I am not blaming this loss, a 6-2 Bears win, on fatigue. Here’s why.
Penguins went up 2-0 in the first. Doing everything right, scored a power play goal and looked great.
But Hershey is a good team, and a great team when they play the Penguins for some reason, and pushed back to lead 3-2 after the end of the second. The Penguins has no answer for Hershey in the second period.
But a 3-2 deficit is not insurmountable, and they looked better in the third. But, Wilkes-Barre’s special teams has been an abject disaster all season and it was a Joe Snively shorthanded goal that made it 4-2. What happened after that was really insignificant.
So it’s 1-7 against Hershey so far this season with four meetings left.
Alex D’Orio opposed Pheonix Copley.
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Sam Houde for Jan Drozg was the only change for the Pens for Monday vs. Cleveland.
First Period: Pens opened with relentless pressure, outshooting the Bears 8-1 at one point and were given a power play. Well, just five seconds into said power play Juuso Riikola rips a shot that goes in for his first ever AHL goal.
Penguins would tack on another goal when Nathan Legare leads a two on one, keeps it himself and scores to make it 2-0.
Hershey slowed things down in the final six minutes of game play which seemed to drag on a bit as they worked a plan to try to respond for maybe a goal.
Second Period: They got flattened in the second.
They went over 10 minutes without a shot on goal, and Hershey runs them over and takes a 3-2 lead.
Garrett Pilon scores on a wraparound when he peels a puck off of D’Orio, races around the net and scores to put the Bears on the board.
Marcus Vela scores to tie the game with another rebound taken off of D’Orio.
Was only a matter of time. The Penguins were hanging on and Hershey was coming in waves.
Ex-Penguin Chris Brown wins a race to a puck and scores on a snipe to push Hershey ahead and made it 3-2.
Brown’s first AHL goal.
One note of the first two goals by the Bears, they almost scored again seconds after the drop of the puck after the goals.
Another note, good on referees Justin Kea and Jeremy Tufts for staying out of the way and letting them play, legally.
Third Period: Better response, Penguins finally go on a power play after a delay of game call on Hershey. But it was Joe Snively with this goal that buried any chances of a comeback.
Bears get a goal from Kale Kessy crashing the net then an empty net goal by Snively to run it up to 6-2.
There were shenanigans, as there sometimes are when tensions boil between these two sides. I’m not going to give it the attention it craves. Here’s my description of it real time.
Three Stars: 3) Christopher Brown (goal) 2) Dylan McIlrath (two assists) 1) Marcus Vela (goal, assist)
The Good: The start. They caught Hershey flat footed and had a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Bad: They forgot hockey has three periods? No response to the relentless push that Hershey put on them in the second to go up one.
Turning Point: Snively’s shorthanded goal that pushed it to 4-2 ended any hopes of a comeback for the Penguins.
Around the Division: One other game in the AHL, Providence was shutout in Utica 4-0.
Standings: Back to last for the Penguins with a .457 winning percentage.
Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.
Bears will probably put up video highlights which I will run in a later edit.
Much needed rest before a bus trip Thursday out to Cleveland. I’ll have the Weekend Preview either Thursday or Friday for you here on the blog.
Let’s Go Pens!