Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Outclassed — Pens LOSE 4-2

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The reigning AHL Coach of the Year Mike Vellucci has his hands full.

His Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were totally outgunned and outclassed in a 4-2 loss in Rochester Wednesday. The scoreline is a bit of an oasis, this game wasn’t as close as the line indicates. Rochester went up 4-0, then let off and the Penguins got two, extra attacker goals in garbage time.

The Penguins couldn’t break the Rochester press, had their press broken easy and looked slow against Rochester’s speed.

Against Texas it was a team that had speed that the Penguins didn’t have a lot of film on and were unfamiliar with. The Stars came in on a point run also.

Against Hershey Sunday, they choked a lead late and lost in overtime.

Wednesday was a lesson in while yes, you were 9-2-1-1 in the month of November, Rochester didn’t lose at all in that month and just had a 12-game point streak cut by Charlotte last Saturday. This Amerks team suffocated the Penguins and if not for Casey DeSmith, the game could have been out of hand in the second period.

They have a lot of work to do because you run into teams like this, better ones even, in May and June. Vellucci of all people knows that.

The aforementioned Casey DeSmith opposed Andrew Hammond.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: A few switch ups to the bottom six and defense, but no one in, no one out in contrast to Sunday in Hershey. Adam Johnson is day to day and didn’t make the trip.

First Period: Rochester’s speed was on full display. They broke out quickly and easily marched through the neutral zone and into the attack zone.

Finally Curtis Lazar used a burst of speed to break in, nutmegged Zach Trotman and scored on a wicked wrist shot that beat DeSmith and gave the Americans a 1-0 lead.

The Penguins didn’t really have a lot of high danger scoring opportunities and didn’t score on the only power play awarded in the period.

Second Period: Wilkes-Barre had a quick little flurry of offense in the opening seconds of the period, then only mustered four total shots the entire period. Rochester had the puck seemingly for the entire period and doubled their lead when ex-Penguin J-S Dea stripped Zach Trotman of the puck and scored to make it 2-0 Rochester.

Earlier, Macoy Erkamps caught Casey Fitzgerald up high with an elbow….

….they later fought….

Fair fight, Erkamps caught Fitzgerald with two punches, they grappled and then Fitzgerald slipped and they both fell.

Wilkes-Barre killed two penalties in the period. The penalty killing looked good, but Rochester was breaking the press far too easy at even strength and using speed to get at DeSmith.

Third Period: Wilkes-Barre went over ten minutes without a shot on goal, even with a power play.

Andrew Oglevie deflected a shot from the point that iced it away.

Penguins got desperate and pulled DeSmith and J-S Dea picked off a Penguins defenseman and found a streaking CJ Smith for an empty net goal that made it 4-0.

Rochester packed it in there and let the Penguins back into the game.

Off the ensuing face-off, Jan Drozg scored his first AHL goal here.

That goal snapped a 128:18 scoreless streak for the Penguins in Rochester. Remember, they were shut out last season here.

Andrew Hammond went for an unsuccessful poke check and Sam Miletic scored to cut it to two.

Andrew Agozzino nearly scored which would have made it a one goal game. Time ran out shortly after.

Three Stars: 3) Curtis Lazar (goal, assist) 2) J-S Dea (goal, assist) 1) C.J. Smith (goal, assist)

The Good: Jan Drozg finally getting his first AHL goal. You can see that they are starting to trust him and hopefully that goal will unleash an avalanche of goals to come for the Penguins rookie.

The Bad: Rochester didn’t become a great team last night or last week. They have been good all season. The Penguins knew this and game planned for a victory tonight. The way that the Amerks basically laughed at that and walked through the Penguins has got to be a bit of a concern.

Turning Point: The Oglevie goal serves two purposes. Here, it iced away a game which was already out of reach for the Penguins. For the Amerks, it put the Penguins in desperation mode, they scored again to make it 4-0 and let off. The North Division has too many good teams in it for Head Coach Chris Taylor to feel good about his teams last five minutes. But that’s his problem.

Around the Division: Syracuse beats Providence 4-1. The Bruins have lost two straight….Hartford beats Binghamton 3-1 to go up to the top of the Atlantic Division clean again. Everyone else was off.

Standings: Hartford 37 — Providence 35 — Penguins 30 — Hershey 29 — Springfield 28 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Charlotte 23 — Bridgeport 22

Wheeling Update: Nailers are out in South Dakota taking on the Rapid City Rush. Box here.

