Chirps from Center Ice

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

Buckeye Blast – Pens WIN 3-0


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They finally got one for their goaltender.

24 saves for The Ohio State University’s Tommy Nappier, his first professional shutout, in a professional takedown of the Hershey Bears in what will likely bee a first round playoff preview, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins take down the Hershey Bears 3-0 on Tuesday evening.

Work night. Let’s not dilly dally.

Here’s the box. 

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Drew O’Connor and Mitch Reinke were out. O’Connor with an “ailment” and Reinke sick, non-COVID.

First Period: No scoring, but great pace. Nice outlet pass from Juuso Riikola found Valtteri Puustinen for a breakaway, then Colin Swoyer set up a few plays, stopping Brett Leason on a partial breakaway then setting up Felix Robert for a Grade A chance which was stopped.

With how wide open as it was, there were chances. Mike Sgarbossa broke in but hit a post and then Alex Nylander had a chance as well but was stopped.

Second Period: They remained close, trading early power plays. Michael Chaput had a chance on a breakaway about halfway through but couldn’t finish.

Jordy Bellerive was called for a questionable elbowing call, I thought it could have been a high stick, and the Pens were on a penalty kill.

Kasper Bjorkqvist chased a puck into the corner unimpeded and found Michael Chaput streaking to the net. He led him to the net with a pass that Chaput pool cues past Fucale and in for a 1-0 Penguins lead.

Well executed and a perfect finish.

Third Period: Nice setup by Cam Lee and Alex Nylander slams home one in front and the Penguins double their lead.

Pens navigated a penalty kill quite well. Hershey started to press.

Out of a time out, Head Coach Scott Allen pulls Fucale for an extra man. Pens win the face off to P.O. Joseph in the corner and Joseph flips it about 198 feet away into the empty net which made it 3-0.

Three Stars: 3) Alex Nylander (goal) 2) Michael Chaput 1) Tommy Nappier (24 saves)

The Good: Amazing second half turn around by JD Forrest’s team. This team was crap at the outset of the season, decimated by COVID around Christmas and has been a hard team to play against down the stretch. Fourth place is theirs for the taking now.

The Bad: Can’t fill this out truthfully. They executed perfectly in all areas.

Turning Point: The shorthanded goal was a huge momentum lift for the Pens and it stood up as the game winner.

Around the Division: At this point, none of what goes on with the division matters to these two teams. Here’s the link if you want to see the out of town scores. I’d run through these but it’s late, on a worknight home game.

Standings: Again, these two teams being so close to one another, what matters is who finishes ahead of who for home ice. Pens are even with Hershey now on points with two games in hand. Both teams have 76 points. Pens are fourth and I think control their own destiny for this, with the games in hand on Hershey. I don’t know, again it’s late.

Wheeling Update: Nailers regular season wrapped up last weekend. They open with Fort Wayne in the playoffs this weekend.

Video Highlights: 

Weekend Preview this Thursday for the three road games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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