This game, a 5-4 overtime win for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins had a bit of everything that the last two games had.
Friday against Hershey, the Penguins were getting good looks but couldn’t get anything past Philipp Grubauer. That was the first period of tonights game in a nutshell. Wilkes-Barre outshot Syracuse 13-4, but Andrei Vasilevskiy held firm and denied all shots coming his way.
In the second period, more of what the first period of Saturday nights game in Binghamton. A crisp, back and forth affair that saw four goals scored, two for both teams.
In the third, the Penguins jumped out to a two goal lead, similar to last nights game against Binghamton, only to see the lead dwindle then disappear when Syracuse fought back hard and tied the game. Binghamton never got to that point last night, but you get the idea.
Beau Bennett, on re-assignment from Pittsburgh, had 4 assists and was on the ice for all five goals scored. Jayson Megna had two goals. Taylor Chorney scored. I think we may have some strong representation for the AHL Player of the Week Award, usually announced by the League Monday at 2 p.m.
All in all, a perfect weekend for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. One that sees them ascend to the top of the division and tied for the conference lead coming into the middle of November.
Oh, Jean-Sebastien Dea scored the overtime game winner, his second in under two weeks (October 29 at Lehigh Valley) when Brian Dumoulin went to center the puck from out of the corner when it hit a Crunch players skate right to Dea who went bar down and in.
Scott Harrington, demoted from Pittsburgh today, was on the ice for Wilkes-Barre. He was in for Alex Boak. Bennett slotted in back on the top line and replaced Dominik Uher in the lineup.
Eric Hartzell started the third game in three days for the Penguins and stopped 24 of 28. I am not going to say that he is starting goaltender worthy quite yet, but he hasn’t lost yet and is doing what the backup is supposed to do.
The Penguins were 2 for 9 on the power play tonight. Derrick Pouliot scored from the blue line at the beginning of the third period and Taylor Chorney tallied his goal late in the second.
Syracuse scored their goals the following way: 1) Dalton Smith on a shot that deflected in when the Penguins were caught out on the ice for too long. Need to be better. 2) Tanner Richard on a cross ice / crease pass into his skates, he corrals it and fires it home top shelf falling down. More skill by him than anything on Hartzell. 3) Richard scores his second when Hartzell doesn’t completely seal off his post and the puck bounces off of him and trickles over the line and in. Bad goal to give up given the momentum Syracuse was building. 4) Dalton Smith again when Nikita Nesterov shoots from the blue line and Smith gets a piece of it on the deflection. This came on the power play. The discipline was nil to non-existent.
Three stars were Dea on the game winner in overtime, Megna with two goals and Bennett with four assists.
Around the Division: Hershey loses to Hartford 3-2. Norfolk, Binghamton and Lehigh Valley were all off.
Standings: Penguins 17 — Hershey 15 — Lehigh Valley 11 — Norfolk 10 — Binghamton 10
Conference: 1) HFD (17) 2) WBS (17) 3) WOR (15) 4) BRI (17) 5) ALB (15) 6) PRO (15) 7) HER (15) 8) POR (14)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers won at home against the Indy Fuel 4-3. Zack Torquato had two goals, Matia Marcantuoni had two assists. I think I sense a trend.
SendToNews Highlights: Howza bout some YouTube Highlights instead?
Power Rankings tomorrow at 4. If there is word on a Wilkes-Barre player getting player of the week, it will go up here before. Again, the League usually puts this out on Monday, but because there are two Monday games, they may wait till Tuesday. I’ll standby so you don’t have to.
Let’s Go Pens!