Video Highlights: If Rochester or the Penguins add them on Twitter, I will work the edit in here.

Pens will travel to Cleveland for their games with the Monsters Friday and Saturday. Penguins have had some success with Cleveland and this series may actually be just what the doctor ordered.

AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Thursday. Check them out then.

Let’s Go Pens!

Coughing Up Chocolate — Pens LOSE 3-2 (OT)

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They spoiled a dazzling display in goal by Casey DeSmith.

After going up 2-0 in the first period, DeSmith shut down the Bears in the second period, which I felt at the time was Hershey’s best attempt to get back in the game, after the physical war the Bears were in all weekend with Lehigh Valley on Friday and Saturday. No way that the Bears, in the final period of a weekend three in three, mount a comeback against that Penguins defense.

Wrong! Bears get two to tie in the third, force overtime and Joe Snively’s goal in overtime give Hershey a 3-2 overtime win against the Penguins Sunday.

I found out in the third that the Penguins were missing one of their better defensemen in Zach Trotman who left the game and didn’t return. That may have had a part in it.

DeSmith opposed Pheonix Copley.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi was reassigned by Pittsburgh Sunday morning. Jordy Bellerive went out of the lineup to make room, Jan Drozg went to the top line where he ended up Saturday night. Defense pairings were intact.

First Period: Hot start for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, who went up two goals in a span of about two minutes just before half way.

Sam Miletic scored on a ridiculous feed by Andreas Martinsen that put the Pens on the board.

Then Anthony Angello scored from the slot which doubled the visitors lead.

Miletic nearly had a second goal on this sequence but Copley was lucky enough to not let it beat him.

Casey DeSmith, not to be outdone, had this ten bell save on Joe Snively in the final knockings of the period.

Second Period: Eighteen shots by Hershey but no goals to show. Casey DeSmith stood on his head, had the Bears hit two posts, but no one scored. Penguins had :31 of two man advantage but weren’t able to score.

Third Period: Hershey finally breaks through on a power play goal scored by Matt Mouslon. A shot by Bobby Nardella was saved by DeSmith but not covered up and Mouslon who was screening in front swept it across the line.

The Bears power play is 30th out of 31 teams in the AHL but somehow always scores against the Penguins. It was the fourth (of ten successes) power play goals scored against the Penguins this season.

Christian Djoos had a low, seeing eye shot beat DeSmith which tied the game at two.

Then a super soft call by Mitch Dunning and Michael Markovic. We had these two referees Saturday at home and I thought they did a fine job. They did a fine job Sunday too but for the following sequence.

That’s 6’5 Anthony Angello decleating 5’11 Shane Gersich who was skating with his head down with a clean body hit. Nothing at the head, nothing dirty, a clean hit delivered. Referees call roughing. Thankfully, Hershey didn’t score on the ensuing power play.

Dunning and Markovic repaid the Penguins with a soft hooking call against the Bears but the Penguins didn’t score there.

Overtime: Sam Miletic had a chance to end it in OT but Copley flicked out the pad.

Snively put home a rebound of a Mike Sgarbossa shot.

 

Here’s another look:

Game. Set. Match. A perfect 3-0 weekend for Hershey. Only one point for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton.

Three stars: 3) Matt Moulson (goal) 2) Christian Djoos (goal, assist) 1) Joe Snively (overtime game winning goal)

The Good: The hot start by the Penguins.

The Bad: Losing Trotman to injury had to play into the Bears relentless comeback in the third.

Turning Point: :31 of two man advantage reared no goals for the Penguins. A three, possibly four goal lead at the time would have been way too much for a tired Bears team to overcome no matter who was missing from the Penguins lineup.

Around the Division: One other game, the Hartford Wolf Pack complete a perfect 3-0 weekend with a 4-1 win over the Atlantic Division leader Providence Bruins in Providence.

Standings: Hartford 35 — Providence 35 — Penguins 30 — Hershey 29 — Springfield 28 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Charlotte 23 — Bridgeport 22

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

The Pens are in Rochester taking on old buddy J-S Dea and the Americans Wednesday. Blue Cross Arena has been a house of horrors for the Penguins of late.

The stat board has been updated. You can click over to that at the top of the blog, or just click here.

Mailbag Monday is back, send in questions or I will shelve the feature entirely.

Let’s Go Pens!

