Chirps from Center Ice

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

A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing — Pens LOSE 5-2

          @          NOR

2                                              5

The Syracuse Crunch played this game tonight against the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins two men shot tonight. Their leading scorer Cory Conacher was recalled to parent Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the day then Alex Gallant was suspended four games by the AHL.

So things looked bleak for the Crunch with the AHL’s league leading team bussing into town for a 7:00 Friday start at home.

But you still have to play the game and the Crunch, bolstered by a three goal first period, ride a 23 save performance from Louis Domingue and go 6 for 7 on the power play and stun the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and win by a 5-2 score.

Scoreline closer than it would appear, the Penguins drew to within one goal late in the third period, then got a 5:00 major power play that they couldn’t do anything with. Syracuse hit two empty nets to win back to back games for the first time this season and ended the Penguins 12 game point streak.

Casey DeSmith opposed Louis Domingue.

Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea — Ryan Haggerty
Adam Johnson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Dominik Simon – Colin Smith – Christian Thomas
Freddie Tiffels – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli

Chris Summers – Lukas Bengtsson
Kevin Czuczman – Zach Trotman
Jarred Tinordi – Frank Corrado

Casey DeSmith – Colin Stevens

Lineup Notes: On fourth line, Thomas DiPauli was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday with Freddie Tiffiels for Jarrett Burton and Patrick McGrath. Andrey Pedan served the final game of this three game suspension.

First Period: Bad start for the Penguins. How bad? A 3-0 hole start, bad.

First, the Crunch thought they scored in a scrum, but the puck never crossed and the play was blown dead. Precursor of things to come for Syracuse…

Alexander Volkov scored through a screen of player and referee and made it 1-0 Crunch.

Then the Penguins had a power play, but never got anything established and gave away a breakaway and a follow-up chance on the rebound left by DeSmith.

Then Syracuse got a power play, and three seconds later…

Jamie McBain made it 2-0 on the power play.

:57 later, the first period rout was on when Syracuse made it 3-0. Kevin Lynch redirected a Jamie McBain shot in front of the net.

First time that the Penguins had trailed by three goals since the home opener against the Charlotte Checkers.

Penguins got two late power plays but hit posts in both of them. They had some carryover heading into the…

Second Period: Penguins had the lion share of power plays in the frame and finally cracked Domingue on this nice goal by Colin Smith on the power play…

But the Penguins could have slipped farther away in the deficit to the Crunch but due to these saves made by Casey DeSmith, the score remained 3-1. First, on a penalty shot.

Then later with the Penguins caught in a line change, a four on one…

Louis Domingue robbed Dominik Simon at the buzzer that kept his team ahead by two heading into the…

Third Period: Sleepy period in terms of action. Penguins hit a bunch of posts early. Then, Dominik Simon scored this goal to bring the Penguins to within one…

Then, Thomas DiPauli was smashed into the boards by Ben Thomas. Thomas was ejected from the game and the Penguins went on a 5:00 power play. It was a power play that they played with like their hair was on fire. A lot of urgency, but nothing calm and everything seemed rushed and forced.

Syracuse got the kill and with DeSmith pulled, hit two empty nets. The latter being a short handed goal when the Penguins were looking for a late, desperation comeback.

Three Stars: 3) Alexander Volkov (goal, +1) 2) Louis Domingue (23 saves on 25 shots) and 1) Kevin Lynch (goal, +3)

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Hartford 7-3…Lehigh Valley doubles up Springfield 6-3. Hershey, Charlotte and Providence had the night off.

Standings: Penguins (.833 percentage points) — Providence (.625) — Lehigh Valley (.611) — Bridgeport (.588) — Charlotte (.579) — Hershey (.474) — Hartford (.447) — Springfield (.375)

Wheeing Update: The Nailers played an afternoon game in Cincinnati and lost 3-1 Derek Army scored the lone goal for the Nailers in the loss. Sean Maguire took the loss in net.

Video Highlights: 

Crunch are normally good with the video highlights so if they put one in a tweet that I see, I will run it here in a later edit.

These two teams are right back at it Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05. Gameday setup hits the blog at 3 on Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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