Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: WBS

GAMEDAY: @ Toronto 3/20


Who: Toronto Marlies

Where: Ricoh Coliseum

When: 7:00 p.m.

Last Game: Sunday at home against Hershey, the Penguins won 6-4 in comeback fashion. Thomas DiPauli led the way with two goals. Tom Kostopoulos had three assists. For Toronto, the Marlies hosted Utica Sunday and lost 3-1. Mason Marchment scored the only goal for Toronto in the loss.

Last Meeting: November 8 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins beat Toronto 4-2. Thomas DiPauli had two goals in that game as well.

Record: For WBS: 37-19-4-2 (80 pts., 2nd place Atlantic Division) // For TOR: 44-17-1-1 (90 pts., 1st place North Division)

Referee(s): Mitch Dunning / Corey Syvret

Linesmen: Adam Harris / Dustin McCrank

Why You Should Care: Call this a measuring stick game for Wilkes-Barre. Many times, it’s the opposition that is looking to measure up to these Penguins but tonight, it will be the Penguins chasing the bar set by Toronto who have just pillaged the North Division this season. If the Penguins in their current form want to advance far in Calder Cup Playoffs once they qualify, they will soon run into a team like Toronto if they want to advance to a Calder Cup. This should be a good one.

Other Game to Watch: Grand Rapids visits Milwaukee. Nothing else going on in the Eastern Conference for the Penguins.

Next Five Games: @ UTI 3/23, @ BNG 3/24, vs. BRI 3/25, PRO 3/28, @ HFD 3/30

Comeback Kids — Pens WIN 6-4


4                                          6

I looked at the first period of today’s game and saw positives. In sum, they were:

Penguins were down 3-1, but controlled play after Clark Donatelli replaced Anthony Peters with Etienne Marcoux, limiting Hershey’s chances. It sounds strange to say at the time given the score line and the loss the night before to Hartford and the loss Wednesday to the Checkers.

But Wilkes-Barre battled and battled, led by Thomas Di Pauli and some big stops by Marcoux, and beat the Hershey Bears 6-4 in Wilkes-Barre to reduce their magic number to clinch a playoff spot with Providence beating Bridgeport to 15.

Anthony Peters opposed Pheonix Copley.

Lines were…

Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Joseph Cramarossa – Jarrett Burton – Adam Johnson
Tom Sestito – Gage Quinney – Christian Thomas
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Czuczman – Lukas Bengtsson
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: 

Jooris went up bin emergency recall around noon Sunday. Daniel Sprong, good for 12 points against Hershey this season, was a healthy scratch. Tom with more postgame from Donatelli…

First Period: Liam O’Brien scored a goal when he found a ray of light when Peters was sealed off near post. Then the Penguins saw the Bears score again on a play I thought was offsides that made it 2-0. That was the end of Peters who was pulled for Etienne Marcoux. Things settled from there.

Cramarossa slammed home a rebound on a Burton shot and the Pens were back within one.

Jona Siegenthaler scored one of his two goals of the day when he put a shot on through bodies that re-established the two goal Hershey lead.

Wilkes-Barre went 0-for-4 on the power play in the period and it was starting to cost them.

Second Period: What won the game for the Penguins was this period here. The reason? No penalties at all called by referees Terry Koharski and Andy Howard. Penguins just went after the Bears 5-on-5 and started to come in waves.

Tom Sestito slammed home a Quinney round to make it 3-2…

Ol’ Tommy Sestito, noted goal scoring machine against the Hershey Bears…

Penguins continued to roll in waves. It was becoming apparent that Thomas DiPauli was taking a beating every shift. Then, with time dwindling,. DiPauli puts a shot on net that goes in at the buzzer.

After a brief video review, the goal stood. It was 3-3 and a whole new game heading into the…

Third Period: Jarred Tinordi and Liam O’Brien fought early to try and set the tone. O’Brien hung in there with Tinordi who won on points.

Christian Thomas scored while Sestito was clearing bodies in front of Copley that made it 4-3 Wilkes-Barre.

Tom Kostopoulos slid a pass over to DiPauki who quickly one timed the shot at net that got in and it was 5-3 Wilkes-Barre.

On a busted assignment while the sides were four on four, Siegenthaler scored his second of the game that made it a one goal game again.

{Penguins could have packed it in from there and rode defense the rest of the way. They did, in part. Let me set this up.

Hershey, pressing late for a tying goal in the third period of a three in three, emptied out the gas tank and set up shop in the Penguins defensive end. Cyling shot after shot, pass after pass through the zone, it was only a matter of time before they scored.

A pass in front set to be one timed into a yawning Penguins cage was stopped by Etienne Marcoux. I mean just a ten bell, highlight reel save that Marcoux had no business making. Later, Tom Kostopoulos clears the puck out of the zone and Teddy Blueger put on a power skating exhibition and finished off the Pens three on one.