Put a Bow On It — Pens LOSE 5-3

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I am not going to bury the turning point in this game recap, I’ll give it to you here.

After the Penguins third goal of the game and of the second period, Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal called his time out to settle his group. His side, still at the bottom of the Central Division and only winners of two road games all season, were seeing a decent start to the game slip away after the Penguins scored back to back power play goals.

It worked. The Penguins didn’t score another goal, Texas would tie the game later in the period then score just :15 into the third period to go on to win 5-3 Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.

The game will be remembered for some fighting at the end, including Emil Larmi’s halfhearted attempt to fight Stars starting goaltender Landon Bow. They didn’t and, at 10:45 p.m. on this Saturday night where I am typing these words, the game sheet still is not final on the AHL’s website.

Second loss in a row for the Penguins. Consider the opponent. Texas was in for the first time ever as an opponent from the Western Conference which we rarely see. Are they two games that you’d like to win? Sure, Texas was awful coming in and in last in the Central. But in the bigger picture you’d rather lose to out of division teams vs. teams like Hershey or Providence.

Lines were…

Texas didn’t post lines and there are no GIFs of any goals. I’ll do my best in describing them for you, use your imagination.

Lineup Notes: Jan Drozg was recalled from Wheeling Saturday afternoon. He replaced Adam Johnson who picked up a knock last night on Jon Lizotte’s clearing attempt. For what it’s worth they listed Johnson on the injury report. Andreas Martinsen was slotted on the top line but didn’t stay there, as he was replaced by Drozg.

First Period: Better start for the Penguins, but it was Jason Robertson scoring twice in the period from two on one goals which beat Larmi. The second came with just .8 seconds left to play in the period.

Second Period: David Warsofsky’s shot at goal was deflected by Sam Miletic which triggered the annual teddy bear toss. After a brief delay, play resumed and the Penguins found themselves on a five on three for 1:41.

Warsofsky’s shot this time went in without anyone touching it and it was a tie game. There was still time left over from the Dillon Heatherington double minor of a high stick on Andrew Agozzino, and the Penguins connected on that to take the lead at 3-2. Zach Trotman scored on a hell of a shot.

Here is where that time out by Laxdal came in. There was still more than half of the game yet to be played. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. This time it did.

Joel L’Esperance scored on a power play goal late in the period which tied the game at three. I believe Larmi was screened.

Third Period: Weird play to open the period. Heatherington’s shot at goal kicked off of Niclas Almari’s skates and died in the slot. Joel Kiviranta was in the right place at the right time, put a move on Larmi to get him out of position and scored to give the Stars the lead again.

Penguins had more than a few good looks at Bow and the Stars net but were unable to find the equalizer.

An empty net goal by Nicholas Caamano set off a melee of penalties. David Warsofsky slashed Caamano and received a 5:00 penalty for it and a game misconduct.

Jamie Devane picked up a roughing and fighting major as did Rhett Gardner.

After that was sorted out, Macoy Erkamps didn’t like Riley Tufte’s attempt at scoring a goal on Larmi at the end of the game, so they picked up roughing and misconduct penalties.

Emil Larmi got a penalty for traveling beyond the center red line (it is actually a penalty) and a misconduct for attempting to fight Landon Bow.

Bow, for a second, thought about it but smiled and skated away.

Three Stars: 3) Sam Miletic (goal, assist) 2) Jason Robertson (two goals) 1) Joel Kiviranta (game winning goal)

The Good: The power play came to life when it needed to and picked the Penguins off the mat and back into the game.

The Bad: They couldn’t hold a lead against a team which had only won twice coming in. But I think it’s a different Stars team. You could see it if you watched the games this weekend. They are a good team which are buried under bad luck. When the two teams meet again in January, it probably won’t be with Texas in last in the Central Division.

Turning Point: Go back to the top and read the lede again.

Around the Division: It’s always fun to watch the Penguins two biggest rivals, Hershey and Lehigh Valley, beat the hell out of each other. It happened this weekend in a war between the two teams. Hershey wins 1-0 at home. They will probably be missing a few guys Sunday when the Penguins come calling and may be, just may be, emotionally spent and ripe for the picking.

Elsewhere, Syracuse beats Bridgeport 5-2, Providence beats Utica in a shootout 3-2, Charlotte ends Rochester’s long point streak 3-1, Laval had a nice comeback and beats Springfield 4-3 and Hartford beats up Binghamton 5-2.

