Penguins win Game Five and advance to the second round. They will play the St. John's IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets NHL). The schedule for the best of seven series is as follows:
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-St. John’s IceCaps [WPG] vs. 4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins [PIT] Game 1 - Tue., May 1 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 2 - Wed., May 2 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 3 - Sat., May 5 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
Game 4 - Sun., May 6 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 4:05 ET
*Game 5 - Tue., May 8 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
*Game 6 - Fri., May 11 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
*Game 7 - Sat., May 12 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
* if necessaryAn intense game from the drop of the puck to the final horn. The Penguins came out flying in front of the home crowd and while they weren't able to make it count on the scoreboard, the continued pace and pressure the Penguins maintained throughout the game ultimately paid off for a total of seven seconds.
If I said before the beginning of the series that Cal O'Reilly would score even one goal in the five game series you probably would have thought I was nuts! O'Reilly scored his third of the series tonight on the power play late in the second period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Credit to Jason Williams and an excellent pass from Colin McDonald on the assists.
Then it was the Penguins turn to get that lucky bounce. On the face-off immediately after the O'Reilly goal, Brian Strait cleared a puck into the Bears defensive zone. The puck took a weird hop off the corner wall and dribbled out in front of the net and off defenseman Cameron Schilling. Fan favorite Zach Sill was able to get a piece of it and direct it on net, beating Sabourin and sending the Mohegan Sun Arena crowd into a frenzy. Two goals in seven seconds and a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Hershey never gave up in this series or tonight's game for that matter. Have to hand the intrastate rivals some credit, they battled. The always dangerous Ryan Potulny gave the Bears hope on the third period's opening shift, beating Brad Thiessen 23 seconds into the final frame and drawing the Bears within one goal.
The game would stay 2-1 the rest of the way with great end to end action and big saves by both netminders. The Bears would pull Sabourin in the waning moments but to no avail. Penguins win the game 2-1 and the best of five series 3-2.
Up next is the St. John's IceCaps and unless the loyal readers of this blog start a "send Tony to Newfoundland" donation campaign I don't plan on making the 1,800 plus mile trek to eastern Canada for Games One and Two. I'll still be live tweeting the games with thanks to the AHL Live feed online and will have a series breakdown, along with previews and recaps of each game of the series.