Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Six of Six from Six — Pens WIN 5-4 (SO)


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The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins came into Sunday afternoon winless so far on the season on the day the Lord rested.

Going down 4-1 at one point to their blood rival in Hershey, thoughts of last weekend’s debacle in Toronto started to creep into the minds of Penguins fans.

But a mix of the same tenacity that saw Wilkes-Barre shutout Cleveland on Friday and blitzkrieg Bridgeport on Saturday get the Penguins back into contention and they storm back to make it 4-3 at the end of the second period.

A quick moving third period where time melted off the clock like a snowman in June.

Until the Penguins best player stepped up and ensured that overtime would become a necessity.

Ethan Prow, a stone cold lock for Springfield in January at All-Stars, stepped into a shot with under a minute left and the game was tied.

Overtime would come and go and the Penguins even had to kill a penalty, then after nine cool saves in the shootout round from Johnny Muse, Joseph Cramarossa would score to give the Penguins the stunning 5-4 shootout win over the Hershey Bears.

Ethan Prow had a chance in the bottom of the sixth to win it, that would have been magical.

A perfect six point weekend for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. A shutout Friday, a come from behind win Saturday against Bridgeport and a come from behind from multiple goals down Sunday at the end of a three in three on the road against the Bears.

Are the Penguins back? Certainly seems like it, but one weekend does not a season make. We all know that the Penguins are good and have not played up to their potential in the weeks coming into this past weekend. Now, going forward the Penguins have shown the ability that they can indeed win in all different forms.

John Muse opposed Vitek Vanecek.

Lines were…

…once again unchanged from Saturday and Friday.

First Period: The Penguins weren’t able to capitalize on turnovers by the Bears, and Hershey struck twice to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Jayson Megna, who always seems to score against the Penguins this season, opened the scoring.

Then Hershey cashed on a power play when Riley Barber found himself fin the slot, Chris Summers backed off and while doing so, sent an unintentional screen on his goaltender. Barber then snapped a shot in between Summers’ legs and beat Muse five hole.

Bounces. The Bears had them, the Penguins didn’t.

Second Period: The Penguins would finally solve Vanecek after a power play expired as Kevin Czuczman’s shot deflects off in front of Liam O’Brien and goes in and it’s a 2-1 game.

But Liam O’Brien would exact an ounce of revenge finishing this play off of a nice pass by Steven Whitney on a Bears odd man. The only time Muse would get beat clean this weekend.

:52 later, Tyler Lewington wheels around the net and banks a shot off of Muse and in for a 4-1 Bears lead.

But instead of pack it in, Wilkes-Barre played lock it down.

Teddy Blueger got the deficit back to two with this nice play in front of Vanecek that made it a two goal game again.

Okay, good. Get to the intermission down two and see what happens from there, right?

Wrong. Thomas DiPauli scores with five seconds left and the entire complexion of the game changes.

Third Period: It really would have been a shame if the Penguins didn’t win the game, because the way they played the third, it seemed like it wasn’t if the Pens would score, it was when.

Wilkes-Barre outshoots Hershey 11-4 in the period. They locked things down and didn’t allow Hershey any more good looks.

Jarrett Burton took a hard hit into the boards, went to the room and returned. The Pens also had to kill a Prow tripping penalty.

Then, with Muse vacated for the extra attacker and after a Wilkes-Barre time out, Adam Johnson collected the puck in his own zone, flew the neutral zone and entered the zone ands dished to Teddy Blueger who dropped to Prow for the tying goal.

Overtime: Solved nothing. The Bears would get a power play, called time out, but weren’t able to score.

Shootout: No one scored till the bottom of the ninth when Joe Cramarossa stepped up to the plate

Here is the entire overtime and shootout round Periscoped for you by yours truly if you have 16:29 to kill.