Standings: Providence 35 — Hartford 33 — Penguins 29 — Springfield 28 — Hershey 27 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Charlotte 23 — Bridgeport 22

Wheeling Update: Nailers lost 4-1 at home in a rematch with Kalamazoo. Yushi Hirano had the only goal for the Nailers Saturday.

Video Highlights: 

Pens close out the weekend three in three with a game in Hershey Sunday at 5. Gameday setup hits the blog Sunday at 1.

Let’s Go Pens!

Kiviranta’s Pikkujoulut — Pens LOSE 4-3

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Pikkujoulut is a Finnish term for “Little Christmas” and goes hand in hand with Finnish Independence Day, which also happens to fall on December 6 every season. December 6 is the first time that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Texas Stars met up in a competitive ice hockey game for the first time ever.

Joel Kiviranta is Finnish. His two goals in the second period propel the Texas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins Friday night.

It’s a bad loss for the Penguins for a number of reasons. First, the Texas Stars had one road win all season coming into tonights game. Second, the Stars are in last place in the Central Division. Third, that Central Division is in the Western Conference, a Conference which the Penguins do not play in. Fourth, with Friday’s results, the Penguins drop to third in the Atlantic Division in a race which is as tight as ever here in December.

Casey DeSmith opposed Jake Oettinger.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Lucchini slotted in the top line replacing Noesen, Martinsen replaced Noesen as the veteran and David Warsofsky returned. Matt Abt took the warmup.

First Period: The Penguins came out extremely flat and the Stars were really to play.

Riley Tufte led a charge up ice, put a shot on and Michael Mersch was there to collect the rebound and put it in to give the Stars an early 1-0 lead.

Andreas Martinsen took a puck off of Oettinger and wrapped around and tucked him his first as a Penguin that tied the game at one.

There was calamity in front of DeSmith’s net. David Warsofsky blew a tire, gifting a puck to the Stars who, in three attempts by my count, don’t score on a prone DeSmith on his belly.

Shots were 12-7 Stars, with a  majority of them coming early on in the first.

Second Period: Stars jumped out of the gate with another goal when Joe Cecconi drove to the net and dished to Kiviranta who was boxing out Niclas Almari for an early tap in that made it 2-1.

Penguins had about a minute of two man advantage, but it was a block party by Texas who easily killed the penalty. I don’t think the Penguins had a shot on the power play.

Stars would tack on a third goal. Kiviranta again on his country’s Independence Day, with a quick move through a few defenders and it was 3-1 Texas.

Wilkes-Barre would score two goals in a span of :38 to get even again.

Andrew Agozzino finished off a one timer with David Warsofsky on a power play.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph’s first professional goal tied it at three.

Quite the turn of events. Penguins go from rattled to tied in a span of about a minute.

Third Period: Nicholas Caamano’s goal in the opening minutes of the period made it 4-3 Stars. Five hole on DeSmith.

This was right as a penalty expired.

The Stars got 14 saves from Oettinger in the period and rode it out for just their second win on the road this season.

Three Stars: 3) Pierre-Olivier Joseph (goal, assist) 2) Joel Kiviranta (two goals) 1) Nicholas Caamano (game winning goal)

Off ice guys got it wrong in my opinion. Michael Mersch had a goal and two assists.

The Good: The Penguins picked themselves off the mat in the second period and erased a two goal deficit.

The Bad: Continuing with the fight card analogy, they lost on points when they weren’t able to get another goal to tie it.

Turning Point: That sequence where the Penguins were on a five on three in the second period and didn’t negotiate anything resembling a threat against a team coming in with just one road win sticks out.

Expect a better response tomorrow for the Penguins. The Stars didn’t score quickly despite the hot start in the first, but got goals in the first two minutes of the second and third, where the third period goal stood up for the remainder of crunch time.

Around the Division: Bridgeport takes down Utica in a shootout 5-4….Hershey beats Lehigh Valley in a contentious game in Allentown 2-1. Those teams rematch Saturday in Hershey….Providence crushes Binghamton 6-2….Rochester shuts out Charlotte 4-0….Hartford beats Springfield 5-2.

Standings: Providence 33 — Hartford 31 — Penguins 29 — Springfield 28 — Hershey and Lehigh Valley 25 — Bridgeport 22 — Charlotte 21

Wheeling Update: Nailers beat Kalamazoo 6-2. Brandon Hawkins had a had trick.

