Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Ten, My Friend — Pens WIN 3-2

HER        vs.        WBS

2                                         3

Much closer this time for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears but if you just watched the first 19:45 of the second period, you wouldn’t have thought that. That was when the Penguins scored three goals in their most productive period of the season for them and held on and defeated the Hershey Bears for their tenth consecutive win on home ice by a score of 3-2.

No lineup changes for the Penguins from Friday nights win over Providence.

Tristan Jarry opposed Justin Peters. If I asked you coming into this game who the better goaltender was statistically between Jarry and Matt Murray, who would you say that it was?

If you said Matt Murray, you are wrong:

Jarry has Murray beat in every statistical category but you would not think for a second about starting Jarry over Murray when it comes to say a playoff game. It’s a dangerous two-headed monster.

Anyway, to the game. The teams traded chance after chance in the first period with neither finding the back of the net. It was a show put on by the goaltenders who were really good with glove saves on both ends of the ice. There were sticks in passing lanes too.

In the second, the offense came to life for the Penguins. Kevin Porter got a step on the Bears defenders at the blue line, raced in and backhanded one past Peters at :26 of the first to put the Penguins ahead 1-0. It was his 200th point at the AHL level.

Later, Niclas Andersen scored from the blue line off a perfect screen by Dominik Uher in front that doubled the Penguins lead. About five minutes later on a power play, J-S Dea flipped a casual backhander at the net that somehow slipped past Peters and in for a 3-0 Penguins lead.

Peters would come up with a big save on Kevin Porter while the Penguins were on another of their six power plays of the night, this time robbing Porter with the glove as Porter was left unmarked on the near side.

The Penguins had held Hershey to just one shot in the second period until the Bears got a late barrage on Jarry and one of them snuck in for a goal. It was Erik Burgdoerfer scoring it at 19:46 that seemed to slow all momentum built by the Penguins at the time carrying over to the third period. The goal ended a goalless drought of 129:34 for the Bears in Wilkes-Barre.

In the third. Riley Barber threw a seemingly harmless shot at Jarry that squeaked in for a goal that gave the Bears life as all of a sudden it was a one goal game. Hershey had opened the period with lots of pop in their skates and were really flying.

But the Penguins slowed that momentum by going on the power play. Paul Carey clipped J-S Dea with the stick, drew blood and the Penguins were on a 4:00 power play that they ultimately would not score on. Peters came up big for his team in net. Penguins would get another chance on the power play later but would not be able to score a goal on the leagues worst road penalty killing unit. Tristan Jarry had to stop Dustin Galley shorthanded.

Hershey would get the games last power play as Dominik Simon was stick handling near the Penguins bench during a change leading to a too many men on the ice call. Chris Bourque hit the post with Peters vacated but that was as close as the Bears came to tying the game before time ran out on them.

Three stars were 3) Kevin Porter (goal, +1) 2) Tim Erixon (two assists, +1) and 1) J-S Dea (game winning power play goal, even)

Patrick Williams from of the Winnipeg Sun was in town tonight. Williams covers the Manitoba Moose for the Sun and used to cover the Penguins a long time ago for the Times-Leader. He’s an AHL observer and has a weekly feature on the AHL on He had this to say about the Penguins:

Obviously I don’t see the amount of Western Conference teams that Williams does, so I will gladly take him for his word and say here that it was an honor meeting the man.

Around the Division: Bridgeport beat Hartford 5-2 to stay in second place in the Atlantic behind the Penguins….Utica beats Portland for the weekend sweep of the Pirates 6-3…Albany beats Springfield 4-3 and Providence shuts out Lehigh Valley 3-0.

Standings: Penguins (.889 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.690) — Hershey (.600) — Springfield (.528) — Lehigh Valley (.452) — Hartford (.429) — Portland (.412) — Providence (.375)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost to the Brampton Beast 6-3 tonight. Eight Nailers recorded points. Matia Marcantuoni did not have a point.

I have given up on waiting for the Penguins to put infographics out timely or video highlights in time for the blog to publish. That said, if I get a chance to work an edit in I will, if not, if you really want to see the highlights you will need to go to them direct.