Three Stars: 3) Joe Cramarossa (shootout game winner) 2) Teddy Blueger (goal, two assists) 1) Jayson Megna (goal)

The Good: I liked the tenacity from the team. Not just tonight, but the entire weekend. You could tell about half way through Friday that they were not going to let Cleveland beat them. Same for Bridgeport on Saturday after letting off at the end of the first period. I think they had enough losing and were starting to hear it at home, at the rink and in the media. It’s hard to win games in the American Hockey League. It’s even harder to win three in a row in three days. The Penguins accomplished that and have to feel good about themselves heading into Wednesday in Springfield.

The Bad: The lapses are still there. It’s nitpicking here on a Sunday evening after the team won three straight, but the lapses are evident. There was no way that the Penguins should have gone down 4-1 like they did. It was good that it happened in the second period and not any later, because it could have been a totally different result.

One More Thing: John Muse was as cool as a cucumber in the shootout. I think Head Coach Clark Donatelli was looking for either Muse or Anthony Peters to take the reins as the starter this weekend. I don’t think he has his answer to be honest with you. Also, if you tuned into the game today you heard Scott Stuccio on color. He adds so much more to the broadcast in that position just by his observances in the game flow and an extra set of eyes for Nick Hart on play by play. He’s prepared, knows what he is talking about and Wilkes-Barre should try to get him on more broadcasts as his schedule allows. It’s already a good broadcast with Nick Hart, it’s better with both Nick and Scott calling the action.

Around the Division: Only other team in action was Springfield, at home hosting the Binghamton Devils. Thunderbirds win 5-1.

Standings: Charlotte 39 — Bridgeport 32 — Springfield 30 — Lehigh Valley 30 — Penguins 28 — Providence 26 — Hartford 25 — Hershey 24

Wheeling Update: Nailers beat the Indy Fuel 5-1. Nick Saracino had two goals and three assists and factored into every goal. Trucksville native Craig Skudalski had a goal, his first as a Nailer:

Video Highlights: 

Pens are in action Wednesday night in Springfield. If there is anything newsworthy between now and then look for it here on the blog. Otherwise, have a good week and we will see you here again at 3 p.m. for the Gameday setup against the Thunderbirds.

Let’s Go Pens!

Do You Know a Good Taylor? — Pens WIN 3-1


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I think the biggest difference between this weekend so far and last weekend is adjustments. Head Coach Clark Donatelli shook up his defense pairings, traded away dead weight and the Penguins have now won two straight games after beating Bridgeport 3-1 Saturday afternoon at home.

Couple that with the fact that the Penguins are getting good goaltending out of Anthony Peters and John Muse and scoring from guys like Jeff Taylor and Ethan Prow today and the sky is the limit with this team.

Four points so far out of the weekend with a chance to sweep it and get all six Sunday in Hershey. Good position to be in.

Anthony Peters opposed Jeremy Smith.

Smith has owned the Penguins.

Lines were…

…completely unchanged from last night. What wasn’t broke against a tough Cleveland opponent needed no fixing against an equally as stout Bridgeport Sound Tigers team.

First Period: Penguins played a great first half, then fell asleep in the second half and got scored on shorthanded and Bridgeport took a 1-0 lead to the room.

Sebastian Aho put a shot on that Otto Koivula tipped in to give the Sound Tigers the 1-0 lead.

Second Period: Penguins came out and dominated, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. They were outshot in the first 10-5, then came out in the second and outshot the Sound Tigers 17-8. Wilkes-Barre played disciplined, didn’t take a penalty at all in the frame and were awarded three power plays. But they still had nothing to show for it.

Smith stood on his head in the period.

Third Period: Jeff Taylor of all people finally solves Jeremy Smith and the Penguins were finally on the board and off to the races.

That’s another assist for Will O’Neill, he had one Friday night against Cleveland. The pairing with him and Kevin Czuczman is working. But for a few hiccups here and there this weekend, O’Neiol has been fine.

A little over a minute later, Ethan Prow sweeps home a rebound off the pads of Smith from a Lafferty shot that gave them Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Pens had to kill a Ryan Haggerty holding penalty. Bridgeport kept the puck in the zone the entire time, but never got one past Peters for the tie.

