Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Slick Mitens — Pens LOSE 6-3

A pair of goaltenders made their debuts tonight in Wilkes-Barre. Tommy Nappier from The Ohio State University for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Marek Mitens for tonight’s opponent, the Binghamton Devils.

Mitens would guide his team to victory tonight with 33 saves, only getting scored on twice by the opposition on the power play twice and once short handed.

Josh Currie (1-1-2) Drew O’Connor (2 assists) and P-O Joseph were bright spots for the Penguins in the loss.

Box here. If tonight’s recap feels mailed into you it was, my niece turned three today so we had a get together. I got her one of those toy cars that you sit in and drive. I never was to have one as a child. I was always too big (too tall) for anything like that. She enjoys it. More of the same tomorrow too, the “big party” is tomorrow.

Anyway, that’s it. One of my better pun headlines wasted for a bit of a mail in job but can you do?

Pens back in action Saturday in Syracuse.

Bush League — Pens LOSE 2-0


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In a season which really is meaningless, the rule book is also affected.

There was a sequence where the Penguins thought that they scored on a power play. They celebrated Jordy Bellerive’s would be goal, but referees Terry Koharski and Jordan Deckard never awarded the goal.

No penalties were given at the end of the sequence.

No announcement made as to WHY the goal wasn’t allowed.

The rule book DOES have video review.

Just not year.

COVID, and all.

So they half ass a rule book in a half ass attempt at a joke of a season with three teams not even playing, and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are shafted out of a goal and what likely would have been at least a point.

Eh, that’s meaningless too, there’s no playoff this year either.

Pens lose 2-0.Pens lose 2-0.

Here is how they lined up:

Lineup Changes: Zach Trotman was injured last night so Billy Sweezy went back in. Jan Drozg and Kyle Olson swapped things up front.

Also, the lineup above was not correct, Will Reilly was in for P-O Jospeh who was a healthy scratch.

First Period: Almost seemed at times that the Penguins sleptwalked through the first period, going over six minutes without a shot and Aliaksei Protos scored his first goal of his AHL career to give the Bears a 1-0 lead in the only scoring of the period.

Teams traded power plays but had no success.

Second Period: There was no scoring in the period and it seemed like a lazy, Sunday afternoon second period. Then this happened:

Second fight of the season for WBS and first of Kyle Olson’s pro career.

Kessey acting like he KO’d Dennis Bonnie or something.

Look, I get that the types of players like Kale Kessy are the last of a dying breed, but don’t go acting like you are Hercules pummeling a guy in his first pro fight (Olson had some scraps in the WHL) when you know that there isn’t anyone else in white that has the wherewithal to go with you properly.

Pens got a power play out of the whole thing but got sloppy and loose and found themselves on a two man disadvantage they navigated through perfectly.

Third Period: Gave it to ya in the lede. Pens had another power play after the one where they thought Bellerive scored. Then a miscommunication in between Lagace and the bench led to a too many men on the ice call. With Lagace legally pulled for a home run shot at a goal at 5-on-5, Brian Pinho scored an empty net goal.

Three Stars: 3) Max Lagace (20 saves) 2) Pheonix Copley (21 save shutout) 1) Aliakei Protas (goal)

The Good: Absent the on and off ice shenanigans and the meaningless empty netter, they held their opponent to one goal.

The Bad: 0-4 on the power play.

Turning Point: Could have been the Olson / Kessy fight, but the Bellerive no goal completely changed things. It should have been a goal. It could have been reviewed, under normal circumstances.

I’d add a later edit on the explanations given ex post facto, but if the AHL is going to half ass a season through, so am I.

Pens are back in action Friday with Lehigh Valley.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

Grits — Pens WIN 5-4 (OT)


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They found a way to win tonight with half of the offense on recall to Pittsburgh.

Josh Currie, Radim Zohorna, Anthony Angello, Drew O’Connor, Freddy Gaudreau are just some of the names on recall. Yet they managed to come from behind and beat the Binghamton Devils 5-4 on overtimebeat the Binghamton Devils 5-4 in overtime on Saturday evening. A gritty, come from behind way to do it but successful overall.

