Sometimes you run into a hot goalie. No matter how hard you try, the guy in the pads standing in front of the 4’ x 6’ cage just sometimes makes the stops to carry his team across the line.
Vitek Vanecek for Hershey carried his 0-5 Hershey Bears to their first win of the season on his back through an ocean with 20 foot waves.
40 saves by Vanecek tonight ensures enough for his Hershey Bears team who win their first game of the season 3-2 tonight in Wilkes-Barre. It’s also the first loss of the season for the Penguins.
I’m in the hurry up because 6:50 am Thursday morning comes quick and I don’t do this for a living.
Tristan Jarry made his first start of the season for the Penguins and opposed the aforementioned Vanecek.
Notes: Matt Abt was a scratch. Ryan Horvat made his WBS debut. Less roster jockeying with Derek Grant, a veteran, recalled when Jarry was sent back down. Ryan Haggerty is week to week with a lower body injury but Clark told Tom after the game it’s a shorter term week to week and shouldn’t be a long term issue.
First Period: I thought one play late in the period best summed up the period for Wilkes-Barre. It was on the power play and Sam Miletic had a wide open net to shoot into. He missed. The Penguins trailed 1-0 to the Bears after 20 minutes of play. Lots of chances, no finish or nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Axel Jonsson-Fjällby scored on the Bears first shot of the game to give Hershey the early lead.
Second Period: First ten minutes took forever and I felt that it benefitted Hershey. They came in 0-5, in the midst of a seven game hellacious road trip that brought them through the Midwest, here tonight and to Charlotte this weekend, their backup goalie was a local guy signed to an ATO before the game and had guys banged up, so every stoppage after an icing or an offside was a chance to catch their breath, reset, and get back to it.
As the period wore on and the Penguins down 1-0 still, the last thing you wanted to see was the Bears go up two.
The Bears went up two. Old buddy Liam O’Brien beat Tristan Jarry gloveside on a quick shot with 20.2 seconds left in the period.
Third Period: Penguins get two quick goals in under two minutes in the games first five minutes and the thought from the Bears was likely here we go again…
Tobias Lindberg smacked one in off of Vanecek to put the Pens on the board.
Then Garrett Wilson with this deflection when the Penguins were on the power play tied it…
But then the Penguins got caught chasing their tail, watching too much in their own zone when old buddy and favorite of this blog Jayson Megna scored what ended up being the game winning goal…
Game then zipped on past after that. No power plays, minimal stoppages. The Penguins got close, again, multiple times with Jarry pulled for the extra man but Vanecek made some excellent stops to ensure that his team wouldn’t be playing overtime tonight.
Three Stars: 3) Vitek Vanecek (40 saves on 42 shots) 2) Tobias Lindberg (goal) 1) Jayson Megna (game winning goal)
Around the Division: Laval pounds Hartford 5-2. Everyone else was off.
Standings: Charlotte 8 – Hartford 7 – Penguins 6 – Springfield 6 – Lehigh Valley 4 – Bridgeport 3 – Providence 2 – Hershey 2.
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Hershey put highlights up first, so they run here so I am not looking back sometime Thursday morning. Here they are…
Pens are back in action Friday in Allentown against the Phantoms.
Don’t forget Week 2’s AHL Power Rankings out Thursday. Check them out around noonish.
Let’s Go Pens!