Chirps from Center Ice

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

Edged – Pens LOSE 4-3


3                                       4

Put this entire game on Jonathan Gruden’s highlight reel.

I’lll tell you, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins will be in big, big trouble if Gruden gets a deserved recall or is injured. He was everywhere Sunday afternoon for the Penguins, who lose 4-3 to Hershey.

The Penguins had a feckless effort the first two periods of the game, trailed 4-0, outshot 26-13, but storm back with a 20-3 barrage of shots and come one goal short of a split with the Bears.

I mean it’s something to build off of after a 0-2 weekend, especially coming into the weekend as the sole unbeaten team in the AHL. Maybe Hershey let off, who knows.

But Gruden, man, what an effort.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Raivis Ansons for the now injured Jamie Devane was the only lineup change. Pittsburgh reassigned Drew O’Connor right at puck drop.

First Period: Pens play fast and loose with the puck in their own end and it costs them twice. Ty Smith turns the puck over to Shane Gersich and then Mark Friedman tiptoes through tulips and sees Mason Morelli score. Pens get two shots on a late power play and the shot board read 8-4 for the home team. Here were the goals…

Second Period: Ethen Frank, who is slowly budding into a Penguins killer, goes for a cross crease pass to a teammate which deflects in for a goal to give Hershey 3-0 lead.

The assault continued. Henrik Rybinski scored his first pro goal on a rebound and it was 4-0 Bears.

Third Period: :14 in and Gruden scores to kick start the comeback.

Wilkes-Barre continued to buzz. Filip Hallander scored his first of two. Bears defender’s stick breaks, Jonathan Gruden, out there stirring the drink, puts a shot on net that Hallander slams home for a rebound that brings the Pens within two.

Penguins get a late power play and like last night with the goalie pulled Hallander scores his second to bring the score within one.

Penguins nearly were mining for a fourth but a too any men call late sunk any chances of a comeback.

Three Stars: 3) Ethen Frank (goal) 2) Filip Hallander (two goals, assist) 1) Henrik Rybinski (goal)

The Good: Besides that third period kickstarted by Gruden and Hallander, can’t really come up with anything.

The Bad: You cannot sleepwalk in Hershey for two periods, have two of your better and more experienced defensemen cough up pucks in their own zone and expect to win. It’s magnified more because of the record you had coming into the weekend, and tonight it cost you two points you are going to wish you had in the Spring.

Turning Point: Hard to pinpoint one when it was so teeter-totter, but the too many men on the ice call late put down any faint but getting louder noise the away team had at tying the score.

Around the Division: Providence clips Bridgeport 1-0.

Standings: Providence 18 – Bridgeport 15 – Penguins 13 – Hershey 12 – Charlotte 12 – Springfield 11 – Lehigh Valley 7 – Hartford 6

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: I’ll edit them in if I see them.

This Week: Pens off until Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack at home then Springfield rolls in Saturday. Hartford and Springfield play Wednesday in Hartford. Springfield will be in Allentown Friday before heading up to Wilkes-Barre Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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