Checkers Put WBS Penguins On The Brink

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The WBS Penguins are certainly missing the likes of Eric Tangradi right now.
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins lost another close, hard fought game tonight to the Charlotte Checkers and find themselves down 3-1 in the best of seven series. The WBS Penguins out-shot the Checkers 44-32, but Mike Murphy was up to the task tonight. Game 5 will be in Charlotte on Friday night.

The Penguins caught a tough break in the first period. It seemed that Ryan Craig had tapped home a puck to give them the 1-0 lead, but the referee waved the goal off with a quick whistle. The play was later ruled incidental contact to the goalie. Either way it was a bad call and a bad break for the Pens.

The Pens got their best opportunity of the game midway in the second. With a 5x3 for 58 seconds, the Penguins couldn't get one past Murphy and the Checkers were able to kill it off. The Penguins outworked and outplayed the Checkers in the middle frame but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. They out shot the Checkers 19-8 in that period but the game was still scoreless heading into the 3rd.

The start to the third period really sealed the Penguins' fate tonight. Keven Veilleux took a tripping minor 10 seconds into the period and and the tail end of the power play Chris Collins' attempted clear was knocked down at the point by Bryan Rodney and the Checkers made the Penguins pay. Rodney found Chris Terry and beat Thiessen to make it a 1-0 game 2:01 into the final frame.

The Penguins battled to the very end, pulling Thiessen for the final 1:31 and racing back for icing calls with 29.7 and 6.0 seconds left. They just weren't able to get the equalizer and are one more loss away from an early exit in the playoffs. Their backs are against the wall, but there is no quit in this team. This series is far from over. The Pens need to take this series one game at a time; one period at a time; shift by shift. They might be down 3-1 but the fourth win is always the toughest to get.

I'll have a team update post tomorrow and the pregame Friday morning. Keep the faith. This is far from over.


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