Penguins could have iced the game away on a power play of their own but failed but Teddy Blueger hit the empty net to make it 3-1 anyway.

The Good: The changes on defense and the power play are working. The Penguins never let off the throttle the entire time while trailing and even in the third period. The killer instinct which lacked in the past few weeks is stirring. Watch out.

The Bad: Hard really to find something bad when it is after all a developmental league, but the lapse in the first period where Wilkes-Barre got scored on could have cost them yet another 1-0 contest if it wasn’t for the relentless offensive attack the Penguins unleashed from the second period onward.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: If the Penguins win Sunday in Hershey, then this weekend is going to set up as a perfect weekend for them both in what they can control and what they can’t control out of town. Friday was positive, Saturday setup the same way too. Lehigh Valley loses to Cleveland 4-2. Providence loses to Belleville 3-2. Hershey beats Hartford 6-3. Charlotte, down 4-2 after an empty net goal in Springfield, tie the game and win in overtime to stun the Thunderbirds and win 5-4.

Standings: Charlotte 39 — Bridgeport 32 — Lehigh Valley 30 — Springfield 28 — Providence 26 — Penguins 26 — Hartford 25 — Hershey 23

Pens can tie for fourth with a win and a Binghamton regulation win in Springfield tomorrow. It’s December and I am talking about seeding and regulation wins. Ha.

Wheeling Update: Nailers with a big 5-2 win in Toledo. Michael Phillips with two goals and an assist.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are back in action Sunday afternoon at 5 in Hershey. Gameday setup hits the blog at 1.

Let’s Go Pens!

The Johnny Muse Show — Pens WIN 1-0


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Johnny Muse was better.

In two previous starts for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, the running theme for John Muse when he started a game was that he deserved better. Last Friday in Rochester, a 1-0 Penguins defeat where Muse was the goaltender, he deserved better.

Well tonight, a 32 save shutout performance against a tough Cleveland Monsters team, John Muse was better. Penguins get a power play goal from Ryan Haggerty in the second period and that is all the offense needed to get the first home win for Wilkes-Barre in over a month. Pens win 1-0.

And man, it felt good.

Muse opposed J-F Berube who by his own right was outstanding.

Ryan Scarfo made his Penguin debut. I didn’t notice much of him in the third (he was on the bench) but what I did see was pretty much all positive. He knocked a guy over and created a turnover on one shift. He was OK.

Clark Donatelli shook up his defense pairings, separating Ethan Prow and Kevin Czuczman. It worked. Czuczman was paired with Will O’Neill and that pairing was on the ice a lot and looked good. Actually every pairing from Summers and the rookie Taylor to Abt and Prow looked decent.

J-S Dea was recalled to Pittsburgh because Dominik Simon was put on injured reserve Friday afternoon.

No scoring in the first, Penguins had the only power play in the period. Shots were 10-5 Cleveland.

In the second, Pens broke through on a power play goal by Ryan Haggerty who finally broke through on the goal scoring column after having a goal scored a few weeks ago be taken away from him and awarded to someone else.

Kevin Czuzman flew the zone, danced around a few defenders, spun around the net, put a shot on and collected his rebound and then dished to Will O’Neill who one timed a pass over to Haggerty who finished and gave the Penguins the lead.

In the third, Cleveland outshot the Penguins 12-2, this was with the Penguins getting a power play, but John Muse stopped all twelve offerings sent his way.

Muse rarely, if ever, gives up rebounds. Everything sticks.

Cleveland called time out with about 2:30 left and pulled Berube but were never able to find the equalizer.

The Good: Good win against a tough opponent in Cleveland. The Monsters are second in a tough North Division, but sometimes styles make fights. The Penguins are 3-0 against Cleveland this season. John Muse should get the start tomorrow afternoon against Cleveland, but due to the quick turnaround and a 3:05 start against Bridgeport, Anthony Peters may get the nod instead.

Tyler confirmed my suspicion.