Here is how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: A ton. Justin Almeida was back from Pittsburgh and was on the top line. D’Orio backed up Lagace, who was back down from Pittsburgh this week as well.

First Period: Seemed like the Pens dominated play in spurts, had a bunch of power play opportunities to show for it but trailed at the end of the period on a kind of lucky-ish shot that beat Lagace for the lead at intermission.

Every team that scored first in the series between these two teams has gone on to lose the game.


Second Period: Devils extend their lead by two. Turnover in the neutral zone led to this.

Justin Almeida gets the Penguins on the board with a nifty play.

Unfettered, Binghamton would get another goal to go when Nate Schnarr did this.

Yeah thats a hide a puck, spin, shoot high and snipe in a goal for a 3-1 lead.

Wilkes-Barre seemed to be letting the game slip away. The scales were tipping in the improved Devils favor, and it was getting the Penguins mad.

They also lost the services of Zach Trotman as well, who wasn’t on the bench in the second period.

The Penguins started throwing the body and you could hear that teapot whistling. There wasn’t a fight, but the intensity was ratcheting up.

Then Felix Robert scored this highlight reel goal that brought the Penguins to within one.

Falling over, steals the puck, gathers himself and flips a backhander past Senn for a possible goal of the season candidate.

Big response goal as well. Pens boiling, big mad and Robert responds with a highlight reel goal to bring Wilkes-Barre within one heading into the…

Third Period: Cam Lee has five assists against Binghamton this season and no goals to show for it. He loves playing the Devils but hasn’t scored a goal in the AHL yet, so you think that he would have to get one agains the Devils in a big spot, right?


Nifty snipe there for his first professional tuck.

It had a sense that they were just going to accept the result as it was on the scoreboard and just skate to overtime.


Big goal at an in opportune time. What an effort by Jon Gruden setting it all up, too.

Just hold on and win, right?

Senn vacated for an extra attacker and Binghamton immediately scores to tie the game at four. Ryan Schmelzer.

Off to…

Overtime: Pens killed a Jan Drozg trip behind a yeoman PK effort by Jon Lizotte and Jordy Bellerive wins it again.

Three Stars: 3) Felix Robert (goal, assist) 2) Nate Schnarr (two goals) 1) Jordy Bellerive (game winning, OT goal)

The Good: Half of the reliable offense is all up with Pittsburgh. The AHL Penguins found a way to win without them.

The Bad: Would like to see them do this against a better team like Hershey or Lehigh Valley. They fell in a hole against a last place Binghamton team and dragged themselves out.

Turning Point: Much like last week, Bellerive’s goal in overtime is the obvious choice.

They are in action Sunday afternoon at 1 against Hershey. More then.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

Foerster Fire — Pens LOSE 5-4 (SO)


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Man, they had them where they wanted them tonight.

Up two, Lehigh Valley rattles off two to tie to get to overtime and win in a shootout on Tyson Foerster’s two goals and shootout winner. Phantoms win 5-4 in the 5-4 in the shootout.

Alex D’Orio continues to improve, one game seemingly better than the next. He had some really great saves tonight and stood down the barrel of the loaded Phantoms offense. Hard luck losses tonight will turn to wins.

But this is what Lehigh Valley does. If they don’t blow you out, they scrap with you and get you into the pit of overtime where they usually win. If not, they have way too many offensive threats in the arsenal where they can beat you in the shootout. I thought they stole the win tonight with the way that the Penguins played tonight from D’Orio forward.

D’Orio opposed Zane McIntyre.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Radim Zohorna was sent back from Pittsburgh’s taxi squad earlier in the day, lines got shuffled and he replaced Nick Schilkey. Tommy Nappier from THEE Ohio State University backed up Alex D’Orio.

First Period: Highly competitive period.

Cal O’Reilly has his shot blocked, collects it out of the skates of the player who blocked the shot and scores to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead early on.

No puck luck for the Pens, really.

Off a face off, the Penguins score with Felix Robert.

Drew O’Connor got one to go on the power play. Get the power play going and good things happen.

The Penguins were outshooting the Phantoms at a four to one clip to this point.

But the Phantoms are ultra talented, and came right back.