Check out the Week 8 Power Rankings come Monday at 4 p.m. here on the blog.

Let’s Go Pens!


That’s ten wins in a row for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins as they defeat the Hershey Bears by a 3-2 score tonight.

Game got close as the Bears got a late goal in the second and an early one in the third but the Penguins had two power plays, a double minor and a regular one to kill whatever momentum the Bears were building. 

All of the scoring for the Pens came in the second as Kevin Porter, Niclas Andersen and J-S Dea scored goals. Dea’s came on the power play. 

Tristan Jarry started for the Pens and remains undefeated as a professional. 

More to get to in a bit. 

GAMEDAY: vs. Hershey 11/28

vs.     her14_200

Home Game: 10

AHL Game: 281

Who: Hershey Bears

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Yesterday at home the Penguins shutout the Providence Bruins 3-0. Matt Murray picked up the shutout with 29 saves…for Hershey, they lost last night in Allentown 6-5 in a shootout. Nathan Walker had a goal and an assist for the Bears and was named second star.

Last Meeting: November 13 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 7-0. Matt Murray had a 24 save shutout in that game, Conor Sheary had a goal and three assists.

Record: For WBS: 15-2-0-0 (30 pts., 1st place Atlantic Division) — For HER: 10-5-0-4 (24 pts., 3rd place Atlantic Division)

Why you should care: Big test for the Bears tonight, who have points in five straight games after coming off the 7-0 loss to the Penguins and a 5-0 loss to Bridgeport the very next night. For the Penguins, it’s all about defending home ice and pushing the win streak at home to 10 games against arguably your biggest rival.

Referee(s): Dave Lewis / Greg Kimmerly

Linesmen: Francois Dussureault / Jason Mandroc

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @TheHersheyBears

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /TheHersheyBears

Instagram: wbspenguins / thehersheybears

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TLTomVenesky // @davesottile

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / HER: Scott Stuccio @ScottStuccio

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @ChocHockey

Radio: For WBS: WILK News Radio / For Hershey: 1460 The Ticket 

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): PA Lottery Giveaway (fans 18 and older)

Other Game to Watch: Taking things out west tonight, I like that Grand Rapids / Lake Erie matchup. The Griffins have all of a sudden won five games in a row and the Monsters lead the Central Division.

Next Five Games: LV 12/4, HFD 12/5, @ HER 12/6, SYR 12/9, @ LV 12/11

Nine is Fine — Pens WIN 3-0

   button_adk200       vs.       WBS

  0                                           3

The most methodical win the Penguins have had in a while is also a record setting one as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins defeat the Providence Bruins to set a franchise record for consecutive home wins in any season, winning their ninth at home by a 3-0 score over the Providence Bruins on Friday night.

Since the Penguins were so methodical with their game plan tonight., let’s not waste any time and get right to the meat on this blog post, shall we?

Lines were the same from Wednesday in Binghamton but since I didn’t share those, let’s do so now.

Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Kevin Porter – Carter Rowney – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestet – J-S Dea – Josh Archibald

Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill
Reid McNeill – Niclas Andersen

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry.

Scratches were Clark Seymour and Tyler Biggs. Maria Marcantuoni was sent to Wheeling before the game. Injury scratches remain Barry Goers and Tom Kuhnhackl.

First Period: Providence came in with the leagues best shots against total at 24.89 per game and the Penguins got to half of that with twelve shots in the period. One of them went in when Conor Sheary wired a shot past Providence starter Malcolm Subban and in when the Penguins were working hard down low. They actually wanted to swing the puck up to a defenseman but the passing lane was blocked so Sheary worked a little give and go with Kael Mouillierat and finished for a 1-0 Penguins lead. The Bruins only had 5 shots in the period.

Second Period: Mouillierat deflected in a Scott Wilson slap pass in for a 2-0 lead at 8:13 for the Penguins only power play of the game. Penguins just didn’t give the Bruins anything in the way of open opportunities. I don’t know if it is a systems thing or if the Penguins are really that good. But everything that they wanted to do tonight from an execution standpoint seemed to have worked.

