Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Pretty Convincing — Pens WIN 4-2

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Seems like they are coming together.

You could see it last Saturday in a close game and loss in Hershey. They said all the right things, it felt like a win despite a loss, etc.

Wednesday in the rematch with Hershey they play a complete game, probably the best game of the young season and hand the Bears their first regulation loss of the season.

Easy to replicate against the Phantoms, yeah?

In this case, certainly. A 4-2 win against the first of many with Lehigh Valley, handing the Phantoms their first regulation loss of the 2021 season.

These Penguins are trending in the right direction. Up.

Max Lagace opposed Zane McIntyre.

Lineup: 

Lineup Changes: 

Narrator: Anthony Angello was already recalled, you dummy. Pittsburgh re-assigned Jordy Bellerive at 5.

First Period: Pens struck first and quickly, Will Reilly with a shot through traffic that beats Zane McIntyre through the five hole to give that gives Wilkes-Barre an early 1-0 lead.

Wilkes-Barre would find itself in a bit of penalty trouble when they had to kill off a five on three. Lehigh Valley’s power play was dead last coming into today’s action or else the Penguins would have been in big trouble. A late block of a pass by Kevin Czuczman, playing in his 400th AHL game, at the end of the period while Wilkes-Barre was still killing the two man disadvantage was a key point.

Second Period: Jon Lizotte beats McIntyre through the five hole for a goal that gives the Pens a 2-0 lead.

About :20 later, Phantoms rookie sensation Zayde Wisdom does this:

You aren’t supposed to be able to that that at his age in this league. Two defenders riding him, he steps by them like they aren’t even there, makes another move and flips it into the net to respond.

Penguins would get McIntyre again through the five hole when Jan Drozg tips in a Lizotte shot which gave the Penguins a two goal lead.

Third Period: Felix Robert scores on an absolute dart to make it 4-1 Penguins.

High quality snipe by the neophyte, if I can steal a line from Clyde Frazier.

Max Willman would respond about :40 later as an uncontrolled, pinballing puck is collected by Max Willman and put in to bring the Phantoms back within two.

(Taylor didn’t GIF this one, use your imagination)

They clamped it down from there, I was almost waiting for them to make a mistake but that never happened despite Lehigh Valley getting some power play opportunities.

Three Stars: 3) Felix Robert (goal, assist) 2) Jon Lizotte (goal, assist) 1) Jan Drozg (goal, assist)

The Good: Doesn’t seem like there are any leaks right now with this team. The earlier issues have been buttoned up, team looks great.

The Bad: When you are struggling to come up with something, you know it was a good game.

Turning Point: Going to give it to Robert tonight and his goal that gave the Penguins a 3 goal lead at the time in the third period. The Willman goal got the Phantoms closer, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The two teams rematch Saturday in Allentown.

Around the Division: I don’t even know if Rochester or Utica or those other teams in the division are playing or not. Hershey and Binghatom are. That box is here. I don’t think there is going to be a playoff this season. If there was, you would think they would have announced something by now. They haven’t.

Gameday setup here Saturday at the more conventional 3 pm.

Highlights will be posted as a later edit provided I can get back around to a computer screen.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

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