and throws it at the net, Adam Payerl hacks and whacks at it and Zach Sill swoops in from out of nowhere to push the Pens out ahead 2-1.

Then, with the Amerks on a power play, Mark Mancari throws a puck cross ice that deflects off of the skate of Brian Flynn and into Thiessen’s net. That one surprised everyone. Then, Phil Varone wheels around the net, gets a step on Joe Morrow, passes to Adam Pardy who one times the puck home past Thiessen to put the Amerks out front 3-2. Then, with 7.2 seconds left and two Penguins draped all over him, Kevin Sundher scores a wrist shot after falling down to make it 4-2.

It would be the second time this season that the Penguins gave up four goals in the period. Three goals in the final six and a half minutes, too.

Third Period: Jeff Zatkoff comes in to relieve Thiessen. Amerks play prevent defense, allow the Penguins 10 shots on goal, Leggio stops all of them. Penguins pull Zatkoff late, but don’t score a goal.

Three Stars: 3) Adam Pardy (goal, +1) 2) Mark Mancari (two assists, +2) and 1) Mark Pysyk (goal, assist, +1)

Around the Division: Binghamton beats Syracuse in Syracuse 1-0. St. John’s beats Hershey 3-1 and Norfolk beats Bridgeport 2-1.

Standings: Binghamton 56 — Syracuse — 54 — Penguins — 43 — Hershey 43 — Norfolk 37

Conference: 1) BNG (56) 2) SPR (56) 3) POR (50) 4) SYR (54) 5) MCH (46) 6) PRO (45) 7) WOR (44) 8) WBS (43)

Wheeling Update: Nailers beat the Bakersfield Condors with FOUR defensemen tonight 3-2 at home.

SendToNews Highlights: Rochester hasn’t posted them yet. I’ll check again in the morning.

Penguins are in Toronto for a 5 p.m. start. Gameday setup will be here tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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