Chirps from Center Ice

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

Preseason Game #2 – Penguins 4, Bears 5

Before we get ripping on the game story, some news from earlier in the day.

The Penguins sent the following players to Wilkes-Barre:

Forwards Kasper Bjorkqvist, Filip Hallander, Nathan Legare and Sam Poulin. They also sent defensemen P.O. Joseph down as well.

Reassigned (after getting called up Wednesday) were forwards Jonathan Gruden and Valtteri Puustinen, as well as defensemen Niclas Almari and Taylor Fedun.

In a separate transaction, goaltender Louis Domingue was sent down later in the day.

Also, defenseman Juuso Riikola and forward Michael Chaput were placed on waivers on Friday.

That doesn’t mean necessarily that Riikola and Chaput get sent here automatically (provided they clear by 2 p.m. Saturday) but, like Domingue, if they clear it could be a matter of time.

Onto Friday nights on ice action…the Penguins hosted the Hershey Bears Friday night.

Here’s how they lined up:

Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a Jan Drozg dart. It’s Drozg’s second goal in as many games.

Bears respond in kind just after their power play expired on an Eddie Wittchow dart which tied it.

Later, a Cam Lee shot was stopped but remained in the slot long enough for a falling Matt Alfaro to sweep home to put Wilkes-Barre back ahead 2-1.

Early impressions of Lindberg is that he’s as athletic as they come. Bears had a handful of power play opportunities in the first, he handled it all well. He had a diving post to post stop about halfway through the period also. Wilkes-Barre may be deep in defensive depth, they are deeper in goal I think.

Eddie Wittchow scored again to open the second period just as a Penguin penalty had expired from the first to tie the score at two.

There were a lot more fights in this game then there were Wednesday. There are guys trying to make an impression and make the team. Well, Felix Pare is one of those guys. He fights Kale Kessy after a save. Kessy doesn’t need an invitation to fight. What’s Pare given? An instigator penalty which also comes with being thrown out of the game.

Ridiculous. You want to cut down in fighting but protect guys like Kessy whose only existence is to fight. It was a terrible decision by the officials (Hanrahan and Kamrass) throwing Pare out of the game like that.

Hershey scored on a power play later on with Lindberg screened to take the lead. Lindberg dazzled again with more sprawling post to post saves.

In the third, the teams switched goaltenders. Alex D’Orio for the Penguins and Ryan Bednard for the Bears. The Penguins peppered Bednard with shots and got goals from Jan Drozg (a nifty between the legs goal) and Justin Almeida for a 4-3 lead.

But Bednard settled in, something I didn’t think he would do, and the Bears got goals from Brett Leason on a power play and ex-Penguin Macoy Erkamps with a deflection in front to give Hershey a 5-4 lead with 63 seconds left to play.

Here’s the box, in case you want to check that out.

Eh, it’s exhibition. Onto Lehigh Valley Saturday night before the real thing next weeekend.

More tomorrow.

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