Third Period: Providence came out with fire to open the period and hit a post but the Penguins and Murray made sure that they wouldn’t make it a 2-1 game. You had the sense that if the Bruins made it 2-1, the Penguins would lose all momentum, start to panic and then next thing you know it’s a 2-2 game. That never happened. Later, Reid McNeill shot a pass deliberately wide to Dominik Simon wheeling around the net and he snuck it past Subban to make it a 3-0 Penguins lead. Even with the P-Bruins going full 6-on-4 on a late power play with Subban pulled, they were never able to solve Murray.

Three Stars: 3) Kael Mouillierat (goal, assist, +1) 2) Conor Sheary (goal, +1) and 1) Matt Murray (29 save shutout)

Around the Division: They don’t play in our division anymore but the Binghamton Senators were shutout tonight by the Albany Devils tonight in Albany by a score of 4-0. That’s not the storyline here. What is is that the Senators had only SIX shots on goal in the entire game. No, really. Six.

Had to give that it’s own paragraph. And to think that the Penguins struggle at times against Binghamton. Go figure.

Anyway, Lehigh Valley needed a shootout to get past Hershey tonight in a wild game, 6-5 the final there…Springfield blanked Hartford 2-0….Utical beat Portland 4-1. Bridgeport was off.

Standings: Penguins (.882 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.675) — Hershey (.632) — Springfield (.559) — Lehigh Valley (.475) — Hartford (.450) — Portland (.438) — Providence (.342)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off tonight. They host the Brampton Beast tomorrow.

Here’s an infographic of the team record winning streak:

You’ll have to wait on video highlights cause I am still waiting on them at 10:45 p.m. If I can get to an edit tomorrow, I will certainly throw those in.

Gameday for Pens / Bears will hit the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!


The ninth consecutive win on home ice is a record for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins as they blank the Providence Bruins 3-0 tonight. Matt Murray collected a 29 save shutout for the win. 

Goals scored in each period. One by Conor Sheary in the first, Kael Mouillierat on a power play in the second and Dominik Simon in the third. 

This was probably the most methodical game I’ve seen in some time from my seat. 

More to get to in a bit. 

GAMEDAY: vs. Providence 11/27

vs.     15PRO

Home Game: 9

AHL Game: 267

Who: Providence Bruins

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Wednesday in Binghamton the Penguins won 4-3 in overtime with Derrick Pouliot scoring the game winning goal. For Providence, they were in Hershey and lost in overtime 2-1. Noel Acciari scored the only goal for the Bruins.

Last Meeting: October 9 in Providence, the Penguins won 2-1 in overtime. It was Scott Wilson scoring in overtime and Matt Murray turning aside 40 of 41 shots.

Record: For WBS 14-2-0-0 (28 pts. 1st place Atlantic Division) — For PRO: 4-9-4-1 (13 pts., 8th place Atlantic Division)

Why you should care: The Penguins return from the road where they are perfect at home. They need to take the Bruins seriously even through they are a last place team.

Referee(s): Evgeny Romasko

Linesmen: Tom DellaFranco / Jud Ritter

Twitter: @WBSPenguins / @WBSGameDay / @AHLBruins

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /providencebruins

Instagram: wbspenguins / ahlbruins

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso and @TLTomVenesky / @MarkDivver

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / PRO: Nick Gagalis @NickGagalis

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep 

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For Providence: WNRI 1380 AM

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): Eyewitness News Fan Friday | tickets just $14 | $2 drafts (select drafts, 6-7:30pm)

Other Game to Watch: I like Hershey and Lehigh Valley in Allentown tonight. The Phantoms and Bears are getting hot again and this one should be a good time.

Next Five Games: HER 11/28, LV 12/4, HFD 12/5, @ HER 12/6, SYR 12/9

PouliOT — Pens WIN 4-3 (OT)

WBS          @          button_bng200

4                                               3

If the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins had gone on to lose this game, the optimist would have said, “eh, we only play them six times this year, maybe it’s a matchup problem. styles make fights, you know!” while the pessimist would have said that the Penguins are a great team that struggle with bad ones and that way to give the AHL a nice blueprint on how to beat the Penguins.