DiPauli had a chance on a hat trick bid, but his effort went wide. Hershey never got closer.

Three Stars: 3) Teddy Blueger (goal, two assists, +2) 2) Tom Kostopoulos (three assists, +2) and 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals, +1)

First AHL win for Etienne Marcoux, fifth Penguins goaltender to beat Hershey this season (Sean Maguire, Anthony Peters, Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry) — Lukas Bengtsson returned to the lineup after injury and picked up two assists also.

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley with another shutout, this time 3-0 to the Springfield Thunderbirds….Binghamton earns a split in Charlotte and beat the Checkers 4-1…Providence beats Bridgeport 4-1 which reduces the Penguins magic number even further. Hartford gets a late goal to push past the Rochester Americans and win 6-4.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.697 percentage points) — Penguins (.645) — Providence (.633) — Charlotte (.583) — Bridgeport (.547) — Hartford (.500) — Hershey (.477) — Springfield (.477)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Penguins are bussing to Toronto Monday for their game with the Marlies and staying there the rest of the week. They will return to the States Friday when they play up in Utica then bus down to Binghamton Saturday before returning home to take on the Sound Tigers at home.

Power Rankings here Monday and then we will see you Tuesday for the Toronto game.

Let’s Go Pens!


Comeback win for the Penguins today led by Thomas DiPauli and Etienne Marcoux.

After being pulled when the Penguins went down 2-0, Clark Donatelli decided to pull starter Anthony Peters in favor of Marcoux. It worked. Pens shut down Hershey from there and the Penguins, led by DiPauli, come back and win at home on Sunday against the Bears.

More in a bit, Providence beat Bridgeport today and with the win today by the Penguins, the magic number should stand at 15.

GAMEDAY: vs. Hershey 3/2


Who: Hershey Bears

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 3:05 p.m.

Last Game: Last night at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Penguins lost 4-1. Daniel Sprong scored the only goal for Wilkes-Barre in the loss. For Hershey, the Bears hosted the Springfield Thunderbirds and won 4-2. Nathan Walker scored a pair of goals for the Bears and Vitek Vanecek stopped 22 of 24 Thunderbirds shots.

Last Meeting: February 25 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 3-2. Adam Johnson has a pair of goals and Daniel Sprong assisted on both of them. Riley Barber and Tyler Graovac scored for the Bears.

Record: For WBS: 36-19-4-2 (78 pts., 2nd place Atlantic Division) // For HER: 27-29-4-5 (63 pts., 7th place Atlantic Division)

Referee(s): Andrew Howard / Terry Koharski

Linesmen: Tom DellaFranco / Matt McNulty

Why You Should Care: Penguins need this one today. They looked awful Wednesday against Charlotte and then  abad first period cost them last night against Hartford. You shoulder have to get up to play a game against your bitter rival in the Bears, so it should be interesting to see how the Penguins come out this afternoon against the Bears.

Promotion(s): None

Other Game to Watch: Bridgeport visits Providence to close out their weekend. Bruins and Penguins are neck and neck, Sound Tigers result may affect the Penguins magic number.

Next Five Games: @ TOR 2/20, @ UTI 3/23, @ BNG 3/24, vs. BRI 3/25, PRO 3/28

No Luck in Green — Pens LOSE 4-1


4                                          1

No luck on St. Patrick’s Day for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins who lose 4-1 to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Penguins went o-for-5 on the power play and this has become the biggest problem for the league’s worst power play at 13.3%. Penguins Head Coach Clark Donatelli to Tom Venesky after the game…

I don’t necessarily buy all that Clark is selling here. The Penguins have such a hard time entering the zone and when they do they never get anything that resembles a shot on goal worthwhile of a goalie making a save.

Hartford scores two fluky goals :38 apart in the first, :54 seconds in the third and beat the Penguins. Anthony Peters was fine in net. The Penguins put 18 shots on Hartford in the second period but Chris Nell was fantastic for Hartford all game really and that was it. Wolf Pack looked as good as they did yesterday when they beat Lehigh Valley in a shootout.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – J-S Dea – Ryan Haggerty
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Joseph Cramarossa – Josh Jooris – Sam Lafferty
Thomas Di Pauli – Teddy Blueger – Tom Kostopoulos

Chris Summers – Ethan Prow
Kevin Schulze – Kevin Czuczman
Jarred Tinordi – Zach Trotman

Anthony Peters – Etienne Marcoux

Lineup Notes: Tom Sestito and Christian Thomas were healthy scratches tonight. Ryan Haggerty retuned from injury. Ethan Prow played, and showed no ill effects from his concussion on the Josiah Didier hit Wednesday in Charlotte.

