WBS Penguins Clinch A Playoff Spot after 5-3 Win over Worcester

Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Penguins punched their ticket to the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs with their win tonight.

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins are the first team in the AHL to clinch a playoff spot for the Calder Cup Playoffs. The win gives the Pens 49 on the season, which is how many wins I predicted the Pens to finish the season with back in October when I gave my preseason prediction. Needless to say, this team has exceeded many people's expectations. The Penguins have now clinched a position berth for the ninth straight season.

After a slow start to the game the Pens got it going on the power play scoring two early second period goals with the man advantage to take control of the game.Tim Wallace finished the night with the game's last two goals.

The Penguins have 99 points and are in first place. Hershey lost in a shootout and is up to 91 points. So that's an eight point lead with three games in hand. Everything looks good in Penguins land.

A lot to celebrate: Pens clinch a playoff spot, Thiessen wins his 30th and Wallace gets his 20th goal.

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Recap after the jump.

A mishap in the defensive zone between Steve Wagner and Jesse Boulerice led to the Sharks first goal midway through the first period. But Wagner would make up for it 3:21 later when his point shot was rebounded in by Zach Sill to tie the game at one. Keven Veilleux also picked up an assist on the play.

The Penguins second penalty of the first period resulted in the Sharks second goal. Cam MacIntryre screened Brad Thiessen and Dan DaSilva’s point shot found a way past Thiessen to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.
Boulerice tried to make his presence felt with 2:32 left in the first period, dropping the gloves with Frazer McLaren and roughing him up a bit. Both were handed double-minor roughing penalties. The Sharks outshot the Pens 8-6 after the first frame.

The Penguins drew a penalty early in the second period and just 19 seconds after the penalty Brett Sterling found the back of the net for his team leading 23rd goal of the season. The Pens made it 2 for 3 on the man advantage scoring three seconds after Frazer McLaren’s tripping minor. Corey Potter blasted a shot past Sateri to give the Pens a 3-2 lead midway through the second period. 

The second period showcased a lot of 4-on-4 hockey and power plays for the Pens and they took advantage of it scoring both of their second period goals on the man advantage. The Pens also outshot the Sharks 10-4 in the second period.

The third period started off looking like the beginning of the game. Robert Bortuzzo took a tripping penalty just nine seconds in and the Sharks scored on Keven Veilleux’s roughing penalty 3:19 into final frame. The Penguins would continue to go the box with Bortuzzo making another visit and Hutchinson’s boarding penalty at 8:35 gave the Sharks a brief 5-on-3 power play.

Veilleux would pick up his second assist of the night on a great stick check and steal off Dan DaSilva and found Tim Wallace who buried it past Sateri for his 19th goal of the season. Veilleux has racked up six assists in his last eight games.

Wallace would also add an empty net goal for his 20th of the season sealing the deal for the Penguins and earning them a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Brad Thiessen made the big saves when the team needed him most tonight and got his 30th win of the season. The three stars of the game were Potter, Veilleux and Wallace.


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