The Bad: Hard to nitpick, but 12-2 shots against in the third is a troubling statistic. All it would have took was one for a tie then who knows what happens after that. The Penguins played really conservative tonight, using eleven players on one penalty kill at one point. The cautious approach worked tonight against Cleveland, how does it work going forward? Again, I may be nitpicking.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Decent setup, actually. Springfield loses 5-2 in Utica, Hershey is shutout in Allentown 1-0 behind Carter Hart’s 26 save shutout, Rochester beats Providence 2-1 which ends the Bruins eight game point streak, Charlotte trounces Hartford 7-4 in the Connecticut capital. Bridgeport was the only idle team tonight, likely already in town for Saturday’s afternoon start.

Standings: Charlotte 37 — Bridgeport 32 — Lehigh Valley 30 — Springfield 27 — Providence 26 — Hartford 25 — Penguins 24 — Hershey 21

Wheeling Update: Taylor had another good recap of the proceedings in the ECHL.

Here is your box.

Video Highlights: Are here.

Pens are back in action at home Saturday at 3 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Wilkes University Colonels are playing immediately after the game, in case you are wondering why the odd start. Gameday setup is yours Saturday morning at 11 am.

Let’s Go Pens!

Smoked in The Big Smoke — Pens LOSE 7-4


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Friday night in Rochester, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins had one mistake cost them in a 1-0 affair.

Saturday afternoon in Toronto, there were too many mistakes to count.

A 7-4 pasting by the defending Calder Cup Champion Marlies on the Penguins Saturday. The Pens went up 2-0 before the game was five minutes old, before having three power play goals scored against them in a span of ninety one seconds and the rout was on. An uneventful second led to Josh Jooris scoring shorthanded :16 into the third period and the late comeback staged by Wilkes-Barre was too little, too late.

Anthony Peters opposed Kasimir Kaskisuo.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Troy Josephs was back in and went to the top line with Lafferty and Angello. Cramarossa replaced Jimmy Hayes at 3RW. Patrick McGrath went in at the fourth line. On defense, Jeff Taylor and Will O’Neill were out for Tim Erixon and Stefan Elliott who were paired with one another on third pairing.

Evan Cormier backed up Anthony Peters…if you are wondering what happened to John Muse, he was, “not available” tonight to the Penguins which translated by my own speculation, meant that Muse has a visa issue which doesn’t allow him to work in Canada….Sam Miletic, who left the game Friday in Rochester with apparent injury was listed as day to day per Nick Hart on the radio before the game.

First Period: An eventful start, to say the least.

The Penguins went up 2-0 before the game was 3:15 old when Adam Johnson and Anthony Angello scored goals. Johnson was fed a pass from behind the net by J-S Dea and Angello created a turnover, headed up ice and was hit with a perfect pass by Troy Josephs.

Johnson’s goal was the quickest goal scored by the Penguins this season.

The Penguins were off to the races!

Until they hit a wall.

Three straight power play goals against in the span of ninety one seconds and Toronto took control.

Chris Mueller with a tip in front…

Trevor Moore from the slot. No idea what Anthony Peters was doing on the play…

…and then Pierre Engvall gave the Marlies a 3-2 lead…

Totally and completely unacceptable to just get run around like that in :91 when you get the jump on a team for a Saturday afternoon start. One power play goal is OK, two in a row is a concern and three in a row should start getting coaches fired or reassigned, especially this late onto the season.

I will say it again. Three consecutive power play goals allowed at this level in this time period is unacceptable. 

Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe called his timeout before the power play action got going and the Marlies unleashed their avalanche of goals. One has to wonder what was said.

Things settled after the explosion of goals in the games first 7:21.

Second Period: Quiet period in contrast to the action in the first. Toronto added another goal on a double deflection goal that extended the hosts lead to two…

That’s the initial pass or shot from Rasmus Sandin to Chris Mueller in the slot with the other deflection to Jeremy Bracco in front and past Peters.

Puck luck.

