Here’s why I think tonight’s game, a 6-4 Wilkes-Barre win over the St. John’s IceCaps, is a statement win for the Penguins.
– If you want to play a defensive battle like last night, a 2-1 win for the Pens, it doesn’t matter.
– If you want to play run and gun and just score ten goals combined like tonight, it doesn’t matter.
– If you want to score first, like the IceCaps did last night and again tonight, it doesn’t matter. The Penguins have allowed the first goal four times during the seven game winning streak.
Good teams win games that they are good at winning. Great teams adapt to whatever the opponent throws at them and still find ways to win.
Bolstered by a career high three assist night by Derrick Pouliot, a goal and two assists both by Scott Wilson and Conor Sheary, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins come from behind twice tonight and win their seventh straight game under Head Coach Clark Donatelli and remain undefeated in 2016.
Tristan Jarry vs. Zac Fucale
Lines were the same as they were Tuesday night but for one change besides Jarry in goal. Maria Marcantuoni was in for Ty Loney on the fourth line. In case you forgot…
Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Josh Archibald – Carter Rowney – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Sahir Gill – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – J-S Dea – Ty Loney
Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Reid McNeill – Niclas Andersen
Will O’Neill – Clark Seymour
Tristan Jarry – Matt Murray
First Period: Penguins didn’t get scored on :21 in tonight. But they got scored on. This first goal took just one minute, exactly.
Josiah Didier flubbed a shot from the blue line collected by Lucas Lessio which he backhanded at Jarry. Jarry made the save but the puck pinballed to Jacob de la Rose who dished to Max Friberg who scored to make it 1-0. It was the first even strength goal allowed by Tristan Jarry in 195:59.
Then, after the teams traded some penalties, Charles Hudon, who was in the penalty box for the IceCaps, walked out of the penalty box and dropped to Gabriel Dumont who passed to Mark MacMillan who put it off of Jarry and into the net to make it 2-0…
The Penguins would respond in kind with two goals in the span of :25. The first one by Dominik Uher after Sahir Gill won a hard board battle on the near wall…
Then Conor Sheary scored this goal…
It was the seventh straight game for Sheary in which he has recorded at least a point.
To this point, it was a tale of two halves of the period. The Penguins were trampled underfoot in the first ten minutes, then came alive with the quick strike offense in :25 then started taking control.
But then the Kael Mouillierat Penalty Machine™ fired up. He took a lazy slashing penalty. The Penguins bench wasn’t happy with the officiating crew of Garrett Rank and Mike Mullen. Tom Sestito expressed his displeasure and :25 into the St. John’s power play and was assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty and it was a 5-on-3 for the IceCaps.
Thankfully, just two seconds into the 5-on-3, John McCarron took a tripping penalty but it mattered little as Gabriel Dumont scored on the 4-on-3 power play with Tristan Jarry screened in front…
Mouillierat has been playing professional hockey for the better part of six years. He’s what you would consider a veteran, yet every single game it seems he takes a penalty. Out of the 31 games he has played this season for the Penguins, he has taken a penalty in 16 of those games. If he was a younger player, he would be scratched because of the penalties.
St. John’s would outshoot the Penguins 17-7 in the period.
Second Period: Both teams came out firing in the middle frame, chances were back and forth and quick. But then Steve Oleksy took a penalty and Bud Holloway wasted no time in extending the IceCaps lead by two once again…
But the Penguins struck quickly again as Oleksy would take a shot from the point that totally missed the net. But the carom was perfect to Matia Marcantuoni camping out on the far post to Fucale’s right and he stuffed the puck in to bring the Penguins to within one…
1:19 later and on a power play, Kael Mouillierat atoned for his penalty in the first with this goal…
Scott Wilson cycled around the net, centered quickly to Mouillierat unmarked low slot and it was a tie game once again heading into the…
Third Period: 1:20 into the third period, Scott Wilson dropped to one knee and proposed that the Penguins take the lead on this knee drop, one timer, power play goal…
Josh Archibald added another goal for the Penguins with this deflection from a Clark Seymour blast from the blue line…
This goal chased Fucale in favor of Eddie Pasquale and was the fifth time that the Penguins have scored six ore more goals this season.
Period seemed to crawl along as compared to the second period.
The Penguins took two consecutive penalties towards the end of the game. With Pasquale pulled for an extra attacker, the IceCaps were unable to convert thanks to Tristan Jarry. He had one save that stood out, this one on a shot by Bud Holloway…
Notes: The Penguins were outshot in the game 40-19 but end up sweeping the IceCaps in the four game season series this year and are 9-1 all time against the IceCaps at Mile One Centre in the regular season….The 36 saves made by Tristan Jarry were a career high for the Penguins rookie, who wins his 10th game….The Penguins power play is 5-for-12 in the last three games….The seven game winning streak the Penguins are on is the longest current streak in the American Hockey League….The Penguins have had one eleven game winning streak, two four game winning streaks and this current seven game winning streak.
Three Stars: 3) Morgan Ellis (goal, assist, even) 2) Derrick Pouliot (three assists, +1) 1) Conor Sheary (goal, two assists, -1)
Around the Division: For the second time in as many nights, they all watched us.
Standings: Penguins (.770 percentage points) — Portland (.603) — Hershey (.579) — Bridgeport (.539) — Providence (.514) — Lehigh Valley (.474) — Hartford (.459) — Springfield (.431)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
Here are the video highlights…
And the Coal Street post game infographic…
The Penguins will travel back to the States Thursday and practice Friday in Syracuse in advance of their only game of the weekend against the Crunch Saturday night. But for anything breaking, look for the next blog update to be the 3 p.m. Gameday setup for the game against the Crunch Saturday at 7.
Let’s Go Pens!