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Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
74 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Facing a Bridgeport Sound Tigers team that came into the weekend with the AHL’s best power play, the Pens were awfully lucky they didn’t blow the game in the first 10 minutes.
That was when referee Darcy Burchell whistled three consecutive penalties against the Penguins. But the Penguins managed to bend but not break and hold the League’s top power play units at bay and weather the storm and skate away with the 4-1 win.
Bryan Rust had two goals. Derrick Pouliot had a highlight reel goal that you need to see to believe. Tom Kostopoulos scored the other one. The Penguins, actually, were the ones that had success on the man advantage, scoring twice. Jeff Zatkoff made 26 saves.
News of the day, announced at around 9 a.m. today was that Coal Street locked up Head Coach John Hynes and Alain Nasreddine to multi-year extensions. This should be the least shocking news that you should read this month. Hynes on Sunday, eclipsed the 200 wins mark and Nasreddine’s defense has consistently been tops in the AHL since he has been running the blueliners.
The aforementioned Jeff Zatkoff vs. Kevin Poulin.
Taylor Chorney returned from injury. With that reinforcement in the lineup, here’s what it looked like, line by line…
Tom Kostopoulos – Carter Rowney – Adam Payerl
Dom Uher – JS Dea – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – Conor Sheary – Josh Archibald
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham
Scott Harrington – Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill – Derrick Pouliot
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers
Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray.
Alex Boak skated the warmup as the extra.
First Period: The Penguins got an early power play that Bridgeport disposed of then the Penguins took essentially three straight. Bridgeport took another, as time expired on the Penguin power play, Barry Goers tossed a shot on net that Tom Kostopoulos tipped in for a 1-0 Penguin lead.
Second Period: Jeff Zatkoff was pushed into and was knocked down and never recovered enough to get back to his feet and square, about five seconds later ex-Penguin Colin McDonald throws a shot on net that deflects off of Kael Mouillerat and in. Burchell initially looked as if he was going to blow it down on account of the initial interference on Zatkoff but awarded the goal. Right call in my mind, the interference happened, five seconds ticked by and the shot went in without interference.
The Penguins were unflappable though, and soon Brett Gallant was boxed for interference. It was a golden opportunity for the Penguins to retake the lead on the power play. They did just that. A Conor Sheary shot from the wing rebounded straight to Bryan Rust for the rebound goal.
The Penguins never looked back. Hold onto your stomachs, you are about to see a disgusting goal…
In hindsight, that goal let a lot of air out of the Sound Tigers. Because I don’t think they ever recovered enough to make any kind of pushback in the third period. Speaking of…
Third Period: Rust with his second of the night from the high slot. He took a pass from Domimik Uher on the far wall, waited in the slot for his chance, loaded up and fired for the 4-1 lead. That was the highlight of an overall blah period. The Penguins were not going to do anything to lose the lead and Bridgeport couldn’t amount anything that resembled a comeback.
Three Stars: 3) Jeff Zatkoff (26 saves on 27 shots) 2) Derrick Pouliot (goal, assist, -1) and 1) Brayn Rust (two goals, +1)
Around the Division: Hershey lost in Syracuse 4-1. A tight game that was 1-1 late in the third and the Crunch got two bang-bang goals and an empty netter to take the win….Binghamton beats Lehigh Valley 3-1 and Norfolk, dressing a lineup with a bunch of NHLers on conditioning assignments, still can’t beat Springfield and lose 3-1.
Standings: Penguins 32 — Hershey 28 — Binghamton 27 — Lehigh Valley — 23 — Norfolk 20
Conference: 1) SPR (37) 2) MCH (34) 3) WBS (32) 4) SYR (33) 5) HFD (31) 6) POR (28) 7) HER (28) 8) BNG (27)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were down 5-1 to Reading at one point and mount a comeback that comes one goal short and lose 5-4. Zack Torquato had a goal. Clark Seymour had an assist. Here is a story that ran in the papers out there on local product Patrick McGrath earlier this week.
SendToNews Highlights: Better yet, how about a YouTube package?
Penguins take to the road to Allentown for a 7:00 game against the Phantoms. Gameday for that will be up at 3:00.
Let’s Go Pens!