Chirps from Center Ice

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

Spring Has Sprong — Pens WIN 4-3 (OT)

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Tenacious.

That could be the word to best describe this game.

After an extremely sloppy start by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, they chip away to tie it in the third period and Daniel Sprong scored to end it in overtime. Penguins win 4-3.

The magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were defeated 5-0 by the Springfield Thunderbirds. That means with any win by the Penguins and a point lost by the Sound Tigers and the Pens are in or a point by the Pens and a straight up loss by Bridgeport and the Pens are in.

Long stretches of this game, it felt like a preseason game. Disjointed. Stick fouls. Hartford pounced and scored three straight in the second. A late Zach Trotman goal brought the Penguins to within one in the second and then the Penguins went on from there.

Michael Leighton opposed Alexandar Georgiev.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Sam Lafferty – Ryan Haggerty
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Christian Thomas
Adam Johnson – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

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

Michael Leighton – Anthony Peters

Lineup Notes: The American Hockey League suspended Andrey Pedan for two games for this hit on Peter Cehlarik on Wednesday:

Pedan was given a 2:00 minor for interference, which Providence scored on. Pedan missed Friday and will miss the rematch against the P-Bruins on Saturday.

Ethan Prow, who I was worried about, was back in for the suspended Pedan. I guess the D corps is strong in that a guy like Prow being. regular in the lineup is not a guarantee.

First Period: Seemed like a sleepy start for both teams. Jarrett Burton led a charge up ice, centered to Ethan Prow who then passed to Christian Thomas who scored to give the Penguins the lead.

But then the Penguins started taking stick fouls. Dea took a high sticking penalty followed by a Teddy Blueger hook that the Penguins were able to successful kill off, so it was 1-0 Penguins after one period.

Second Period: The slow start hurt the Penguins, who continued to take penalties. Finally, Hartford broke though and scored a power play goal to tie the game. Gabriel Fontaine tapped one in front to make it 1-1.

Nearly two minuets later, the Wolf Pack kept coming and Dawson Leedahl scored a backhanded goal that made it 2-1 Hartford.

It was later 3-1 when the Penguins lost Boo Nieves in the slot. Nieves then passed over to Scott Kosmachuk who had an easy tap in for a 3-1 Hartford lead.

Penguins come close twice on a power play and Georgiev stopped a Sprong shot with the pad then the follow-up rebound attempt with the stick on Garrett Wilson.

But then Zach Trotman was able to bring the Penguins to back within one with a turnaround shot from the point.

But then Wilkes-Barre took a too many men on the ice call with five seconds left heading into the…

Third Period: Christian Thomas scored his second of the game on this nice setup from Tom Sestito.

Thomas had two goals and an assist and figured into every goal to this point.

Adam Johnson missed on a penalty shot. He made too many moves and ran out of ice on Georgiev.

Wilkes-Barre continued to come in waves, putting a sum total 16 shots on Hartford, to the Wolf Pack’s 5. A shutdown period by the Penguins.

But there was no further scoring and it was off to…

Overtime: It was a hair on fire showing with the Pens taking seven shots on Georgiev. Finally, they broke through when Daniel Sprong held and held and held, then released….

Ballgame.

Back of envelope…

Three Stars: 3) Christian Thomas (two goals, assist, +1) 2) Scott Kosmachuk (goal, assist, even) 1) Daniel Sprong (game winning overtime goal, +1)

Around the Division: Pens get some breathing room, albeit a slim three points, on the Providence Bruins, who were shutout 2-0 in Allentown tonight by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms…Rochester beats Charlotte in overtime 4-3…Springfield shuts out Bridgeport 5-0…Utica beats Hershey 3-1.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.684 percentage points) — Penguins (.642) — Providence (.634) — Charlotte (.596) — Bridgeport (.552) — Hartford (.507) — Hershey (.471) — Springfield (.463)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were defeated by the Toledo Walleye 4-1.

Video Highlights: 

Pens bus down to face what will likely be an ornery Providence team who were outshot 19-1 in the second period in Allentown. Expect a battle Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.

Gameday setup is here at 3 Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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