Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Bounces — Pens LOSE 4-1


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The Springfield Thunderbirds came into Wilkes-Barre tonight and won 4-1. They did so on the back of some great bounces that put them ahead 2-0. When Ryan Haggerty scored his 20th goal of the season that made it 2-1 heading into the third period, a too many men on the ice call against the Penguins saw Springfield and their top overall power play score to essentially ice the game away. The Thunderbirds would add another goal for good measure.

With Hershey beating Providence tonight at Giant Center 2-1, the Penguins are five points back of a playoff spot with seven games to play.

Tristan Jarry opposed Chris Driedger.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: Those two players noted in the tweet above were signed to ATOs earlier this week and contracts for next season. Linus Ölund and Patrick McGrath yielded to the debutants.

First Period: Chase Berger nearly acquainted himself properly when the had this great chance in the slot that was denied by Driedger.

This ain’t college, kid.

Vincent Praplan cherry picked and was the beneficiary of a high clear that he corralled and backhanded past Jarry to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the period.


Second Period: Adam Rockwood tapped his first pro goal past Jarry on a nice setup from Anthony Greco on a transition play that made it 2-0 Thunderbirds early on.


Ryan Haggerty would pull one back for the Penguins on this goal.

Penguins would lose Anthony Angelllo and Juuso Riikola to injury. Angello’s I believe happened in the first period and Riikola’s happened in the second. Riikola’s was lower body, he slammed his stick off the bench then hobbled back to the locker room in pain and limping. He tried to give it a go in the third when they came back from break but couldn’t and went back in the room.

Tyler had nothing to report postgame on their statuses.

Third Period: Harry Zolnierczyk scored on a knee drop one timer shot that bulleted past Jarry on the power play that gave the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead. This came when the Penguins were called for too any men on the ice.

Penguins would essentially have two power play opportunities to get back into the game and failed on both. Each time, they would go on to get scored against.

This time, Alex Breton did the honors for his first goal as a professional as well.

Mid-slot snipe. Nice.

Three Stars: 

The Good: The kids look good. I had someone come up to me a on the concourse and say that they play the game at 100 mph because they don’t know any better, but Chris Brown and Chase Berger looked good for the limited amount of time they had out there, with the Pens trailing in the third they didn’t see much ice time.

The Bad: Springfield is playing out the string but came to play, got bounces and left the Pens in a big hole as the final two weeks are upon us.

Turning Point: Zolnierczyk’s power play goal was the killshot. Springfield was getting all the bounces and capitalizing. The Penguins didn’t have the same amount of luck.

I gave you the scores that matter in the lede. Hershey is in Bridgeport Sunday against Bridgeport. You want a Bridgeport regulation win.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are back in action Tuesday morning in Bridgeport at 10:30. But for anything breaking between now and then check out the Gameday setup with your morning coffee or team Tuesday bright and early at 6:30 a.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Bruins @ Pens – A Live Blog…

Power went out outside the Arena late afternoon. A transformer blew behind the Marshall’s in the Arena complex. As a result, the Providence Bruins – Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins game was delayed an hour. Game start is scheduled for 8:05.

With this being a work night home game (last of the regular season thank heavens) and with such a late start, it’s going to be a running live blog tonight. I’ve always thought about doing these, but have always opted for the, ‘transcribe to the Notes app, copy paste and worry about formatting issues later’ approach.

Not tonight. Check back periodically for updates. I’ll have em after warmups, first, second and third periods. If there’s overtime I’m lodging a formal complaint.


Nothing I could tell lineup wise as far as a change from Sunday vs. Springfield. Tinkering with line pairings but otherwise unchanged.

First Period: Took the Pens about 4:30 to register the first shot on goal and then the Bruins 5:45. Pretty zippy start to the game and the first half of the period.

Jake Lucchini finished this nice cross ice pass from Jarrett Burton to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.

Bruins made a little bit of a push in the latter stages of the period but Jarry looked solid throughout.

Second Period: Cautious, calculated period. Two power plays a side, but no scoring. Bruins were eager to let the play come to them in their defensive end, and it worked as Wilkes-Barre only registered six shots on goal.

Game had all the makings of a defensive, closely contested affair heading into the third.

Third Period: Bruins with an early push but Jarry was dialed in. Two early saves preserved the 1-0 lead the Pens had.

Cooper Zech was stripped of a puck trying to exit the zone which set up a quick two on one with Ryan Haggerty and Sam Miletic. Miletic cashed to make it 2-0 Penguins.

Big goal at the time.

Bruins tried and tried, but couldn’t get anything past Jarry.

