Turning point of this game, a 3-0 Penguins loss on Friday night against the Hershey Bears, was in the middle of the second period when they just went down 2-0. Pheonix Copley, the starting goaltender for the Bears on this night, hadn’t been tested much to this point.
The Penguins rattled off a couple of good chances in succession, but Copley wasn’t having any of it. You needed a cheap one to beat him tonight but with the way the Bears were playing as a unit tonight, it wasn’t going to happen.
Copley collects his second shutout of the season, both against the Penguins but he lost that game in a 1-0 Penguins shutout win a while back. Wilkes-Barre’s eight game point streak is also over.
That’s pretty much it, on a night where Wilkes-Barre was out possessed in the first and went down early on a Matt Moulson tap in goal on a power play off a rebound of a Christian Djoos one timer. In the second it was a busted rush up ice for the Penguins that turned into a rush up ice for Hershey which resulted in a Garrett Pilon goal that made it 2-0. You could argue that this sequence here was the crusher that sealed the deal for Hershey and not be wrong. An empty net goal by Liam O’Brien late in the third was the other goal.
I could remember, but for the second period buzz which Copley shut down, a Kevin Roy breakaway and a Joseph Blandisi follow up attempt in the first period which Copley stopped. Also, a Chase Berger deflection on a Zach Trotman shot. That was about it offense wise for the Penguins.
Wilkes-Barre had a great penalty kill sequence in the third period when they were on a two man disadvantage. P-O Joseph broke his stick blocking a shot and was without it but still managed to get in the way and Penguins starting net minder Casey DeSmith stopped a one timer from going across the goal line. It really was a sight to see and the sole bright spot on an overall bad night for the Penguins.
That’s really it. They get Lehigh Valley Saturday night at home. Better luck next time, I guess.
Here is how they lined up.
They jumbled up the combinations and put Adam Johnson on the top line. Myles Powell was recalled from Wheeling and I liked what I saw from the guy. I think he hit a Bear on every single one of his shifts Friday. Brandon Hawkins was the extra on ice. Emil Larmi backed up and scuttlebutt on the concourse is that Dustin Tokarski broke his finger.
Garrett Pilon (goal), Matt Moulson (power play goal) and Pheonix Copley (31 saves) were the three stars in that order.
Around the Division: If Hershey was going to win this game Friday, then you wanted to see Hartford do the same. They couldn’t. Charlotte beat them 6-0. Lehigh Valley beat Springfield 4-1. Bridgeport and Providence were off.
Standings: Hartford and Hershey 63 — Providence 57 — Penguins 56 — Providence 55 — Springfield 54 — Lehigh Valley 46 — Bridgeport 37
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Lehigh Valley in Saturday, game is on WYOU if you are local. Gameday setup Saturday afternoon here at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!