The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are in losing funk. Reasons why include slow starts and lack of power play success.
They looked like an entirely different team Sunday afternoon in Hershey.
Scoring twice on the power play and racing to a 3-1 start after the first period, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeated the Hershey Bears 4-1 in Chocolatetown tonight.
Sean Maguire started the game and collected his first AHL win of the season. The problem, as I have said all along this, now forgotten losing streak, has not been in goal.
He opposed Pheonix Copley, which Head Coach Troy Mann put out there against the Penguins because Copley had been undefeated coming into the meeting this evening with a 6-0 record, a 1.54 GAA and a .943 SV%. Styles make fights, but that decision led to a first round TKO for his Hershey side.
Josh Archibald – Colin Smith – Christian Thomas
Zach Aston-Reese — J-S Dea – Patrick McGrath
Garrett Wilson – Greg McKegg – Daniel Sprong
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Thomas DiPauli
Andrey Pedan – Zach Trotman
Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Spinnozi – Frank Corrado
Sean Maguire – Anthony Peters
Lineup Notes: Two changes on the back end for the Pens, Kevin Spinozzi for Jarred Tinordi who is still banged up from that shot block in the third period Friday against Charlotte and Ethan Prow, recalled from Wheeling earlier in the day, in for Lukas Bengtsson, who had “fallen ill” per radio. Up front, Patrick McGrath in for Ryan Haggerty. McGrath’s first appearance since November 12.
First Period: Penguins finally got the start they needed Friday against Charlotte.
After a turnover by the Bears, Christian Thomas victimized his old team for a 1-0 Penguin lead….
…this was right after a power play where the Pens enjoyed a lot of offensive zone possession time and had a power play look good.
Later, Reid Anderson and Jeremy Tufts, the two bozos that worked the game Friday against the Checkers in Wilkes-Barre, called P-C Labrie for a slash and then during the setup for the face-off, didn’t like what Garrett Mitchell was saying and put him in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct gift wrapping the Penguins a 5-on-3 power play opportunity.
:40 in, Daniel Sprong scored his fourth goal in as many games and yet another goal against the Bears in Giant Center, where he has scored in every other game…
Later, Thomas DiPauli scored on another turnover by the Bears, this time caused by Tom Sestito. The rout was on…
Or was it? On a late Bears power play, Ty Graovac scored on a perfect tic-tac-toe play to put Hershey on the board with :01 on the man advantage.
Shots were 15-4 Wilkes-Barre / Scranton heading into the…
Second Period: Quiet period in terms of scoring because there wasn’t any by either team. Radio picked up that Tom Sestito was absent during the second period. Bears had the majority of shots (10 to WBS’ 7) and power plays (3-2) but Wilkes-Barre played bend but not break and maintained their two-goal lead.
Third Period: Penguins would connect on another power play goal with a two-man advantage when Zach Trotman scored his first of the season which made it 4-1 Penguins and iced the game away…
Period was really marred by starts and stops and penalties, all the Penguins needed to do was chip the time off of the clock and insulate Maguire and that is what they accomplished.
Three Stars: 3) Colin Smith (two assists, +1) 2) Thomas DiPauli (goal, +1) and 1) Daniel Sprong (goal, assist, even)
Around the Division: Hartford beats Springfield 5-3…Rochester pounds Bridgeport 4-1…Providence with their third third period comeback of the weekend, slips by Utica 4-3 in overtime. Lehigh Valley and Charlotte were off.
Standings: Providence (.708 percentage points) — Charlotte (.660) — Penguins (.652) — Lehigh Valley .635) — (.542) — Hershey (.500) — Hartford (.463) — Springfield (.375)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
One thing I did want to note before I wrap it up here, Josh Archibald can play Wednesday against the Springfield Thunderbirds then his conditioning stint is over and he must return to Pittsburgh, so we will see what happens with him the early part of this week.
My Week 10 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4.
Let’s Go Pens!