Chirps from Center Ice

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

Run and Gun, Not So Much Fun — Pens LOSE 8-5


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I said this in my Friday game recap after the first period of action against Hartford when it was 2-2 after 20 minutes of play…

Four goals in 10:50. The Penguins don’t like to play run and gun and would lose more than they would win playing that style, so the game at that point needed to slow down for success to occur.

An 8-5 setback in Bridgeport Sunday afternoon / evening. More like evening, despite the game ending at quarter to six on Sunday. It’s dark now. It didn’t start getting dark until 8:30 just a few weeks ago. Summer is a distant memory…


The run and gun style is not the style that the Penguins can play with any kind of success, they just don’t have the firepower up front to get it all to click at one time in one game. Sound Tigers go up 4-1 after the first Sunday, were up 7-1 at one point in the second period before the Penguins claw back in the third when the game was well decided.

Credit the Penguins for not giving up, not rolling over, not getting injured. They lost Zach Trotman at some point to an injury early in the second but ran out of time in trying to mount anything close to a comeback. It’s a weird game because the Penguins will win 90% of the games where they score at least five goals, but giving up four in the first to an opponent, facing a seven goal deficit to the opponent at some point in the game and no team anywhere is going to have success against their opponent.

So where do we go from here, 1-2 on the weekend? The start. The start for the Penguins both games Saturday and Sunday has been less than stellar. Nick Hart on radio hyped up the Penguins being, “ready” for the Sound Tigers and Ryan Haggerty talking about, “showtime” as he stepped off of the bus Sunday morning.

Haggerty was held without a point and was a -2.

But I am not picking on Haggerty. The Penguins simply were not ready to play today, down 3-0 before the half way point of the game. Anthony Peters got the start for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton but was relieved by Tristan Jarry in the second period onward. The Penguins are not going to want to have Jarry or Peters or whoever it is appear in three straight games back-to-back-to-back, The starts have been poor, (going down 2-0 in the first 12 minutes Saturday; the run and gun in the first Friday) and they need to improve, quickly.

Silver linings were Zach Aston-Reese’s hat trick and assist, Garrett Wilson’s three point (2-1) game and Ethan Prow’s three assist as Prow remains one of the best defensemen in the AHL. The Penguins connected on three power play goals.

Ask yourself this question. Would you rather lose 8-5 or win 8-5 but at some point cough up a six goal lead?

Game story after the jump because it’s going to be a lengthy one on your browser or phone if you didn’t link in direct.

Read more of this post

GAMEDAY: @ Bridgeport 11/4


Who: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Where: Webster Bank Arena

When: 3:00 p.m.

Last Game: Last night at home against Hartford, the Pens lost 3-2. Sam Lafferty and Zach Trotman scored for the Pens in the losing effort… For Bridgeport, the Sound Tigers won 5-2 over the Springfield Thunderbirds. Ex-Penguin Tom Kuhnhackl played in his first AHL action since skating with the Pens hack in January 2016 and had two goals and an assist for first start honors.

Record: For WBS: 6-3-0-1 (13 pts., 4th place Atlantic Division) // For BRI: 5-5-1-0 (11 pts., 5th place Atlantic Division)

Referee(s): Geoff Miller  / Jeremy Tufts

Linesmen: Brent Colby / Eric Ernst

Why You Should Care: Penguins are going to looking to wash the stink off of them from last night’s frustrating loss against Hartford. Expect Anthony Peters this afternoon. Bridgeport is going to be riding high after handing the Thunderbirds their first regulation loss of the season but have to be ready for an angry Penguins team coming in this afternoon.

Listen: Nick Hart on the call on WILK.

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

Other Game to Watch: Only other Atlantic Division action is in Hershey later when the Wolf Pack take on the Bears at 5.

Next Five Games: @ PRO 11/9, @ HFD 11/10, @ PRO 11/11, @ SPR 11/14, vs. CHA 11/16

Fogarty’s Greatest Hits — Pens LOSE 3-2


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Before you start, yes, I know it’s John Fogerty. Work with me, people.

Steven Fogarty’s two goals tonight for the Hartford Wolf Pack and backup goaltender Marek Mazanec’s 35 save performance carry the Wolf Pack in a 3-2 win in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins.

