Chirps from Center Ice

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

Jurusik Park — Pens WIN 6-0


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This headline is probably the easiest one I will write all season.

Penguins sign Matt Jurusik out of Idaho from the ECHL to a PTO Friday evening because Alex D’Orio has COVID, Louis Domingue has a lower body injury and so does Filip Lindberg.

So it’s essentially Tommy Nappier and Matt Jurusik tending nets for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

If I would have told you that it would be a PTO on a call up from Idaho of all places that would have gotten the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins their first team shutout since January 11, 2020, you wouldn’t have believed me.

Hell, I wouldn’t have even believed myself.

28 saves for Jurusik, 14 different Penguins players record a point and it’s the biggest, easiest win of the season by far for the Penguins who crush the Springfield Thunderbirds 6-0.

Jurusik opposed Colten Ellis.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: 500th professional game fro Taylor Fedun….Sam Poulin, Juuso Riikola, Jan Drozg, and Alex D’Orio remain in COVID protocol. Jordy Bellerive and Justin Almeida returned to the lineup from their COVID protocol taking the place of Nick Hutchinson and Will Reilly.

First Period: Matt Jurusik had a bit of a baptism by fire stopping all 13 shots faced in the first period. He had a good stop on Hugh McGing where the shot popped out of his glove and into the air. He tracked it and made another save with Nathan Moon buzzing close by.

Anthony Angello scored a shorthanded goal.

Anthony Angello scored a shorthanded goal.

Yes, I typed it twice and yes I did it deliberately because I still don’t believe it.

Good period overall.

Second Period: To quote an ex-Penguin radio voice, OK if you like perfect.

Felix Robert on a rebound and it’s 2-0.

Then the Penguins score :26 apart and make it 4-0. P-O Joseph from a ridiculous angle that makes it 3-0 and then Matt Bartkowski from the blue line with no one in front of him that beats Ellis on a howitzer for a 4-0 lead.

Joel Hofer came in on relief for Colten Ellis, but Ellis would return for the start of the third.

Hofer fared no better, as a Bartkowski shot deflects off of Kyle Olson’s chest and in to the net to make it 5-0.

Third Period: Basically in runaway games like this it’s all about preserving the good and trying to minimize or eradicate the bad or anything that can be construed as bad. Springfield didn’t make Jurusik work because the Penguins didn’t let them, and the Penguins got another goal for good measure when Justin Almeida put home his first of the season in the AHL off a nice feed by Nathan Legare.

Three Stars: 3) Matt Bartkowski (goal, assist) 2) P-O Joseph (goal, two assists) and 1) Matt Jurusik (28 saves)

The Good: Nice to have that monkey off the back and pick up a shutout, first in nearly two years. Way overdue.

The Bad: Nothing to see here. The Penguins played an almost perfect game. They didn’t allow their opponent to score and picked up a clean sheet for their try out guy from the ECHL. What more can you ask for?

Turning Point: Go back to that save that was highlighted above where Jurusik plays it out of the air after making the initial save. He was dialed in from the get go. Good to see the kid pick up the first shutout in nearly two years for the Penguins.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley beats Hartford 4-3 in a shootout. Providence roughs up Toronto 5-1. Hershey is playing Laval when this goes up. Box here.

Standings: Can’t given them fully because the Bears are still playing when this goes up but the Pens are above .500 and on .525 percentage points good for fifth place as things stand now.

If Coal Street tosses together a highlight package and I can work in an edit it will go here.

Last Wednesday’s postponed game against Hershey will be played this Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05. More then. Power Rankings maybe Tuesday will be back before.

Let’s Go Pens!!

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