Headline tonight would probably be reserved for something good happening for the Springfield Thunderbirds, but I’m using it for the purposes of this four game win streak that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins find themselves on after a 2-1 shootout win in a knockdown, drag out defensive and goaltending battle from Springfield on Wednesday night.
Springfield is a tough team. They are well coached and have legit prospects that are good. The Penguins and Thunderbirds always bring out the best of one another when these two teams hook up.
But what a difference a week makes. The Penguins played the entire month of November and couldn’t get out of their own way. Now, with adjustments from Head Coach Clark Donatelli, it’s a quiet four game win streak.
Thunder is coming. It may just be in the form of a bird that cannot fly.
Tristan Jarry opposed Samuel Montembeault.
Lineup Notes: No changes on defense. Ben Sexton made his WBS debut so the lines up front got shook up. No change to the top line; Linus Ölund centered Haggerty and Cramarossa. Sexton debuted with Johnson and Lafferty on the third line. Burton centered Josephs and Hayes on the fourth.
Tristan Jarry was re-assigned by Pittsburgh earlier in the day and that meant that Anthony Peters backed up and John Muse either watched from the stands or from home.
First Period: Defenseman Chris Summers was injured on the very first shift of the hockey game ere when he went down to block a pass or a shot, popped up and collided with Jake Horton and then slammed awkwardly into the boards.
It was an exhibition in goaltending, as there were 25 shots total in the period and none finer stopped than this save Tristan Jarry made on sniper Jayace Hawryluk:
Even Hawryluk knew he was robbed.
The saves continued until Blaine Byron went to center a pass to Bobby Farnham that deflected off of Sam Lafferty’s skate and in past Jarry to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead.
Teddy Blueger saw his attempt at a redirect of an Ethan Prow pass hit iron.
Second Period: The Penguins would dominate the period. They easily killed a Springfield power play and scored on one of their own when Adam Johnson scored on a rebound left by Montembeault that leveled things for Wilkes-Barre….
That was a Lafferty shot that Montembeault stopped initially.
Springfield was held to a scant three shots on goal in the period. The Penguins accomplished this without the services of Chris Summers who did not come out for the second, so with only five healthy defensemen.
Third Period: Springfield outshoots the Pens 16-10 in the period and Tristan Jarry, who has been up in Pittsburgh for the past month and used sparingly during his stay was spectacular.
Penguins had to kill a late Jeff Taylor penalty and were able to successfully. Springfield’s home power play was second in the AHL coming in and was downright tepid against Wilkes-Barre / Scranton’s 30th out of 31 AHL teams penalty kill.
Overtime: Pens had a power play but couldn’t solve Montembeault. It was off to a…
Shootout: Adam Johnson, Thomas DiPauli and Ben Sexton all scored in that order. Springfield got one and the Penguins would win.
It’s all here, from overtime forward, here in another Periscope:
Here is Sexton’s game winner.
Three Stars: 3) Samuel Montembeault (41 saves on 42 shots) 2) Adam Johnson (goal) 1) Thomas DiPauli (shootout goal)
Around the Division: Providence lost in Utica 5-2. Everyone else was off.
Standings: Charlotte 39 — Bridgeport 32 — Springfield 31 — Lehigh Valley 30 — Penguins 30 — Providence 26 — Hartford 25 — Hershey 24
Allen are the Americans. They are from Texas. The ECHL do have fun matchups from time to time. Florida played Idaho in Boise a week or so ago. Box here.
Video Highlights: Haven’t seen them yet. If I can get to an edit I’ll work them in here.
Pens are of Friday before hosting Lehigh Valley at home Saturday. AHL Power Rankings will be out Thursday. Come back then.
Let’s Go Pens!