Chirps from Center Ice

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

The Germans Are Coming! — Pens LOSE 6-3


6                                          3

It’s good to see that there are teams out there that don’t lay down easy and pack up and call it an evening when they are faced with adversity.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will be bussing to Bridgeport, Connecticut Saturday night into Sunday morning for an afternoon affair with the Sound Tigers. After going down 2-0 in the first period Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre, some players for the Phantoms could have packed it in, started conserving energy and coasting a bit for tomorrow’s game in Bridgeport.

But not Scott Gordon’s crew. Undeterred, the Phantoms would go on to outscore Wilkes-Barre 6-1 and turn what looked like a Phantoms rout into a Penguins rout. Lehigh Valley wins 6-3.

If Clark Donatelli is the coach I know him to be, this will be a teachable moment.

Anthony Peters opposed Alex Lyon. Tristan Jarry backed up, it may be time to get a look at what Johnny Muse can do for the Penguins in the pipes. That’s not a knock on either Jarry or Peters, Muse hasn’t played a regular season game yet for the Penguins and may be due.

Lines were…

Notes: Troy Josephs was in for Ryan Horvat up front and Matt Abt was in for Jeff Taylor.

First Period: In a period where the Penguins put up an eye popping 20 shots on goal, they would race out ahead of the Phantoms and took a 2-0 lead off the stick of Sam Miletic.

A redirect of a Will O’Neill point shot here…

And again on a rebound of a Summers point shot…

1:11 later, Mark Freidman goes bar down and in to cut the Penguins lead to one…

A quick start by Wilkes-Barre who were at time running around on the Phantoms but Friedman’s goal had them sticking around heading into the…

Second Period: German Rubtsov wrist shot beat Peters clean to tie the game for Lehigh Valley for exactly the answer the Phantoms were looking for coming out of the intermission…

In a game where few penalties were called (and none against the Phantoms) the last thing the you wanted to see was Lehigh Valley going on a power play.

:06 into a Teddy Blueger slashing penalty, Phil Varone scores to give the Phantoms a 3-2 lead…

Ethan Prow would answer 2:54 later on a shot from the point that floated through and in for a tie game.

But then the Penguins would get caught in a bad line change and German Rubtsov would score his second of the period and gave the Phantoms a lead they would never relinquish.

Third Period: Rout was on when Philippe Myers put a shot on that changed speed and direction and got past Peters for a 5-3 Lehigh Valley lead.

Woof indeed. 🐩

Lehigh Valley connects again on a power play when TJ Brennan finds Chris Conner backdoor to make it 6-3.

Two power plays that took :16 total. Price Chopper Market 32 in Kingston sponsors the Penguins penalty kill and Bobby Day never was able to get the sponsor read out. I’d be calling this week to get the money back on this one, but I just named them here. I shop there sometimes. It’s a nice grocery store. They have a seafood department, a butcher shop and a nice deli. You can always tell the quality of a grocery store by its deli.


After some rough stuff in the games final minute that saw Will O’Neill get assessed a game misconduct, a regular misconduct, a fighting major and an instigating minor, the game concluded without further incident.

Update: Lost among the madness is the fact that O’Neill did indeed receive an instigator penalty in the games final five minutes. That carries an automatic one game suspension with it unless it is rescinded. I don’t really see any reason for it to be taken off the board, so expect an announcement from the League Monday or Tuesday announcing that O’Neill is suspended for the next game which will be Friday at home against the Bears.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Don’t look now but Hershey collected 5 of 6 points this week and in turn hand Charlotte their first regulation loss of the season, beating the Checkers in shutout fashion 2-0. A 25 save shutout for Vitek Vanecek, who most assuredly you can expect first out of the tunnel at around 6:20 on Friday night in Wilkes-Barre….Springfield sweeps Laval 4-2…Toronto beats Hartford 3-2 and Providence beats up on Bridgeport 5-2.

Standings: Springfield 10 – Charlotte 10 – Hartford 9 – Penguins 8 – Lehigh Valley 6 – Bridgeport, Providence and Hershey with 5 all in that order.

Wheeling Update: I’ll let Taylor sum it up.

That was Kevin Lynch with the lone goal.


Pens are off Sunday and have an optional skate Monday. I’m back here Thursday with the Week 3 Power Rankings for sure, may fill in with news as I can scratch them together between now and then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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