I’m sensing a trend here, and not a good one.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins battled back from an 0-2 hole Tuesday in Toronto to force overtime only to lose.
Same thing happened tonight in Utica, but it was an 0-3 hole tonight that the Penguins battle back from to tie it way late in the third period only to lose tonight 5-4 in overtime.
Wilkes-Barre was essentially asleep tonight against a stumbling Comets team who were 2-8 in their last ten games in the first period and through Tristan Jarry’s calm play in net for his team, the Penguins steal a point.
Jarry opposed Thatcher Demko.
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Jarrett Burton – Adam Johnson
Tom Sestito – Gage Quinney – Ryan Haggerty
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos
Chris Summers – Kevin Czuczman
Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Jarrred Tinordi – Zach Trotman
Tristan Jarry – Michael Leighton
Lineup Notes: Andrey Pedan returned from injury and as a result, Kevin Schulze was released from his professional tryout agreement….Josh Jooris was returned from Pittsburgh but was not in the lineup for the Penguins.
First Period: The game started at 7:05. Someone forgot to tell the Penguins.
Initial shot blocked by Tristan Jarry 1:31 into the game is kicked over to Mike Carcone who scores to put the Comets on the board.
Utica nearly makes it 2-0 but the puck somehow stays out, but in the chaos, Chris Summers takes a hooking penalty.
Michael Chaput makes it 2-0 Utica on the ensuing power play.
Later, Chaput scored his second of the period when Jarred Tinordi bowled over two men in the neutral zone and Chaput used the trailing defenseman as a screen to make it 3-0 Utica.
:19 later, J-S Dea scored to make it a 3-1 game.
Not quite the response as was Tuesday in Toronto when the Penguins went down 2-0 early then scored to make it 2-1.
Penguins looked goon on their only power play of the period but Thatcher Demko closed the door on several Wilkes-Barre opportunities.
Shots were 18-14 Penguins after the first. 32 shots in one period seemed like a lot.
Second Period: Penguins started the period out with great aplomb and scored a goal when Daniel Sprong stripped Ashton Sautner of the puck and raced up ice with Gage Quinney which became a 2-on-none. Sprong scored here on a nice give and go.
Busted line change by the Penguins, Chris Summers dives to break up a play then Sprong swooped in from out of the box to cut it to one.
Game turned on this play.
As you can imagine, that angered the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. Not so much like a few weeks ago in Rochester but the game was past its boiling point with the referees losing control. Tristan Jarry did what he could coming up with big save after big save, but was finally beaten again this time by Zac Lynch that made it 4-2 Utica.
Penguins couldn’t score three times on the play before the Lynch goal. If you thought Tristan Jarry was having a bad game, think again.
Grand Theft Auto is probably frowned upon in the State of New York and Tristan probably doesn’t have a CDL license to drive such a lengthy vehicle anyway.
Pens were on tilt, Jarry was doing what he could to bail his team out and keep them in it. Wilkes-Barre needed to shake off the happenings in the second and come out with vim and vigor in the third.
Third Period: Penguins and Comets trade power plays to open, as Utica’s expired Tom Kostopoulos scored to draw Wilkes-Barre within one.
Penguins had a power play they didn’t score on, but the roles were reversed with Gage Quinney and Daniel Sprong with Quinney leading a two-on-one and scoring to tie the game at four a side.
It was then off to…
Overtime: Ashton Sautner scores for Utica.
Three Stars: 3) Gage Quinney (goal, assist, +1) 2) Micheal Chaput (two goals, assist, +1) 1) Ashton Sautner (overtime game winning goal, -2)
Around the Division: Lehigh Valley is the first Atlantic Division team to punch a ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs and third team overall. They did it via a Bridgeport regulation loss (4-1 to Syracuse) while losing to Lehigh Valley 5-4 in overtime. Charlotte beats Laval 3-2 in overtime. Everyone else (Springfield, Hershey, Charlotte) were off.
Standings: Lehigh Valley (.694 percentage points) — Penguins (.641) — Providence (.638) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.545) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.477) — Springfield (.477)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers picked up a big two points with a 4-3 win over Brampton. Kevin Spinozzi scored what ended up being the game winning goal.
If the Comets put up video highlights, I will post them here.
Penguins will stay in Utica tonight and bus to Binghamton Saturday for their 7:05 start against the Devils. Look for the Gameday setup here Saturday at 3.
Let’s Gp Pens!