I am not going to call this game an anomaly for the Hartford Wolf Pack. If you follow and read my Weekly AHL Power Rankings, you know that Hartford is currently punching above its weight and have been winning a lot more than they have been losing of recent.
So for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, a team that is punching under it’s weight and the exact opposite of the Wolf Pack right now, a tough game was going to be expected tonight.
What I wasn’t expecting was a blowout and a systematic breakdown of everything that comes with this team.
You will see as you read the recap here, but the Penguins would get caught in a lapses that had them in a 2-1 hole at the end of the first, then Hartford blew the game wide open in a span of 2:48 to open the second period. Couple this with Wilkes-Barre not getting a single power play awarded by referee Corey Syvret and the apparent loss of Ethan Prow to an injury suffered in the first period and the result is a 7-3 Wolf Pack throttling.
Casey DeSmith opposed Marek Mazanek.
Christian Thomas – J-S Dea – Colin Smith
Zach Aston-Reese — Greg McKegg — Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli
Andrey Pedan – Zach Trotman
Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Spinnozi – Frank Corrado
Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire
Lineup Notes: One change from Wednesday, Adam Johnson in for Patrick McGrath.
First Period: Pens caught in lapses that bit them hard in the first period by Hartford. Ryan Graves scored on a rush out of a media break that game the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead.
Thomas DiPauli got the goal right back to tie the game at one on this nice goal driving to the net while the sides were skating 4-on-4.
Kevin Spinozzi would pick up the secondary assist on that goal, his first in the AHL. His PTO expires this weekend.
But Hartford would get the lead right back when Scott Kosmachuk scored to make it 2-1 Wolf Pack.
It was the same start that the Penguins had Wednesday at home against Springfield. Only this time, their opponent continued to run away from them unlike the Thunderbirds midweek.
Second Period: Three goals in 2:48 by the Wolf Pack blew the doors wide open for the home team.
John Gilmour at 1:05. Pens had a bad line change here….
Hartford would strike on a power play goal by Gilmour then :16 later a goal from Gabriel Fontaine. Here they are in one clip…
After the fourth goal, Sean Maguire relieved Casey DeSmith. On the fifth goal, Maguire stopped the initial shot but the rebound got by him.
Teddy Blueger would play a puck nicely off of the back wall and banked his offering off of Mazanec during a delayed penalty call against the Wolf Pack that pulled the Penguins back to within three.
Despite outshooting the opponent 28-19, the Penguins trailed by three heading into the…
Third Period: Penguins can’t clear then Gabriel Fontaine scores on a shot that may have deflected off of a Penguin on the way in past Maguire that made it 6-2.
1:11 later, Anthony DeAngelo scored to make it 7-2.
Daniel Sprong scored from the slot that made it 7-3…
…but the Penguins couldn’t muster any more offense and that was all.
Three Stars: 3) Scott Kosmachuk (goal, two assists, +2) 2) Gabriel Fontaine (two goals, +2) and 1) John Gilmour (two goals, assist, +1)
Around the Division: Providence, the division leader, also lost, their eight game winning streak comes to a close in Syracuse 5-3. The Crunch have won 10 straight…Springfield beat Bridgeport 5-4. Lehigh Valley, Charlotte and Hershey were off.
Standings: Providence (.692 percentage points) — Charlotte (.648) — Penguins (.640) — Lehigh Valley (.625) — Bridgeport (.520) — Hershey (.482) — Hartford (.482) — Springfield (.383)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 4-0 in Reading tonight.
I don’t know if Hartford will do a highlight package. If I see one, I will edit one in, you probably wouldn’t watch anyway and I can’t blame you. I know I probably won’t.
Pens will bus down to Bridgeport for a 7 p.m. Saturday start. Gameday setup will hit the blog Saturday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!