Drew O’Connor must hate Wilkes-Barre.
Two goals and three assists for the Penguins forward and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins obliterate the four goal a game scoring, top power play in the AHL Cleveland Monsters 8-1 Friday night. O’Connor had four points in the second period (2-2) when the Penguins exploded for five goals in the second.
They are getting a lot of goals in bunches and in the second period. They had a bunch in the second period Sunday in Hershey. Hey, you take them.
Filip Lindberg opposed Danill Tarasov
Here’s how they lined up:
Lineup Notes: Interesting that Lindberg got the start. I thought they would go back to Tokarski but I think we have a bit of a goalie battle developing. It’s a good thing.
Filip Hållander was ill. Jordan Frasca was assigned to Wheeling.
First Period: Looked like it was going to be a tight contest. Penguins score with five seconds left when Nathan Legare slams one home to get the Penguins on the board first.
Penguins were playing with fire a bit, giving Cleveland and their top rated power play on the ice a few times in the first but they got out of it clean.
Second Period: The Drew O’Connor Show, plain and simple.
:50 into the period and it’s 2-0.
Cleveland responds less than a minute later when Jack St. Ivanny misplays a puck and Justin Richards, son of ex-Penguins head coach Todd, scores to cut it to 2-1.
Drew O’Connor responds for his second goal off the period on probably one of the prettier goals you will see all season with a roof job goal.
Corey Andonovski scores on a snipe (O’Connor not involved with this one) and it’s starting to turn into a runaway.
Cleveland calls time out. I think that Trent Vogelhuber should have put backup Jet Greaves in here, but he didn’t.
A Valtteri Puustinen interference call cooled off the Pens a bit and this could have been a turning point, but Cleveland didn’t score.
Drake Caggiula finally chases Tarasov with a nice goal through the five hole that makes it 5-1.
Jet Greaves couldn’t stop the onslaught. Alex Nylander gets himself a goal and it’s 6-1 Penguins heading to the third.
Here’s the goals in the period. Cleveland didn’t post theirs.
Watch that again. It’s a hell of a goal.
That was nice too.
Third Period: Two more for the Pens. Jonathan Gruden scores five seconds into a Billy Sweezey trip and it’s 7-1.
Puustinen in a pileup and it’s 8-1 Wilkes-Barre.
Whew, I am wiped.
Three Stars: 3) Alexander Nylander (goal, two assists) 2) Drake Caggiula (goal, two assists) 1) Drew O’Connor (two goals, three assists)
If O’Connor isn’t the number one star in the AHL’s “Three Stars of the Night” Saturday morning, I’m driving to Springfield, Mass. and burning down One Monarch Place.
The Good: Only game of the weekend and the week ahead and they made it count. Good on them. They also scored the allotment of goals you would normally see them score throughout a busy weekend.
The Good 2: Cleveland’s top rated power play was 0/5. The Penguins were 2/5 on the power play.
The Bad: Nitpicking that St. Ivany mistake, otherwise it’s a shutout for Lindberg.
Turning Point: Going back to what I said a few paragraphs up, that kill of that Puustinen interference call was big. If the Monsters score it’s 4-2 and a brand new game. They didn’t and it turned into a blowout.
Around the Division: Hershey beats Bridgeport up in Connecticut 4-2…Milwaukee (yes, the Admirals) shutout the Hartford Wolf Pack 2-0…Lehigh Valley slips past Charlotte 2-1…Grand Rapids (yep, the Griffins!) beat Springfield 2-1 in overtime.
Standings: Hershey 34 — Providence 33 — Bridgeport 30 — Penguins and Checkers 27 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Springfield 21 — Hartford 17
Wheeling Update: Frasca didn’t feature in the 3-2 Nailers loss in Cincinnati. Sean Josling had a goal.
Enjoy the time off, see you back here next Friday for two at home against Hershey.
Let’s Go Pens!
This game featured some of the best passing that I have witness by our team in a very long time. If they keep this up it would take an unbelievable effort from another team to stop them.