Thankfully, none of that will happen as the Penguins beat the Binghamton Senators by a score of 4-3 in overtime with Derrick Pouliot scoring the game winning goal 3:55 into overtime.

Here’s how this one started. The Penguins were facing a kid by the name of Matt O’Connor, a rookie out of Boston University who is looking for his first AHL win of his career. Wilkes-Barre rolled out Matt Murray who has won every goaltending award imaginable in the AHL in the past year or so. So it was a matchup that heavily favored the Penguins.

4:23 into the game and the Penguins are up 2-0 from goals by Carter Rowney on his own rebound and Kael Mouillierat, his 300th pro point in just a span of 1:10. It was all falling apart for O’Connor, who couldn’t stop a nose bleed if he wanted to.

But then the Penguins just stopped attacking. Travis Ewanyk fights Reid McNeill to fire his side up, later Will O’Neill slashes Cole Schneider on a breakaway and the Binghamton Senators league worst power play strikes when Eric O’Dell one times a puck in past Murray and the Senators have life.

In the second period, the Penguins get some momentum going, but it’s halted on a transition play when Scott Wilson is whistled for holding the stick. Binghamton goes back to the power play and, you guessed it, scores again to tie the game at two a piece. It was Cole Schneider redirecting a Pat Mullen shot from the point past Murray and in for a tie game.

Shots in the second period were 20-3 Wilkes-Barre. It was an exact copy of last Friday where the Penguins were controlling the play and all the chances but could not get anything past the goaltender of the Binghamton Senators. All of a sudden O’Connor, who couldn’t stop a beach ball in the games first five minutes, was into a groove and stopping everything.

The Penguins had a 5-on-3 for :26 that I called a turning point of the game in the second period with the score tied. Binghamton and O’Connor kept the Penguins power play from striking the entire game.

I said before the third period started that it was a game that to this point would look like was being decided on special teams but really shouldn’t be with the way the Penguins were getting the chances but O’Connor just denying chance after chance but the Senators power play did strike twice to make it a 2-2 game.

Interesting sidenote, the Penguins have allowed a grand sum total of nine power play goals this season. The Binghamton Senators account for five of them.

In the third, Dominik Uher couldn’t get all of a perfect Tom Kostopoulos setup that would have made it 3-2. Instead it would be the Senators making it 3-2 when Ryan Dzingel stripped a Penguin and scored on Murray to make it 3-2.

The Penguins would get a power play but not register a single shot on goal. While the face-offs looked improved from last weekend, some were lost in key moments.

Dominik Simon finally cracked O’Connor and the game was tied. Carter Rowney was providing a screen in front and the puck went in.

Wilkes-Barre outshot Binghamton 29-6 in the last to periods. It wasn’t for a lack of effort or offensive chances, O’Connor got into a groove that he didn’t get out of.

In overtime, Matt Murray made three huge saves, two in succession, and Derrick Pouliot ended it a few minutes later:

Three stars were Cole Schneider with a goal, assist and a -1, Dominik Simon with a goal, assist and a +2 and Derrick Pouliot with the game winning goal and a +2 in that order.

Good teams find ways to win. I guess that’s the moral of the story.

Around the Division: Hershey beats Providence 2-1 in overtime…Lehigh Valley gets smoked in Utica 7-1…Albany beat Bridgeport 3-1. Hartford, Portland and Springfield were off.

Standings: Penguins (.875 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.675) — Hershey — (.639) — Springfield (.531) — Hartford (.474) — Portland (.467) — Lehigh Valley (.447) — Providence (.361)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers shutout the Reading Royals at home 1-0. Franky Palazzese had a 28 save shutout and Zack Torquato had the only goal of the game. The Nailers lead the North Division at the Thanksgiving break with 21 points over second place Toledo with 17. The Walleye have two games in hand, though.

Here are highlights of tonight’s game from the B-Sens…

Providence is in on Friday. Gameday for that will hit the blog Friday at 3 p.m.

Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone!


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