Chirps from Center Ice

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

Thriller at the Chocolate Factory — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)

WBS        @       HER

6                                         5

What a weekend for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins as compared to weekends past.

Two games with their biggest rivals looking to overtake them in a weekend with a lineup patched together by ECHL talent and some high profile trades against a Hershey Bears side firing with all cylinders driving towards a playoff spot gunning towards a twelfth Calder Cup Championship.

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins played the brick wall that the Hershey Bears crashed into this weekend.

A thrilling, come from behind victory by the Penguins overcoming a two goal deficit in the third period to win 6-5 in overtime. With the win, both teams are tied in games played, points and percentage points but due to the first tie breaker which is most regulation or overtime wins, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are again in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Gobs of video to look at in this game recap. Hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct.

Tristan Jarry vs. Justin Peters.

Lines were…

Kael Mouillierat – Dustin Jeffrey – Dominik Simon
Mattias Plachta – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – J-S Dea – Josh Archibald
Adam Krause – Jarrett Burton – Patrick McGrath

Tim Erixon – Steve Oleksy
Reid McNeill – Barry Goers
Ryan Parent – Will O’Neill

Tristan Jarry – Franky Palazzese

If you are thinking that was a cut and paste job by me from last night’s win, you are right. The Penguins didn’t make any lineup changes.

First Period: Kael Mouillierat scored a lacrosse style goal from behind the net of Peters that made it 1-0 Penguins just 1:51 in.

Thanks to the Giant Center video producers for slowing it down there for me.

Another look in real time. Two angles:

You probably saw that before from Kael Mouillierat nearly a year ago to the day:

Back to the game, the Penguins could have had a golden chance to race away from the Bears in the games first five minutes when the Bears were called for a penalty, but Wilkes-Barre slept walked through the entire man advantage and Madison Bowey scored seconds after the power play expired to tie the game at one…

Penguins took a penalty and Josh Archibald nearly scored shorthanded…

But he missed, the Bears went the other way and Sean Collins redirected a Christian Djoos shot from the point that put the Bears ahead 2-1…

So defense looked like it was going to be optional. A run and gun type game. Special teams was going to carry the day, it would seem.

The best part? They were just getting started.

Second Period: Here was the turning point of the game.

The Bears iced away a Penguin carryover power play then the Penguins took all six penalties in the period.

Wilkes-Barre managed to score two goals to the Bears one.

Through consecutive penalties including 1:01 of 5-on-3 for the Bears, the Pens killed it all off. Tristan Jarry singlehandedly did the yeoman work in front of a tired penalty killing unit that was dog tired.

At even strength, Dustin Jeffrey scored to tie the game at two.

Steve Oleksy took the initial shot that Adam Krause was in the area of jamming at the rebound left by Peters. Krause slid the puck to Jeffrey who slammed it home.

Intensity was ratcheting up, there was a big scrum behind Jarry’s net that resulted in two fights, Reid McNeill against Tyler Lewington and Josh Archibald against Sean Collins.

Archibald and Collins were assessed game misconducts and were done for the night.

Pens killed the initial penalty which was a McNeill board. But then needed to kill this vicious trip by Tom Sestito on a Bears player…

It didn’t take long for the Bears to score on what seemed like their 500th power play of the period.

Chris Bourque won the face-off and dished a cross ice pass to Travis Boyd who shot it and Jakub Vrana redirected it in to give the Bears a 3-2 lead.

Off of the ensuing faceoff, the Penguins took yet another penalty in the period as Will O’Neill was called for delay of game.

This was it, right? This was where the Bears scored another power play goal and would ice the game away and cruise to victory, right?


Adam Krause toasts Chris Bourque and roofs a shot over Justin Peters to tie the game at 3-3 on this beauty of a shorthanded goal…

(more like a two minute late look at the Krause shorty, but who is counting minutes? 🙂 )

No idea why the Giant Center only showed one replay of their boy getting worked by the 345th ECHL callup by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins there. 🙂 🙂

Third Period: You mean there is more?

A lot more.

The Bears scored two goals :20 apart. Ryan Stanton dart from an excellent feed by Chris Bourque…

Then ol’ buddy Zach Sill’s shot squeezed through Tristan Jarry that made it 5-3.

But the Penguins weren’t done. Not by a long shot.

A J-S Dea redirect on a nice feed by Tom Sestito made it 5-4 Bears…

There was 14:58 left in the game. Tons of time for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and time couldn’t move fast enough for the first place Hershey Bears.

The Penguins were coming in waves. Chip. Chip. Chip.

Then Steve Oleksy unloaded a bomb that hit the iron behind Peters that dropped harmlessly to the stick of Tom Kostopoulos that was skating by.

With the Penguins being down a forward with Archibald being dismissed in the second period, Adam Krause was seeing top line minutes with Dustin Jeffrey and Dominik Simon. Also, Ryan Parent went down the runway in some pain and was not seen but Donatelli told the WBS media after the game that Parent should be OK.

The teams headed to…

Overtime: J-S Dea put a shot off the post in the overtime. The Penguins controlled the overtime period with possession time. Then Chris Bourque was denied by the pad of Tristan Jarry in the overtime session which set up a rush the other way led by Carter Rowney. Rowney dished to Kostopoulos who then shot it, Peters made the save but the puck squirted right to Will O’Neill who put it home and won it for the Penguins.

Here is the entire sequence as described above in video…

The Penguins improve to 8-4 in overtime this season, 1-3 at Giant Center this season and the second Wilkes-Barre win in 14 tries at Hershey.

Three Stars: 3) Kael Mouillierat (goal, assist, +2) 2) Madison Bowey (goal, assist, +3) and 1) Will O’Neill (game winning overtime goal, +3)

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Albany 4-2. Hartford beat Springfield 3-0. Portland beat Lehigh Valley 4-2 and Providence won 4-1 at Rochester.

Standings: Penguins (.633 percentage points) — Hershey (.633) — Providence (.609) — Bridgeport (.600) — Portland (.563) — Hartford (.562) — Lehigh Valley (.469) — Springfield (.429)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Coal Street infographic:

And videos highlights from Hershey:

I have updated my big board chart. Check that out here. The Week 23 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4.

Let’s Go Pens!

One response to “Thriller at the Chocolate Factory — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)

  1. CyGuy March 20, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    It’s Apocalypse now, Playoffs now for WBS!