Payerl Plays Way To Top Line, Pens Fall 3-1 To Hershey

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Adam Payerl's hard skating and good efforts returning to the WBS lineup haven't gone unnoticed. Payerl was on WBS top line tonight.
After a scoreless first 40 minutes of hockey between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears, the two teams combined for four goals in an eventful third period. The Pens have been a third period team much of the season but unfortunately for the Pens, three of the four third period goals went to Hershey, giving the Bears a 3-1 win.

The Penguins entered the weekend in 2nd place in the East Division. They lose three straight games this weekend in regulation for the first time all season and have dropped to 4th place in the East Division and are now one of the bubble teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pens are winless in their last four games (0-3-1-0) and now sit in 7th in the conference, just one point ahead of 8th place St. John's and 9th place Albany.

Much like last night, the Penguins came out with the extra jump on the Bears in the first period. They outshot the Bears 10-6, but were unable to convert on two first period power plays.

The Bears responded with a better effort in a more evenly matched 2nd period, being outshot 9-8 by the Penguins, but goaltenders David Leggio and Jeff Deslauriers kept the game scoreless through 40 minutes.

Ex-WBS forward Jeff Taffe broke the scoreless tie halfway through the third period and Ryan Potulny extended the Bears lead to 2-0 about three minutes later, finishing a nice feed from Bears captain Dane Byers.

Brian Gibbons brought the Pens within one at 2-1 with an unassisted goal on a shorthanded breakaway with 4:03 left but the Bears responded less than a minute later, restoring their two goal lead on Peter LeBlanc's 11th goal of the season on a back door feed from Michael Latta.


Jeff Deslauriers got the start in net, stopping 19 of 22 shots in the loss. Eric Hartzell, who left last night's game in the 3rd period with an apparent lower body injury, took the warmup skate today and backed up Deslauriers tonight.

Pierre-Luc Leblond, who was on the team's injured list Friday and Saturday night, returned to the WBS lineup. Tom Kuhnhackl also returned to the WBS lineup. Anton Zlobin and Harry Zolnierczyk were scratched, though Zolnierczyk didn't take the warmups tonight.

On defense, it was the same six from last night but the first and third pairings were re-configured.




WBS Scratches: Harry Zolnierczyk, Brian Dumoulin, Zach Sill, Anton Zlobin, Harrison Ruopp


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