Chirps from Center Ice

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

Pens to the Brink — Pens LOSE 5-3

WBS        @       HER

3                                         5

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins need to win their next two games if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against either the Albany Devils or Toronto Marlies. The Penguins, in a valiant effort, come from behind a 0-3 hole to tie the game only to lose 5-3 tonight in Hershey in Game 5.

Something to ponder as Game 5 got going between these two teams.

I don’t think that this matters at all in Game 6. While I initially had it going six with the Penguins advancing, you could see early on in Game 2 that this series was going to go seven games. These two teams are so evenly matched. It spells out that the series by default is going to go seven.

But here is the thing. I say this goes to seven, but have no blessed idea who wins that seventh game. What if they just kept playing and playing and playing?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Tristan Jarry opposed Justin Peters.

Lines were…

Kael Mouillierat – Dustin Jeffrey – Daniel Sprong
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Mattias Plachta – J-S Dea – Dominik Simon
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Josh Archibald

Will O’Neill – Steve Oleksy
Ryan Parent – Barry Goers
Tim Erixon – Harrison Ruopp

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: Dominik Simon was back in the lineup since his injury in Game 1. Simon was in for Sahir Gill from last game. Also, Harrison Ruopp was in for Niclas Andersen.

First Period: :02 in, this happened:

Sestito was given an extra 10 minutes for continuing the altercation and O’Brien tried to confront Sestito in the penalty box after the fight. Glad that was put out of the way early so the teams could focus on hockey.

Pens got a quick power play, spent the entire time in the Bears end but was unable to score one on Peters. Great kill by the Bears.

Carter Camper followed his shot after Harrison Ruopp failed to clear a puck…

Camper has been killing the Penguins in the series. 3-1-4 in four straight games so far against the Penguins.

Season history on first goal scored…

Penguins continued to pour on the pressure. Shots were 8-1 Pens at one point. Wilkes-Barre continued to cycle and press with Mattias Plachta and Dustin Jeffrey getting good looks but they were unable to score.

Then the Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble. They killed a Daniel Sprong trip then got caught on :54 of 5-on-3 where the Bears scored again with :06 to double their lead…

Sill had about a foot of space skating the wrong direction to backhand a pass to Vrana for the goal. Nothing Jarry could do.

Second Period: Had a feeling at the start of the period that the Penguins needed to play a perfect period and not allow the Bears to get another goal. Period started and it looked like the Bears were content to sit on the two goal lead but after a while you started noticing that they were constantly in the Penguins end and looking for a third. Finally Steve Oleksy got beat on an icing call and Sean Collins made it 3-0…

That goal chased Tristan Jarry and in came Casey DeSmith. Hard to fault Jarry on any of the three goals. He can’t clear pucks out of his crease (the first one, where Ruopp should have) and take penalties (the 5-on-3 late in the first) and beat out icing calls. So you were looking at the goalie switch hoping that it would be a kick in the pants to the Penguins.

Turns out, it was.

The next shift, Jake Guentzel marched towards the net and Tom Kostopoulos cleaned up the mess to answer for the Penguins and made it 3-1.

Josh Archibald backhanded on a ridiculous goal. 3-2 game now.

Video headline was wrong and misspelled. Sorry.

Pens found themselves on a power play but could not score. Tom Sestito took an unnecessary late elbowing penalty that bled into the…

Third Period: Pens killed the Sestito penalty. Then the aforementioned Sestito scored to tie the game.

No, you read that right. Tom Sestito scored a goal. On a two on one.

Sestito was tossed for his antics in the celebration. Apparently a player that isn’t known for his goal scoring prowess can’t celebrate in the slightest in front of fans that are known for spelling out a profane word whenever something borderline such as a Tom Sestito goal scoring celebration that ties the game at three after his side was down 0-3. Not like Sestito would have factored in on anything else in the game.

Penguins found themselves on a power play and had all of the momentum on their side.

Zach Sill scored shorthanded on a 2-on-0 breakaway.

(sorry I didn’t get a video of this thinking that the AHL would)

Backbreaking goal to be allowed by the Penguins. The fourth shorthanded goal allowed by Wilkes-Barre this offseason and second shorty scored by the Bears in this series against Wilkes-Barre.

There was a little over fourteen minutes left. Loads of time for the Penguins. But Barry Goers took a penalty. Chris Bourque rang a post, and the Penguins killed it.

Dustin Jeffrey, who has been snake bitten in this series (just two assists) was robbed by Peters with the glove with under five minutes to play.

With DeSmith out for an extra attacker, not only did the Penguins not find an equalizer, Ryan Bourque hit an empty net.

Three Stars: 3) Josh Archibald (goal, assist, +1) 2) Carter Camper (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Zach Sill (game winning goal, two assists, even)

Wheeling Update: Riley Brace scored in the first overtime to give the Nailers the win in Game 7. Wheeling advanced to the Eastern Conference Final with a 4-3 win over Reading.

Highlights, which include the Sill shorthanded goal, here…

I will see if I can update my postseason charts some time Thursday. If there are any news or notes on the off day, I will drop a blog update then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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