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Wilkes Weekly: A true buzzer-beater tops Hershey

A week of thrilling finishes for the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, one good and one not so good

It was a week of thrilling finishes for the Wilkes-Barre Penguins in the AHL. They went 1-1-1 this week to remain right in the thick of their Atlantic Division through 10 of the 72-game AHL schedule.

Wilkes’ win this week was a tremendous one — and gave them the edge in the mini-series that saw them play the rival Hershey Bears three times over a 10-day stretch lately. The teams split the first two games, and with less than one second left in the rubber match on Friday night, Marc Johnstone’s long shot somehow snuck over the shoulder of the Hershey goalie to give the Pens a dramatic win.

(The scoreboard bug in the highlight has the incorrect time, but don’t let that take away from the excitement!)

While the Pens came out on the positive side of that ending, Saturday against Belleville they would be on the other side. With less than five minutes left in a 1-1 game, it was Colin White looking to play hero this time with a late goal on a nice shot.

But it wasn’t to be this time for Wilkes. Belleville scored with 34 seconds remaining in the game to tie things up, then went onto win in OT to sour Wilkes’ week a little bit.

WB/S also fell 3-1 to Providence to start their week.


To get a sense of who was playing where, here were the three relatively stagnant lineups of the week.

Standouts of the week

Joel Blomqvist - the rookie goalie continues to play well. He stopped 21/23 shots in the loss to Providence and then earned the win against Hershey by turning back 19/20 shots. Blomqivst’s four wins lead AHL rookies and the team is 4-2-0 when he plays and 1-2-1 when he doesn’t.

Rem Pitlick - Scored the team’s lone goal against Providence and added an assist in the loss to Belleville. There wasn’t much by way of players with multiple points (though Ty Smith and Dmitri Samorukov both did), offense has been pretty limited and split across the team to this point.

Marc Johnstone - the veteran on an AHL contract was brought over to help win games like he did against Hershey, with a literal last second goal.

The schedule ahead

The boys in Wilkes gear up for an old-fashioned home and home for the next games coming up; they go to Syracuse on Friday night and then re-match with the crunch in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.