Chirps from Center Ice

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

Left Gazing — Pens LOSE 2-0

WBS        @       HER

0                                         2

Jonathan Bombulie was right.

He said on the Penguins Pit Podcast this past Friday that this Sunday afternoon game was an unwinnable game for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins coming in from a 6 hour bus ride from Norfolk last night while the Bears rested comfortably in their beds having hosted Syracuse the night before.

Jonathan is always right. When will I learn?

The Penguins lose 2-0 to the Hershey Bears in a game which, if a power play goal here or there go in, then maybe the result is a little different. The Pens were 0-for-7 on the power play tonight, 0-for-15 for the weekend.

Whenever the Penguins are shutout, I really don’t know what to recap. Here goes…

— Eric Hartzell opposed Philipp Grubauer.

— Zach Sill missed the game due to an upper body injury. He took a Nolan Yonkman skate up high last night in Norfolk and needs further evaluation. EDIT: Jonathan tweeted that Sill is in Pittsburgh to be evaluated tomorrow and is expected to be out long term.

— Zack Torquato and Anton Zlobin were back in for the injured Sill and the scratched Carter Rowney.

— Bears Head Coach Mike Haviland was not behind the bench for Hershey due to a minor medical issue. Let this blog wish him the best for a speedy recovery and may he get well soon.

— Penguins can’t score on an extended 5-on-3 early in the first. First ten minutes was all Wilkes-Barre.

— Dustin Gazley finished off a back door pass to put the Bears up 1-0 on a power play in the first.

— The Tom, Nick and Harry line was quickly reunited by Head Coach John Hynes in the first period.

— Hershey capitalizes on a Wilkes-Barre center ice turnover early in the second and Jeff Taffe scores to put the Bears ahead 2-0.

— Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond fought Hershey captain Dane Byers after Byers popped Brendan Mikkelson with a shot to the head. Both received five minute fighting majors.

— Third Period was a slog. Shots at one point was 2-1 Pens near halfway of the period. Pens think they score on a power play goal to open but the puck hit the crossbar and stayed out.

— Three stars were 3) Jeff Taffe (goal, assist, +1) 2) Dustin Gazley (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Philipp Grubauer (27 save shutout)

Around the Division: Binghamton beats Albany in Albany 6-3. Bridgeport wins a nail biter against Syracuse in Connecticut 6-5. Norfolk was off.

Standings: Binghamton 57 — Penguins 54 — Norfolk 52 — Hershey 50 — Syracuse 40

Conference: 1) MCH (63) 2) SPR (62) 3) BNG (57) 4) WBS (54) 5) ALB (52) 6) NOR (52) 7) STJ (51) 8) HER (50)

Wheeling Update: Nailers win 3-1 at home vs. the Cincinnati Cyclones. Cody Sylvester had a goal and an assist and Peter Mannino stopped 22 of 23.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here. Nothing really to look at from a Wilkes-Barre perspective.

Pens return home for five straight opening this Wednesday vs. Syracuse.

I’ll have the Week 17 AHL Power Rankings here Monday, back at their regular time of 4 p.m. Wilkes-Barre time.

Let’s Go Pens!!!

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