Not going to go too far in-depth here with the first preseason game of the season for both clubs. Tonight was about fringe guys from both sides getting evaluated before inevitably being shipped away to the ECHL affiliate with the influx of talent coming down from the NHL. I counted a sum total of three regulars in the lineup for Wilkes-Barre. The Bears players didn’t wear nameplates.
One thing really quick, all the players Pittsburgh put on waivers yesterday cleared today.
Lines in case you were wondering:
Colin Stevens for the Penguins opposed Parker Milner in goal.
In the first, Hershey cashed early on a power play when Penguin killed Dustin Gazley pounded home rebound of a shot from the point.
Penguins chased a bit, more so by the Bears because there was a ton of icing penalties in the period.
Patrick McGrath laid the body on Andrew Cherniwchan legally on a big hit.
Penguins killed off 1:49 of a 5-on-3 after two consecutive slashing penalties :11 apart. Probably the cleanest part of the period for Wilkes-Barre. Most of the time were plays where the player cherry picked a bit and tried to sneak in for a breakaway. Parker Milner had none of it though, stopping all 9 shots.
In the second, the Bears continued to increase their lead with a transition goal set up by Cherniwchan. He led a rush after a Hershey icing down ice, put a shot on Stevens that Hampus Gustafsson put home for a 3-0 lead.
Dustin Gazley found an unmarked Jeremy Langlois in front of the net who made it 3-0.
Gazley later dangled through Kevin Schulze and was never picked up by Danny Fick to make it 4-0.
Penguins only had two shots on goal in the period, and I don’t think a single one came after the ten minute mark. Everything was a home run pass or a cherry pick attempt. Parker Milner was not challenged at all.
In the third, the Penguins finally were awarded a power play but could not score on it. Seconds after the Power play expired, the Penguins found themselves on the penalty kill again.
The Bears would score to make it 5-0 when Stephen Collins poked one past Will King who was on in relief of Colin Stevens in goal.
Connor Hobbs and Patrick McGrath got together for a fight which ended quickly when Hobbs got Pat’s jersey over his head:
Tom Mele went to the front of the net and was rewarded with a goal, ending Milner’s shutout bid which put Wilkes-Barre on the board.
Penguins got run around by a Hershey team that brought more established players with them. Perhaps the 21 players who showed up Tuesday took the air out of the players who dressed tonight, but it’s supposed to be about leaving an impression and there really wasn’t one to be had at all from anyone who dressed for Wilkes-Barre tonight.
There may be cuts Thursday and if so I will have an update. If not, check back Friday night after the second preseason game the Penguins will play against Binghamton.