WILKES-BARRE TWP. ‚?? Since the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ended their four-game losing streak on Oct. 21 to start the season, they have only lost to one team since.
Unfortunately, they‚??ve faced that team five times and lost four.
An overtime goal with less than two minutes to play allowed the Hershey Bears to beat the Penguins 5-4 on Friday. In five meetings against the Bears this season, the Penguins are 1-3-1 ‚?? representing their only four losses in the last 17 games.
Although the Penguins managed to get a point out of the deal, it clearly wasn‚??t the effort they wanted to put forth against the rival Bears, who came to Wilkes-Barre following a 2-1 win before a crowd of 18,000-plus in Washington the night before.
‚??We let them dictate the way the game was played,‚?Ě said winger Eric Tangradi, who scored a power play goal in the third period. ‚??I think start to finish there were spurts where we played the way we could, but we let them dictate how the game was played and they were able to capitalize on turnovers.‚?Ě
Less than four minutes into the game, Hershey got on the board after a long shift in the offensive zone to make it 1-0.
It was a hot start, but the Penguins heated things up even more with a pair of goals from Benn Ferriero and Simon Despres to take a 2-1 lead.
‚??I felt our responses were good all game,‚?Ě said head coach John Hynes. ‚??We were able to come back each time (Hershey had the lead).‚?Ě
Tangradi‚??s goal ‚?? at the end of a four-minute power play in the third period, evened things up at 4-4 and had the Penguins believing they could take another lead in regulation and perhaps hold on.
But in the following overtime period, Hershey gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the Penguins end on a two-on-one breakaway. Bears defenseman Kevin Marshall finished the play by jamming the puck through Jeff Zatkoff for the win.
It was another example of the Bears dictating the game and ultimately the outcome.
‚??They play a certain way and it‚??s not quite as fast as the way we play the game,‚?Ě Tangradi said. ‚??When we play to their level and let their skill guys have time and space, get the blueline without pressure, that‚??s the game they want to play. When we make them dump and chase pucks, they don‚??t want to play that way and I don‚??t think we got to that tonight.‚?Ě
The Penguins face the Bears again in Hershey on Dec. 26. and 12 times overall this season. There‚??s plenty of time for the Penguins to correct the lopsided record against their East Division rival, but that‚??s not what‚??s important to Hynes.
A loss is a loss he said, regardless of the opponent, even if it is Hershey.
‚??Zero,‚?Ě Hynes said when asked about the emotional impact of losing four to the Bears. ‚??Regardless of what the end result was, our process wasn‚??t where it needed to be tonight. Our heart, our compete level wasn‚??t where it needed to be.‚?Ě
Hershey 5, Penguins 4
First Period‚??Scoring ‚?? 1. HER, Mattias Sjogren 2 (Oleksy, Schilling) 3:42. 2. WBS, Benn Ferriero 3 (Smith) power play 9:12. 3. WBS, Simon Despres 4 (Peters, Farnham) 12:19. 4. HER, Mathieu Beaudoin 1 (Sjogren, Kane) 16:48. Penalties ‚?? HER, Wellar (interference) 9:08.
Second Period‚??Scoring ‚?? 5. WBS, Robert Bortuzzo 1 (Morrow, Tangradi) 1:29. 6. HER, Jon DiSalvatore 7 (Taffe, Hamill) 10:30. 7. HER, Tomas Kundratek 7 (DiSalvatore, Hamill) 17:38. Penalties ‚?? HER, Sjogren (holding) 11:09; WBS, Megna (slashing) 12:53; HER, Oleksy (tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct) 19:33.
Third Period‚??Scoring ‚?? 8. WBS, Eric Tangradi 10 (Bennett, Ferriero) power play 3:04. Penalties ‚?? WBS, Holzapfel (slashing) 5:17.
Overtime‚??Scoring ‚?? 9. HER, Kevin Marshall 1 (Syner, Beaudoin) 3:18. Penalties ‚?? None.
Shots on goal‚??Hershey, 10-7-8-1-26; Penguins, 11-12-8-0-31
Power-play opportunities‚??Hershey, 0 of 2; Penguins, 1 of 4
Goaltenders‚??Hershey, Dany Sabourin 3-4-0 (27 saves ‚?? 31 shots); Penguins, Jeff Zatkoff 10-6-0 (21-26)
Starters‚??Hershey, G Dany Sabourin, D Cameron Schilling, D Steven Oleksy, LW Bord Kane, C Mattias Sjogren, RW Mathieu Beaudoin; Penguins, G Jeff Zatkoff, D D Dylan Reese, D Brian Dumoulin, LW Bobby Farnham, C Warren Peters, RW Zach Sill
Three stars‚??1. HER, Jon DiSalvatore (goal, assist) 2. HER, Kevin Marshall (overtime goal) 3. WBS, Eric Tangradi (power play goal, assist)
Referee‚??Terry Koharski. Linesmen‚??Leo Boylan, Luke Murray