Chirps from Center Ice

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

Sweeps Week — Pens WIN 5-4 (OT)

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They were in a tight one tonight with a good team.

Back and forth they went, punching and counterpunching with Lehigh Valley.

Wilkes-Barre wins this one 5-4 in overtime. It was the battle of the backups, Shane Starrett for Wilkes-Barre and Felix Sandstrom for Lehigh Valley and I would say that both goalies showed themselves well.

The Penguins sweep the week against in state rivals and get six points out of the week. Not bad.

Lineup: 

Lineup Notes: Schilkey and Drozg swap spots. New third line with reinforcements back from Pittsburgh; Sam MIletic and Jordy Bellerive, Stevens and Joly went out for those two. Defense pairing unchanged. Shane Starrett made his debut in net for the Penguins.

First Period: Seems like both teams chased a bit all period and it was fair that it was 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Felix Robert opened the scoring with this nice goal leading a two on one.

But then Zayde Wisdom had a no look pass to Max Willman who connected for a goal which tied the game.

Wilkes-Barre would kill consecutive penalties.

Pretty even period. Shots nine a piece. I don’t think either team really liked they way that they played in the period.

Second Period: Jody Bellerive opened the scoring with this nice play from a pass from Sam Miletic.

I couldn’t tell live and still can’t really tell on replay if the puck ever even touched the ice when it got to Bellerive when he shot it. I mean it had to, right? What a play that gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

But, as the theme went all night, the Phantoms would score again when Max Willman continued his terror over the Penguins with this shot…

Which pinballed off of two Penguin defenders and handcuffed Starrett. Tie game yet again.

This time, the Phantoms would take the lead when Ryan Fitzgeral would clean up a puck to the right of Starrett and put it home to give Lehigh Valley a 3-2 lead on a power play.

But the Penguins would respond in kind.

Thank you Taylor for the description there and the video. You saved me a few keystrokes.

What a wild period with momentum swings flying in each direction.

Third Period: :27 in and Sam Miletic, fresh from reassignment from Pittsburgh, gives the Penguins a 4-3 lead.

Rebound of a Bellerive offering there I think.

Things settled a bit from here on the scoring front until Zayde Wisdom scored a power play goal. Penguins think they have it, go to clear, turn it over and before you know it Jon Pizotte is doing pirouettes in the slot and it’s a tie game yet again.

Overtime: 

Just :40 in and Freddy Gaudreau takes a gift of a turnover by Max Willman and goes to the net and scores to win it for Wilkes-Barre.

Just a bonehead turnover there. Goalie had no chance.

Three Stars: 3) Jordy Bellerive (goal, assist) 2) Max WIllman (two goals) 1) Freddy Gaudreau (overtime game winning goal, assist)

The Good: They seemed unfazed tonight in a game they very well could have lost. In this forced season in the midst of a pandemic, you aren’t playing 10+ opponents like you have in years past. Just be good against Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Binghamton and Syracuse. It seems like that is the plan and it looks like it’s working.

The Bad: I thought referees Mike Dietrich and Mason Riley were fine tonight. The Penguins had just one power play attempt and the Phantoms had five. You have to button that up going forward.

Turning Point: You all would have been happy with five of six points, so the Gaudreau goal that gave the Penguins the win is the obvious choice here. It gave the Penguins maximum points for the week.

I’ve decided to not pay any attention to the division play unless or until there is an announcement on playoffs. I don’t think there will be, so I don’t honestly think what Hershey, Syracuse, Utica, Rochester, Binghamton or Lehigh Valley do when the Penguins aren’t playing them matters. If there is something that comes down from Springfield that forces me to, then that will go here.

They are off now until a midweek game against Syracuse which will be televised again locally and out in Pittsburgh at 5. More then.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

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