Chirps from Center Ice

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

Global Warming, IceCaps Melted – Pens WIN 5-3

The tear continues.

The Penguins win again tonight, making it five in a row, and earn John Hynes his 115th all-time win as head coach, tying Glenn Patrick in that category. They do so by playing the system implemented by Hynes and his staff and skate away victors, 5-3 over the St. John’s IceCaps.

The game was exactly like last night’s vs. Syracuse, with the Penguins…. well, read on.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Eddie Pasquale — Zach Sill was back from injury. Paul Thompson was scratched again.

First Period: Could best be described as a carbon copy to the first period last night vs. Syracuse. That is, the Pens jump out on the IceCaps early via goals from Simon Despres and Warren Peters via deflection, then clamp down and do not allow St. John’s one shot on goal until about six minutes to play in the first. Then a pushback by the IceCaps late, Jason Jaffray for the visitors scores while the teams were four-on-four.

First Period Notes: Penguins hit anything and everything that moved that period. Tom Kuhnhackl left the game with an apparent injury and did not return the rest of the game.

Second Period: Probably the flattest period the Pens have played in recent memory. You could see the St. John’s momentum shift with every shift. Finally, an IceCaps faceoff win in the WBS defensive zone is won to Julian Melchiori who fires it at the goal. Ray Sawada gets a stick on it to deflect it past Zatkoff to bring St. John’s to tie the game. Then, late while on a power play, Dylan Reese gets a goal which deflected off of St. John’s defenseman Derek Meech’s stick and slowly trickled past Pasquale to give the Pens the lead late. It was the lift that the team needed as the period was a very uncharacteristic period for the Penguins.

Third Period: Riley Holzapfel sets up Benn Ferriero for a goal from behind the net. I’ll let WBS beat writer Jonathan Bombulie describe this one as he was right on top of it:

In keeping with last night’s game, Spencer Machacek scored to make it 4-3 with just under seven minutes to play, then the IceCaps got a late power play, pulled Pasquale, and the Penguins found an empty net goal via Riley Holzapfel, who had just been sprung from the penalty box to seal it.

Three Stars: 3) Benn Ferriero (goal, +1) 2) Riley Holzapfel (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Dylan Reese (goal, assist, +1)

Around the Division: Syracuse claws back from down 0-3 to win in Hartford tonight 4-3 in overtime vs. the Connecticut Whale. They get three third period goals to tie, then Mark Barberio scored the OT game winner. Norfolk beats Hershey 5-1 in Hershey. Braden Holtby took the loss for the Bears tonight. Hershey’s been riding him as of late, perhaps he was tired. But that’s me speculating. Binghamton, who has about 45 games in hand on the Penguins, were off tonight.

Standings: Syracuse 28 — Penguins 26 — Binghamton 24 — Hershey 19 — Norfolk 16

Conference: 1) SYR (28) 2) SPR (26) 3) MCH (23) 4) WBS (26) 5) BNG (24) 6) STH (23) 7) WOR (22) 8) BRI (21)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off tonight.

SendtoNews Highlights: Still going up as I am typing this, but here’s the link to all the good stuff you will want to see. Sucks that WordPress won’t allow for me to embed this on my site. Oh well, extra clicks for you!

Pens are off until next Friday vs. Hershey. I’ll see what I can drum up blog content wise for you this week. As always, catch me on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest cooing over redheads, indie rock discussion and random pictures of animals and still life.

Let’s Go Pens!

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