Pens had two power plays late in the game to try to cut the lead back to one but were unable to get anything past Kaskisuo.

Third Period: :16 into the period and shorthanded, Josh Jooris scored to make it 5-2 Marlies.

Ryan Haggerty was denied twice by Kaskisuo on two separate chances.

Patrick McGrath spilled a turnover in his own zone and the Marlies capitalized.

Saw someone tweet that Bracco didn’t deserve first star honors tonight, Head Coach Sheldon Keefe deserved it for the time out he called when Wilkes-Barre was up 2-0. I can’t disagree with that take.

Penguins mount a bit of a comeback to make things interesting. Ethan Prow with a power play tally…

…then Linus Ölund scored to make it 6-4 and things started to get interesting.

But time became the enemy of the Penguin, and with Peters pulled for the extra attacker, Morgan Klimchuk scored an empty net goal.

The Good: Ethan Prow, Ryan Haggerty, Sam Lafferty, Anthony Angello and Troy Josephs remain some of the Penguins best players. It’s a bad start to the season, yeah, but imagine where the Penguins would be if it weren’t for a guy like Ethan Prow.

The Bad: Where to start. The penalty kill is abysmal, the defense pairings are by committee. Most teams have seven defensemen. The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have nine (Zach Trotman is hurt) and rotate eight night in and night out. This isn’t preseason. You should have seven that you can trust. Beside Prow and Czuczman, what do you have? Defense by committee. And that should not be the case at all with the likes of Chris Summers and others. The problem is that Jeff Taylor is a rookie, Tim Erixon just now got into the lineup after being healthy scratched forever, Matt Abt is a guy that made the team on a tryout, Trotman is hurt, Elliott is too inconsistent and O’Neill shouldn’t even be on the team. Hard to win hockey games on a consistent basis when your defense, which has been a solid backbone to countless Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins teams in the past, is an inconsistent mess.

Don’t even get me started on special teams.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Charlotte has lost two straight, the first time all year, with a 5-3 setback to the Hartford Wolf Pack…Providence clips Bridgeport 2-1 in overtime via a Ryan Fitzgerald penalty shot goal…Springfield beats Hershey 4-2…Lehigh Valley gets yet another late goal to beat Belleville 4-2.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 28 — Springfield 26 — Lehigh Valley 26 — Hartford 25 — Providence 23 — Penguins 22 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were shutout 2-0 to the Kalamazoo Wings.

Video Highlights:

Pens will bus back home tonight and likely have practice Monday or Tuesday. They are in action next Friday at home against the Cleveland Monsters. News, as I see them this week, will run here. AHL Power Rankings will be here Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Wedgew00d — Pens LOSE 1-0


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Scott Wedgewood had that look in his eye tonight.

So did John Muse.

So in a goaltender duel where both net defenders become the storyline, mistakes become magnified.

In an equal game overall, the Penguins had one mistake that cost them a goal.

In a tight game where neither goalie gave an inch, that’s all that you need sometimes.

Rochester wins 1-0.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Top line remained intact, the returning J-S Dea centered Adam Johnson and Ryan Haggerty. Troy Josephs was a scratch as Linus Ölund, who centered Johnson and Haggerty Wednesday in Hershey, dropped to the fourth line with Joe Cramarossa and Jarrett Burton. On defense, Jeff Taylor and Will O’Neill replaced Tim Erixon and Stefan Elliott.

First Period: The Penguins looked like a team energized to have their old hand back in J-S Dea, who had three shots in the period. Scott Wedgewood was under bombardment from the Penguins but held Wilkes-Barre out of the back of his net, saving all 16 shots sent his way. John Muse was dialed in too, turning away 11 Amerks shots including two in quick succession from Justin Bailey who had a breakaway on a shot that was saved by Wedgewood on the opposite end of the ice. Bailey collected the puck in the high slot, raced down and put a shot then his rebound on at Muse but was turned away.

Second Period: Will O’Neill with a bonehead turnover on a lazy exit attempt and Victor Olofsson scored to give the Americans a 1-0 lead.

