Chirps from Center Ice

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

Leader of the ‘Pack — Pens WIN 4-1

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A two goal game by Andrew Ebbett, where he notched his 100th and 101st AHL goals, and 22 saves on 23 shots and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon by a 4-1 score.

But the thing that may be remembered most will be a vicious, unpenalized hit that Dylan McIlrath laid on Bobby Farnham in the second period of this afternoons game. Farnham left the game with an apparent injury and did not return.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Yann Danis

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Jayson Megna – Bobby Farnham
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Adam Payerl

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Alex Boak took warmups but was scratched. Bryan Rust was out with what was termed a, “lower body injury.” Tom Kostopoulos took Rust’s spot on the top line. Adam Payerl drew in for Rust on the fourth line.

First Period: Hartford opens up with early pressure, but Scott Wilson gets a step on the Hartford defense and passes to Andrew Ebbett who scores his 100th AHL goal. Tom Kostopoulos picked up the secondary assist, good for his 400th AHL point…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/569590885735931904]

Teams trade power plays with no one taking advantage. Late, Justin Vaive takes a long shot from the blue line that is deflected by Nick Tarnasky and just past Jeff Zatkoff to tie the game at a goal a piece.

Second Period: Nothing much happened in the opening minutes, then business picked up.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond with his first of the season off of this nice pass from Matia Marcantuoni to put the Pens ahead 2-1…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/569603693487792128]

Then all hell broke loose.

Bobby Farnham got absolutely smashed on this hit by Dylan McIlrath…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/569604783998431232]

Scott Wilson made the pass that looked behind Farnham that caught Bobby with his head down. No penalty was called on McIlrath on the hit.

Off of the ensuing face-off, Pierre Leblond wanted to fight McIlrath for the hit but McIlrath didn’t engage. Leblond was assessed a misconduct penalty. Out of the fracas, the Wolf Pack were given a power play. The Pens killed it though. Then Wilkes-Barre went on a power play of their own, got close, but weren’t able to get anything past Danis.

Third Period: :10 in, Andrew Ebbett made sure that there wasn’t going to be any comeback in the minds of the Wolf Pack…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/569615226330595328]

Teams swapped power plays, neither capitalized.

Mat Bodie slashed a Penguin and Wilkes-Barre was headed to the power play. They had yet to score a power play goal in the game until…

[tweet https://twitter.com/nafsnep/status/569621369375330305]

Carter Rowney scores off of a nice pass from Tom Kuhnhackl.

Penguins did the same thing they did last night to the Providence Bruins. They kept the Hartford wingers in check. Zatkoff made the saves necessary and the Penguins got two goals in the third period to skate away.

That’s points in 12 of the last 13 games for the Penguins. 10-1-1-1 in the last 13.

Three Stars: 3) Nick Tarnasky (goal, even) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (two assists, +2) 1) Andrew Ebbett (two goals, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey beats Providence 5-4 in overtime. The P-Bruins rallied from down two goals to force overtime. Norfolk beat Bridgeport 3-2. Binghamton and Lehigh Valley were off.

Standings: Hershey 71 — Penguins 66 — Lehigh Valley 55 — Binghamton 50 — Norfolk 50

Conference: 1) SYR (72) 2) MCH (71) 3) HER (71) 4) HFD (67) 5) WBS (66) 6) SPR (66) 7) WOR (64) 8) PRO (62)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers won 4-1 in Kalamazoo against the Wings. Josh Archibald had a hat trick and an assist and was named first star of the game.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Week 20 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. Pens are off until next Saturday when they are again in Hartford. If there is any fallout from the AHL on the McIrath hit, I’ll have a blog piece about it. I’ll try to have content in the week ahead. Check out the chart stat board here, just updated.

Let’s Go Pens!

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