Chirps from Center Ice

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

Surrounded by Aho’s — Pens LOSE 3-2 (OT)


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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers came into the game tonight on a 0-4-0-1 streak.

They lost starting goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to a non-contact lower body injury in the second period and Christopher Gibson, who let five goals in last night in a losing effort in Springfield, was called into duty.

Gibson and the Sound Tigers rally from a 1-0 deficit to beat the Penguins 3-2 in overtime off of a power play goal by Sebastian Aho.

Fun game otherwise, with two teams looking evenly matched in the game, but a stinger for Pens fans knowing the history of recent where Wilkes-Barre came in 3-6-1-0 in their last ten games.

Casey DeSmith opposed the aforementioned Kristers Gudlevskis

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese — Greg McKegg — Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Colin Smith – Daniel Sprong
Christian Thomas – J-S Dea – Patrick McGrath
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Thomas DiPauli

Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman
Andrey Pedan – Chris Summers
Kevin Spinnozi – Frank Corrado

Casey DeSmith – Sean Maguire

Lineup Notes: Earlier in the day, Kevin Spinozzi was signed by the Penguins to an AHL contract for the remainder of the season with his PTO expiring this weekend. The Pens could have re-signed Spinozzi to another 25 game tryout agreement, but rather opted for the standard player contract. Jarred Tinordi returned from injury and replaced Ethan Prow and Patrick McGrath swapped up front with Gage Quinney.

Personally, I think Prow would have been taken out of the  lineup regardless, since Tinordi was ready to return, so we will have to watch this week of practice report to get an update on Ethan.

First Period: Pens came out of the period with a 1-0 lead on a Greg McKegg wraparound goal and traded power plays with the Sound Tigers. Last night in Hartford, solo referee Corey Syvret didn’t call a single penalty on the Wolf Pack thus not allowing the Penguins a power play opportunity. Tonight, referee Stephen Reneau was the only man in orange stripes tonight and missed a slash on Garrett Wilson and then an interference call on Zach Trotman.  So when you don’t have the officials out there policing play, you leave it to the players.

That’s my only gripe in the period. But it’s a double edged sword. I complain when  there are 57 penalties in a period and complain when there aren’t enough.

Oh, here’s the McKegg goal…

Second Period: Story of this period was the goaltenders.  Kristers Gudlevskis left the game with a lower body injury for the Sound Tigers. Enter Christoper Gibson, who let in five goals Friday in Springfield and was pulled. Gibson nailed things down for the Sound Tigers and denied Christian Thomas and Colin Smith on Grade A chances.

Casey DeSmith was dialed in, making some good saves of his own, including one on John Stevens in the slot and then another on Stephen Gionta.

Bridgeport finally beat DeSmith on a shot by Devon Toews, through a heavy screen that tied the game at one.

Third Period: Wilkes-Barre has been bitten by slow starts which have doomed them. Charlotte comes to mind. Springfield too. Well, in the third period, the Penguin didn’t put a lot of shots on Gudlevskis and kept the Sound Tigers in the game.

Scott Eansor beats Casey DeSmith on a power play when an initial shot was stopped by the Penguins netminder where Eansor swooped in and backhanded it in to give the Sound Tigers the lead with 7:14 to play in the period.

But then Zach Aston-Reese tied the game when Christian Thomas led a rush, dropped a pass to Aston-Reese, then was tripped up by two Sound Tigers. In the commotion, Aston-Reese snapped off a quick shot that beat Gibson and tied the game.

But then Frank Corrado would be called for boarding with a minute left to play in regulation, putting the Sound Tigers on the power play for the rest of regulation and then…

Overtime: Shane Prince puts a shot on goal that is partially blocked, then hits Sebastian Aho’s leg and then into the net to win it for the Sound Tigers just :26 into overtime…

Around the Division: At the time this post went live on the blog, the boxscores on the AHL site were all frozen in time. I can tell you, based off of what I read on Twitter that Providence beat Hershey 6-2, Lehigh Valley ends the Syracuse Crunch 10 game win streak with a 4-2 win, the Charlotte Checkers beat the Laval Rocket 3-1 and Springfield beats Hartford 2-1 in a shootout.

Standings: Providence will remain first, Charlotte with remain second, Lehigh Valley will bump to third, Pens will drop to fourth, Bridgeport will stay fifth, Hartford and Hershey will flip fifth and sixth respectively and Springfield will stay in last. I’m not messing with math at this late hour. Check back in for a later edit if you care to.

Wheeling Update: Wheeling beats Reading 4-2 to split the weekend series with the Royals. Troy Josephs, Reid Gardiner, Kevin Schulze and Cody Wydo scored for the Nailers. Will King picked up the win for Wheeling.

If Bridgeport puts out a highlight package that I see and can edit in, I will do so here.

Pend are off Sunday. AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. Check us out then. Wilkes-Barre is back in action this Friday at home agains the Binghamton Devils.

Let’s Go Pens!

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