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Monday, June 02, 2008

Wolves 2 wins from championship; Haydar gets another crown

The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins lost their second game at the Allstate Arena Sunday, putting them behind 2-0 in the seven game Calder Cup Championship series versus the Chicago Wolves. Darren Haydar put two goals in during the first frame. He is now the most prolific goal scorer in American Hockey League post season play, surpassing Jody Gage’s 51 playoff goals and Willie Marshall’s 119 post season points in the same game (53 goals and 121 points).

The physical game was scarred by an ugly Slap Shot style hit on Wolves player Andre Deveaux. He was checked into the Penguins bench during play, and Pens captain Nathan Smith apparently stuck his stick into Deveaux’s neck. Deveaux left the ice, returning later. Smith, on his next shift, was checking Nathan Oystrick into the far boards. Oystrick came up saying something to Smith and the two immediately dropped their gloves.

Several other Wolves also were taken down in a game that was spinning out of the control of referee Dean Morton. Especially of concern was Steve Martins, who went down behind the far net and didn’t move for about a minute following a hit from Ryan Stone.

WBS fan board predicted the Wolves will pay as the gritty Eastern Conference team becomes increasingly physical. However, it was discipline that marked the play of the Wolves, who held back their anger and the roar of the Allstate crowd, using the power play opportunities presented by the Penguins to gain the upper hand.

Like the first game, the Pens phoned in the first period of play, putting them behind the Wolves 2-0 at the start of the second frame. A third goal finally led to a goal spark, as the Pens regained two goals from the Wolves in less than 33 seconds. The power play goals started by a 5:3 Pens advantage.

Joel Kwiatkowski was able to scoop up a rebound, late in the period, and put it in for a fourth insurance goal. Despite pulling the goalie, the Pens were unable to gain any friction to threaten the Chicago position again.

The next three games move to the Wachovia Arena in Casey Plaza of Wilkes-Barre. The NHL network has been carrying the finals, as broadcast by the home team. Game time is 6:30 PM Wednesday.

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