Chirps from Center Ice

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

Instant Classic — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)

WBS        @       HER

6                                         5

These teams don’t like each other. That good old fashioned hate can sometimes make for ugly hockey games. Tonight was the exception.

In the third period of a 2-2 hockey game, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears put on an offensive exhibition with each team taking a lead and the other team coming back to tie it. An instant, instant classic between these two sides and one that sees the Penguins win 6-5 in overtime, sweep the weekend, and win their fourth game in a row.

David Warsofsky was not named an All-Star when the teams were announced on Thursday. In the three games this weekend, Warsofsky has two goals and four assists. Warsofsky had a third period goal and the game winner in overtime to help the Penguins sweep the weekend.

Casey DeSmith vs. Vitek Vanecek

Lines were…

Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Jake Guentzel – J-S Dea – Danny Kristo
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Patrick McGrath

Derrick Pouliot – Tim Erixon
Stuart Percy – David Warsofsky
Cameron Gaunce – Barry Goers

Casey DeSmith – Doug Carr

Lineup Notes: Barry Goers was in for Ethan Prow who had a rough game last night against Binghamton…Patrick McGrath replaced Ryan Haggerty on the fourth line. Patrick’s first game in a while, he needs to play more in my opinion.

First Period: You are going to read this next sentence and realize that it doesn’t make any sense but that’s okay. The Penguins played like the better team in the first period but trailed 2-0 after it. But for losing Stan Galiev in front and Zach Sanford scoring on a low angle power play, Wilkes-Barre, I thought, played like the better team at even strength. I think that was evident late on in the period when the teams were 4-on-4 and the Penguins were dominating puck possession and offensive zone time. DeSmith wasn’t tested much but his counterpart Vanecek was and he shut the door on a lot of Penguins opportunities in the first period.

Second Period: Pens couldn’t do anything with a 4:00 double minor that saw Tom Sestito out there on the power play. Then they killed a penalty of their own. After that Tim Erixon with a bullet of a shot through bodies that made it 2-1 Hershey….

After that, Goers took a tripping penalty and like before, the Penguins scored after the successful kill. Tim Erixon again took the same shot from the same spot that Vanecek saved but Tom Kostopoulos was there to poke the rebound across.

I said that the Penguin splayed like the better team in the first but the scoreboard didn’t agree with me. They continued that play in the second period and were rewarded by the scoreboard.

Third Period: Hershey scores to edge ahead 3-2 when the Bears won a defensive zone face off, raced up the ice and scored. Nathan Walker with the nice dish to Stan Galiev to give the Bears the lead.

Derrick Pouliot with candidate for early goal of the year….

Allen Iverson-esque crossover by Pouliot there, crossing his man up and throwing in the puck via backhand to tie the game at 3 a piece.

Pens couldn’t stop taking penalties. Eventually, Hershey scored to edge back ahead 4-3 on a Christian Thomas goal that gave the Bears a 4-3 lead.

But the Penguins respond again on a power play of their own when David Warsofsky scored his first of the night with this blast from the point that made it 4-4….

Back and forth, the struggle consumes us all.

Wilkes-Barre found itself on a late power play with 3:04 left to play in the game. Derrick Pouliot looks off his man in the corner, dishes to Garrett Wilson alone in front, Wilson wastes no time in giving the Penguins their first lead of the game….

But the Bears would have last regulation time laugh when a pin balling pick found its way in with 8 seconds left to play with Vanecek pulled for an extra attacker. Zach Sanford scored the goal to ensure that Hershey would at least take a point heading into….

Overtime: It’s so hard to get two points clean out of Hershey, the Bears always find ways to take points out of home ice at Giant Center.

Casey DeSmith with a ten bell stop on this Aaron Ness attempt in the overtime period….

David Warsofsky ended it with this goal that concluded this instant classic of a hockey game….

Three Stars: 3) Stan Galiev (two goals, +2) 2) Zach Sanford (two goals, even) and 1) David Warsofsky (two goals, even)

Big time game by Derrick Pouliot, possibly his best in a Penguins sweater this season. Pouliot had a goal and two assists.

Around the Division: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms stay in lockstep behind the Penguins for second and aren’t giving the Pens any ground to start expanding a lead with a 4-1 win over the Utica Comets at home this afternoon…Providence shuts out Hartford 3-0 with a 21 save shutout by Anton Khudobin. Everyone else was off.

Standings: Penguins (.757 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.706) — Providence (.681) — Hershey (.643) — Bridgeport (.561) — Springfield (.515) — Hartford (.389)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers fell in overtime to the Cincinnati Cyclones 3-2. Garrett Meurs and Gage Quinney scored in regulation, Sean Maguire stopped 16 of 19 to take the loss. More this week in the Wheeling Wrap.

Video highlights…

The Week 13 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4.

The Wheeling Wrap goes up Tuesday at noon.

Pens are back on the ice Wednesday in Toronto. Gameday setup hits the blog at 3 Wednesday with the recap afterwards.

So a lot to read about this week.

Let’s Go Pens!

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