I said this in my Friday game recap after the first period of action against Hartford when it was 2-2 after 20 minutes of play…
Four goals in 10:50. The Penguins don’t like to play run and gun and would lose more than they would win playing that style, so the game at that point needed to slow down for success to occur.
An 8-5 setback in Bridgeport Sunday afternoon / evening. More like evening, despite the game ending at quarter to six on Sunday. It’s dark now. It didn’t start getting dark until 8:30 just a few weeks ago. Summer is a distant memory…
The run and gun style is not the style that the Penguins can play with any kind of success, they just don’t have the firepower up front to get it all to click at one time in one game. Sound Tigers go up 4-1 after the first Sunday, were up 7-1 at one point in the second period before the Penguins claw back in the third when the game was well decided.
Credit the Penguins for not giving up, not rolling over, not getting injured. They lost Zach Trotman at some point to an injury early in the second but ran out of time in trying to mount anything close to a comeback. It’s a weird game because the Penguins will win 90% of the games where they score at least five goals, but giving up four in the first to an opponent, facing a seven goal deficit to the opponent at some point in the game and no team anywhere is going to have success against their opponent.
So where do we go from here, 1-2 on the weekend? The start. The start for the Penguins both games Saturday and Sunday has been less than stellar. Nick Hart on radio hyped up the Penguins being, “ready” for the Sound Tigers and Ryan Haggerty talking about, “showtime” as he stepped off of the bus Sunday morning.
Haggerty was held without a point and was a -2.
But I am not picking on Haggerty. The Penguins simply were not ready to play today, down 3-0 before the half way point of the game. Anthony Peters got the start for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton but was relieved by Tristan Jarry in the second period onward. The Penguins are not going to want to have Jarry or Peters or whoever it is appear in three straight games back-to-back-to-back, The starts have been poor, (going down 2-0 in the first 12 minutes Saturday; the run and gun in the first Friday) and they need to improve, quickly.
Silver linings were Zach Aston-Reese’s hat trick and assist, Garrett Wilson’s three point (2-1) game and Ethan Prow’s three assist as Prow remains one of the best defensemen in the AHL. The Penguins connected on three power play goals.
Ask yourself this question. Would you rather lose 8-5 or win 8-5 but at some point cough up a six goal lead?
Game story after the jump because it’s going to be a lengthy one on your browser or phone if you didn’t link in direct.
Jarry opposed Christopher Gibson.
Notes: Ölund bumped to the first line, second line untouched, Adam Johnson bumped from 1C to third line LW, Burton centered DiPauli, bumped down from the third line to the fourth, and Lindberg. On defense, Czuczman for O’Neill, likely veteran related.
First Period: To sum, a blitzkrieg. And not of the good kind. Devon Toews attempted a pass to Michael Dal Colle which was blocked back to him, and Toews jumped on the puck and scored to give the Sound Tigers the early 1-0 lead…
Kiefer Bellows then slammed home one from the slot that gave the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Penguins had a power play that came and went, then Bridgeport made it 3-0 when a shot was blocked inadvertently by Dal Colle who scooped up the puck and backhanded it home.
Zach Aston-Reese score his first of the day when Ethan Prow put a shot on that was stopped by the pad of Gibson. Aston-Reese pounced on it and scored and the Pens were within two.
I didn’t think that Anthony Peters should have been blamed for any of the goals leading up to this one by Otto Koivula that made it 4-1 Sound Tigers…
Second Period: Tristan Jarry relived Peters in the net. In hindsight, they should have had Peters start last night and give Jarry the game today. But as I always say, I blog about the team, I don’t coach them.
Wilkes-Barre could have got back into the game to start the period through a rash of penalties to both teams but had the Penguins on the man advantage for a majority of the time but eventually they got back to five square and Bridgeport cashed on a power play after keeping it in and in and in.
Before the goal, Penguins lost Zach Trotman to injury. Watch the left side, bottom of the video, you will see him get inadvertently toe picked by Devon Toews.
Could be anything, Nick Hart mentioned on radio that Trotman was limping to the room with athletic trainer Seamus McKelvey, so your guess is as good as mine.
Old buddy Chris Bourque faked Stefan Elliott down, floated to the spot and scored to make it 6-1.
Penguins had a few good looks shorthanded late in the period, perhaps a foreshadowing of the third period.
Third Period: But not before Parker Wotherspoon recreates the Bourque goal by faking a shot, floating to another area and making it 7-1.
Ouch. Woof. Yuck. Whatever term (or expletive) you want to use, it goes here.
Zach Aston-Reese scored a power play goal that pulled the Penguins within five…
…but Keiffer Bellows scored a few seconds later to re-establish the six goal lead.
Garrett Wilson scored in a pile and it was 8-3…
…and again to make it 8-4.
Wilson also had an assist to go along with a fight, so that’s a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
Zach Aston-Reese completes his hat trick with a shorthanded goal that made it 8-5.
Ballgame, finally, as the clock expired. Who knows where we would be if hockey was 4 periods. (they would be quarters, dummy)
Three Stars: 3) Zach Aston-Reese (three goals, assist) 2) Josh Ho-Sang (four asissts) and 1) Michael Dal Colle (two goals, assist)
Around the Division: Hershey and Hartford were in Chocolatetown for a 5 pm start and the Bears clipped the Wolf Pack in the seventh round of the shootout and win 2-1. Everyone else in the division was off.
Standings: Charlotte 20 – Springfield 16 – Lehigh Valley 14 – Penguins 13 – Bridgeport 13 – Hershey 13 – Hartford 12 – Providence 7
Wheeling Update: The Nailers do not play until Wednesday in Cincinnati.
Highlights: Bridgeport will probably get one up at some point and I will edit them in here at some point. Do you really want to watch all 13 goals?
Pens will probably be off Monday then be faced with some tough practices. Let’s hope they aren’t late, as they have been in the last two contests which have cost them points.
Let’s Go Pens!