In game one, the Penguins jumped out to an early lead by cashing in late in the first period. Forward Erik Larson got the tally at 14:10 assisted by Jake Boss. Then, Cody Brenner scored early in the second to give the Pens a little breathing room. Cody was assisted by Larson and Toby Nehnevajsa.
The Pics kept the pressure on throughout the second period and finally cashed in with a goal of their own by Koproske (from Lyver & Larrow) at the 13:29 mark in the second frame. The rest of the way out, each team took turns applying pressure. The pace was quick and the hitting hard by both teams. Penguin net minder Richie Gerber kept the puck out of the net until teammate Ethan Martin buried an empty netter (from Jesse Grossman). The final in this one was 3-1 with Gerb\’s stopping 23 of 24 shots.
Game two saw much of the same. The Pens again jumped out in front with a power play goal from Jake Boss (assists by Toby Nehnevajsa and team Captain Sean Reger) near the end of the first. A breakaway goal by Penguin forward Josh Jones early in the second on a perfect lead pass from Jesse Grossman gave the Pens that cushion they were working for.
Even with a two goal lead, the Penguins knew there was still no room for error. However, before the period ended, the Pics (Larrow) managed to slip one through goalie Will King. Similar to Saturday night\’s game, things tightened up in a hurry. However, the slim one goal Penguin lead held up throughout the third despite the pressure applied by the Pics at the Penguins end of the ice. This time, it was King who provided the quality stops as the Penguin backstop. Will King finished this one turning away 24 shots on net.
Both games were entertaining and highly charged. This time around, the home team came up victorious. Due to the League\’s Divisional alignment, these teams won\’t meet again until possibly at the playoffs in March.
Both the Penguins and Springfield Pics wish a speedy recovery for Penguin defenseman Mark Kennedy who suffered a broken leg & ankle in the first match up.