Full disclosure, I didn’t type up a weekend preview for this weekends games because I wasn’t totally sure they were playing the games this weekend.
Also, I’ll be back at the games in person on December 27. COVID caused my Thanksgiving to be spent alone, I don’t want the same for Christmas.
Both the Penguins and Bears returned from about a two week hiatus from COVID and met Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.
You could tell. Game was scrambly at times, really even between the two COVID ravaged sides and it rightly was decided in overtime. Hershey wins 3-2.
Both teams are back at it Sunday afternoon, but against different opponents. The Bears head home to host Laval and the Pens stay in town and host Springfield, who is also dealing with COVID and call-ups.
Tommy Nappier opposed Pheonix Copley.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Penguins made a bunch of transactions this week trying to construct a healthy lineup. Jan Drozg, Justin Almeida, Jordy Bellerive, Kasper Bjorkqvist, Sam Poulin, Chris Bigras, Juuso Riikola were out of the lineup. Louis Domingue was hurt in practice, lower body and is day to day. Bjorkqvist’s injury is a bad laceration.
First Period: Teddy bear toss night at the arena, so Valtteri Puustinen didn’t waste time to get the fur flying.
Bobby Nardella would even the game just north of halfway for the visitors.
With both teams playing their first game in the month of December on the 11th day of December, it was a pretty even period otherwise.
Second Period: Goals :28 apart by both sides opened the action in the middle frame.
Cody Franson scores off a face-off play that gives the Bears a 2-1 lead.
But like the tweet above said, it was a lead that didn’t last long because Felix Robert was left alone in the slot and scored to make it 2-2.
Tommy Nappier is really good at handling the puck. He started a rush up the ice with a pass that ended up on Nathan Lagare’s tape that the Penguins rookie nearly scored on.
Pens took three penalties in the period, back-to-back-to-back, but were able to negotiate out of them without any damage.
Third Period: Pens had the only power play of the period and failed to score on it. The teams picked things up in the final five minutes with furious rushes, but it was off to…
Overtime: Flubbed outlet pass pounced on by Hershey and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby called game.
Three Stars: 3) Valtteri Puustinen (goal) 2) Felix Robert (goal, assist) 1) Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (game winning OT goal)
The Good: Good to see the Penguins (and Bears for that matter) returning to health after COVID derailed the start of their December and delayed their (Wilkes-Barre’s) first four games.
The Bad: 0/5 on the power play.
Turning Point: OT winners usually get these.
These Saturday at 6:05 starts are great because they get people home sooner but with the rest of the division starting at 7 it really throws a monkey wrench into the blog and the out of town recaps.
Springfield is in here Sunday at 3. More then.
Let’s Go Pens!