Chirps from Center Ice

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

Dea for Two — Pens WIN 6-3

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Make nothing of this score line, this game with a lot closer than it should have been.

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins came into this game with 30+ wins. The Hartford Wolf Pack came into this game with 30+ losses.

The good team let the bad team hang around for too long and the bad team nearly upset the good team.

J-S Dea has seen this movie before.

Dea’s two goals lift the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to a 6-3 win over the last place Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon and concludes the road trip. David Warsofsky got to 40 points in the season with two goals himself and added and assist, like Dea.

Casey DeSmith opposed Brandon Halverson.

Lines were…

Tom Sestito – Kevin Porter – Tom Kostopoulos
Jarrett Burton – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Ryan Haggerty – Sahir Gill – Patrick McGrath

Tim Erixon – Barry Goers
David Warsofsky – Frank Corrado
Cameron Gaunce – Ethan Prow

Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry

Lineup Notes: Should have figured that Head Coach Clark Donatelli wasn’t going to play Thomas DiPauli in back to back games and that suspicion was confirmed as he was the scratch for Patrick McGrath. No other lineup changes for the Penguins. Tom Sestito played in his 500th professional game and picked up his 100th professional assist.

First Period: It was a special teams party where every goal was scored on the power play.

The Penguin opened the scoring with this goal from Kevin Porter with Oskar Sundqvist setting the screen in front of Halverson…

The biggest problem that the Penguins faced in this period was the fact that they were letting Hartford run with them. The Wolf Pack hit two posts and were pretty much step for step with Wilkes-Barre the whole period. They got on the board via a Niklas Jensen power play goal that evened things at one a piece.

Penguins had a power play come and go which was effectively killed by Hartford. They got another one via good stick handling work by Tom Sestito when David Warsofsky banged this puck in in a pile of bodies which was confirmed via video replay…

40th point of the season for David Warsofsky.

Shots ended up 12-10 for the Penguins heading into the…

Second Period: Back and forth period that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins sleepwalked through the first half, went down a goal after the Penguins led by a goal, then roared back for three unanswered goals. Here is the setup…

Up 2-1 to start the second, the Penguins killed a Hartford penalty then as a puck was caroming around in front of Halverson it went quickly out to Jensen and he scored again to make it a 2-2 game.

1:59 later, Matt Carey pounded home a drop pass that made it 3-2 Hartford. The wheels were coming off! The Penguins were sleepwalking through a Sunday game with a last place team! The horror!

The Penguins finally came alive. A Jarrett Burton twirling pass to Josh Archibald camped out in front made it a tie game again.

The AHL Live picture went out on me and all I got was sound and no picture, while I was watching this…

David Warsofsky scored his second of the game that re-established the lead for the Penguins. Goals 90 seconds apart. Warsofsky’s two goals so far gives him 14 on the season and second most among AHL defensemen.

Looking at the score line and the shot board, I came to the realization that the Penguins were still allowing the Wolf Pack to stick around and maybe jump up and sting them again. Then J-S Dea scored at the buzzer with .8 seconds left to make it 5-3 Penguins…

So the Hartford Wolf Pack run step for step with the best team in the Atlantic Division, get careless for one second and the best team in the division make them pay. Tim Erixon fired a shot at the net and Dea, all alone with no one checking him, makes it a two goal game for the Penguins heading into the…

Third Period: The Wolf Pack switched goalies with Magnus Hellberg coming on for Brandon Halverson. I picked up the vibe that this move was made because Hartford was still in things.

They were, in part, getting a couple of breakaways, but Casey DeSmith was more than up to task. This one with the skate denied Marek Hrivik…

J-S Dea scored the only goal of the period which proved to be insurance in the insurance capital of the world…

I love insurance.

Three Stars: 3) Niklas Jensen (two goals, even) 2) J-S Dea (two goals, assist, +1) and David Warsofsky (two goals, assist, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey goes down 2-0 and claw their way back and beat Springfield 4-2 at home. The Bears sweep the weekend. Utica beats Bridgeport straight up 2-1 and Providence crushes Lehigh Valley 7-3.

Standings: Penguins (.698 percentage points) — Providence (.664) — Lehigh Valley (.658) — Bridgeport (.640) — Hershey (.619) — Springfield (.474) — Hartford (.405)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers fell again to the Fort Wayne Komets 2-1. Gage Quinney scored for the Nailers.

Video highlights…

The AHL Power Rankings will be up Monday at 4, the Wheeling Wrap will be here noon Tuesday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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