When IceCaps goaltender Michael Hutchinson goes to bed tonight a happy man, he will have those pining noises in his head.
Why? The Penguins lost this Game 2 tonight by a score of 2-1, but Wilkes-Barre must have hit about five posts in this game.
— Brendan Mikkelson on a 4×3 power play for Wilkes-Barre in the first.
— Spencer Machacek off a post bulling in after St. John’s made it 2-0 in the second period.
— Zolnierczyk feeds Megna cross ice and Megna hits the iron in the second.
— Brendan Mikkelson, again on the power play and again, off the post in the third.
— Penguins in a late flurry in front of Hutchinson, off the iron.
Puck luck. Sometimes you need it when you are vying for a title. The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are competing strongly for a Calder Cup but didn’t have any puck luck this night.
Another thing, St. John’s never loses two games at home on back to back nights. It rarely happens. You wanted a split walking out of Mohegan Sun Arena after a nail biting Game 7 win vs. the Providence Bruins and got it. I don’t think anyone could be unhappy with the result this weekend.
Peter Mannino vs Michael Hutchinson.
Lineup Notes: Chuck Kobasew was out with a lower body injury. Josh Archibald took his spot in the line up. No other lineup changes for the Penguins. For St. John’s, 27 goal scorer Jerome Samson was out of the lineup for St. John’s. Kris Fredheim was out also for the IceCaps. Josh Lunden and Jordan Hill were in for each, respectively.
Kobasew’s status is officially, “day to day, lower body injury, status to be determined.”
First Period: Brendan Mikkelson was tripped at the blue line and Kyle MacKinnon got a step and scored to put the IceCaps up 1-0.
Second Period: Penguins tried to score in a pile of bodies but Hutchinson, stickless, was able to keep the puck out of his net. Simon Despres made a sprawling save to keep the score at just 1-0 for the IceCaps.
But then the Pens fail on a clear and a long shot from the blue line by D Carl Klingberg handcuffs Mannino and it was 2-0 IceCaps.
Teams would trade consecutive breakaway chances but both goaltenders would make fine saves.
Third Period: Penguins get two power plays this period. You almost know that if the Penguins score on the power play that they will be successful and likely win the game. That didn’t happen tonight.
Anton Zlobin would score with 1:04 left to cut the deficit to one and things got interesting.
6-on-4 with Mannino out and the Pens on a power play, Brian Gibbons has a puck passed to him in the slot but never gets a good shot off, and the IceCaps take the game and even the series.
Three Stars: 3) Kyle MacKinnon (goal, +1) 2) Carl Klingberg (goal, +1) and 1) Michael Hutchinson (34 saves on 35 shots)
Game 2 goes Wednesday from Wilkes-Barre.
Reid McNeill, Andrew Ebbett and Nick Drazenovic did not make the trip, but the sense that I am picking up is that one of, if not all of, will be ready to go for Game 3. I will keep an eye out for any information out of St. John’s regarding Jerome Samson, as well as hope for the best regarding Chuck Kobasew. Josh Archibald didn’t look out of place for the Pens tonight, generating chances.
St. John’s YouTube highlights….
I’ll refresh the charts that I have been playing with this week and will maybe make a blog post out of one of them. Stay tuned.
Let’s Go Pens!