When you are a loaded team, fringe players who are good players that don’t get a chance to play have to make the most of their opportunities.
Enter Ryan Haggerty.
The Penguins forward has not had a chance to play in a regular season game to date and really made the most of his opportunity tonight in Bridgeport, scoring two goals and taking home first star honors.
The scary thing about this abundance of wealth at the forward position is that Haggerty’s arrival came at the expense of Gage Quinney who was a healthy scratch tonight. They play different positions but they are all the same to me. The Penguins are loaded right now and have won their fifth straight game and first road game as they take down a very good Bridgeport team by a score of 5-2.
Tristan Jarry opposed Kristers Gudlevskis.
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Daniel Sprong
Zach Aston-Reese – Jarrett Burton – Ryan Haggerty
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli
Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Kevin Spinozzi – Kevin Czuczman
Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Tristan Jarry – Colin Stevens
Lineup Notes: Nick Hart, flying solo tonight on radio, mentioned that Tom Kostopoulos went to the coaching staff last night and mentioned that he didn’t feel right. He took morning skate today but the coaching staff left him out of the lineup tonight. Head Coach Clark Donatelli told media this week that he wanted to get Ryan Haggerty a game this weekend, so this weekend was it. Gage Quinney was out and Jarrett Burton slotted back into the lineup. Kevin Spinozzi took the place of Dylan Zink on defense, Jarry started his second straight.
First Period: Ryan Bourque broke up a Daniel Sprong pass and he made a nice outlet pass to Steve Bernier who scored on a breakaway on Jarry for a 1-0 Bridgeport lead early on, just 1:19 into the game.
Ryan Haggerty was flying in the game. He drew a penalty when he wheeled around a Bridgeport D-man and then had a breakaway attempt but didn’t convert on either.
Alan Quine, down on a conditioning stint from the New York Islanders, collected a puck that Chris Summers whiffed on at his own blue line, missed on a penalty shot when Tristan Jarry made the save.
Tom Sestito put the Penguins on the board after this nice second effort pass by Thomas Di Pauli that set it all up…
Second Period: Just like the first period, rtes Sound Tigers wasted little time to score to give themselves a lead. Ben Holmstrom’s shot from the corner of the ice somehow finds its way past Jarry to give Bridgeport a 2-1 lead.
Adam Johnson responded on a power play for his first goal as a Penguin and the game was tied again…
Ryan Haggerty was flying, and again beat a Bridgeport D-man and this time scored to give the Penguins their first lead of the night…
A Daniel Sprong-esque release there by Haggerty.
Third Period: Teams traded power plays to open the period, then the period sped by. Then, Christian Thomas waited out Gudlevskis and scored to make it 4-2…
Time and space is a hockey players best friend.
So down 4-2 with time dwindling and Gudlevskis pulled, Ryan Haggerty scored on a backhander for his second goal of the night.
Three Stars: 3) Christian Thomas (goal, assist, +1) 2) Adam Johnson (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Ryan Haggerty (two goals, +3)
Around the Division: Hartford takes down Lehigh Valley and beats the Phantoms in Allentown 5-4. Both teams scored three goals in the third period…Hershey picks up a statement win against the Providence Bruins, beating them 3-2…Charlotte beats Utica 5-1 and Binghamton beats Springfield 2-1.
Standings: Charlotte, Providence and Wilkes-Barre all have 12 points and are deadlocked for tops in the division. Lehigh Valley has 15 points but are fourth due to percentage over games played (the have 10, the top three only have 8 games played) – Hartford 9, Bridgeport 6, Hershey 5 and Springfield 3. I promise I will get to percentages in November starting November 3 against Lehigh Valley.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off. They rematch in Brampton against the Beast Sunday.
Depending on if the Sound Tigers or Penguins put forth a video package, I will run them here.
Power Rankings will debut win the blog Monday at 4. Casey DeSmith should get the start Sunday in Winnipeg against the Jets. If you have the ability to watch, do so.
Let’s Go Pens!