Chirps from Center Ice

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

One Special Porter — Pens WIN 4-3 (OT)

HER        vs.        WBS

3                                         4

When was the last time the Hershey Bears lost a game that they scored three power plays in? Seems that whenever the Bears teams of old scored multiple power plays in a game they would dominate and blow out the opponent?

Both Hershey and Wilkes-Barre score three times on the power play in regulation to force overtime and it’s Kevin Porter’s game winner that sees the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Hershey Bears 4-3 in overtime.

An alternative lede here could have been Kevin Porter’s four point night, his first since 2009. Porter had the game winner and three assists to be named first start of the game tonight. With Josh Archibald recalled to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the day in the wale of the Bryan Rust injury last night in Colorado and Evgeni Malkin’s uncertainty for tomorrow in Arizona, Pittsburgh sniped another forward from Wilkes-Barre. No worries though with Porter’s big game tonight as well as Danny Kristo, who almost has gone unnoticed with 3-2-5 over is last five games.

Tristan Jarry opposed Vitek Vanecek.

Lines were…

Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Danny Kristo
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Ryan Haggerty – Sahir Gill – Patrick McGrath

Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Stuart Percy – David Warsofsky
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: With Archibald’s recall, the Penguins did not have an extra forward. Danny Kristo went up on the Sundqvist line, Patrick McGrath was in as the 12th forward and Tim Erixon and Cameron Gaunce played veteran musical chairs.

First Period: Paul Carey was left unmarked on a Bears power play and scored this goal to give Hershey a 1-0 lead…

Travis Boyd was all alone far side post and had Jarry dead to rights and missed or else it would have been 2-0 Bears. Penguins were getting trucked on the shot board and only had two shots about 12 minutes in. They came alive after that and played better but it was 1-0 Bears heading into the…

Second Period: Dea had an open net to shoot into but missed or Vanecek got a stick there in desperation. Bears took two consecutive tripping penalties and finally Danny Kristo ripped a shot from the high slot to tie the game at one on the power play.

Let’s go to Taylor Haase for the goal GIF on that one….

Penguins continued to roll in the period and really took it to the Bears for the entire middle frame. With Chandler Stephenson in the box for a cross checking penalty, David Warsofsky scored on this missile of a shot that made it 2-1 Penguins…

Taylor got that one.

Third Period: I had a feeling like the Bears were not done and I was right. Hershey struck twice on two power plays to give themselves a 3-2 lead. Chandler Stephenson atoned for his second period penalty with the goal that tied it then Christan Thomas scored when Steve Oleksy cross checked a Bear into Jarry thus knocking Tristan out of position when Thomas collected the puck and scored to make it 3-2.

Despite all goals so far being scored on the power play, I thought referees David Banfield and Chris Pontes worked a hell of a game tonight.

Tom Sestito went for a big check on Chris Bourque on the boards and missed and left the game with a lower body and did not return. Clark Donatelli didn’t have anything the form of an update for the media after the game. With Wheeling all the way in Boise, Idaho for a trio of games this week, Barry Goers better be able to take face-offs because I have no idea how the Penguins braintrust is going to swing a recall from Wheeling. My guess is that if Sestito can’t go and by there isn’t a reassignment from Pittsburgh tomorrow, that the Pens sign and ECHL player on an ECHL contract from somewhere on a one game tryout. A Wheeling recall with the team in Idaho is going to be useless because that player will most likely be jet lagged. Play Goers as the seventh defensemen against a mediocre Binghamton team Saturday then reassess Monday morning.

Just my two cents.

Bourque came over and gave Sestito a love tap on the pads as Tom was getting assistance off. Classy move by Bourque. I am slowly warming up to this future Hall of Famer.

Bears found themselves in trouble when Paul Carey took  a slash and Pierre Labrie took a roughing penalty putting the Penguins on a 5-on-3 for 1:13.

Oh, wait, it has been a while since Tom Kostopoulos checked off a milestone…

Who else is going to score a big goal late in a game where you need a big goal. Tommy god damn Nonstopoulos.

It was then off to…

Overtime: Cameron Gaunce was about 10 feet away from the Penguins bench when Tom Kostopoulso jumped on and the Penguins touched the puck. David Banfield tagged the Penguins for too many men. Penguins kill the penalty then Kevin Porter did this….

Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, even) 2) Danny Kristo )goal, assist, even) and 1) Kevin Porter (overtime game winning goal, three assists, +1)

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley beats St. John’s 4-2. Those two teams rematch tomorrow in Allentown…Bridgeport continues to roll with a 1-0 win in Providence…Hartford beats Springfield 3-2.

Standings: Penguins (.745 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.702) — Providence (.646) — Bridgeport (.630) — Hershey (.615) — Springfield (.457) — Hartford (.427)

Wheeling Update: Leaving the box here for the Nailers who are engaged in a game with the Idaho Steelheads.

Video highlights…

Pens are back on home ice Saturday against Binghamton. Gameday setup hist the blog Saturday afternoon at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

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