Penguins Snap Six-Game Losing Skid With Win Over Hershey

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Andrew Ebbett puts back his own rebound for a third period power play goal. It was Ebbett's ninth goal of the season. Photo credit: @ItsJacki.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins broke their six-game win-less streak and it couldn't have come at a better time, beating the Hershey Bears with a four-goal third period in a 6-5 win. The Penguins win moves them into 6th place in the conference and they also leapfrog the Bears and Norfolk Admirals for 2nd place in the East Division.

Tonight, it was the fourth line pacing the Penguins through the first two periods in a 2-2 game. Mike Carman and Bobby Farnham scored in the first and second period, respectively, and the Penguins special teams got the job done in the third period, scoring a shorthanded goal and two power play goals, holding off the Bears late push.

Spencer Machacek added a pair of goals tonight, his 5th and 6th of the season with the Penguins in just his 7th game in a WBS uniform. His second of the night with 7:36 left in regulation proved to be the game winner.

Interesting move by WBS head coach John Hynes with 9:59 left, pulling Eric Hartzell after he allowed his 4th goal on 14 shots and giving the game to Jeff Deslauriers, who stopped three of four shots in the final half of the third period to pick up the win. Coming off an AHL goalie of the month award for January (which he was formally awarded before tonight's game), Hartzell has now been pulled in four of his last six starts.

The Penguins travel to Syracuse for a Friday night game against another East Division opponent in the Crunch.

The Penguins got off to a good start, carrying the edge in play through the first ten minutes of the period. They took a 1-0 lead on a strong shift by the 4th line 2:38 into the contest when Bobby Farnham got a puck from Pierre-Luc Leblond and from behind the Hershey net, found Mike Carman atop the crease to put the Penguins in front early.

The momentum shift seemed to occur at the 12:10 mark when Leblond was called for a very soft goaltender interference call. The Bears scored on the ensuing power play, as a puck deflected in through a tangle of bodies past Hartzell with 6:15 left in the first period. Dane Byers got credit for the Bears tying goal.

After a Spencer Machacek penalty about a minute later, the Bears took a 2-1 lead two seconds after the Penguins had killed off the Bears power play. Casey Wellman came flying into the WBS zone down the wing, flinging a quick shot that eluded Hartzell with 3:10 left.

The Penguins got back to carrying the edge in play while 5-on-5 in the second period, with the 4th line again getting on the board. This time it was Bobby Farnham, scoring his 5th of the season after a good keep in at the blue line by Andrew Ebbett, who was coming on in the midst of a lines change. Ebbett got the puck to Leblond, whose shot was tapped home by Farnham to tie the game at 2-2 with 10:49 left.

With the game tied 2-2 heading into the third period, the Bears took a 3-2 lead just 28 seconds into the final frame on Dane Byers' 2nd goal of the night. Then the Penguins took another goaltender interference minor, putting them shorthanded and down 3-2. 

Jayson Megna made a great individual effort while shorthanded about five minutes into the final frame, wheeling the puck into the offensive zone by himself and finding an open Brendan Mikkelson on the point. Mikkelson sniped one in off the bar to tie the game at 3-3 5:01 into the final frame.

The Penguins killed off the penalty and got a big power play of their own not soon after when Carman was clipped with a highstick from Dustin Gazley, giving the Pens four minutes of power play time to work with. It turned out the Pens only needed 43 seconds, as they scored two goals on both ends of the double minor to take a 5-3 lead.

First, it was Nick Drazenovic sending a cross ice pass through the slot to Andrew Ebbett, who was denied on his initial shot but luckily for the Pens was able to corral his own rebound to put the Penguins in front for good. Spencer Machacek scored 33 seconds later to make it a two-goal lead. The second power play goal of the night for the Penguins needed to be reviewed after it looked like it went in off Machacek's skate, but it was deemed a good goal.

Hershey twice battled back but couldn't find an equalizer in the waning seconds with the goalie pulled.


Uher - Ebbett - Mahacek
Zolnierczyk - Drazenovic - Kostopoulos
Payerl - Manderson - Megna
Leblond - Carman - Farnham

Samuelsson - McNeill
Harrington - Mikkelson
D’Agostino - Goers

WBS Scratches: Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Zach Sill (upper body), Tom Kuhnhackl (healthy) Anton Zlobin (healthy), Harrison Ruopp (healthy).


Post a Comment