They spoiled a dazzling display in goal by Casey DeSmith.
After going up 2-0 in the first period, DeSmith shut down the Bears in the second period, which I felt at the time was Hershey’s best attempt to get back in the game, after the physical war the Bears were in all weekend with Lehigh Valley on Friday and Saturday. No way that the Bears, in the final period of a weekend three in three, mount a comeback against that Penguins defense.
Wrong! Bears get two to tie in the third, force overtime and Joe Snively’s goal in overtime give Hershey a 3-2 overtime win against the Penguins Sunday.
I found out in the third that the Penguins were missing one of their better defensemen in Zach Trotman who left the game and didn’t return. That may have had a part in it.
DeSmith opposed Pheonix Copley.
Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi was reassigned by Pittsburgh Sunday morning. Jordy Bellerive went out of the lineup to make room, Jan Drozg went to the top line where he ended up Saturday night. Defense pairings were intact.
First Period: Hot start for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, who went up two goals in a span of about two minutes just before half way.
Sam Miletic scored on a ridiculous feed by Andreas Martinsen that put the Pens on the board.
Then Anthony Angello scored from the slot which doubled the visitors lead.
Miletic nearly had a second goal on this sequence but Copley was lucky enough to not let it beat him.
Casey DeSmith, not to be outdone, had this ten bell save on Joe Snively in the final knockings of the period.
Second Period: Eighteen shots by Hershey but no goals to show. Casey DeSmith stood on his head, had the Bears hit two posts, but no one scored. Penguins had :31 of two man advantage but weren’t able to score.
Third Period: Hershey finally breaks through on a power play goal scored by Matt Mouslon. A shot by Bobby Nardella was saved by DeSmith but not covered up and Mouslon who was screening in front swept it across the line.
The Bears power play is 30th out of 31 teams in the AHL but somehow always scores against the Penguins. It was the fourth (of ten successes) power play goals scored against the Penguins this season.
Christian Djoos had a low, seeing eye shot beat DeSmith which tied the game at two.
Then a super soft call by Mitch Dunning and Michael Markovic. We had these two referees Saturday at home and I thought they did a fine job. They did a fine job Sunday too but for the following sequence.
That’s 6’5 Anthony Angello decleating 5’11 Shane Gersich who was skating with his head down with a clean body hit. Nothing at the head, nothing dirty, a clean hit delivered. Referees call roughing. Thankfully, Hershey didn’t score on the ensuing power play.
Dunning and Markovic repaid the Penguins with a soft hooking call against the Bears but the Penguins didn’t score there.
Overtime: Sam Miletic had a chance to end it in OT but Copley flicked out the pad.
Snively put home a rebound of a Mike Sgarbossa shot.
Here’s another look:
Game. Set. Match. A perfect 3-0 weekend for Hershey. Only one point for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton.
Three stars: 3) Matt Moulson (goal) 2) Christian Djoos (goal, assist) 1) Joe Snively (overtime game winning goal)
The Good: The hot start by the Penguins.
The Bad: Losing Trotman to injury had to play into the Bears relentless comeback in the third.
Turning Point: :31 of two man advantage reared no goals for the Penguins. A three, possibly four goal lead at the time would have been way too much for a tired Bears team to overcome no matter who was missing from the Penguins lineup.
Around the Division: One other game, the Hartford Wolf Pack complete a perfect 3-0 weekend with a 4-1 win over the Atlantic Division leader Providence Bruins in Providence.
Standings: Hartford 35 — Providence 35 — Penguins 30 — Hershey 29 — Springfield 28 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Charlotte 23 — Bridgeport 22
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
The Pens are in Rochester taking on old buddy J-S Dea and the Americans Wednesday. Blue Cross Arena has been a house of horrors for the Penguins of late.
The stat board has been updated. You can click over to that at the top of the blog, or just click here.
Mailbag Monday is back, send in questions or I will shelve the feature entirely.
Let’s Go Pens!