WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a Saturday night contest to the Hershey Bears, 3-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“This game was great, the intensity level was higher than the first two games,” head coach John Hynes said. “Guys had to work for everything they had to get. There were different special teams situations. There were a couple fights. You can see the regular season is starting to get closer. But this game was a great preparation and learning game.”
Both Penguins’ goals were scored on the power play by rookies, defenseman Joe Morrow and forward Jayson Megna. WBS jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, but Hershey hit back with three unanswered scores (click here for full game recap).
“It’s funny sometimes you give them a basic outline of what you want them to do (on the power play) and their talent and smarts take over and it’s nice to see,” Hynes said. “For us it’s just getting the right chemistry and right mentality.”
A few notables from the game…
- It was a pretty tightly played and tightly checked contest. There were a total of 33 shots in the game by both teams combined (WBS – 15, Hershey -18). It was very physical, as expected when these two rivals get together.
“It was a very tight game, both teams competed hard and there wasn’t a lot of ice out there,” Hynes said. “Both teams tracked hard and pressured hard. It was difficult for guys to create offense or space on both sides. It was a very good game.”
- Morrow is being deployed on the power play, and man does he look dangerous. The team is setting him up for one-timers from the point and he is just killing the puck. Seriously, he has a bomb of a shot and the puck explodes off his stick.
“It’s gotta be good genetics or something, I don’t even know,” Morrow said. “I couldn’t tell you how I shoot the puck and I couldn’t teach someone how to shoot the puck. It’s just kind of there.”
Morrow’s goal came on such an occasion. A gentles cross-ice feed came his way and he wound and pulled the trigger. Bears goaltender Braden Holtby never saw it coming.
“They gave me an opportunity on the power play, which I appreciate,” Morrow said. “They told me to shoot the puck. That’s what I’m here to do.”
“You look at the goal he scored, it was against a tremendous goaltender and was a great shot,” Hynes said. “He got it off more than in other games with the power-play opportunities. He likes to use it. It’s definitely a weapon.”
Morrow will be a deadly player with that shot all season for WBS.
- I’m really loving the smarts and skill of Megna. I know he’s young, but this kid can play. Despite his diminutive size, 5-11, 200 pounds, Megna isn’t shy about playing physical. In fact, he initiates most of the hits and contact in which he is involved.
But even more impressive was Megna’s hand-eye coordination on his power-play goal in the first period. He stationed himself in front of the net as a screen. Blueliner Alex Grant crushed a rising slap shot from the point. Megna perfectly deflected the puck down towards the ice and through the pads of Holtby.
“We rotated and there was a good shot from the point,” Megna said. “I was just trying to get a stick on it in front. I was fortunate enough that it went in.”
The goal was Megna’s second in two games.
“It’s only preseason,” Megna said, “but it’s always great to get goals, whether it’s preseason, regular season or practice. You’re always trying to score.”
“He’s a high-compete, high-IQ player,” Hynes said of Megna. “You can see his speed. He has good talent and he can do things at a high pace and under pressure. I think he’s a competitor and that’s why his goals have been in and around the net. Because of his work ethic and smarts he finds ways to score goals.”
Jeff Zatkoff (played whole game)