Chirps from Center Ice

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

Splitsville — Pens LOSE 4-3


3                              4

Overall, a positive road trip for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. They see their five game point streak come to an end, but I think they have figured a few things out and they will travel home Thursday for a Saturday home date with the Providence Bruins.

Checkers use a two goal third period to eke by the Penguins and win 4-3.

Tommy Nappier opposed Christopher Gibson.

Here is how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Nathan Legare was a healthy scratch. Jan Drozg took his spot in the lineup up front. Mitch Reinke came out for Chris Bigras on defense.

First Period: Checkers has 18 shots in the first period Tuesday and had 18 shots in the first on Wednesday.

Charlotte opened the scoring on what appeared to be an own goal by Sam Poulin. The video below doesn’t show it because the angle wasn’t the greatest but credit went to Aleksi Heponiemi.

:58 later, P.O. Joseph hauled a puck down below a face-off dot and slid a low shot at Gibson that went in that tied the game at one.

Checkers late regained the lead when ex-Pittsburgh Penguin Riley Sheahan scored a goal when  left unmarked on the far side.

Four Penguins overloaded on one side is a recipe for disaster.

The Penguins then had a chance on a power play and  much like last night failed to capitalize. In fact, Henry Bowlby had a small breakaway that Nappier was forced to make a save on.

Second Period: Kasper Bjorkqvist deflected in a Juuso Riikola shot from the point which drew the Penguins even at two with the Checkers.

But then Bjorkqvist left the game about halfway through the period with an apparent injury and didn’t return for the balance of the period.

Third Period: Zac Dalpe and Max McCormick score goals about a minute and a half from one another to edge them ahead 4-2.

Jordy Bellerive takes on the whole Checkers team on his own and scores to cut the lead to one.

Penguins get the only power play of the period late with 3:45 left in regulation but fail to score. Then with Nappier pulled for the extra attacker, the Penguins get close but Gibson makes the requisite saves to win the game for his side.

Three Stars: 3) Riley Sheahan (goal, assist) 2) Aleksi Heponiemi (goal, assist) 1) Max McCormick

The Good: Good fight tonight. Sweeping a team like Charlotte on their home ice was always going to be a tough task.

The Bad: Roles reversed a bit tonight, with Charlotte going 1/4 on the power play and the Penguins 0/2, but I don’t think the game was won on special teams. I still think its just two average teams who if they play 100 times in a row, split the wins and losses. It is what it is.

Turning Point: Mix in a couple of late saves by Gibson, but it’s McCormick’s goal which pushed the lead to 4-2 where you got the sense that the lead was insurmountable for the Penguins.

Around the Division: Springfield thumps Bridgeport 4-1… Providence and Hershey went to OT with Hershey winning 4-3 on a goal reviewed on replay. Mason Morelli with the goal there. Hershey had nine penalties called against them.

Standings: Springfield .824 percentage points / Hartford .750 / Hershey .594 / Providence .533 / Charlotte and Penguins .529 / Bridgeport .361 / Lehigh Valley .344

Wheeling Update: The Nailers handled the Indy Fuel 5-1 at home. Will Reilly had three assists. Alex D/Orio stopped 34 shots.

Video Highlights: If I can work an edit in between now and the next time I am in front of the blog I will edit them in here.

Pens are back on the ice Saturday at home at 6:05 against the Providence Bruins.

Let’s Go Pens!

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