The Pens found themselves in penalty trouble again, giving up five chances to the visitors and getting scored on once, by Fogarty. It’s an area that they need to clean up and quick.

Another area to clean up is responding on back to back games. The Penguins are now 0-2-0-1 on games where they played the night before. Splitting weekend series is OK, but just OK. The Penguins are mired in the middle of the Atlantic Division now because if it.

No time to rest as the Penguins are right back at it Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport.

Tristan Jarry opposed the aforementioned Mazanec.

Lines were…

Notes: Stefan Elliott was in for Kevin Czuczman, the Penguins probably wanted to ease Czuczman back into things and not play him on back to backs and Jeff Taylor was in for Matt Abt. No changes up front to any of the forward lines.

Tristan Jarry appeared in his 100th AHL game for Wilkes-Barre tonight. He is the fourth goalie in Penguins history to match that feat.

First Period: :35 in, a slashing penalty was called on Thomas DiPauli and Fogarty bagged his first goal of the night on the power play with a back door tap in that gave the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead.

Penguins get it back late in the period as a puck stays onside and it put home by Ryan Haggerty to tie the game at one…

EDIT: Hold the phone on the above. Sam Lafferty on line one…

Second Period: Fogarty again. He led a two-on-one break while the teams were 4-on-4 and snapped a shot over Jarry’s glove to make it a 2-1 lead for Hartford.

Bobby Butler followed up about two and a half minutes later on a back door slam dunk goal that made it 3-1 Hartford.

Despite this, I had a feeling that the Penguins were still in it.

Zach Trotman gave me hope…

Face-off win by Teddy Blueger back to Trotman who stepped into one and scored.

Penguins would get no closer though. With a late power play that spilled over to the…

Third Period: …the Pens would have to kill separate tripping penalties by Sam Lafferty and Tobias Lindberg but couldn’t find the equalizing goal. Garrett Wilson came close, though…

With about 1:10 of 6-on-5 with Jarry pulled time to work with, the Penguins never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Every team in the Atlantic Division faced off against the team they played Friday night. Those teams that lost on Friday all won on Saturday but for Charlotte, who is playing on a different planet right now as the first team to ten wins with a 3-2 win against the Providence Bruins. Bridgeport hands Springfield their first regulation loss of the season with a 5-2 decision…Rochester beats Hershey 4-1 and Lehigh Valley, who lost Friday in overtime to the Devils, get two late goals to tie then the overtime goal to win at home and repay the favor to defeat Binghamton 3-2.

Standings: Charlotte 20 – Springfield – 16 – Lehigh Valley 14 – Penguins 13 – Bridgeport, Hartford and Hershey all with 11 in that order – Providence 8

Wheeling Update: Nailers lose in their home opener against the Indy Fuel 5-3. John Muse was in net and took the loss. Troy Josephs had a pair of goals.

If I see a highlight package from Coal Street I will run it here.

Gameday setup for the Sunday affair in Bridgeport hits the blog Sunday at 11. Please don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour.

Let’s Go Pens!


Hartford is a good team that is well coached. Keith McCambridge always has the same look on his face but is a great coach. His pieces don’t always execute with the Wolf Pack’s recent history, but when they do click, Hartford is a hard team to beat.

3-2 Penguin loss tonight to the Wolf Pack. More special teams trouble for Wilkes-Barre, who give up a first period power play goal. But they claw back to within one, outshoot the Wolf Pack 37-24 but never found the equalizer.

More in a bit.

GAMEDAY: vs. Hartford 11/3


Who: Hartford Wolf Pack

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game / Last Meeting: Last night in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 5-3. Ethan Prow’s third period power play goal stood up as the game winner as the Penguins defenseman also added two assists. Lias Andersson had a goal and two assists in a losing effort for the Wolf Pack.

Record: For WBS: 6-2-0-1 (13 pts., 3rd place Atlantic Division) // For HFD: 4-7-1-0 (9 pts., 7th place Atlantic Division)

Referee(s): Ryan Jenken / Jeremy Tufts

Linesmen: James Tobias / J.P. Waleski

Why You Should Care: Last night was a testy affair that in hindsight could have went either way. The Wolf Pack want it to break their way. The Penguins want to sweep the Pack and get out of town on the way to their third game of the weekend in Bridgeport. Hartford will be heading to Hershey. That likely means that you are looking at Marek Mazanec vs. Anthony Peters tonight.

