Chirps from Center Ice

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

Bear-ied – Pens LOSE 5-4 in OT

The Penguins have lost games this season.

Here, I will name all the teams that the Pens have lost to.

Binghamton, Bridgeport, Springfield and Syracuse once.

Hershey. Four times.

The Pens and Bears play each other twelve times.

That’s not a good pattern.

The Penguins lose in overtime to the Bears by a score of 5-4. When the Pens were on, they were on. When they were off, Hershey scored. That simple. The Penguins did not play a full sixty minutes of hockey tonight and the results are indicative of the score.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Dany Sabourin – Brian Strait was a scratch and Paul Thompson drew back in the lineup.

First Period: Bears come out flying. Coach John Hynes told Pens beat writer Jonathan Bombulie earlier this week that the Bears would be sharp from playing the night before in the Nation’s Capital in the AHL Showcase and that the Pens needed to match this or else. Well, in the short term they didn’t and the Bears found themselves up 1-0 thanks to a Mattias Sjogren tip of a Steve Oleksy shot from the point. Later, the Pens cash in on the power play just :04 in when Benn Ferriero rifled home a shot from the blue line to bring the game even at one. Then, Warren Peters below the goal feeds a cutting Simon Despres to put the Pens up 2-1. Late, as been the case with the Penguins with opponents under five minutes, the Bears scored to tie it at two.

Second Period: Robert Bortuzzo shoots from the blue line and it eludes Sabourin for a 3-2 Pens lead. The first ten minutes of the period were all Wilkes-Barre only allowing the Bears one shot on goal. Then, to start the second half of the period, Jon DiSalvatore would score to tie it at three. Under five minutes again in the period, Tomas Kundratek beats Zatkoff clean with a shot to push the Bears back out in front 4-3.

Third Period: The Pens would have extended power play time to work with when Steve Oleksy for Hershey took a penalty then argued the call nonstop with referee Terry Koharski. After a pretty inert stretch of power play time for the Pens, Eric Tangradi was finally able to breakthrough and even the game at 4 apiece. After that, a lot of back and forth but no scoring and it was onto…

Overtime: Philip Samuelsson coughs up a puck that T.J. Syner or Kevin Marshall pick off. They come in two vs. one and Kevin Marshall scores to end it.

Three Stars: 3) Eric Tangradi (goal, assist, -2) 2) Kevin Marshall (game winning goal, even) 1) Jon DiSalvatore (goal, assist, +2)

Editorial: I seem to be more miffed at the fact that we lost the game than I am the fact that we got a point out of the affair and by rights should have lost. I am really growing tired of Penguins rookie and/or second year defensemen getting doe-eyed when the slightest forecheck is applied while Alex Grant, Joey Mormina and others waste away as healthy scratches and Carl Sneep is buried in Wheeling. Yes, I understand development of players who are your future and fully understand the role of a minor league hockey team in the mess that is never-ending NHL labor strife. Just because I realize this doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

Oh, Simon Despres was not seen at all from the third period onward.

Around the Division: The two teams ahead of us in the East Division won. Syracuse dispatched the Hamilton Bulldogs by a score of 5-1 and the Binghamton Senators subjugated the Portland Pirates 6-1 good for their ninth win in a row. Norfolk was idle.

Standings: Syracuse 30 — Binghamton 28 — Penguins 28 — Hershey 23 — Norfolk 18

Conference: 1) SYR (30) 2) SPR (30) 3) WOR (24) 4) BNG (28) 5) WBS (27) 6) MCH (23) 7) STJ (23) 8) HER (23)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers come back from down 3-0 to the defending champion Florida Everblades only to lose 4-3 in a shootout. Carl Sneep had a goal for the Nailers in the loss.

SendToNews Highlights: Are slowly being pieced together as I type this but can be found here.

Pens back in action tomorrow night at 7:05 when they host the Portland Pirates.

I’ll be covering the game for the Maine Hockey Journal tomorrow and my friend Chris Roy. That means press box and “reporting” the game vs. “cheering” in case anyone is looking for my lanky seven foot frame in Section 104 tomorrow.

Gameday setup will be here on the blog tomorrow at 3 p.m.

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