Taylor is too kind. She left out the O’Neill turnover seconds before the goal.

Reminder that Stefan Elliott and Tim Erixon were scratched tonight.

Sam Miletic wasn’t seen much in the second period, as Nick Hart noted his absence on radio.

Wedgewood remained dialed in, turning away the Penguins on a power play late in the period.

John Muse had a great stop late in the second, stopping this Americans bid:

Third Period: Pens threw everything they had at Wedgewood, including some shorthanded stops on J-S Dea in quick succession.

Turning point of the game, if you want to look at it from a Penguins offensive perspective, was when Wilkes-Barre had a late power play on a Rochester delay of game.


Haggerty had his goal that he thought he scored Sunday awarded to Adam Johnson on a scoring correction this week. Absolutely snakebit.

The Penguins, with Muse pulled for the extra attacker, were never able to find the equalizer.

The Good: Save for a boneheaded play by their defender, the Penguins looked equal all night with the class of the North Division.

The Bad: Will O’Neill should not see the ice for Wilkes-Barre unless it is absolutely, positively, necessary. And that includes exhausting better defensive options currently in Wheeling. Wilkes-Barre is going to live to regret the one or two points it gave away tonight because of one play tonight.

Three Stars:

Around the Division: Charlotte loses in Providence tonight 2-1. Lehigh Valley gets an extra attacker goal by Phil Varone to force overtime then an overtime game winning goal by Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored in overtime to give the Phantoms the 3-2 overtime win. Everyone else was off tonight in an uncharacteristically light night in the Atlantic Division.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Springfield 24 — Hartford 23 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 22 — Providence 21 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: I saw Taylor tweet a great recap so here’s Taylor:

Here is the box.

Video Highlights: If I see a tweet by the Americans or Penguins with one, I will run it here.

Pens will bus across the border for a 4:00 p.m. start time against the reigning, defending, undisputed Calder Cup Champion Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon. Check out the Gameday setup here on the blog at noon Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Rochester 11/30


Who: Rochester Americans

Where: Blue Cross Arena

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game: Wednesday in Hershey, the Penguins won 3-1. Thomas DiPaulis scored two goals in his 100th AHL game. For Rochester, the Americans beat Binghamton 4-3 on the road last Saturday. Ex-Penguins and current Amerks captain Kevin Porter scored for Rochester.

Record: For WBS: 9-8-3-1 (22 pts., 6th place Atlantic Division) // For RCH: 12-5-2-0 (26 pts., 1st place North Division)

Referees: Mike Campbell / Jeremy Tufts

Linesmen: Fraser McIntyre / Brian Oliver

Why You Should Care: Big test for Wilkes-Barre after a feel good win Wednesday in Hershey. The Americans are no joke and the Penguins are hading to a road test against one of the best teams in the AHL. Copying the same format they used in Hershey Wednesday may be enough to carry the Penguins to victory tonight.

Listen: Nick Hart on the call on WILK.

Watch: AHLTV is new and improved and a lot cheaper.

Other Game to Watch: Providence hosts Charlotte in a big game for the Bruins and a possible trap game for the Checkers.

Next Five Games: @ TOR 12/1, vs. CLE 12/7, vs. BRI 12/8, @ HER 12/9, @ SPR 12/12

Two for Thomas in a Hundred — Pens WIN 3-1


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Place any kind of spin on how the Penguins played this past weekend, they needed this one.

Thomas DiPauli, playing in his 100th AHL game, made sure that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins got the advantage early and the Penguins defeat the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night 3-1.

DiPauli scored two goals in the win.

The Penguins didn’t allow a power play goal against, ending the streak of extra man goals allowed at twelve.

Anthony Peters got the start in net and was a large reason that the Penguins won the game. After going up 3-0, the Bears relentlessly fired shot after shot on the Penguins net minder and were scored on :28 into the third period. Peters buttoned things up and nothing else leaked past him.

