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Countdown to Opening Night
Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
13 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
The newspaper guys would love this one.
The Penguins, seemingly on their way to a five point weekend and a five point East Division lead over the rival Hershey Bears, are 2.7 seconds away from doing just that when Chris Brown walks into the Hershey offensive zone with time dripping off the clock, winds and fires and the puck somehow eludes starting goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. The Bears stun the Penguins and force overtime.
Enter Adam Payerl. A player who hasn’t scored a goal all season long and when the organization is healthy, has found himself a scratch more times than not. An overtime three on one leads to a four on one. A Conor Sheary shot off of Hershey starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer is saved, but Sheary follows his own rebound, dishes to Payerl who buries the shot past Grubauer sending the Penguins home with the win and Payerl and to a lesser degree Zatkoff, vindicated.
Someone with a journalism degree could write it a little differently than that, but the overall picture is painted and any reader to this blog should get the point.
A 3-2 overtime thriller win for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and a four point cushion over the Bears to second with a ragtag scratch lineup bereft of stars. Five points out of the weekend. How John Hynes and Alain Nasreddine have managed this with the lineup pillaged from injuries to Pittsburgh stifles me.
Scott Harrington was recalled to Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. today. The Penguins didn’t have a single healthy scratch this afternoon. Here’s what the lineup looked like:
Tom Kostopoulos – Carter Rowney -Adam Payerl
Conor Sheary – J-S Dea – Jayson Megna
Tom Kuhnhackl – Sahir Gill – Josh Archibald
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Dom Uher
Reid McNeill – Taylor Chorney
Derrick Pouliot – Goers
Nick D’Agostino – Alex Boak
Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray
First Period: The goaltenders posts were the story of the period. Conor Sheary creates a turnover and rings one off the post. A while later, the Bears ding the post off a wacky shot from the blue line that rainbowed and clipped the top of Zatkoff’s net. Shots were 6-5 Penguins at the end of the first of a pretty even period.
Second Period: Bears get their first power play but don’t score but immediately thereafter went on another power play. You can’t do that if you are the Penguins. It cost them. Connor Carrick unloaded from the blue line and it went in.
The Penguins had a chance to tie it with a long period of 5-on-3 (1:53) but the Bears top penalty killing unit killed it all off.
Then, in a span of :38, the Penguins had the lead.
– J-S Dea cleaned up a rebound on a power play.
– Dominik Uher followed in similar fashion for the 2-1 lead.
Play opened up after that, but it went 2-1 into the….
Third Period: Penguins played that boring, don’t give up the lead, don’t make dumb mistakes style of hockey. The Bears hemmed Wilkes-Barre in a few sequences, but the time continued to drip down. With less than a minute and with Grubauer vacated, the Pens had a few shots at the empty net but didn’t capitalize. Brown came racing up the right wing and fired a shot that plum beat Zatkoff via the glove.
Overtime: A couple of chances both ways, but the Bears turn the puck over in their zone, Sheary and Payerl lead a two on one that developed into a three on one. Payerl overshot his pass to Sheary. Sheary needed to collect it, put a shot on net that Grubauer made a great save on that rebounded back to Sheary who passed to Payerl who ended it with a nice wrist shot on net.
Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, even) 2) Dominik Uher (goal, +1) and 1) Adam Payerl (overtime game winning goal, assist, +1)
Around the Division: Albany finally wins a game in overtime, with a 4-3 win in Atlantic City against Lehigh Valley.
Standings: Penguins 35 — Hershey 31 — Binghamton 27 — Lehigh Valley 26 — Norfolk 22
Conference: 1) SPR (37) 2) MCH (36) 3) WBS (35) 4) SYR (35) 5) HFD (33) 6) HER (31) 7) PRO (30) 8) 8) ALB (29)
Wheeling Update: Nailers finally get a win against the Reading Royals by a score of 3-2. Eric Hartzell took home third star honors with 36 saves.
SendToNews Highlights: YouTube instead, cause it plays nice with WordPress…
Week 10 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog at 4 p.m. Monday. Check them out then. I’ll have whatever news or notes I can scrape throughout the week.
Let’s Go Pens!
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