Going Through The Motions: IceCaps Rout Penguins 5-0 In Game Three

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Michael Hutchinson celebrates his 30-save shutout with his IceCaps teammates following tonight's Game Three win. Photo credit: @ItsJacki.
Simply put, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins didn't bring their "A-game" tonight. They got behind early, failed to score on a 5-on-3 power play late in the first period and the sloppy play in their own zone continued into the 2nd period. After it was all said and done the St. John's IceCaps skated away with an easy 5-0 win in Game Three, taking a 2-1 series lead.

Not to sound like a broken record, but the Penguins power play has been the difference between their success and failure this postseason. In their six postseason losses in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Penguins power play is a combined 0-for-26. I'm sure being without Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Nick Drazenovic doesn't help the man advantage either.

The Penguins had a chance, down 2-0 late in the first period, to draw within one heading into the first intermission with 1:05 of 5-on-3 power play time. Instead, they fail to score on the two-man advantage and go down 3-0 1:35 into the 2nd period and that's about all she wrote.

The Penguins have no time to sulk at tonight's loss as they get right back on the horse tomorrow night in Game Four.

After the Penguins first failed power play of the opening frame, Brian Gibbons upended Andrew Gordon in the neutral zone and the IceCaps made their first power play of the game count.

Gordon found Josh Morrissey at the tail end of the man advantage and Morrissey sent a back-door pass to Patrice Cormier, who tipped it in past Peter Mannino to put the IceCaps up 1-0.

Less than two minutes later, a turnover behind the Penguins net forced by Gordon ended up in the back of the net quickly as he set up Jason Jaffray for a one-timer that Mannino had no chance on.

The Pens had a glorious chance to get back into the game late in the first period, as back-to-back IceCaps penalties gave the Pens 1:05 of 5-on-3 power play time. The Pens often made one too many passes and let the two man advantage drift away without capitalizing.

Things went from bad to worse in the 2nd period, as Eric O'Dell pounced on a loose puck in the slot to make it 3-0 IceCaps 1:35 into the middle period with his 8th of the postseason.

From there, it seems as though the Penguins felt defeated and frustration started to set in. Simon Despres and Adam Lowry dropped the gloves for the Penguins first fight of the postseason. Tom Kostopoulos and Zach Sill took a pair of penalties that gave the IceCaps a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play.

The Penguins killed off the first minute and half, but Kael Mouillierat received a cross-ice pass from Gordon and went top shelf on Mannino to extend the IceCaps lead to 4-0. It was Gordon's third assist of the night and some Pens fans might remember his days with the Hershey Bears. He's a bonafide Penguins killer.

The Penguins started to muster offense in the second half of the period but were unable to capitalize on more power play chances. The IceCaps scored with one second left in the period to make it a 5-0 game, killing any momentum the Penguins might have been building in the middle frame.


Peter Mannino got the start in net for the Penguins, appearing as the starter in all 13 postseason contests. Mannino was pulled after the 2nd period and backup Matt Murray played the third period.

Lots of lineup changes for the Penguins. Tom Kuhnhackl and Pierre-Luc Leblond made their playoff debuts and Carter Rowney returned to the lineup as well. To make room for those three, Dominik Uher, Josh Archibald and Mike Carman were scratched.

Dominik Uher (lower body) and Nick Drazenovic were ruled out of Game Three tonight, but aren't ruled out for the rest of the series.

Of those on the "day-to-day" list, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew and Reid McNeill missed tonight's game.

For Ebbett, he missed his 10th straight postseason game having not appeared since Game Four of the team's first round series against Binghamton.

Reid McNeill missed both games up in Newfoundland, so count this as his third straight game out of the WBS lineup.

Chuck Kobasew played in Game One last Saturday, but sat out of Game Two the following night.

Scratches for the Penguins: Eric Hartzell, Jeff Deslauriers, Nick D'Agostino, Harrison Ruopp, Reid McNeill, Barry Goers, Nick Drazenovic, Chuck Kobasew, Mike Carman, Bobby Farnham, Andrew Ebbett, Dominik Uher, Josh Archibald, Bryan Rust and Scott Wilson.


Machacek - Gibbons - Kostopoulos
Sheary - Megna - Zlobin
Zolnierczyk - Rowney - Kuhnhackl
Leblond - Sill - Payerl

Despres - Samuelsson
Dumoulin - Mikkelson
Harrington - Goers

Mannino - Murray


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