Tyson Foerster scored a goal the same way that Cal O’Reilly scored.

Alex D’Orio had a ten bell save on a Phantoms power play.

Pierre Olivier-Joseph scored on this dart that gave the Pens a goal heading into the second.

Nifty goal. Not a seeing eye, lucky shot, but a really highly skilled shot for a goal.

Second Period: Jan Drozg capitalizes on a Phantoms turnover and scores to make it a 4-2 Penguins lead.

Phantoms continued to press and you wanted to see the Pens carry a two goal lead into the third, but Wade Allison had other ideas.

Second period didn’t have any penalties.

Third Period: It was becoming the Alex D’Orio show, with more saves like this one.

Penguins were keeping it tight with the Phantoms and killed an early penalty (the only one in the period) and time was dwindling on the Phantoms. They pulled Zane McIntyre and found the goal they were looking for.

So it was off to…

Overtime: Familiar territory for both teams. 50/50 for both teams.


No other way to put it. The Phantoms just steal points and when given the opportunity, wins.

Three Stars: 3) Zane McIntrye (32 saves) 2) Cal O’Reilly (goal, assist) 1) Tyson Foerster (two goals)

The Good: Taylor picked this thought of mine while I was watching the game and tweeted it and included video.

D’Orio had the look tonight, and hard luck losses like tonight will turn into wins eventually.

The Bad: You had the Phantoms down two and couldn’t close.

Turning Point: There were a lot of them, but in a game which was tight, the Foerster shootout goal in the top of the first gets the nod here.

Back in action next Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

Bellerive Tolls on Losing Streak — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)


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It was a little deflating watching the Penguins, up to this point of the game do everything they needed to win the game, watch Binghamton score with an extra attacker late in the third.

Tie game. Here we go for a place where the Penguins, mired in a seven game losing streak, are familiar with.

Devils possessed for a majority of overtime but when the Penguins finally did, Jordy Bellerive scored and ended the Penguins seven game losing streak. Penguins win 3-2 in overtime Wednesday night in Newark.

They have, for a lot of this losing streak, done a lot of things right but never got the result they wanted. It all came together Wednesday for them.

Do it again Saturday.

Here is how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: Drew O’Connor replaced Luke Stevens, Josh Maniscalco also was back, his first game action since the middle of February.

First Period: The Penguins were the better team in the period, but for the first :28 of the period.

Terrible defense, Clarke is unmarked in front of the net and scored easily.

But Wilkes-Barre tightened up, and outshot the Devils at a two to one clip, but couldn’t get anything to go.

Enter Jan Drozg.

Three on one and a goal. Good response.

The Pens outshot the Devils 15-7. Good momentum heading into the…

Second Period: Nick Schilkey scored on a 5-on-3 power play and the Pens had the lead.

Force them into mistakes and make them pay.

Third Period: Pens continued to do a lot of things right, killed a couple penalties, continued to outshoot the Devils at a 2-to-1 clip, but Binghamton scored to tie it with Gilles Senn pulled.

That was Nolan Foote’s goal.

Overtime: Hello darkness, my old fr–

Not this time.

Three Stars: 3) Gilles Senn (40 saves) 2) P-O Joseph (two assists) 1) Jordy Bellerive (game winning goal)

The Good: I think they are going to be OK in goal. Tristan Jarry is day to day with something up top and Max Lagace went up Tuesday. Alex D’Orio didn’t have to make many saves but the ones he did were of high quality. A few games don’t make a career but I have liked what I have seen out of the kid so far.

First AHL win for Alex D’Orio also. First of many at this level, I think it is safe to say.

Oh, and the seven game losing streak is over.

The Bad: Gotta find a way to close these things out. Does this happen against Hershey or Lehigh Valley tonight?

Turning Point: Bellerive’s goal is the obvious choice.

Let’s do it again Saturday in Allentown against Lehigh Valley.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

Ice Cold Moulson’s — Pens LOSE 3-1


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Heh. The HTML copy from the last time the Penguins were in Hershey is exactly the same from Sunday’s result, another narrow loss to Hershey. Last time it was Connor McMichael which torched the Penguins at Giant Center. This time, as was the case Friday back in Wilkes-Barre, it was Matt Moulson. Pens lose 3-1 and the streak is now at seven for the Pens since they last won a game in regulation.