The Good: Joseph Cramarossa and Jake Lucchini were everywhere tonight, but how about Tristan Jarry? The shutout has eluded him this season and this past month he’s singlehandedly placed the team on his back and carried them to three points back of Providence now. Bruins have trended up, caught Hershey for third, and Jarry coolly makes 23 saves in a contest that could have easily finished 1-0.

The Bad: Not applicable.

Turning Point: Jarry’s saves in the open of the third that preserved the 1-0 lead. The Miletic goal was the icing.

Lehigh Valley beat Rochester in overtime 4-3. Charlotte shut out Bridgeport 4-0. No boxes. It’s late.

Pens will have a highlight package up later and I’ll work in an edit if I can.

Power Rankings Thursday. Pens are off Friday, Bruins are in Syracuse. Pens back in action Saturday at home against Springfield.

Let’s Go Pens!

Muse-ic to My Ears — Pens WIN 3-2


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John Muse makes 32 saves after Tristan Jarry was given the afternoon off after starting thirteen straight games for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, who defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds 3-2 on Sunday. The Penguins close to five points behind idle Providence. Both the Bruins, Penguins and Hershey Bears have played 67 games. Hershey also sits on 79 points, after losing 4-1 and getting swept in Cleveland Sunday.

Muse opposed Chris Driedger.

Lines were…

Lineup: No changes for the Penguins from Saturday in Allentown. Lines were the same from Saturday as well. The only change was Muse in goal.

First Period: J-S Dea had a hell of a day in his return to Wilkes-Barre. He is easily Springfield’s best player and had two power play goals for the Thunderbirds today including this one on the back door which gave the Thunderbirds and early 1-0 lead.

Penguins respond with Sam Miletic deflecting in a power play goal that tie it at one.

Second Period: Was a penalty fest, with nine power plays awarded. Seven, if you take away the two times that the Thunderbirds were caught with too many men on the ice. No flow to the game whatsoever. Referees Guillaume Labonte and Tim Mayer called it tight on tired players playing their third game in three days.

So of course Anthony Angello scores an even strength goal for the six or so minutes that the teams were on even strength.

Nice to see Angello get that one there, he had hit a bit of a wall here in his rookie season.

Third Period: J-S Dea connected on his second power play of the game that tied the game at two early on in the third period.

With both teams skating without any whistles for a change, it looked like they were content to play for overtime.

J-S Dea was denied his hat trick on this nice save by John Muse.

Joseph Cramarossa stepped up and snapped home a goal with under four minutes left.

Springfield, with Driedger pulled for the extra attacker and through a time out, never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 

The Good: Using the game in hand to make up ground on Providence and Hershey.

The Bad: Springfield is really a one line team. The game really should not have as close as it should have been. That may be at disrespect to the opponent, but the facts are the facts.

Turning Points: Muse’s save on Dea, denying the hat trick is one, Cramarossa’s goal is the other. One doesn’t really happen without the other.

Points wise, the Penguins are on 74. They are five off of Providence and Hershey with 79. Everyone has 67 games played. Nine games left. Providence is here Wednesday, before heading to Syracuse Friday and Hershey Saturday.

Hershey has Providence Saturday and Bridgeport Sunday.

Video Highlights: 

Talk to you Wednesday but for breaking news before.

Let’s Go Pens!

Sam’s Laff Factory — Pens WIN 5-4 (OT)


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There was under a minute left to play in the third period, Wilkes-Barre was down one and getting buried in shots and were on track to go nine points off of Providence for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic.

That’s when Sam Lafferty went to work.

With Jarry pulled, the Penguins rookie scored to complete his hat trick to force overtime. Ryan Haggerty would then score on a breakaway to give the Penguins the extra point and the win as Wilkes-Barre wins 5-4 in overtime.

The Providence Bruins defeated the Binghamton Senators, so the deficit to the Bruins in fourth remains as it was when the game started this evening, seven. The Penguins burn off the game in hand on Providence Sunday afternoon at home against Springfield. It can get to five with a regulation or overtime win. That would then set up a huge meeting with Providence where, with the same regulation or overtime win, can get the deficit to three.

But that’s counting the chickens before they hatch.

Moral, they still have life. It’s not an ideal situation, but if they had lost the game tonight in regulation, their playoff hopes would have been entirely extinguished in my book. The win gives them enough to keep them in the heads of the Bruins.

Tristan Jarry opposed Alex Lyon in a rematch from Friday night.

Lines were…

Lineup: Shuffled up the forward lines but for the top line. Patrick McGrath went in for Trevor Yates. No changes on D other than Jusso Riikola pairing with Chris Summers. Thirteenth straight start for Tristan Jarry. Chris Summers skated in his 500th AHL game.

