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Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
46 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Before I get started, make sure you read about tonight’s 3-2 overtime win by the Penguins in the Sunday version of The Citizens’ Voice tomorrow at some point. I pinch hit for Jonathan Bombulie tonight and my words are in the paper.
Anyway, the Penguins probably don’t want the month of February to end. They go throughout the month without a single regulation loss, 7-0-1-1 to be exact and are on a tear.
There is a team about an hour south of Coal Street that is slightly hotter, and the best team in the AHL, but that’s for later.
An overtime game winning goal by Andrew Ebbett, a power play goal by Jayson Megna and Reid McNeill’s second goal of the season with 29 saves from Jeff Zatkoff was enough for the Penguins tonight.
The lineup was unchanged from last Sunday. Josh Archibald skated in warmups instead of Alex Boak. Bobby Farnham played after leaving last Sunday with injury. Jeff Zatkoff opposed Yann Danis.
First Period: Nothing happened. Hartford blocked shots. The Penguins did too. Goaltenders made saves.
Second Period: Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead with Reid McNeill’s second of the season setup by the nice forecheck of Dominik Uher. Penguins continued to make boneheaded exit passes that in the past have cost them but tonight they were lucky. Zatkoff stopped a three on one attempt by the Wolf Pack.
Megna took a penalty and seven seconds later Chris Mueller scored to tie the game at one. Mueller fumbled a pass from Chris Bourque, causing Jeff Zatkoff to overslide in the crease and giving Mueller enough room to score.
Wilkes-Barre responds with a power play goal from Megna with 8.6 seconds left off of a rebound that Danis left on an initial shot from Scott Harringtion.
Third Period: Looked as though the Penguins were going to cruise to a win, locking down the Wolf Pack. It didn’t happen. Mike Koska throws a shot on net that Mueller scores on to make it a 2-2 game. Zatkoff had been scattering rebounds all night and Mueller was in position to take advantage.
Penguins had two opportunities to score on the power play in the period but didn’t.
I don’t know if you listened to the Penguins Pit Podcast Friday afternoon or not, but I did. In it, Jonathan stated that the Penguins didn’t ask the AHL to review the hit that Dylan McIlrath laid on Bobby Farnham last Sunday. That didn’t stop McIlrath from having to answer to Pierre Leblond. The two threw down about halfway through the period for a long bout that lasted well over a minute.
Nothing of big significance happened after the fight, so with the game tied at two yet to be decided it was off to…
Overtime: Brian Dumoulin pinned his man against the near wall freeing a puck to Andrew Ebbett who was all alone and beat Danis stick side.
Of note, Ebbett’s goal in overtime was the 200th overtime goal scored in the AHL this season.
Three Stars: 3) Dylan McIrath (no idea, he had two shots, seven penalty minutes) 2) Andrew Ebbett (overtime game winning goal) and 1) Chris Mueller (two goals)
Around the Division: Hershey starts out listless and is in an 0-2 hole at home against Albany but then scored two goals in a franchise best five seconds and roll on to win 4-2. There is no two teams hotter than the Penguins and Bears right now. The only reason why it may appear to the common man that the Bears are the better team with the bigger lead is because of the games in hand situation. Hershey had three on the Penguins to open the month, and won two of them. The two teams meet in Wilkes-Barre a week from Wednesday…Binghamton lost to Lehigh Valley 3-2 in overtime and Norfolk lost 4-3 to Providence.
Standings: Hershey 75 — Penguins 68 — Lehigh Valley 57 — Binghamton 51 — Norfolk 50
Conference: 1) HER (75) 2) SYR (74) 3) MCH (73) 4) SPR (70) 5) WBS (68) 6) HFD (68) 7) WOR (66) 8) PRO (66)
The top eight are tight. St. John’s actually beat Worcester 2-0. The Sharks have games in hand that they have yet to play.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 4-3 to the Greenville Road Warriors (who happen to be the ECHL affiliate of the Hartford Wolf Pack) J-S Dea had a goal and an assist. Eric Hartzell started in net for the Nailers and stopped 23 of 27.
SendToNews Highlights: Are here.
Pens travel down the road a bit to Bridgeport for a 3 p.m. start against the Sound Tigers. Gameday setup for that will be up here on the blog at 11 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!
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