This was a dominating win by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
To date, the Penguins are 7-2 against the Bears and 4-0 this month. A 5-1 win tonight keeps that rolling in the right direction.
Systems wise, the Bears are a mess. They are missing their best defenseman Madison Bowey because of injury and have no depth at the position. They have two goaltenders in Joe Cannata and Vitek Vanecek who would be better served in backup roles right now than trying to be the number one dog.
None of this matters to the Penguins who, despite personnel losses at forward and defense, keep racking up wins. They are the first AHL team to 10, 20 and now 30 wins this season.
Casey DeSmith opposed Vitek Vanecek
Garrett Wilson – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – J-S Dea – Josh Archibald
Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Danny Kristo
Ryan Haggerty – Teddy Blueger – Patrick McGrath
Derrick Pouliot – Barry Goers
Stuart Percy – David Warsofsky
Brett Stern – Ethan Prow
Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry
Lineup Notes: Oskar Sundqvist is day to day with an upper body injury as told to the WBS media by Head Coach Clark Donatelli after the game tonight…Sahir Gill is the only healthy scratch the Penguins have right now as Lukas Bengtsson is still out with Lyme Disease, Thomas DiPauli is still recovering from back surgery and Tim Erixon with his
concussion upper body injury and now Sundqvist. The Penguins sent Michael Webster to Wheeling today. He actually really went to Reading because that’s where the Nailers were tonight.
Before we get ripping on the post game recap, many thanks to the fellows at Chocolate Hockey for the GIFs tonight.
First Period: Carter Rowney cashes on a power play goal late in the period on a Tom Sestito shot from the near dot that gave the Penguins the lead in the first. It was the first time in seven games that the Penguins would score first…
All time classic sign right there.
Shots were 7-7 heading into the…
Second Period: Two goals by the Penguins 90 seconds apart by J-S Dea chipping a puck in and Ryan Haggerty scoring his first of two tonight on a nice feed by Teddy Blueger gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead quicker than the Bears knew what hit them…
Hershey called time out after the Haggerty goal but it didn’t matter, the Bears take two penalties sandwiched between a Garrett Wilson pummeling of Liam O’Brien. When are teams in the league going to learn not to throw with Wilson? He tagged the well traveled pugilist in O’Brien several times and won the fight easily. Big marks to O’Brien for not crumbling as some of the shots by Wilson were heavy and on target.
Ryan Haggerty scored his second to make it 4-0 Penguins. This goal ended Vanecek’s night. Enter Joe Cannata.
Bears took another penalty. They were down to start the period, needed to make a push on the road in front of a packed house, and only fired a meek 5 shots at DeSmith in the period and only had two through the first 12:28 of the period. It was all one way traffic by the Penguins.
Third Period: Zach Sanford pounded in a rebound that broke up DeSmith’s shutout and put the Bears on the board…
Before you started to think of a Bears comeback, Tom Kostopoulos scores this goal, mid-air and parallel to the ice, puts home a rebound to re-establish the Penguins four goal lead…
Pens nearly make it 6-1 when Cannata stopped a Kevin Porter and Danny Kristo rush…
Josh Archibald takes three penalties in the game but the Penguins go 4/4 on the penalty kill and hang on to win 5-1.
Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, even) 2) J-S Dea (goal, assist, +2) and 1) Ryan Haggerty (two goals, +2)
Around the Division: Can we please pump the brakes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms being a Calder Cup threat? The Providence Bruins, probably the best team in the Atlantic Division, throttle the Phantoms in Allentown by a score of 9-1. No, really, nine to one. The Phantoms have a full compliment of players and aren’t missing anyone due to injury / recall. Calder Cup contending teams don’t get obliterated like this. I am not saying by any means that this final score by default makes the Penguins a favorite by the way.
Other finals in the Atlantic: Bridgeport beats Toronto 4-3 at home…Rochester beats Hartford 3-1…Binghamton takes down Springfield 3-2 in overtime.
Standings: Penguins (.750 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.692) — Providence (.671) — Hershey (.588) — Bridgeport (.579) — Springfield (.487) — Hartford (.390)
Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Reading 2-1 in Reading tonight. Cody Wydo had a pair of goals. Doug Carr had 34 saves on 35 stops.
The Week 15 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4, the Wheeling Wrap goes up Tuesday at noon. Lehigh Valley and Hershey play Sunday afternoon in Hershey. You want a Bears win if you are a Penguins fan. I may watch that game on AHL Live Sunday.