Video Highlights: 

Rematch Saturday. Gameday setup here Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Night of Firsts — Pens WIN 5-2

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First goals of the season for Mat Abt, Oula Palve and Anthony Angello including Chase Berger’s first multi point game and first fight, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins throttle the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2 Saturday night at home, ending the Sound Tigers four game winning streak coming into tonight.

For Abt and Palve, it was their first AHL goals of their respective careers.

Casey DeSmith opposed Jakub Škarek.

Lineup:

Lineup Notes: Michael Kim jumped in for Kevin Czuczman. I don’t know what’s up with that. Jordy Bellerive and Chase Berger flipped lines. Graham Knott took the warmup as the healthy scratch.

First Period: A shot from the point by Stefan Noesen was bobbled by Škarek and put in by Sam Miletic to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead early.

Parker Wotherspoon tied it a few minutes later when Matt Lorito wheeled around the net and found Wotherspoon in front for a shot and a goal while DeSmith was being screened in front.

(Taylor didn’t GIF any away goals and Bridgeport didn’t care to put them up either)

Second Period: Matt Abt finally got the monkey off his back.

Long time coming for Abt, the bench was thrilled for him. He’s had an enormous weekend, potting that goal to go with two assists Friday in Lehigh Valley.

Wilkes-Barre hit two posts before dialing in and Adam Johnson connecting for a goal through a crowd that made it 3-1.

Matt Lorito would pull one back for the Sound Tigers, digging a Seth Helgeson shot which was stopped by Casey DeSmith off of his pads and into the net to cut the deficit to one heading into the….

Third Period: Had the sense coming in that the next goal would have won it for either side. I know it sounds crazy when you are up one but if Bridgport bags a third and ties it, then it becomes a whole different game and then a survival game. With an opponent like Bridgeport, riding a four game winning streak coming in, not a game you want to play.

Thankfully, the contest didn’t go in that direction.

Adam Johnson connected with Anthony Angello for his first goal of the season that made it 4-2.

Second assist to Matt Abt. That’s a four point weekend and AHL Player of the Week territory if you ask me.

Oula Palve notched his first AHL goal when he deflected a Thomas DiPauli shot off of his knee and into the net that made it 5-2 and blew it open.

For good measure, Chase Berger and Parker Wotherspoon fought to rile up the crowd.

Pens hung on from there, Bridgeport didn’t get any closer and Wilkes-Barre kept firing, hitting two posts in the final minute.

Three Stars: 3) Oula Palve (goal, assist) 2) Matt Abt (goal, assist) and 1) Adam Johnson (goal, assist)

The Good: Bridgeport could have been a pesky team, but the Penguins were simply the better team in all areas Saturday and it was an elementary win.

The Bad: Can’t really think of anything that stuck out. That’s good, right? Bad for this segment though.

Turning Point: Anthony Angello’s goal setup by Adam Johnson’s speed that made it a two goal contest again early in the third opened up the floodgates for the Penguins as Palve scored 1:11 later and the rout was on.

Around the Division: Providence beats Charlotte 4-1 to stay tied in point with the Penguins for tops overall in the Atlantic….Hartford loses 2-1 in overtime to Lehigh Valley to fall out of first place for the first time all season….Hershey finds themselves in penalty trouble and get beat at home by the Belleville Senators 3-1….Springfield gets back in the win column with a 6-3 win over the Laval Rocket.

Standings: Penguins (on percentage of .659 to Providence’s .630, we aren’t doing percentages anymore though) and the Bruins 29 — Hartford 28 — Springfield 26 — Lehigh Valley 25 — Hershey 21 — Bridgeport 20 — Charlotte 19

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose 4-1 to Kalamazoo. Ryan Scarfo had the lone goal for the Nailers in the loss.

Wilkes-Barre goes 9-2-1-1 in the month of November. Casey DeSmith goes 7-1 in November also. December is usually when they get hot, the car is already warm.

Video Highlights:

Pens have a week in between games, next on ice Friday at home against Texas. But for anything breaking, talk to you then. If you are wondering about Mailbag, interest wasn’t there enough for me to generate doing it bi-weekly. Maybe I will do it once a month. If there’s anything you want to ask, drop a line in the comments or send me an e-mail. That always works.

Let’s Go Pens!

