Brad Thiessen is singlehandedly leading the Penguins to the promised land.
Not necessarily, but the key to being a good journalist is writing a good lede. That’s what the book says anyway.
Thiessen stops 26 shots tonight, the Penguins get all the offense in the first period and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins skate away winners tonight 3-0.
Five wins in a row. The lockout ending has done wonders. That thing I said about blogging up the highest level of hockey in America? Keep it. I love writing winning blog recaps.
On a day where big picture items like this actual game could get lost in all the hoopla over the signings of Mark Eaton and Tom Kostopoulos to PTOs, a solid game by the Penguins.
Brad Thiessen vs. Eddie Pasqaule – Cody Wild took warmups but was scratched. Carl Sneep didn’t even dress. Warren Peters and Phil Dupuis were injury scratches.
First Period: I had a feeling coming into this game that if the Penguins wanted to win they would need to strike first and early to do so. They did. On the power play in the early stages of the period, Riley Holzapfel draws a man to him down low, Alex Grant pinches towards the net, Holzapfel finds him and Grant buries it for a 1-0 Penguins lead.
About midway in the first, Steve MacIntyre and the Penguins fourth line are forechecking St. John’s hard in the Penguins offensive zone. Philip Samuelsson picks off an exit pass and zips a wrist shot towards the net that eludes Eddie Pasquale for a 2-0 Penguins lead.
Then late in the period, Paul Thompson puts a shot on Pasquale and the rebound kicks right to Holzapfel who slams it home for a 3-0 lead.
It would be all the offense the Penguins would need.
Second Period: Chris Carrozzi relieves Pasquale in net and really settled things down. It was Carrozzi’s first AHL action of the season, having spent the better part in the ECHL with the Ontario Reign. If I knew what Carrozzi’s favorite color was I would probably list it here because not a lot happened action wise this period.
Oh. Beau Bennett was fighting the flu. He played a bit in the first period, then wasn’t seen much thereafter and didn’t come out in the third period. There was a mention of Bennett’s dislike of the cold in the paper this past weekend. You take a California kid in Bennett that doesn’t like the cold and mix in an outdoor game in Hershey on Sunday and you have the perfect concoction for flu-like symptoms to your lone AHL All-Star representative.
Third Period: IceCaps would throw the kitchen sink at Thiessen, but Brad kept them out of his net. Thiessen has really played well recently. He’s won five of his last six with three shutouts mixed in.
Three Stars: Trevor Smith (two assists, +1) 2) Riley Holzapfel (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Brad Thiessen (26 save shutout)
Around the Division: Norfolk beats Charlotte at Scope 3-1.
Standings: Binghamton 54 — Syracuse 53 — Penguins 43 — Hershey 43 — Norfolk 35
Conference: 1) SPR (56) 2) BNG (54) 3) POR (50) 4) SYR (53) 5) MCH (46) 6) PRO (43) 7) WBS (43) 8) HER (43)
A Binghamton / Wilkes-Barre first round playoff matchup is something I really wish for. Still a lot of season left.
Wheeling Update: The news of the day out of Wheeling was that Patrick Killeen was sent to the Orlando Solar Bears. He couldn’t be traded, so he was “called up” to Wilkes-Barre then reassigned by Pittsburgh to Orlando. The thought is that he and ex-Penguin John Curry will split the time in net for the Solar Bears. Also, a change of scenery would do him well according to those in Wheeling who follow the team closely. The Nailers didn’t play today. Edit: Nailers beat writer Shawn Rine has this article going more in-depth into the move.
SendToNews Highlights: Are here for your viewing enjoyment.
Penguins will practice tomorrow at Coal Street then board a bus bound for Rochester. Expect my next blog entry to come Friday for the Gameday setup unless I think of something interesting to put here Thursday.
Let’s Go Pens!