Battle of the Birds: Former WBS Captain Ryan Craig Haunts Penguins

Sunday, November 10, 2013
Former WBS captain and current Springfield Falcons captain Ryan Craig scored the game winner against his former team this afternoon.
In a penalty-filled Sunday matinee, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins lose their third game this week, falling 4-3 to the Springfield Falcons in regulation. Former WBS Pens captain Ryan Craig scored the game winning goal for the Falcons with 2:43 left in the third period this evening, moments after Simon Despres' 2nd goal of the afternoon had tied things up at 3-3.

The Penguins got off to a slow start in the first period, going shorthanded four times in the opening period and trailing 2-0 after two power play goals by the Falcons put them in front.

Coming into today's game, the Falcons were just 4-for-51 on the man advantage, including 24 straight missed opportunities on the power play. Today, they scored on back-to-back WBS penalties and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on goals by Tim Erixon and Spencer Machacek.

The penalties continued to pile on in the second period, as the game got very physical in the middle frame. The Falcons seemed to be targeting the smaller Penguins forwards, Brian Gibbons and Chris Conner, and Harry Zolnierczyk and Dominik Uher both stuck up for their linemates with second period fights.

The teams traded goals in the first half of the period, as Simon Despres finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Tom Kostopoulos for his first of the season, bringing the Pens within one at 2-1. Cody Bass deflected a point shot past Deslauriers midway through the period to restore the Falcons two goal lead at 3-1.

The Penguins surrendered eight power plays to the Falcons through the first 34:38 but got a pair of 5-on-3 power plays of their own late in the 2nd period. Brian Dumoulin picked a corner with 35 seconds left in the middle frame to pull the Pens within a goal at 3-2. Kostopoulos picked up his second assist of the afternoon and Scott Harrington added an assist as well on a big goal late in the period for the Penguins.

After a delay of game call in the final seconds of the 2nd period, the Penguins started the third period with a two-man advantage for 1:01. They were unable to cash in on the two-man advantage to start the third period and let a second 5-on-3 power play go by the wayside midway through the third period.

Despres tied the game at 3-3 shortly after the penalties expired in the middle of the third, but it was the missed opportunities that ultimately cost the Penguins today. After starting the season with a perfect 6-0-0-0 record, the Pens have come back to Earth in their last seven games (2-3-0-2).

  • Nick Drazenovic missed his third straight game and remains "day-to-day" per head coach John Hynes.
  • Pierre-Luc Leblond missed his first game of the 2013-14 season today after sustaining a lower body injury in Friday night's 6-5 loss to Albany. He's also listed as day-to-day.
  • Peter Merth is still on the injured list and is still at least a week away.
  • Anton Zlobin made his pro debut this afternoon
  • Paul Thompson made his first appearance since October 26th.

Scratches: Merth, Drazenovic, Kuhnhackl, D'Agostino, Ruopp and Leblond


Zolnierczyk - Gibbons - Conner
Thompson - Ebbett - Kostopoulos
Uher - Carman - Zlobin
Farnham - Sill - Payerl

Despres - Samuelsson
Harrington - Mikkelson
Dumoulin - McNeill


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