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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pens win 3-2; Wolves lead series 3-1

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won their first playoff game against the Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup Championship, 3-2. The game at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Center was a nightmare of poor officiating marked by the Penguins being able to keep the Wolves off their game.

Dennis Bonvie, in a huge play, checked Boris Valabik on one end of the ice in the first period, cruised across the ice to smash Brett Sterling from behind. They were both clean hits and huge body crushing hits worthy of a man of Bonvie’s reputation. The Wolves immediately took two penalties giving the Pens a 5:3 power play. As the Wolves defended their goal Colin Stuart broke his stick. Only a miracle could have prevented the first goal, and the Pens didn’t allow the Wolves a miracle at this point, Chris Minard potted a beauty against Ondrej Pavelec.

Bonvie, who took a penalty apparently during the checks, finally took to the sin bin, but the damage was done. A second 5:3 followed in the second period, and the Pens scored again. The second unanswered goal came after the first power play expired. Again Stuart broke his stick. Then a shot from near the blue line was redirected off of Valabik’s foot and in.

The Wolves put two goals on the board, both power plays by Darren Haydar, before the end of the second period, tying the game at 2-2 at the end of the second frame. Seconds after Haydar was tripped, he was called himself for tripping, no there was no penalty for what happened to him. The resulting power play put the game winner in the net off of the foot of Wolves blue liner Brian Sipotz.

Although the Wolves pressured the Pens, no further goals could be scored. Steve Martins and Brett Sterling were both scratches. The next game in the best of seven series is in WBS on Saturday at 6:35 PM. The game is being broadcast on both the NHL Network and Comcast Sports Cable.

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