Much needed two points heading into the weekend for Wilkes-Barre, who head to North Division leading Rochester Friday night and defending Calder Cup Champion Toronto on Saturday.

Peters opposed Ilya Samsonov.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Troy Josephs was inserted in the fourth line, replacing Pat McGrath. Besides the steady pairing of Czuczman and Prow, Head Coach Clark Donatelli shook up his pairings. Tim Erixon paired with Chris Summers, Matt Abt with Stefan Elliott. No Will O’Neill for the Penguins tonight. Up front, Cramarossa was dropped to the fourth line with Josephs.

News: J-S Dea is on waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Taylor explains how the Penguins could reclaim him and assign him to Wilkes-Barre.

First Period: Anthony Peters had to stop a Liam O’Brien penalty shot for, what seemed to me, like the only real threat that Hershey had on the Penguins all period.

Then Thomas DiPauli scored twice. He picked off a blue line pass by the Bears, raced all the way in and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

Then, Teddy Blueger blocked a shot and DiPauli collected the puck and raced in and doubled Wilkes-Barre’s lead.

Wilkes-Barre was running the Bears around a bit at the end of the period, easily picking off exit attempts and getting very good looks at possibly extending the lead to three or more, but Samsonov held the fort.

That’s ten points (6-4) for DiPauli in his last nine games.

Second Period: Ryan Haggerty scored his first goal in 37 games on a power play goal when he parked at the front of the net when a puck essentially deflected off of him on a pass or shot by Adam Johnson when he had his stick tangled with Bears defender Tyler Lewington.

Referees Jordan Deckard and Furman South gave the play a very long look on replay and confirmed their call on the ice of a good goal. They were looking for a kicking motion, but there just was no way possible with the way the puck slowly crept across the line and into the net.

The Penguins clamped down from there and didn’t really get a good look after that power play marker by Haggerty. Hershey came with fire after that, only Anthony Peters wasn’t listening. He denied all 10 Bears shots.

Third Period: :28 into the third, Jayson Megna scored to put the Bears on the board.

Peters had a huge stop on Riley Barber that otherwise would have been a 3-2 game and the entire complexion of the game would have changed.

Penguins had to get a few kills late on but got out of them unscathed. Penguins were more aggressive on the penalty kill I thought. Teddy Blueger had a shorthanded bid which was was denied via poke check by Samsonov. Bears were offside a few times and even took a few penalties, killing their man advantage chance.

Troy Josephs quietly had an effective game, just missing a chance in the third when a Burton shot caromed off the back wall. Josephs collected the puck but shot it wide with a man on him.

The Good: DiPauli and Peters put the team on their backs and took the Penguins to a victory in Hershey…Penalty Kill was flawless and aggressive against a notoriously dangerous Hershey man advantage…Anthony Peters is quietly establishing himself as the number one goaltender while Tristan Jarry is up in the NHL. John Muse hasn’t been given much of a chance yet, but if the team is struggling to get points (which the Penguins have) the coaching staff is going to rise the hot hand. Expect Muse to get the start probably Saturday.

The Bad: Bad puck luck, penalties and running into a hot goaltender in Peters killed the Bears tonight. But they shouldn’t have had the opportunity to even regain their pulse, going down 3-0. The Penguins let the Bears dictate pace in the second half of the game tonight and were lucky it only cost them the Megna goal :28 into the third.

Three Stars: 3) Jayson Megna (goal) 2) Antony Peters (26 saves on 27 shots) 1) Thomas DiPauli (two goals)

Around the Division: Springfield beats Bridgeport 5-2 in the only other Atlantic Division action tonight.

Standings: Charlotte 33 — Bridgeport 27 — Springfield 24 — Hartford 23 — Lehigh Valley 22 — Penguins 22 — Providence 19 — Hershey 19

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Video Highlights: 

Penguins will probably head to Rochester Thursday afternoon for their Friday matchup against the Americans at 7.

Check out my AHL Power Rankings Thursday morning and likely a blurb or something if the Penguins reclaim J-S Dea. Regardless, stop by some time Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!