First Period: A really testy period by both teams, with the bad blood on display boiling over from Friday night. The Penguins jumped out to the lead early when Sam Lafferty thundered down the slot and backhanded a shot past Alex Lyon to give the Pens a 1-0 lead…

But :28 later, a low shot by Mark Friedman that was kicked out by Jarry went right to Philip Samuelsson and in to make it a 1-1 game.

Penguins spent the final half of the period on a power play it felty like as the Phantoms took penalty after penalty. Wilkes-Barre had two separate :20 two man advantages.

With one second left on the final one, Joseph Blandisi scored to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Another nice backhand, this time with a pass instead of a shot, by Sam Lafferty to Blandisi for the shot and goal.

Second Period: It was the Penguins turn to take all the penalties and have a long two man disadvantage but they got out of it.

Sam Lafferty added another goal to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead.

Greg Carey had two chances in the slot and didn’t miss on his second one. It was a one goal lead all of a sudden.

Cole Bardreau scored to make it a tie game late.

Lehigh Valley had slowly percolated enough and this was the result.

Third Period: Tristan Jarry should be the Penguins MVP. If the Penguins do manage to make playoffs this season, it will because of Jarry and the plays that he makes to keep the team in the game at the moment. Like this sequence early on in the period.

Byron Froese scored to give the Phantoms the go ahead goal and a 4-3 lead.

Looking bleak, it didn’t look like the Penguins were going to score on even terms, then Lafferty and his magic took over.

That’s a hat trick. Second one in the building by an opponent, the first was a few weeks ago by Jimmy Hayes.

It also forced…

Overtime: Periscoped here…

If you don’t want to watch it all from start to finish, Ryan Haggerty stole a puck in the neutral zone, skated in and….


Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Providence beats Binghamton 3-1. The rest of the scores are really meaningless but I will give them to you anyway. Hershey loses in Cleveland 5-2, Charlotte beats Hartford 3-1, Laval beats Springfield 3-2 in overtime and Bridgeport beats Belleville 2-1.

Standings: Charlotte 94 — Bridgeport 84 — Hershey 79 — Providence 79 — Penguins 72 — Lehigh Valley 71 — Springfield 69 — Hartford 65

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose a close one in Kalamazoo 3-2. Winston Day Chief, one of the best names in hockey, scored for the Nailers in the loss.

Setting Up Sunday: Everyone is talking about Providence, but if you just noticed above, the Hershey Bears are on the same points as the Bruins with 79. They rematch with the Monsters Sunday. The Bruins are off.

If Coal Street puts up a video high light package or Lehigh Valley for that matter, it will run here.

Gameday setup for Sunday’s game against Springfield hits the blog Sunday at 11 am.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Lehigh Valley 3/23


Who: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

 Where: PPL Center

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game / Last Meeting: Last night in Wilkes-Barre, the Pens lost 3-2. Ryan Haggerty had both goals. Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored a pair also, one was the game winner just :28 intro the third period.

Record: For WBS: 30-25-7-3 (70 pts., 6th place Atlantic Division) // For LV: 32-27-3-3 (70 pts., 5th place Atlantic Division)

Referees: Kenny Anderson / Stephen Reneau

Linesmen: Jud Ritter / Jason Mandroc

Why You Should Care: Essentially must win for the Penguins tonight to maintain any iota of hope of catching Providence who leads these teams playing tonight in Allentown by seven points. Winning tonight doesn’t guarantee anything, but losing all but writes off the Penguins chances, barring a miracle, of a very late season charge at the four seed in the Atlantic.

Listen: Nick Hart on the call on WILK.

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

Other Game to Watch: Providence hosts the listless Binghamton Devils, who have lost nine straight.

Next Five Games: vs. SPR 3/24, vs. PRO 3/27, vs. SPR 3/30, vs. BRI 4/2, vs. BNG 4/5

Nick NAK, Paddy Whack — Pens LOSE 3-2


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It is probably all moot anyway, since Providence keeps winning. The Bruins control their own destiny at this point and have seven point leads on both the Penguins and Phantoms tonight, eight if you consider the tie breaker.

The Bruins shutout the Belleville Senators tonight 2-0. Troy Mann, coach of the Senators, should probably get AHL Coach of the Year for the turnaround in Belleville this season. Mann has the Senators primed as a playoff team in the North Division.

His Senators were completely shut down tonight and had just 14 shots on goal.. This after the Bruins traveled to and from Laval, Quebec to play a midweek game against the Rocket, one that they lost in a shootout.

So it’s message sent and delivered by Jay Leach’s Providence Bruins, who are seven clear of Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre with ten games left.

