No luck on St. Patrick’s Day for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins who lose 4-1 to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Penguins went o-for-5 on the power play and this has become the biggest problem for the league’s worst power play at 13.3%. Penguins Head Coach Clark Donatelli to Tom Venesky after the game…
I don’t necessarily buy all that Clark is selling here. The Penguins have such a hard time entering the zone and when they do they never get anything that resembles a shot on goal worthwhile of a goalie making a save.
Hartford scores two fluky goals :38 apart in the first, :54 seconds in the third and beat the Penguins. Anthony Peters was fine in net. The Penguins put 18 shots on Hartford in the second period but Chris Nell was fantastic for Hartford all game really and that was it. Wolf Pack looked as good as they did yesterday when they beat Lehigh Valley in a shootout.
Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Josh Jooris – Sam Lafferty
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos
Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman
Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux
Lineup Notes: Tom Sestito and Christian Thomas were healthy scratches tonight. Ryan Haggerty retuned from injury. Ethan Prow played, and showed no ill effects from his concussion on the Josiah Didier hit Wednesday in Charlotte.
First Period: It ended 2-0 for Hartford but by rights should have been 4 or 5-0. Anthony Peters was bailing out his teammates with save after save. Both sides had chances both ways.
Hartford scores bang bang plays when Simon Denis rakes a puck off the wall and throws it at Peters and on the way its deflected in by Cole Schneider. :38 later, a big rebound left by Peters is put in by Dan DeSalvo.
Second Period: Hartford put two early shots on Peters, but after that Wilkes-Barre responded with a ton of shots at Nell.
Hartford took four penalties that resulted in power plays for the Penguins but Wilkes-Barre was not able to find the back of the net on the man advantage. This is what cost them the game, we just didn’t know it at at the time.
Wilkes-Barre outshot Hartford 18-3 in the second period.
Third Period: Daniel Sprong scored on his birthday to bring the Penguins to within one.
He looked off Quinney on a two on one and never really looked at Nell and the net and put the shot on and it went five hole and in.
Kevin Czuczman appeared to have scored a goal, but referee Stephen Thomson never signaled goal and play continued and then Steven Fogarty beat Peters to make to 3-1. After a video review on the Czuczman shot, which confirmed no goal, it was 3-1 Hartford.
On the Czuczman shot, I have no idea how it wasn’t a goal. There was no ping noise signifying a shot off the pipe. and from where Czuczman shot the puck there was no way that puck couldn’t hit anything more than inside the net from they angle it was shot from but the type doesn’t lie. A review lasting more than a minute confirmed Thomson’s eyes in real time.
Vinni Lettieri scored :54 later to make it 4-1 and suddenly all the air was out of the balloon or the keg was kicked at a party full of thirsty patrons. Use whatever inference you wish, Penguins weren’t coming back from this one.
Three Stars: 3) Daniel Sprong (goal, even) 2) Dan DeSalvo (goal, +1) and Chris Nell (30 saves on 31 shots)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley shuts out Providence 3-0….Charlotte wins 4-2 against Binghamton…Hershey beats Springfield 4-2. Bridgeport was off.
The Hershey game was significant because it was referee David Banfield’s final game. Judging from the reaction around social media, he must have been one hell of a referee because no one had a nice thing to say about him.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.692 percentage points) — Penguins (.639) — Providence (.627) — Charlotte (.592) — Hartford (.492) — Hershey (.485) — Springfield (.484)
Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 3-2 in overtime in Glens Falls against the Adirondack Thunder. Reid Gardiner and Troy Josephs scored for the Nailers in the OT loss. Nailers are five points up on Worcester for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.
Pens back at it Sunday at 3 against Hershey. Gameday setup is yours at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
Let’s Go Pens!