Chirps from Center Ice

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

Southern Tier Letdown — Pens LOSE 3-1

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It has been 40 days since the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins lost a hockey game. It was bound to happen sometime. It happened tonight as the Penguins lost an extremely frustrating game to the Binghamton Senators by the score of 3-1.

There were sticks in every passing lane for the Penguins tonight and despite the very liberal shot totals that Binghamton is known for up here, the Penguins couldn’t manufacture anything that resembled a good look all night. The AHL’s best power play was 0-for-6.

I called this a trap game in my gameday setup. I was right.

Matt Murray opposed Chris Dreidger, who was outstanding in net for the home team.

Lines were:

Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Kevin Porter – Carter Rowney – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Josh Archibald – J-S Dea – Tyler Biggs

Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill
Reid McNeill – Niclas Andersen

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry

Tom Sestito skated the warmups but was the scratch.

First Period: Murray got beat on the first shot he faces which came on the power play. It was scored by Mike Kostka from the point that tipped on its way towards and tripped up Murray. Just a frustrating period all around for the Penguins who got all the offensive zone time that they could have desired plus four chances on a power play but for every opportunity Binghamton had a stick in a lane or a body blocking a shot or a pass.

The B-Sens doubled their lead at 18:19 when Cole Schneider’s shot was tipped in by someone in front of Murray. The Pens trailed 2-0 heading into the…

Second Period: Penguins would get one back when Tim Erixon pinched deep and backhanded a pass to Dominik Simon who corralled the puck, settled it and waited out Driedger and put it upstairs to cut the Penguins lead to one. Prior to that, Binghamton bottled up the Penguins and kept with the sticks in lanes and bodies in front. One close call for Wilkes-Barre was when the B-Sens found themselves on a quick three on one that ended up with Ryan Dzingel air mailing a shot over a sprawling Murray which would have made it 3-0.

Third Period: Penguins did not do themselves any favors taking three penalties to start. They held the leagues worst power play with out a goal and began to chase the game. To Binghamton’s credit, they kept putting sticks and bodies in passing lanes and only allowed the Penguins 7 shots on goal.

Then Wilkes-Barre found itself on a 1:01 of 5-on-3 power play time. Head Coach Mike Sullivan used his time out to draw something up but the Senators managed to kill it all off, not before J-S Dea hit the post. Matt Murray did a fine job in the third in keeping it a two goal game but was pulled for the extra attacker. It wasn’t long until David Dziurzynski hit the empty net to seal it.

Three Stars: 3) Mike Kostka (goal, assist, +1) 2) Cole Schneider (goal, assist, +2) 1) Chris Driedger (40 saves on 41 shots)

Here’s the Coal Street info graphic:


Around the Division: Tomorrow’s opponent Albany shutout Springfield 4-0….Hershey gets a goal with 14 seconds left to beat Portland 3-2….Hartford beats Utica 3-2…Lehigh Valley beats Providence 4-1 and Rochester beats Bridgeport 1-0 in overtime.

Standings: Penguins (.857 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.735) — Hershey (.594) — Springfield (.536) — Portland (.500) — Hartford (.471) — Lehigh Valley (.469) — Providence (.333)

Wheeling Update: Wheeling wins 5-3 in Foorida over the Everblades. Newly assigned Evan Wardley scored on his first shot this season. Brian Foster picked up the win.

Here’s some video highlights…


Pens travel to Albany to face an even tougher Devils team. With gamete at 5 pm Saturday afternoon, the Gaameday setup for that hits the blog Saturday at 1.

Can’t win em all.

Let’s Go Pens!!

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