Penguins lose 3-2 Friday night in Wilkes-Barre. Saturday is essentially must win to just to hope to maintain a seven point deficit over Providence, who plays at home again against Binghamton team who have lost nine straight.

Tristan Jarry opposed Alex Lyon.

Here is how they lined up:

Pittsburgh recalled Adam Johnson Thursday and returned Adam Johnson and Just Riikola came with him. Linus Ölund and Tim Erixon yielded for them from Tuesday in Hershey.

Pens jumped out to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Ryan Haggerty goal where he stole a puck at center ice, skated in and scored.

Shots were 8-6 Penguins after one. Tristan Jarry was dialed in.

Phantoms score twice to go ahead 2-1 when Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored on a nice feed from Philip Sameulsson and then Chris Conner completely walked past Jeff Taylor and stuffed the puck under the pad of Jarry to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead.

Ryan Haggerty scored at the end of the period when Lyon tried to home run a pass out of his zone which was intercepted.

Phantoms score :28 into the third period when Aube-Kubel scored again to make it 3-2.

Wilkes-Barre had two opportunities on the power play to tie the game back up, but failed. There is your turning point.

Alex Lyon locked things down from there and the Penguins ran out of time.

Here are your three stars:

Here are the video highlights:

These teams rematch Saturday in Allentown. Gameday setup hits the blog here Saturday at 3.

Watch that Pilon — Pens LOSE 1-0 (OT)


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Tristan Jarry and Vitek Vanecek turned in a goaltenders clinic Tuesday night in Hershey.

Scoreless after three periods, the 39th shot off of a Bears shooter beats Tristan Jarry in overtime off of the stick of Garrett Pilon and Hershey wins 1-0.

A point gained on idle Providence. It’s a four point deficit to the fourth place Bruins. Each team has a dozen games left.

Wilkes-Barre had only 17 shots. Hershey did the same thing to Bridgeport last Saturday, holding the Sound Tigers to just 19 shots on goal and scoring five of their own.

Lines were…

Adam Johnson – Jarrett Burton – Jimmy Hayes
Sam Lafferty – Ryan Haggerty – Sam Miletic
Anthony Angello – Jake Lucchini – Joseph Cramarossa
Trevor Yates – Cam Brown – Linus Ölund

Ethan Prow – Kevin Czuczman
Jeff Taylor – Chris Summers
Matt Abt – Tim Erixon

Tristan Jarry – John Muse

Lineup Notes: The Cramarossa – Lucchini – Hayes line was broken up. Forward lines shuffled up off of that with Hayes up with Burton and Johnson and Angello with Lucchini and Cramarossa. Jeff Taylor went in for Macoy Erkamps on defense.

First Period: Largely uneventful but for an 11-4 Hershey shot advantage thanks to the only power play awarded in the period which Hershey was on the man advantage. Tristan Jarry looked great and any ills that you thought were bugging him after Sunday’s performance against the Marlies were a distant memory.

Second Period: Two more power plays for the Bears, two more fine kills by the Penguins. Tristan Jarry continued to excel. Pens had a good chance when a Bears defender fell down springing Ryan Haggerty but Vitek Vanecek made the stop.

Third Period: Both teams traded power play chances. The Penguins looked great on their first and only power play of the game but couldn’t get anything past Vanecek.

Overtime: Periscoped here. Mind the high angle, Hershey didn’t bother to activate the lower angle camera.

Here is the goal GIFed for you.

The Good: Penguins bottled up the high powered Bears offense up for 60 full minutes and the play of Tristan Jarry. If Wilkes-Barre does manage to make it into the playoffs, it will be on the back of Jarry who will virtually carry them there.

The Bad: Lack of a scorer in regulation. Pens were perfect defensively (didn’t allow a goal) perfect on special teams and their goaltender plays out of his mind. All the Penguins needed was one goal in regulation and the game, barring anything funny, was theirs.

Turning Point: Garrett Pilon’s seemingly harmless shot at 1:14 in overtime is the easy, obvious choice.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Syracuse beat Charlotte in overtime 2-1 on this otherwise busy for a Tuesday night.

Standings: Charlotte 90 — Bridgeport 81 — Hershey 77 — Providence 74 — Penguins 70 — Lehigh Valley 68 — Springfield 66 — Hartford 65

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off.

Setting Up Wednesday: Providence is in Laval Wednesday against the Rocket. Laval doesn’t really have anything left to play for. You would like a Rocket win. Pens will get that game in hand back Sunday when they host Springfield. Ideally, the deficit at the end of this weekends action should be where it is currently or lower. Time will tell.

Video Highlights:

But for anything else breaking, check out the Power Rankings on Thursday.

Let’s Go Pens!