WBS: Tristan Jarry (1-0-0-0) .923 Save Pct., 2.69 GAA
SPR: Reto Berra (1-0-0-0) .944 Save Pct., 1.01 GAA
WBS: #44 Jake Guentzel; #17 Carter Rowney; #29 Tom Kostopoulos; #4 Tim Erixon; #24 Cameron Gaunce
SPR: #21 Graham Black; #15 Paul Thompson, #28 Brent Regner, #4 Jakub Kindl, #29 Dryden Hunt
Both teams were fighting the puck for the first few minutes, including the Goalies. Tristan Jarry was beaten with a point shot about 5 minutes in but was bailed out when the referee deemed it was played with a high stick. Springfield seemed to find their game a bit following the near goal, while WBS continued to look a bit sluggish. Eventually Ryan Horvat would float a puck towards the crease and somehow it ended up behind Jarry to put Springfield ahead. They would remain there despite a few quality chances from the Pens. First, Steve Oleksy found himself down low in the slot and nearly scored a highlight reel type of goal when he deflected the puck between his legs onto the net. Berra just barely kicked out a late pad to keep the 'Birds ahead. A bit later Ruhwedel would fire a point shot through traffic and on the net, but again Berra just barely made the save.
WBS PP: 0/1 ; PK 1/1
Scoring: SPR - Horvat(1) Unassisted
It was more of the same for the WBS Penguins in the second frame. They were simply unable to find any kind of momentum or rhythm. They had a few decent chances off of the rush, but had absolutely no sustained zone time until the final shift of the period when the top line seemed to click. Even the PP could not get it going. Springfield had a few scoring chances in tight on Jarry but he was able to fend them off, and the fans at "The MO" showed their appreciation with chants of "Jarry, Jarry." Cameron Gaunce laid a big hit near the benches and ended up scuffling with a few of his former teammates, while drawing a PP for WBS. Late in the frame Guentzel was interfered with in the slot and Reid McNeill was very unhappy and made it known to Lammikko, the guilty Bird.
WBS PP: 0/2 ; PK: 2/2
The Penguins had their best period of the game when it mattered most, but were unable to capitalize against Reto Berra who made some big time saves as this game went along. Early in the period Josh Archibald hit a streaking Oskar Sundvist who deflected the puck on net only to watch Berra get his blocker to it late. The Pens got a PP with 11:15 left and Sundqvist once again had a great chance, he skated in alone through the slot and tried to snap home a wrister that missed the night just high. Seconds later the PP was wiped out by a tripping call on the big Swede, and the fans at Mohegan Sun Arena took exception. With the fans making some late noise, the Pens pulled Jarry and brought on the extra attacker. Chad Ruhwedel would let an off-balance slap shot go from the point and Berra was forced to make one final stellar save. Game Over.
WBS PP: 0/1 ; PK: 2/2
*** - Tristan Jarry (22/23 Saves)
** - Ryan Horvat (1G)
* - Reto Berra (23/23 Saves)
Post Game Notes & Quotes:
- The Panthers affiliates (POR, SPR) are now 5-1-0-1 in the last 7 Games against the Penguins.
- Reid Gardiner made his professional debut skating on the 4th line with Sahir Gill and Ryan Haggerty. I asked Clark Donatelli what he thought of the rookie's performance; "I thought Gardiner was good, he didn't play a ton of minutes due to the amount of Special Teams. He had a couple of chances, the pace was good and he was on the puck. So he was good considering the amount of minutes he played."
- Donatelli wasn't disappointed in his teams performance, he was complimentary of Berra. Tom Venesky of the Times-Leader asked what the coach felt about his Goaltender (Jarry). "I thought Jarry made some big saves, I didn't like the first goal but other than that I thought he played solid."
- Seth Lakso of the Citizens Voice questioned Donatelli about whether or not he felt that Springfield intentionally played rookie sensation Jake Guentzel overly physical, and how he felt Jake handled it. "Yeah he is a good player, he's going to be challenged but I thought Jake played a really solid game. It doesn't bother him. The more they start running at him, the more success he's going to have because he is such a good player."
Thanks for reading! Check back later for the full audio from Donatelli's Post Game Presser. Don't forget I will be live tomorrow night right back here at the Mohegan Sun Arena where the Penguins take on the Syracuse Crunch.