Chirps from Center Ice

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

Sikura! Sikura! – Pens WIN 3-1


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Something was made out of nothing late in this one, a 3-1 Penguins win, their fifth in a row, when it was 1-1 late and it looked like the game was headed into overtime.

Well, Tyler Sikura is likely salaried, like me, and salaried folks don’t get paid overtime. Why work overtime and just get all the work done in regulation?

Pens get two goals in under 90 seconds late in the third and the Penguins just keep rolling. Points in every game played thus far, still undefeated in regulation and finding ways to win.

It’s getting fun again. It’s always been partially fun in some respects, but it’s fun when you are winning and that’s what the Penguins are doing now.

Dustin Tokarski opposed Sam Ersson.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Jamie Devane for Kyle Olson and Colin Swoyer for Jack St. Ivany. Devane and Swoyer were making their season debuts.

First Period: Pretty inert start until a Lizotte turnover to Max Willman finds the back of the Wilkes-Barre net to give the Phantoms a late 1-0 lead.

(no GIF here)

If you are wondering that getting scored on 5×5 on Dustin Tokarski doesn’t happen often, well you are right.

Second Period: Coupla things about this period: 1) No team had a shot on goal for the first 10+ minutes; 2) Phantoms took all the penalties (4 total) in the period; 3) Valtteri Puustinen scored a power play goal and 4) That is a three game point streak, a career high, for Puustinen.

Here’s his goal that tied the game at one.

Third Period: Penguins navigate through back to back Jon Lizotte penalties carefully. Looking like overtime. But no, Tyler Sikura’s hips don’t lie and he scores his first to put the Pens ahead 2-1.

Rattled, Lehigh Valley lets Corey Andonovski sneak in behind their defense and he slips one through Ersson’s five hole for a goal that put the game away and out of reach for the home team.

Three Stars: 3) Samuel Ersson (32 saves) 2) Max Willman (goal) 1) Corey Andonovski (goal, assist)

The Good: They keep finding ways to win and keep grinding teams offensive outputs to dust.

The Bad: I didn’t think Jon Lizzote had a particularly strong game. As a matter of fact he sucked tonight. He needs to be better and the Pens are lucky to have won the game based off of his play.

Turning Point: The Sikura goal jumpstarted the Penguins to a victory in regulation tonight. The Andonovski goal which followed was icing on the cake.

Around the Division: Hartford beats Hershey 4-2 up in Connecticut….Providence hands Charlotte their first regulation loss of the season, beating them 2-1….Springfield beats Bridgeport in an absolute barnburner 7-6 in overtime.

Standings: Penguins 11 — Providence and Bridgeport 9 — Charlotte 8 — Springfield 6 — Hershey 5 and Lehigh Valley 5 — Hartford 4

The Penguins and Manitoba Moose are the final two teams in the AHL left who are unbeaten in regulation. Manitoba was off Friday. Lucky bastards. Moose host the Iowa Wild Saturday afternoon. If Tim Army’s Wild beat the Moose in regulation tomorrow and the Penguins beat the Hershey Bears in any fashion Saturday, the headline will be, “Last of the Unbeatens” – now that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.

Wheeling Update: Nailers were shutout at home 4-0 by the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Video Highlights: 

More Saturday against Hershey.

Let’s Go Pens!

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