Listen: Nick Hart on the call on WILK.

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

Other Game to Watch: Rematch city tonight, as everyone in the division who played last night face the same opponent tonight. Best game to watch out for is Binghamton in Lehigh Valley. The Devils beat the Phantoms last night in overtime.

Promotion(s): Postgame Autographs / $2 Beers till 7:30

Next Five Games: @ BRI 11/4, @ PRO 11/9, @ HFD 11/10, @ PRO 11/11, @ SPR 11/14

Prow-er Play — Pens WIN 5-3


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Got in my truck just in time to hear Penguins play by play man Nick Hart use the headline to tonight’s game recap describing Ethan Prow’s third period power play goal which stood up as the game winner for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, who defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-3.

Prow also added two assists and is among league leaders in +/-. These two teams rematch Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.

Tristan Jarry, who had an eventful night to say the least, opposed Dustin Tokarski.

Lines were…

Lineup Notes: The return of Ryan Haggerty, Jarrett Burton and Kevin Czuczman…

First Period: Four goals in the games first 10:50 made for a wild start to a Friday night home game.

Hartford connected :22 into a power play to open the scoring. Lias Andersson scored to give the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead…

The Penguins would respond about three minutes later. A big hit by the returning Jarrett Burton, who I thought played a hell of a game on the fourth line, set up Tobias Lindberg here…

Collectively, I felt the fourth line played extremely well with Ölund centering Lindberg and Burton.

Penguins would score on a power play when Zach Aston-Reese put a shot on that Garrett Wilson deflected past Tokarski for a 2-1 Penguin lead…

But former All-Star John Gilmour would connect on another Hartford power play to even the game at two a piece.

Four goals in 10:50. The Penguins don’t like to play run and gun and would lose more than they would win playing that style, so the game at that point needed to slow down for success to occur.

Second Period: It did, to an extent, in the second period. Penguins came in waves at Tokarski, but the former Calder Cup winner had some key stops that kept his team in the game. Penguins found themselves in late penalty trouble but got out of it heading into the…

Third Period: Tom had a nice tweet summing up how the Penguins came out for the third…

Backing up, Sam Lafferty had a highlight reel, goal of the year candidate goal, that gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead. Just watch this…

Then, Lafferty put a shot on that was blocked on a Wilkes-Barre power play that Ethan Prow pounced on that gave the Penguins a 4-2 lead.

Ryan Haggerty laid a big hit on Libor Hajek that he had to fight Chris Bigras on and the Penguins were off to the races.

They couldn’t close it out when they had a :23 two man advantage, and then they let it slip a bit when Cole Schneider scored on an extended two man advantage for Hartford, that pulled the Wolf Pack to within one…

But the Penguins killed off the rest of the penalties (they did not have a good night overall, Hartford connected on three power play goals, but got the kill there) setting up Anthony Angello off of a face-off.

What a shot indeed.


But it wasn’t. Explanation by Taylor here…

Three Stars: 

Around the Division: Charlotte runs the record to 9-1, holding on to defeat the Providence Bruins 4-3. Those two rematch tomorrow in Charlotte… Binghamton clips the mercurial Lehigh Valley Phantoms in overtime 4-3… The Big Bear Machine is warming up! Hershey cools off Rochester 4-2. Those two rematch in Chocolatetown Saturday night… Springfield remains the only team in the AHL without a regulation loss with a 3-2 win at home against Bridgeport.

Standings: Charlotte 18 – Springfield 16 – Penguins 13 – Lehigh Valley 12 – Hershey 11 – Bridgeport 9 – Hartford 9 – Providence 7

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off. They have their home opener (yes, on November 3) Saturday agains the Indy Fuel.


Gameday setup for the rematch vs. Hartford hits the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!


Bit of a wild, back and forth affair tonight here in Wilkes-Barre. A 5-3 Penguins win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

After four goals in the games first 10:50, no scoring in the second period. But in the third, the Penguins put the Wolf Pack away with two quick goals, including a highlight reel one from Sam Lafferty, a hit by the returning Ryan Haggerty and a fight.

Tristan Jarry nearly scored a goal, more on that and the rest of the game in a bit.