Pens See Game Slip Away Vs. Admirals
WILKES-BARRE TWP. —First, the lead got away from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Then, the game started to get away from referees Mitch Dunning and Alex Ross.
All of it allowed the Milwaukee Admirals to take control of Saturday’s game.
Jarred Tinordi scored against his former team as part of a three-goal second period for the Admirals, who tacked on two more in the third and beat the Penguins 5-3 at Mohegan Sun Arena. The loss snapped the Penguins’ three-game win streak and dropped them to 18-15-4-1.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looked to be in the driver’s seat after holding Milwaukee to only six shots in the first and taking a 1-0 lead, but a shorthanded breakaway and another rush at the conclusion of a Penguins power play led to goals by Emil Pettersson and Nicholas Baptiste that erased that early hard work.
“Timely mistakes, and they capitalized on them,” Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli said. “Bad line change on the power play. One of them wasn’t a shortie, but it was like a shortie coming out of the box. ... You’ve got to be cognizant of when that guy is coming out; that’s why the goalie bangs his stick. So, just some mental lapses there.”
The Penguins had a rally going in the third, getting goals in front from Jean-Sebastien Dea and Teddy Blueger in the first five minutes to make the score 4-3. However, Admirals coach Karl Taylor adeptly called timeout to let his team regroup, and that decision was rewarded when Pettersson beat Anthony Peters for his second goal of the game.
The game was very physical and featured two fights and many thundering hits. At times, particularly in the second, some of those checks were borderline too aggressive.
Penguins forward Ben Sexton was crushed twice, once in front of Peters and another time with an open-ice hit from Tinordi that knocked his helmet off. However, referees Dunning and Ross made no calls.
The teams were even checking each other lining up for faceoff draws, leading to an Anthony Angello cross-check that caused fans to rain boos upon the officials.
Milwaukee took advantage of the physical playing conditions, scoring two of its goals in the second by crashing hard toward the crease and getting second and third chances on Peters. Tinordi’s goal was off a puck that leaked out of a mass of bodies and into the slot.
“I just think, if you look at the goals, they start much further than that,” Donatelli said. “That’s the end result of the goals, but there were some battles that we lost before that, that we never should have lost. We never would have been in that situation.”
Peters made 25 saves on 30 shots, while Troy Grosenick made 31 stops at the other end to get his 11th win. Grosenick entered the game among the league’s best in goals-against average (2.33) and save percentage (.924).
Angello scored the Penguins’ first goal on a power play at 13:39 of the opening frame.
Ultimately, though, those two breakdowns on future man-advantage chances proved costly.
“We give them two goals while we’re on the power play, and you can’t do that,” Donatelli said. “Especially in this league. Especially against a good team. In that respect, we beat ourselves on those two goals.”
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