I would like to thank MageBoySA for the assistance with the headline tonight.
I can always use the help.
Anyway, a big win for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins tonight, winners 5-1 over the Toronto Marlies in what has to be the signature win of the season. I discount the 6-0 pasting that the Pens laid on a hapless Springfield Thunderbirds team a while back because that was an ECHL team that the Penguins played back then. This Marlies team was 7-1 coming into the week and a really good team coming in.
Alex D’Orio, the hard luck loser in every game thus far this season for the Penguins. picked up the win in goal. His first of the season. He opposed Erik Källgren.
Here is how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Add Chris Bigras to the walking wounded. Week to week with an upper body injury….Niclas Almari was sent to Wheeling….Taylor Fedun was back after the birth of his second son and so was Cam Lee, replacing the aforementioned Bigras and Will Reilly.
First Period: Well if you were late by :31, you missed the first goal. Alex Nylander scores to put the Penguins ahead 1-0 just thirty seconds into the game.
Turning Point: I am giving it to you now, because it was that huge. Penguins take back to back penalties and the Marlies have 1:56 of two man advantage. Alex D’Orio with probably his best save of the season here keeps it scoreless.
Penguins employ the K.I.S.S. method the rest of the way and lead 1-0.
One note, Jamie Devane was lost in a fight with the 6’8 Curtis Douglas. Douglas made mincemeat out of Devane and they had to step in to break it up before it got a lot worse than it already was. Devane did not return.
Second Period: Two goals, :55 apart, one of them a power play, and the Penguins were up 3-0!
Emphasis added, because it hasn’t happened in a while and honestly I didn’t expect it against this Marlies team.
Valtteri Puustinen on the power play then Filip Hallander against his former team.
Antti Suomela scores a late power play goal to get the Marlies on the board.
Puck looked to have deflected off a Penguin and in.
Third Period: The worry was that the late goal by the Marlies in the second would give them all the momentum in the third.
Kasper Bjorkqvist is sprung by Jonathan Gruden after Gruden was called for a suspect holding the stick call. Gruden is released from the box, back checks, finds a streaking Bjorkqvist and the rest is history.
Alex Nylander threw in his second of the game and the second power play of the game for the Penguins and the game turned into a runaway at that point.
Good to be on the right side of one of these arse kickings once in a while.
A word about that, Toronto was BIG MAD as the game wore on and their deficit grew. If you are looking for something to do tomorrow, be there for round two Saturday night between these teams.
Three Stars: 3) Alex D’Orio (21 saves) 2) Valtteri Puustinen (goal, assist) 1) Alex Nylander (two goals, assist)
The Good: The power play was alive tonight. 2/4, and you could say it was what carried them through tonight. That and the stellar play of Alex D’Orio.
The Bad: It’s nitpicking, but the penalty kill gave up another power play.
Turning Point: Go up a couple paragraphs, I gave it to you there.
Around the Division: Light night in the AHL for a Friday. One other game in the division, Bridgeport beats Providence 3-1.
Standings: Penguins are still in last, at .438 percentage points. If they play like this tomorrow and beyond, it won’t be for much longer.
Yeah, I said that after the Hershey win Sunday and they laid an egg Wednesday against the Phantoms. Expect the Marlies to be juiced up and ready Saturday. The Pens will need to withstand that charge.
Wheeling Update: Nailers strike three times on the power play and win 6-2 over Kalamazoo. Shaw Boomhower with a goal and three assists.
Rematch between these two team Saturday. 6:05 start. Don’t be late.
Let’s Go Pens!