Chirps from Center Ice

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

A-Town, Down — Pens WIN 4-1


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So this Taylor Gauthier kid may actually be pretty good.

29 saves in his AHL debut and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins close out 2022 on a winning note with a 4-1 win in Allentown against the Phantoms.

Penguins took three penalties in the second period in a close game and the Phantoms power play is no joke but Gauthier stared it down and didn’t falter.

So again, this Taylor Gauthier kid may actually be pretty good.

Wilkes-Barre ends its five game losing streak.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Drake Caggiula was indeed back, replacing Sean Josling. The Pens send Brooklyn Kalmikov back to Wheeling in the morning. No changes on defense.

First Period: Sam Houde kept up the hot play with yet another opening goal for the Penguins with a dart that gives Wilkes-barre a 1-0 lead.

Cooper Marody would clean up loose change in front of Gauthier’s net and score to bring the Phantoms level with a power play goal.

(no Lehigh Valley GIF available)

Penguins would respond in kind with a power play goal of their own when Valtteri Puustinen played an Alex Nylander shot which went wide off the back wall and in past Pat Nagle to re-establish the Penguins lead.

Second Period: Penguins took all the penalties in the period and in front of a rookie goaltender making his pro debut on the road, not a good recipe for success.

Didn’t matter. Gauthier made save after save, none finer then the one he had with a pad stop on Jackson Cates sliding over post to post.

Penguins would score again when Lukas Svejkovsky would put a shot wide, wheel around to collect his own errant shot, sees Drake Caggiula screaming off the bench for a goal that gave Wilkes-Barre a 3-1 lead.

Third Period: Phantoms trailing, but aren’t able to generate much if anything. In fact, it is they who take the penalties and it’s the Penguins who have control, already up two.

They had one sequence here where they could have scored but again, ran into Taylor Gauthier.

With around five  minutes to play, Lehigh Valley head coach Ian Laperriere elects to pull Nagle, and Corey Andonovski scores on the empty net moments later to make it 4-1.

Three Stars: 3) Cooper Marody (goal) 2) Filip Hållander (two assists) 1) Valtteri Puustinen (goal)

The Good: Nice to ends 2022 with a win.

The Bad: Should I be mad it wasn’t a shutout? The Pens outclassed Lehigh Valley. Maybe that’s me being selfish. I’ll work on that in 2023.

Turning Point: The Caggiula goal put it out of reach the way the Phantoms were going.

Around the Division: Hershey loses 4-3 to Providence…Springfield needs a shootout to beat Hartford 2-1…Charlotte beats Cleveland 3-2.

Standings: Hershey 47 – Providence 43 – Charlotte 35 – Bridgeport 34 – Penguins and Springfield 33 – Lehigh Valley 31 – Hartford 28

Wheeling Update: Nailers win a wild one with Reading 6-5. Juston Addamo had a pair of goals and Chris Ortiz had three assists.

Video Highlights: No idea if the Pens are going to post them with New Years here. If I can remember an edit, I will do so next year.

Back at it Wednesday at home with Charlotte. Weekend Preview will be up Wednesday midmorning. Talk to you then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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