Just :18 into the game Sunday, it was Brian Pinho who opened the scoring with a shot that somehow beat Penguins staring goaltender Max Lagace.

Penguins clamped down a bit and started to pushback but couldn’t get anything to go at all in the period offensively. With how tight things were and how much of a rivalry game it was, there were no penalties to speak of in the first period.

The power play woes continued for the Penguins as Wilkes-barre was unable to score on consecutive power play attempts.

Finally Tim Scahller broke through for his 100th AHL point to tie  the game at one.

Really nice play by Nick Schilkey there, setting the whole thing up.

Third period saw tensions mount as some big hits were being thrown out there…

But Matt Moulson would get the Penguins again on a power play when he scored here…

The Penguins have every right to be upset at the officiating this weekend. A clearing attempt on Friday was inadvertently blocked by a referee which led to Moulson scoring then and then again today, when a play maybe should have been blown dead, the Hershey Bears cash, yet again.

When it rains, it pours.

Bears add a Shane Gersich empty netter for good measure.

Here were the three stars…

Pretty straightforward.

And the highlights…


The Good: In it till seemingly the end, progress I suppose from Wednesday.

The Bad: You have got to find a way to capitalize on your opportunities. Going 0-for-7 on Friday didn’t help and it cost them. Failing to score on consecutive power plays in the third, then seeing Hershey, with the help of the refs or not, score on their chance isn’t going to win you many games when the game is as razor thin as this one was Sunday afternoon.

Turning Point: I don’t drink anymore but if I did, I would probably reach for a few Molson’s (I know, I know, it isn’t spelled the same, whatever)

Back at it Wednesday in Newark against the Binghamton Devils.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.

Power Failure – Pens LOSE 3-1


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Going 0-for-7 on the power play isn’t going to win you many hockey games.

That’s what the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins did on the man advantage tonight in a 3-1 loss to Hershey Friday.

Game seemed much more competitive as compared to Wednesday’s disaster with Syracuse, boring almost button a good way, such as the second period in tonight’s contest.

Bears caught the Pens with their pants down during a line change in the first, scored a power play in the third and then an empty netter to seal it.

Here is how they lined up:

Lineup NotesEmil Larmi went up to the taxi squad, Max Lagace and Justin Almeida were sent down on Friday. Thursday, Sam Miletic was sent down. Felix Robert moved to center, Will Reilly replaced Billy Sweezey.

Lagace backed up D’Orio.

First Period: But for this gaffe, a fire drill line change, seemed like a decent period for Wilkes-Barre. Anything really would have been an upgrade from the disaster start Wednesday against Syracuse.

Shots were 10-7 Hershey.

Second Period: Not much, if anything, occurred in this period but for two Hershey power plays and a Penguin one. Pens seemed to have their biggest push here, but Zach Fucale was strong.

Third Period: Pens connect out of the gate with a goal by Jordy Bellerive:

Prior to this, Alex D’Orio made a BIG save at the expiration of a Hershey power play.

Bears later connect on a power play when Matt Moulson scores to put the Bears back out in front.

Time was dwindling and Wilkes-Barre called time out, pulled D’Orio but Kody Clark hit an empty net.

Scary moment when Josh Currie took a puck to the face on the Penguins bench. Currie left with the trainer immediately with a towel.

Three Stars: 3) Alex D’Orio (23 saves) 2) Zach Fucale (30 saves) 1) Matt Moulson (game winning goal)

The Good: Good ol’ fashioned goalie duel tonight. Good to see D’Orio step right up and take the reins against Hershey and all that fire power. Pens are struggling to score goals and their goaltender kept them in the game to the end. That is all you really can ask.

The Bad: Heading back to the open, you just can’t go 0-for-7 on the power play and expect to have any real result that can be construed as positive.

Turning Point: It has to be the power play goal scored by Mouslon.

These teams rematch Sunday afternoon in Hershey. 1 p.m. start, so don’t be late. Gameday setup will be up Sunday morning at 9 a.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Stay safe.