First Period: It ended 2-0 for Hartford but by rights should have been 4 or 5-0. Anthony Peters was bailing out his teammates with save after save. Both sides had chances both ways.

Hartford scores bang bang plays when Simon Denis rakes a puck off the wall and throws it at Peters and on the way its deflected in by Cole Schneider. :38 later, a big rebound left by Peters is put in by Dan DeSalvo.

Second Period: Hartford put two early shots on Peters, but after that Wilkes-Barre responded with a ton of shots at Nell.

Hartford took four penalties that resulted in power plays for the Penguins but Wilkes-Barre was not able to find the back of the net on the man advantage. This is what cost them the game, we just didn’t know it at at the time.

Wilkes-Barre outshot Hartford 18-3 in the second period.

Third Period: Daniel Sprong scored on his birthday to bring the Penguins to within one.

He looked off Quinney on a two on one and never really looked at Nell and the net and put the shot on and it went five hole and in.

Kevin Czuczman appeared to have scored a goal, but referee Stephen Thomson never signaled goal and play continued and then Steven Fogarty beat Peters to make to 3-1. After a video review on the Czuczman shot, which confirmed no goal, it was 3-1 Hartford.

On the Czuczman shot, I have no idea how it wasn’t a goal. There was no ping noise signifying a shot off the pipe. and from where Czuczman shot the puck there was no way that puck couldn’t hit anything more than inside the net from they angle it was shot from but the type doesn’t lie. A review lasting more than a minute confirmed Thomson’s eyes in real time.

Vinni Lettieri scored :54 later to make it 4-1 and suddenly all the air was out of the balloon or the keg was kicked at a party full of thirsty patrons. Use whatever inference you wish, Penguins weren’t coming back from this one.

Three Stars: 3) Daniel Sprong (goal, even) 2) Dan DeSalvo (goal, +1) and Chris Nell (30 saves on 31 shots)

Around the Division: Lehigh Valley shuts out Providence 3-0….Charlotte wins 4-2 against Binghamton…Hershey beats Springfield 4-2. Bridgeport was off.

The Hershey game was significant because it was referee David Banfield’s final game. Judging from the reaction around social media, he must have been one hell of a referee because no one had a nice thing to say about him.

Standings: Lehigh Valley (.692 percentage points) — Penguins (.639) — Providence (.627) — Charlotte (.592) — Hartford (.492) — Hershey (.485) — Springfield (.484)

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 3-2 in overtime in Glens Falls against the Adirondack Thunder. Reid Gardiner and Troy Josephs scored for the Nailers in the OT loss. Nailers are five points up on Worcester for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

Video Highlights: 

Pens back at it Sunday at 3 against Hershey. Gameday setup is yours at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

Let’s Go Pens!


Quite the turn of events tonight for Wilkes-Barre who see the Hartford Wolf Pack score twice in quick succession in the first and third periods to lose 4-1.

Daniel Sprong scored the Penguins only goal in the third period that cut it to one, but Hartford scored two quick ones to Ice it away.

More in a bit.

GAMEDAY: vs. Hartford 3/1


Who: Hartford Wolf pack

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game: Wednesday in Charlotte, the Pens lost 3-1. Tom Sestito scored the only got for Wilkes-Barre in the loss. For Hartford, the Wolf Pack hosted Lehigh Valley Friday and won in a shootout 4-3. Marek Mazanec stopped 28 of 31 shots and every Phantoms shooter in the shootout. Dan DeSalvo had the only goal in the shootout and a regulation goal.

Last Meeting: January 21 in Hartford, these two teams were scoreless at the end of regulation and in overtime it was Vince Pedrie scoring in overtime to beat the Penguins. Anthony Peters stopped 21 of 22, Wilkes-Barre put 43 total shots on Alexandar Georgiev.

Record: For WBS: 36-18-4-2 (78 pts., 2nd place Atlantic Division) // For HFD: 27-29-5-3 (62 pts., 7th place Atlantic Division)

Referee(s): Troy Paterson / Stephen Thomson

Linesmen: J.P. Waleski / Scott Pomento

Why You Should Care: Penguins need to shake off the smell of Wednesday’s loss to Charlotte quickly tonight against the Wolf Pack at home to keep pace with Lehigh Valley and shrink their magic number even more. Hartford is slumping, but that cannot be an excuse for the Penguins to underestimate this opponent.

Promotion(s): St. Patrick’s Day, Jersey Auction

Television: Tonight’s game will be televised locally on WBRE, which is Channel 28.

Other Game to Watch: Providence and Lehigh Valley meet for just the second time this season in a vital Atlantic Division matchup.

Next Five Games: vs. HER 3/18, @ TOR 2/20, @ UTI 3/23, @ BNG 3/24, vs. BRI 3/25