Chirps from Center Ice

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

Comeback Kids — Pens WIN 6-4

       vs.       

4                                          6

I looked at the first period of today’s game and saw positives. In sum, they were:

Penguins were down 3-1, but controlled play after Clark Donatelli replaced Anthony Peters with Etienne Marcoux, limiting Hershey’s chances. It sounds strange to say at the time given the score line and the loss the night before to Hartford and the loss Wednesday to the Checkers.

But Wilkes-Barre battled and battled, led by Thomas Di Pauli and some big stops by Marcoux, and beat the Hershey Bears 6-4 in Wilkes-Barre to reduce their magic number to clinch a playoff spot with Providence beating Bridgeport to 15.

Anthony Peters opposed Pheonix Copley.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Joseph Cramarossa – Jarrett Burton – Adam Johnson
Tom Sestito – Gage Quinney – Christian Thomas
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Czuczman – Lukas Bengtsson
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: 

Jooris went up bin emergency recall around noon Sunday. Daniel Sprong, good for 12 points against Hershey this season, was a healthy scratch. Tom with more postgame from Donatelli…

First Period: Liam O’Brien scored a goal when he found a ray of light when Peters was sealed off near post. Then the Penguins saw the Bears score again on a play I thought was offsides that made it 2-0. That was the end of Peters who was pulled for Etienne Marcoux. Things settled from there.

Cramarossa slammed home a rebound on a Burton shot and the Pens were back within one.

Jona Siegenthaler scored one of his two goals of the day when he put a shot on through bodies that re-established the two goal Hershey lead.

Wilkes-Barre went 0-for-4 on the power play in the period and it was starting to cost them.

Second Period: What won the game for the Penguins was this period here. The reason? No penalties at all called by referees Terry Koharski and Andy Howard. Penguins just went after the Bears 5-on-5 and started to come in waves.

Tom Sestito slammed home a Quinney round to make it 3-2…

Ol’ Tommy Sestito, noted goal scoring machine against the Hershey Bears…

Penguins continued to roll in waves. It was becoming apparent that Thomas DiPauli was taking a beating every shift. Then, with time dwindling,. DiPauli puts a shot on net that goes in at the buzzer.

After a brief video review, the goal stood. It was 3-3 and a whole new game heading into the…

Third Period: Jarred Tinordi and Liam O’Brien fought early to try and set the tone. O’Brien hung in there with Tinordi who won on points.

Christian Thomas scored while Sestito was clearing bodies in front of Copley that made it 4-3 Wilkes-Barre.

Tom Kostopoulos slid a pass over to DiPauki who quickly one timed the shot at net that got in and it was 5-3 Wilkes-Barre.

On a busted assignment while the sides were four on four, Siegenthaler scored his second of the game that made it a one goal game again.

{Penguins could have packed it in from there and rode defense the rest of the way. They did, in part. Let me set this up.

Hershey, pressing late for a tying goal in the third period of a three in three, emptied out the gas tank and set up shop in the Penguins defensive end. Cyling shot after shot, pass after pass through the zone, it was only a matter of time before they scored.

A pass in front set to be one timed into a yawning Penguins cage was stopped by Etienne Marcoux. I mean just a ten bell, highlight reel save that Marcoux had no business making. Later, Tom Kostopoulos clears the puck out of the zone and Teddy Blueger put on a power skating exhibition and finished off the Pens three on one.

Ballgame.

DiPauli had a chance on a hat trick bid, but his effort went wide. Hershey never got closer.

Three Stars: 3) Teddy Blueger (goal, two assists, +2) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (three assists, +2) and 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals, +1)

First AHL win for Etienne Marcoux, fifth Penguins goaltender to beat Hershey this season (Sean Maguire, Anthony Peters, Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry) — Lukas Bengtsson returned to the lineup after injury and picked up two assists also.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley with another shutout, this time 3-0 to the Springfield Thunderbirds….Binghamton earns a split in Charlotte and beat the Checkers 4-1…Providence beats Bridgeport 4-1 which reduces the Penguins magic number even further. Hartford gets a late goal to push past the Rochester Americans and win 6-4.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.697 percentage points) — Penguins (.645) — Providence (.633) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.547) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.477) — Springfield (.477)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Penguins are bussing to Toronto Monday for their game with the Marlies and staying there the rest of the week. They will return to the States Friday when they play up in Utica then bus down to Binghamton Saturday before returning home to take on the Sound Tigers at home.

Power Rankings here Monday and then we will see you Tuesday for the Toronto game.

Let’s Go Pens!

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