Chirps from Center Ice

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

Holding Sprong — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)


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What a wild one this turned out to be.

The Laval Rocket came into tonight’s contest with the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins with the most goals in the American Hockey League with 18. The Penguins knew this all week. They knew that they needed to play a strong defensive game if they wanted to hold on and win the game.

But the Penguins are no slouches offensively, either. They won their last game 6-1 over the Syracuse Crunch. They know how to put the goals up when and if they need to.

They needed to in this one. Thanks in large part to Daniel Sprong’s hat trick and Teddy Blueger’s overtime game winner, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins win a thriller at home against the Laval Rocket 6-5 in overtime.

Not the best game from Tristan Jarry, but it’s awful hard to look as good as he has been and as we remember him when his defense constantly spills the puck to the other team and create turnovers which lead to goals for the other team. I don’t think that half of the goals were his fault by any stretch of the imagination. Feel free to disagree with me in the comment section, if you would.

He opposed Charlie Lindgren, who was good tonight, but will be having nightmares of Daniel Sprong for sometime and may even need a therapy cat. Inside joke on that one, if you followed me on Twitter, you got it.

Anyway. Here were the Penguins lines…

Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Freddie Tiffels – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli

Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Kevin Czuczman – Dylan Zink
Chris Summers – Frank  Corrado

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: No changes up from for the Penguins. Zach Trotman was recalled to Pittsburgh and was swapped out for the returning from Pittsburgh Chris Summers. Dylan Zink drew in for Ethan Prow also.

First Period: Didn’t take long for Daniel Sprong to make his impact…

Face-off win to Sprong who lets one go like a firecracker on the Fourth of July. What a release.

Sprong’s scoring streak of scoring in the first five games matches Tomas Surovy from the 2003-04 season.

Didn’t take long for the Rocket to answer, which was the theme for most of the night. Chris Terry far dot, after a failed clear by Wilkes-Barre….

Rocket edge ahead with a shot by Tom Parisi that Jarry maybe should have had. I thought he was screened when the shot went in live. You be the judge….

Penguins went to a power play and three seconds in, Daniel Sprong did this…

Lethal. Face-off win back to Sprong high slot who has time, waits, calibrates and scores to make it 2-2.

Here is one that Jarry should have had in my opinion. David Broll goes by the nickname, “Broll-dozer” which is a play on “bulldozer.” Bulldozers are slow. Broll is slow. Half clapper beats Jarry after Broll sneaks past the Penguin defense…

3-2 Rocket late first. Heading into the second down one, right?


Tom Kostopoulos with his first of the season, ties the game at three a side…

Pedan with a pass to Dea who put a knee drop one timer on Lindgren who spilled the rebound to Kostopoulos who backhanded it in.

Second Period: Rocket score on a rocket from the far dot by Eric Gelinas that made it 4-3…

Penguins respond :14 later with a goal by Gage Quinney. Kevin Czuczman with the shot and Quinney with the tip in front….

Game settled for a bit. Then Andrey Pedan lost his man, that man being Mike McCarron who had an easy tap in goal to give the Rocket a 5-4 lead….

That goal was not Jarry’s fault. Fight me.

Third Period: Penguins opened with massive pressure to open, lots of zone time, and were forcing the Rocket into mistakes.

Those mistakes came rapid fire as Wilkes-Barre found itself on 1:25 of 5-on-3 power play time. Unlike last week in Allentown, they scored. Daniel Sprong made the hats rain…

Seven goals and ten points in five games for Sprong. He is embarrassing the American Hockey League right now.

Last hat trick for the Penguins was Jake Guentzel against the Springfield Thunderbirds on December 27, 2016 at home. Sprong may be better than Guentzel, if that is even imaginable.

Jarry sucked tonight, right? WRONG!

Penguins held off the Rocket and it was onto…

Overtime: Sprong started, had some looks, but couldn’t get anything serious at Lindgren. Line change and Teddy Blueger steps on. At the end the shift, Kevin Czuczman runs a puck down to Teddy Blueger who put a shot on Lindgren and followed it and knocked in his rebound to send the fans home happy….

Celly game on point….

Three Stars: 3) Tom Sestito (500th professional game, really deserved a goal in this game) 2) Teddy Blueger (game winning goal) 1) Daniel Sprong (hat trick, assist, even)

As far as Sprong’s trajectory to the NHL, he is ready offensively but needs to round out his defensive game. He was on the ice for two of the Rocket’s goals scored. Splitting hairs, but that may be what the brass is looking for, which is why he is here.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley beats Bridgeport at home and continue their good pace winning 5-2 at home…Charlotte beats Rochester in their first ever matchup against the Americans by the same 5-2 score….Providence beats Springfield again by, you guessed it, a 5-2 score….Belleville beats Hartford 5-1. The Wolf Pack couldn’t get one more goal? Crumb bums….Milwaukee beats Hershey in Wisconsin 4-1.

Standings: Charlotte 8, Providence 6, Phantoms 9 (percentage) Penguins 6, Hartford 6, Bridgeport 2, Hershey 1 and Springfield 0.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off, they open at home tomorrow against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

If (when) Coal Street puts out video highlights, I will edit them in. Check back sometime Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

One response to “Holding Sprong — Pens WIN 6-5 (OT)

  1. Scott Carpenter October 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Far too early to panic, but this defense needs to get their collective act together. Between Pedan being beaten to the goal regularly, and seemingly everyone’s inability to get the puck out of the zone, WBS will have a very hard time against a bunch of AHL teams who do not seem to be lacking in the scoring department. **Meanwhile, will Sprong get called up? Maybe he will, eventually. It does seem unlikely, however, that GMJR (& Coach Sullivan) will appreciate his lack of defensive effort and reward him with a call-up. With a shot like his, I suppose anyone would focus on scoring (and maybe he has a belief that his rightful place is in the NHL), but it is gonna take a two-way game to advance in this organization, and he has definitely not shown that yet.

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