Let me let you in on a secret.
I detest thunderstorms.
We live in an area in the Northeast that is insulated from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. A thunderstorm is usually something that occurs in the summertime that blows through and leaves damage if you get hit in the, “sweet spot” of the storm. I’ve had several storms rip through where I live that have taken a pool, a shed, and a couple of trees. Also left me without electricity for a couple of days, so yeah, I don’t like thunderstorms.
I’m also not liking the Springfield Thunderbirds.
After shutting out the Penguins a few weeks ago and handing Wilkes-Barre their only loss in this early 2016-17 campaign, the Springfield Thunderbirds do it again, this time in overtime and take this game 2-1 in overtime.
No goalies were named to the three stars tonight but they should have been. Mike McKenna for Springfield was outstanding for the Thunderbirds in the second period, stopping all 16 shots sent his way while Tristan Jarry kept the Penguins in the game in the third period, stopping 10 of 11.
Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – Reid Gardiner
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Sahir Gill – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
Tim Erixon – Steve Oleksy
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow
Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith
Lineup Notes: Whatever it was that was bothering Kevin Porter enough to take him out of the game Wednesday against Albany was healed as Porter was back in the lineup for the Penguins. Healthy scratches were Patrick McGrath, Jarrett Burton, Adam Krause and Barry Goers. Stuart Percy is still injured, however Mike O’Brien stated on radio that Percy was skating and is close to being moved off of, “week-to-week” and on to, “day-to-day.”
First Period: Really quick, back and forth period between these two teams with few whistles. The Penguins had a power play about half way through but were not able to score on it then late in the period, Ryan Haggerty drove the net, wheeled a pass around to Reid McNeill at the point, McNeill shot the puck and J-S Dea tipped it past McKenna for a 1-0 Penguins lead:
Shots were an even 8-8 heading into the…
Second Period: Wilkes-Barre would dominate this period, but Mike McKenna has been around for years and knows how to tend goal at this level. McKenna stopped all 16 shots sent his way in the period. Springfield only managed four at Jarry. The game opened up in spurts for the Penguins, but McKenna denied them all. Pens killed a late Steve Oleksy interference penalty easily.
There was a bit of collateral damage in the period as Ryan Haggerty took a knock and left the ice with Penguins trainer Kyle Moore and was not seen the remainder of the period.
Third Period: Haggerty would not return in for the Penguins to start the third. No WBS media was on site in Springfield tonight so we won’t know what the deal is with Haggerty until at least Sunday.
Anyway, the Thunderbirds mounted their comeback in this period.
Springfield lost last night at home to Bridgeport by a score of 5-1. That one goal they scored last night? Scored on the power play, in the third period.
It’s ex-Penguin Paul Thompson that did the honors against his former team:
Springfield would outshoot the Penguins 11-4 in the third period.
Overtime: Carter Rowney had a chance to end the game on a happy note for the Penguins but whiffed on the shot. Later, Springfield won it off of this sequence:
That’s Kevin Porter with the shot on the two on one with Simon. The shot goes wide and rums all the way out to Chase Balisy trailing, Balisy skates in on Jarry who tries a poke check to no avail and Springfield wins it in overtime.
Three Stars: 3) J-S Dea (goal, +1) 2) Paul Thompson (goal, -1) and 1) Chase Balisy (goal, assists, +1)
Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Lehigh Valley at home 5-4. Utica beat Hartford about 45 minutes north of there by a score of 4-3. Tomorrows opponent Syracuse beats Providence in Central New York 4-3 and Hershey hangs seven on Binghamton and beats the B-Sens by a score of 7-2.
Standings: Penguins 9, Bridgeport and Springfield 8, Lehigh Valley 5, Hershey, Hartford and Providence 6. Again, standings are weighted by percentage points. Eventually, I will get around to making that format change here.
Wheeling Update: Nailers destroy the Kalamazoo Wings by a score of 8-1. Josh Shalla had a hat trick to go along with two assists. Captain Derek Army had two goals and two assists. Doug Carr stopped 22 of 23 shots. Much more on this game in Tuesday’s Wheeling Wrap.
Pens are home for a 3 p.m. start agains Syracuse, who comes in looking to avenge last weeks loss and also on a two game win streak. Gameday setup for this will hit the blog at 11 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!