The goal for any hockey club is to win the last game of the season.
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins did that Sunday afternoon, 5-2 over the Binghamton Devils. Sadly, they don’t qualify for a playoff berth and that’s all she wrote on the season.
Clark Donatelli put a lineup out Sunday that looked like this:
Felt like a preseason game with all of the rookies, unheard of kids and Wheeling guys in the lineup, but it was the fourth line of the Penguins that did the most damage Sunday with Cedric Lacroix scoring a pair of goals in the Penguins win. Nice win for 6’6 Matt O’Connor and the ATO guys continue to look promising.
Binghamton jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Ryan Schmelzer deflected a Nick Lappiun shot that gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.
Penguins trailed at the end of the first and after a zamboni breakdown in the first intermission that delayed the start of the second period by ten minutes when it was decided to simply skate on the ice from the first period, the Penguins offense roared to life.
Sam Lafferty kept it on a two on one rush and the Penguins tied it at one…
Then Cedric Lacroix stepped in to a Binghamton clear, took it in deep fired and scored his first AHL goal to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.
Seconds after, Sam Miletic scored to make it 3-1.
To add to a long period, referees Beau Halkidis and Matt Menniti took a long look at a Binghamton would be goal that lasted well over five minutes. After the lengthy review it was deemed to be no goal and play continued.
Penguins scored three times in the span of 3:25 in the second period and capitalized on Binghamtion’s mistakes.
In the third, Jake Lucchini added a power play goal which made it 4-1.
Then Yushi Hirano, the first ever Japanese skater to play in the AHL, put a shot on that Lacroix was there to put the Pens ahead 5-1.
John Ramage added a power play goal for Binghamton that made it 5-2.
And that was all she wrote.
They will end the season in sixth place, a 36-30-7-3 record, good for 82 points. That is five off of Providence for the last playoff spot which was already decided on Friday. Lehigh Valley won five straight games to close out their season and get fifth place.
It ended a lot sooner than we would have liked, but this concludes yet another season of blogging up this team, my first where playoffs do not occur. It’s been fun, as always and my pleasure to bring you my insights of this team from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Thank you for engaging with me on Twitter, Facebook, in person or e-mail.
I’ll be by Monday with my autopsy of the team and season, then Tuesday I will have the final AHL Power Rankings. Wednesday I will preview the Calder Cup Playoffs all the way to the Finals. Maybe I will come back in June to see how right or wrong I was.
And of course, most important, I will have my thoughts on the lease goings on between the Arena and the Penguins. I joked with a few people today that the main hangup on lease negotiations is who pays for the badly needed two zambonis.
Thanks again for reading, have a great summer and Let’s Go Pens!