Chirps from Center Ice

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

Bodyslammed — Pens LOSE 2-1


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Well, I knew they wouldn’t go undefeated.

Penguins lose 2-1 in regulation, their first such loss of the season.

Biggest thing you could point to in this game is the Penguins lack of success on the power play. A paltry 1-for-6 Saturday including a 4:00 double minor back in the first period they could not score on. Hershey telegraphed the entires, which frustrated the Penguins.

Reigning AHL Goaltender of the Month Dustin Tokarski took the loss in net for the Pens but I thought he was fine and kept the team in in.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup: Caggiula for the recalled Drew O’Connor, Jack St. Ivany for Colin Swoyer on defense.

First Period: No scoring. Action flashed by. Bears took a too many men on the ice call late.

Second Period: Hershey took the first four penalties and one of them was a Bobby Nardella high stick which busted open Drake Caggiula. 4 minute power play to the Penguins. No dice. Few shots.

Later, no one marks Mike Sgarbossa in front (read: Taylor Fedun lost his assignment) and the Bears get on the board first.

Pens take a penalty. It’s Jonathan Gruden, one of their better penalty killers in the box. Hershey keeps it in the zone the whole time and Ethen Frank takes a high slot one timer for a goal that gives Hershey a 2-0 lead.

Third Period: Penguins with a too little, too late flurry, sees Alex Nylander bust up Zach Fucale’s shutout bid with under a minute to play. Ironically, it comes on a power play.

More late pushes by the Pens, but no dice for a tying goal.

Three Stars: 3) Alex Nylander (goal) 2) Ethen Frank (goal) 1) Mike Sgarbossa (goal)

The Good: The goaltender. If Tokarski wasn’t on his game Hershey may have one 5-1.

The Bad: Bears see their captain suspended for this game, a lot of offense get called up to Washington, and still waltz in here Saturday night and beat the Penguins. Can’t happen.

Turning Point: The Gruden penalty which led to the power play goal. I knew this when it happened. Turns out my premonition comes true.

Around the Division: Providence beats Springfield 3-2….Bridgeport beats Hartford 5-3….Lehigh Valley slips past Laval in overtime 3-2….Charlotte is shutout at home 4-0 by Syracuse.

Standings: Providence 16 — Bridgeport 15 — Penguins 13 — Charlotte 12 — Springfield 11 — Hershey 10 — Lehigh Valley 7 — Hartford 6

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 4-3 in Reading. Power play problems? What power play problems? Reading went 3-for-5 on the power play while the Nailers went 2-for-4. Tommy Nappier takes the loss in goal, stopping 21.

Video Highlights: 

More tomorrow after the rematch in Hershey.

Let’s Go Pens!

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