Callback to 3 o’clock this afternoon when I wrote this in the Gameday setup for this game…
Call this a measuring stick game for Wilkes-Barre. Many times, it’s the opposition that is looking to measure up to these Penguins but tonight, it will be the Penguins chasing the bar set by Toronto who have just pillaged the North Division this season. If the Penguins in their current form want to advance far in Calder Cup Playoffs once they qualify, they will soon run into a team like Toronto if they want to advance to a Calder Cup. This should be a good one.
It was. After falling in a 2-0 hole, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins battle back to tie it at 2-2 then again at 3-3 only to lose in overtime to the Toronto Marlies 4-3.
Greatness brings the best out sometimes. The Marlies are a fast, well built team. But, they can be beat as evidenced by the coming back from an 0-2 hole and then battling back to 3-3. But in all that quickness and greatness, if you make a mistake, the Marlies are there to capitalize.
Adam Johnson loses a foot race with Adam Brooks and Brooks scores in overtime to give the Marlies the extra point.
This game was extremely exciting, thrilling, edge of your seat type of hockey contest. Referees let them play, stayed for the most part out of the way and it was system vs. system and the better team won, barely.
This is a game that any lesser team goes down 2-0 in the first and loses something 5-1 or 6-2. Not the Penguins, who looked as good or better than the best team in the AHL all season in the Toronto Marlies.
Tristan Jarry opposed Garrett Sparks.
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Daniel Sprong
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
Tristan Jarry – Anthony Peters
Lineup Notes: As you can see from the starters, Tristan Jarry returned to the Penguins after Matt Murray was cleared from his concussion. As a result, Etienne Marcoux was released from his PTO….Daniel Sprong was back in the lineup for Ryan Haggerty who was given the night off.
First Period: Brief feeling out period as there was no scoring after the first media break, then the Penguins got through a Toronto power play when Kyle Baun knocked in a puck to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead….
Good teams like Toronto come fast, and that speed was on display early on.
Marlies scored on a power play when Andrew Nielsen’s short through a screen found its way past a heavily screened Tristan Jar to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Would have been ideal if the Penguins were able to get one back before the end of the period and exactly that happened when Garrett Wilson stripped Martin Marincin in front and Daniel Sprong followed up and put it home to cut the deficit to one.
Penguins looked fantastic in the final two minutes of the period, so the only question was whether or not any of that momentum would carry over to the…
Second Period: Penguins continued to buzz out of the locker room, Garrett Sparks was never able to corral a puck, Martin Marincin broke his stick, Garrett Wilson parked in front an Jarred Tinordi fired a shot that Wilson tipped in.
Pens found themselves on some power play time but weren’t able to convert.
Calle Rosen scored to edge Toronto out by a goal and the Penguins were protesting that Lukas Bengtsson was being held.
Third Period: Ethan Prow scored through bodies in front of Sparks to tie the game back at 3-3.
Thomas DiPauli was setting the screen in front. DiPauli had one hell of a game.
Teams traded power plays and then it was end to end, edge of your seat play. But it was off to…
Overtime: Adam Brooks got a step on Adam Johnson and scored on a quick developing two on one play that secured the extra point for the home team.
Three Stars: 3) Calle Rosen (goal, +1) 2) Garrett Wilson (goal, assist, +2) 1) Adam Brooks (overtime game winning goal, +1)
Around the Division: They all watched us.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.697 percentage points) — Penguins (.643) — Providence (.633) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.547) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.477) — Springfield (.477)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
Penguins will remain in Toronto for the next few days before bussing to Utica to take on the Comets Friday. But for anything breaking between now and then, look for the next blog update to come for the Friday Gameday setup at 3 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!