I tell you, I had this headline cooked up in my brain right after the Game 3 loss.
I have one if this series gets to six.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins stave off elimination in a 3-1 thriller that has to go down as the best game played for the Pens in the series.
The last two period in Game 2 were great hockey by the Pens, but the deficit was already 4-1 after one period.
In Game 3, the effort was much better, a defensive zone turnover in overtime cost the Pens the game.
Is an 0-3 deficit too big of a hole to climb out of?
Tonight isn’t the night to answer that question.
Brad Thiessen vs. Niklas Svedberg — two lineup changes for the Pens, Bobby Farnham for Christiaan Minella and Peter Merth for Cody Wild.
First Period: Providence opened and possessed the puck like madmen. They score on an Alex Grant turnover. Guess who? Carter Camper banks it off of Thiessen from behind the net to make it 1-0 Bruins. This period would be all about the Bruins manufacturing shots from all areas and the Penguins taking shots that Svedberg could make easy saves on.
Second Period: Pens can’t score on two attempts on a wide open net on the power play. Adam Payerl shuffles a puck to Warren Peters who scores to tie the game at one. Bruins get a power play and almost score. A tired Penguins group of penalty killers are left out after the power play expires and ice the puck.
Here’ where I think the game met its turning point. John Hynes used his timeout to rest the tired bodies on the ice. Before this, Providence was going to score, it was just a matter of when. The timeout worked perfectly because soon after, Merth stretches a pass to Mormina on the far wall who wires a cross ice pass to Holzapfel who one times it in from the low right circle for a 2-1 Wilkes-Barre lead. Providence would take a penalty, and Joey Mormina would slap one home that Chad Kolarik gets a stick on in front to make it 3-1 Pens.
Third Period: Providence opened and rode aggressive puck possession and forecheck pretty much all period. The Penguins did not bend. They shut down two Providence power play attempts in the process as well.
There would be no sweep, instead, Game 5 is tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre.
Huge game by captain Joey Mormina, three assists on the night.
Three Stars: 3) Joey Mormina (three assists, +1) 2) Brad Thiessen (31 saves on 32 shots) and 1) Riley Holzapfel (game winning goal, +2)
Quickly, elsewhere, Syracuse finished off a sweep of the Springfield Falcons winning 5-2 tonight. The Crunch are 7-0 in postseason. Mark French will not be back next season behind the bench for the Hershey Bears. When you are expected to win a Calder Cup every season and do not, a move has to be made.
Anyway, back to this series. Gameday for Game 5 will be up at 3 p.m. Puck drop at 7:05 tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre.
Let’s Go Pens! All In!