I’d like to thank Brandon Povilitus for the pun headline idea, it was exactly what I was thinking when Adam Krause scored his second goal of the game and of the period, that game the Penguins a 5-4 lead and a lead they would not relinquish as the defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight in the regular sermon finale.
The Penguins were trailing 3-2 to start the third and went down 4-2 when Carter Verhaeghe scored his second. Wilkes-Barre, with seemingly nothing left to play for could have packed it in and went home with the Eastern Conference Championship and begun preparations for the Providence Bruins, who the Penguins will face in the first round.
But Adam Krause, not a regular player in the lineup and a fringe guy, stepped up big with two goals after Jarrett Burton scored to bring the Penguins back within two.
Krause smoked Devon Towes on the first goal and scored a shorthanded goal that gave the Penguins the lead for good.
Sean Maguire made his AHL debut and won with 22 saves including a stop on Josh Ho-Sang on a penalty shot.
51-20-3-2 and 107 points will close the books on the 2016-17 AHL Regular Season for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. They enter the Calder Cup Playoffs the top overall team in the Eastern Conference and open against the Providence Bruins in round one. A team that has answered every challenge presented to them in the regular season face the biggest challenge yet, a championship run.
Blog story is late tonight because I wanted to figure out who was going to be the regular season champion. It’s the Penguins, after the Bakersfield Condors defeated the San Jose Barracuda in overtime tonight.
Sean Maguire opposed Eamonn McAdam
Dominik Simon – Teddy Blueger – J-S Dea
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Ryan Haggerty
Nick Sorkin – Jarrett Burton – Adam Krause
Cody Wydo – Troy Josephs – Patrick McGrath
Jeff Taylor – Frank Corrado
Brett Stern – Kevin Schulze
Dylan Zink – Ethan Prow
Sean Maguire – Casey DeSmith
Lineup Notes: Regulars Tom Kostopoulos, Kevin Porter, David Warsofsky, Tim Erixon and Derrick Pouliot were given the night off. I saw Zach Aston-Reese with a cast on high right hand on his pinky and ring fingers. Donatelli told WBS media postgame that he is considered day to day and will have further tests done Monday. Barry Goers is undergoing concussion protocol.
First Period: Better start for the Penguins in comparison to last night agains Hershey and Wednesday against Lehigh Valley. Bridgeport got the first power play of the night and cashed when Ryan Pulock scored a bullet from the point that made it 1-0 Sound Tigers. Penguins got a power play and Teddy Blueger scored that tied the game:
Sound Tigers went back on the power play and Carter Verhaeghe skated to a spot and found a spot and ripped a shot that found its way past Maguire that made it 2-1 Bridgeport.
Heading into the second, every goal was scored on the power play.
Second Period: A miscommunication between Penguins defensemen saw Travis St. Denis score a tap-in on the doorstep of Maguire that made it 3-1 Sound Tigers.
Josh Ho-Sang was hooked down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. Sean Maguire denied him.
J-S Dea connected on a power play goal late that made it 3-2 Sound Tigers…
Third Period: Sean Maguire wasn’t able to control a rebound and Verhaeghe was there to put it in again that made it 4-2 Bridgeport.
That’s it. Pack it in and go home right?
Eamonn McAdam this time isn’t able to control a rebound and Jarrett Burton whacked home the puck that made it a 4-3 game.
1:16 later, Adam Krause races past Devon Toews and ties the game at 4….
Patrick McGrath earned the sole assist on that goal.
He then took a penalty with 4:19 left and the Sound Tigers were on a power play. Ut-oh, Buckwheat…
Krause. Again. Shorthanded….
Sound Tigers, with McAdam vacated, were never able to find the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Jarrett Burton (goal, +1) 2) Teddy Blueger (goal, assist, -2) 1) Adam Krause (two goals, one assist, +3)
Around the Division: The Hershey Bears shutout the Providence Bruins 3-0. The Bears are hitting the postseason in stride and are the three seed in the Atlantic. They will face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Round One….Lehigh Valley beats Binghamton 4-1 in the Senators finale under the Ottawa affiliation. Springfield beats Hartford 5-1 and out of conference, a Josh Currie hat trick sealed the fate of the San Jose Barracuda, the Bakersfield Condors win 3-2 which gave the Penguins the Macgregor Kilpatrick trophy for best overall record in the AHL regular season.
Standings: Penguins (.704 percentage points) — Lehigh Valley (.664) — Hershey (.638) — Providence (.632) — Bridgeport (.605) — Springfield (.493) — Hartford (.355)
Playoff schedule is set. Here it is…
Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 3:05
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 27 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern
Your blog schedule for this week is as follows… Final Power Rankings will be up Monday at 4. I’ll have the Fourth Quarter Grades Tuesday at noon, a Calder Cup Playoff Preview Wednesday at noon for both conference and a Penguins / P-Bruins Playoff Preview Thursday at noon then the full pregame setup Friday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!