Never Leave Early — Pens LOSE 6-5 (OT)

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The Penguins were down 5-0 in this game and came all the way back to tie it with an extra attacker late in the third only to lose on a T.J. Brennan goal in overtime on a delayed call 6-5.

I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive:
1) That I stayed tuned in when it was 4-0 after one and AHLTV was not working properly at all;
2) Mike Vellucci didn’t turn to Casey DeSmith at backup when starter Emil Larmi stopped just 9 of 14 shots and the Penguins were trailing 5-0;
3) They mounted anything resembling a comeback after being down five;
4) They came all the way back:
5) They didn’t win in overtime.

Remember this point in April. It looks like five, possibly six, teams for four spots in the division this season. Every point is going to be valuable down the stretch and the points hold the same value in November as they do in March or April.

Coal Street didn’t do any GIFs in the game, I think it had something to do with a lot of things and Twitter wasn’t playing nice tonight with graphics and stuff, so just bear with me. Lehigh Valley did theirs, but I didn’t write the game up through the intermissions like I normally do for road games because it was 4-0 and the Pens were getting flattened and I was pissed that AHLTV wasn’t streaming the game the right way.

Lineup:

Lineup Notes: Joseph Blandisi was recalled Friday afternoon for Bryan Rust who injured his leg in morning skate today. Jordy Bellerive went in for Blandisi. No other lineup changes but for at backup, DeSmith was in and Tokarski was given the night off.

First Period: The goal came hot and heavy for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

1) Matthew Strome on a tip in front for his first AHL goal at 5:29
2) Pascal Laberge scored on a rebound left in the slot after Larmi stopped Isaac Radcliffe with the blocker at 5:50
3) Carsen Twarynski through AHLTV buffering on my end at 8:08
4) Twarynski again on a power play goal, the second of the game for the Phantoms (Strome’s goal was also on the power play) at 16:31

It was 4-0 Phantoms after one period. Despite this, the Penguins outshot the Phantoms 14-12 through the period.

Second Period: Isaac Ratcliffe scored to open the period and whatever was said and what adjustments were made didn’t do anything as the Penguins were down deep in a 5-0 hole.

I noticed that the Penguins still stuck to the same game plan, didn’t really tuck tail and run, sure they pushed and shoved and there were extracurriculars after whistles and stuff, but they kept pushing.

Jamie Devane tipped in a Thomas DiPauli shot on a power play with under minute to play and it turned out to be the turning point in the game. It gave the Penguins faint hope that they could get back into the game.

Third Period: Comeback went like this.

1) Andrew Agozzino scored on a rebound to cut the lead to three at 9:22
2) Anthony Angello, seemingly getting the message after being benched Wednesday in the third period, scored to cut the lead to two. He took a great pass from Chase Berger and slammed it home in the crease at 11:06
3) Andrew Agozzino breakaway goal. One goal game at 12:09
4) Adam Johnson, with Larmi pulled for the extra man, from an impossible angle, tied the game at five at 18:00.

I am really big on the numbered lists tonight.

Overtime: TJ Brennan scored an extra attacker goal in overtime on a delayed call to win it for the Phantoms, a game that should have never been in doubt, but the problems have to be bigger for Lehigh Valley, don’t they?

Three Stars: Somehow all Phantoms. 3) Matthew Strome (goal) 2) T.J. Brennan (game winning overtime goal, assist) 1) Carsen Twarynski (two goals, assist)

The Good: The never say die attitude of this Mike Vellucci guided club. They could have easily packed it in and left with their tails between their legs, but they didn’t. They didn’t try to get three back with one, they just scored one after another after another.

The Bad: If they played the second half of the game in the first half, tell me who wins?

Turning Point: Jamie Devane’s tip of a Thomas DiPauli power play started an impossible comeback for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and earned them a point.

Around the Division: Bridgeport has won four in a row, beating Springfield 4-1. The Sound Tigers are in Wilkes-Barer Saturday night….

That was it. The rest of them were off.

Standings: Hartford, the Penguins and Providence 27 — Springfield 24 — Lehigh Valley 23 — Hershey 21 — Bridgeport 20 — Charlotte 19

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: I don’t know who will get to them first, but who ever does I will run the edit here and you can see how this car crash of a hockey game went down.

