Penguins Lose in Shootout, Tempers Flare

Friday, November 25, 2011
Braden Holtby's end of game antics brought this meeting at center ice.
This game perfectly describes what a rivalry between two teams is. The WBS Penguins and Hershey Bears do not like each other. And now Braden Holtby is at the center of attention for his celebration at center ice after the Bears beat the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout.

Here's the clip of the celebration and center ice meeting courtesy of Kyle Mace.

Ryan Schnell in particular was irate about Holtby's antics and it showed when the benches cleared and the teams met at center ice (as shown above). Bears beat writer Tim Leone caught up with Holtby after tonight's game and he had this to say about what he did:
“It’s just the heat of the battle and obviously our biggest rival, I think.”
Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie got reactions from Zach Sill and Ryan Craig post game as well.
“We were just upset, just the showboating,” center Zach Sill said. “We showed we weren’t happy with it. In our own barn, you don’t want that happening.”
“I don’t think our guys would react like that, but everyone reacts differently to winning,” Craig said. “We just want to go about our business and take care of our own business.”
The two teams next play each other on December 10th at Giant Center in Hershey, before a home-and-home series on Dec. 27th-28th. The rivalry has certainly been refueled for the time being.

The real stat of the night has to be this: WBS was 1-for-9 on the power play while Hershey was 2-for-5.

The Penguins had a 5-on-3 power play and three minutes of 5-on-4 after Boyd Kane's major penalty for elbowing. Kane was also given a game misconduct and could be facing suspension for his illegal hit on Robert Bortuzzo after Bortuzzo drilled Keith Aucoin late.

Hershey got on the board first courtesy of a Ryan Potulny rebound goal on the power play 12:26 into the game. Potulny also got the Bears only other goal in regulation and added one in the shootout as well. He was far and away the best player on the ice tonight.

The Penguins tied the game back up after Hershey scored twice tonight. The first was a beautiful tic-tac-toe pass play between Williams, Lerg, Despres and Street who scored his 5th goal of the season on a highlight reel goal.  Then Nick Petersen tied up the game with 1:16 to play to send it to overtime.

The Penguins get a point, but their win-less streak reaches five games (0-2-0-3). John Hynes coached in his 100th AHL game tonight and has 68 wins in that time, winning 71% of his games. Those are great numbers for a great coach. There's no surprise he won the AHL's Coach of the Year award last season.

Penguins head to Binghamton tomorrow night to hopefully salvage the weekend and get back in the win column. The Senators lost 4-1 to Syracuse tonight. The loss tonight by the Pens draws the Bears within two points of the first place Penguins. With Norfolk and Syracuse both winning tonight the Division race looks like this:
WBS (25 pts), Hershey (23 pts), Norfolk (23 pts), Syracuse (21 pts), Binghamton (16 pts)


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