Chirps from Center Ice

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

Unnecessary Points — Pens LOSE 3-2 (SO)


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Amassing points is fine, but here’s what happened with this 3-2 shootout loss at the hands of the Hershey Bears Tuesday night.

– Wilkes-Barre goes up 1-0 1:09 into the game.
– Then 2-0 a few minutes later.
– GIANT Center was a graveyard. The Bears were lifeless.
– Bears get level with two goals.
– Pens are gift wrapped a 5:00 power play to open the third period and score.
– But Hershey scores again.
– Wilkes-Barre doesn’t do anything with possession with the puck in overtime.
– Hershey wins in shootout, scoring the only goal in the activity.

Seemed like a winnable game, and they let it get away from them. Maybe it’s a game they straight up lose three weeks ago.

I don’t know, just seemed like an unnecessary point to just give away because of a lack of closure by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on Tuesday.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Nick Hart mentioned this in the game, but the Bears were the #1 defensive team in the AHL, and the Penguins were the #2 team. Shepard had a 1.69 GAA coming in and Tokarski a 1.70, so a goalie battle was about to ensue one would think.

Lineup wise, Raivins Ansons was out for Lukas Svejkovsky up front and Mark Friedman (sick) was out for Taylor Fedun.

First Period: Pens caught the Bears flat footed and scored two goals. Drake Caggiula just 1:09 in.


Valtteri Puustinen with a tip in front and the Pens were up 2-0.

Hershey finally gets going with a Mason Morelli goal with under five minutes to play to get the Bears on the board.

Second Period: Jake Massie scored to bring the Bears level with the Penguins.

Penguins had more posts hit (2) than shots (1) for most of the period.

Tokarski stayed sharp, however, denying Penguin killer Ethen Frank on a breakaway to keep the score deadlocked at two.

Kale Kessy, who always plays a burr in the saddle type of game, was stirring it up all night, getting into it in the first period with Dustin Tokarski, then in the second period with Drew O’Connor. He was assessed an instigator and a fighting penalty which gave the Penguins a 5:00 power play heading into the…

Third Period: Pens get one, just one, goal on the 5:00 major power play to open the period. Nathan Legare with the goal.

+1 on the pun usage from the folks at Coal Street.

Bears net the tying goal, the third one of the game via a tip, when Mike Vecchione gets one to go past Tokarski for a 3-3 game.

Game fell into a lull where overtime felt inevitable and the feeling became a reality.

Overtime: Pens played either too conservative or too cute with the puck in the overtime period. They had the possession time in their favor but couldn’t manufacture much of anything shot wise. Hershey’s chances were fast and furious, but neither team scored.

Shootout: Third in a row for the Penguins. Sam Anas trips and scores in the bottom of the second. Alex Nylander, Sam Poulin and Drake Caggiula can’t in that order and that’s the ballgame.

Three Stars: 3) Drake Caggiula (goal, assist) 2) Jake Massie (goal, assist) 1) Sam Anas (game winning shootout goal)

The Good: Seems like they have snapped out of their funk and they are gathering points.

The Bad: As I said in the open, this result seemed unnecessary. You would win games when you go up 2-0 and/or are gift wrapped a 5:00 major power play with fresh ice in the final period of a hockey game.

Turning Point: Game seemed like it had a million of them, but that last sequence I gave you above with the Anas goal and the Shepard stop on Caggiula is the one that gets it here.

Around the Division: They all watched us.

Standings: Providence 29 – Hershey 28 – Bridgeport 26 – Charlotte 25 – Penguins 23 – Lehigh Valley and Springfield 18 – Hartford 15

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

They are off Friday, host Bridgeport Saturday before rematching with the Bears Sunday. Expect more in the way of effort. They were lucky, I think, in getting away with just a point.

Let’s Go Pens!

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