The Springfield Thunderbirds came into Wilkes-Barre tonight and won 4-1. They did so on the back of some great bounces that put them ahead 2-0. When Ryan Haggerty scored his 20th goal of the season that made it 2-1 heading into the third period, a too many men on the ice call against the Penguins saw Springfield and their top overall power play score to essentially ice the game away. The Thunderbirds would add another goal for good measure.
With Hershey beating Providence tonight at Giant Center 2-1, the Penguins are five points back of a playoff spot with seven games to play.
Tristan Jarry opposed Chris Driedger.
Lineup Notes: Those two players noted in the tweet above were signed to ATOs earlier this week and contracts for next season. Linus Ölund and Patrick McGrath yielded to the debutants.
First Period: Chase Berger nearly acquainted himself properly when the had this great chance in the slot that was denied by Driedger.
This ain’t college, kid.
Vincent Praplan cherry picked and was the beneficiary of a high clear that he corralled and backhanded past Jarry to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the period.
Second Period: Adam Rockwood tapped his first pro goal past Jarry on a nice setup from Anthony Greco on a transition play that made it 2-0 Thunderbirds early on.
Ryan Haggerty would pull one back for the Penguins on this goal.
Penguins would lose Anthony Angelllo and Juuso Riikola to injury. Angello’s I believe happened in the first period and Riikola’s happened in the second. Riikola’s was lower body, he slammed his stick off the bench then hobbled back to the locker room in pain and limping. He tried to give it a go in the third when they came back from break but couldn’t and went back in the room.
Tyler had nothing to report postgame on their statuses.
Third Period: Harry Zolnierczyk scored on a knee drop one timer shot that bulleted past Jarry on the power play that gave the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead. This came when the Penguins were called for too any men on the ice.
Penguins would essentially have two power play opportunities to get back into the game and failed on both. Each time, they would go on to get scored against.
This time, Alex Breton did the honors for his first goal as a professional as well.
Mid-slot snipe. Nice.
The Good: The kids look good. I had someone come up to me a on the concourse and say that they play the game at 100 mph because they don’t know any better, but Chris Brown and Chase Berger looked good for the limited amount of time they had out there, with the Pens trailing in the third they didn’t see much ice time.
The Bad: Springfield is playing out the string but came to play, got bounces and left the Pens in a big hole as the final two weeks are upon us.
Turning Point: Zolnierczyk’s power play goal was the killshot. Springfield was getting all the bounces and capitalizing. The Penguins didn’t have the same amount of luck.
I gave you the scores that matter in the lede. Hershey is in Bridgeport Sunday against Bridgeport. You want a Bridgeport regulation win.
Pens are back in action Tuesday morning in Bridgeport at 10:30. But for anything breaking between now and then check out the Gameday setup with your morning coffee or team Tuesday bright and early at 6:30 a.m.
Let’s Go Pens!