Pens back home Saturday night to host Bridgeport on Hockey Fights Cancer night. Gameday setup here Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Phantom Stuffing – Pens WIN 6-2

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Pardon any formatting errors as I’m drawing this up on the fly. No, I don’t have work on Thanksgiving, but I’m traveling and want the majority of the heavy lifting done now vs. later. Great game by two teams headed in seemingly different directions. Pens win 6-2 as the Phantoms slump woes continue. Big games by all the regulars with Stefan Noesen and Thomas DiPauli with two goal games a piece. Adam Johnson and Joseph Blandisi also scored. Casey DeSmith stopped 29 of 31 to pick up his ninth with of the season.

Lineup:

Lineup Notes: David Warsofsky was not in the lineup. Tyler reported after the game that it’s a nagging injury that isn’t serious. We’ll see. Michael Kim was the player who took warmups but was scratched. Matt Abt was in Warsofsky’s place….Jamie Devane made his debut, bumped Thomas DiPauli to the third line, Andreas Martinsen out as the veteran overage (Devane counts as a vet) – on defense, call it Nicolas Almari, returning from injury, for David Warsofsky.

First Period: Pens off to a very slow start, a turnover in their own end wound up in the back of their net when Tyler Wotherspoon connected for a goal that gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead in the first two minutes.

But the Penguins responded quickly on the power play when Stefan Noesen finished off this feed from Adam Johnson that evened the game at one.

Pens had another shot at a power play right after but didn’t score, later had a two on none and made too many passes and no shot.

Adam Johnson connected for his first of the season on this spin-o-rama shot that edged the Penguins ahead 2-1

In what looked like it could be a run and gun affair after the hot start settled into just a 7-4 shot advantage for the Pens heading into the…

Second Period: Stefan Noesen bagged his second of the game while getting hooked. The shot trickled up and over Lyon and in and gave the Pens a 3-1 lead.

Just when you thought that the Pens would be able to run away with it, Pascal Laberge floated to the high slot, pump faked a slap shot and instead went wrist shot and beat Casey DeSmith through a screen that brought Lehigh Valley back within one.

Joseph Blandisi added one on a Penguins power play that gave the Pens a two goal lead again. Andrew Agozzino’s shot knocked Alex Lyon’s mask off, but in one fell swoop, Blandisi was there to knock the puck in.

Legitimate gripe by Lyon, play is supposed to stop immediately when a mask is dislodged, but the rulebook has a gray area there.

Rule 9.6, paragraph four, in part…

When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his team has control of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask. When the opposing team has control of the puck, play shall only be stopped if there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity…..

Because the whole sequence was bang-bang, and the Phantoms never touched the puck after Lyon’s mask was dislodged, play continued.

Shots were an even 20 a side heading into the …

Third Period: Story of the period was the apparent benching of Anthony Angello. Angello was on the bench, but didn’t skate an entire shift for the entire period. Jake Lucchini jumped in his spot.

Pretty uneventful period otherwise, Pens hit an empty net with 3:10 left to play when Thomas DiPauli scored from center ice to seal it.

DiPauli for good measure added another the more conventional way, beating Lyon five hole.

Three Stars: 3) Adam Johnson (goal, two assists) 2) Thomas DiPauli (two goals) 1) Stefan Noesen (two goals)

The Good: Two players with two goals each. Two power play goals. That is enough to carry the day.

The Bad: If the Phantoms didn’t come in on a winless on the road slump (I think is five losses now) is it a different outcome when they score first? Still, glad the Pens responded quickly.

Turning Point: Blandisi’s power play goal that re-establishes Wilkes-Barre’s two goal lead in the second was a no look back moment for the Penguins. They smelled blood and put the game away.

Around the Division: Wild one in Hershey, Bears up 3-0, cough up the lead and lose 7-6 in a shootout to the Providence Bruins….Bridgeport has won three in a row, beating Springfield 3-2….Charlotte beats Cleveland 5-2.

Standings: Hartford 27 — Providence 27 — Penguins 26 — Springfield 24 — Lehigh Valley 21 — Hershey 21 — Charlotte 19 — Bridgeport 18

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost at home to Fort Wayne 5-4 in overtime. They rematch tomorrow in Indiana on Thanksgiving. Brandon Hawkins, Ryan Scarfo, Blake Siebenaler and Renars Krastenbergs all bagged goals in the defeat.

Video Highlights: 

Power Rankings are essentially done, just waiting on finals from out west and those will go up Thursday at 11 like they always do bi-weekly.

Have a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate. If you’re Canadian, happy Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!