Chirps from Center Ice

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

Penguins / Comets Tweet Feed

WBS     @     button_uti200

Not near a radio? Don’t have a Twitter but still want to follow along with tonight’s game? Look no further. See below for tonight’s game tweets. You don’t even have to refresh. When the game is over, stay tuned right here for the postgame recap.

GAMEDAY: @ Utica 4/19

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Away Game: 38

AHL Game: 1138

Who: Utica Comets

Where: Utica Memorial Auditorium

When: 7:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night in Binghamton, the Pens lost 5-4. After being down 5-0 at one point the rally fell short. Chuck Kobasew scored a goal and had an assist. For Utica, they hosted Toronto last night and won 3-2. Comets goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 37 of 39 shots.

Last Meeting: March 22 in Wilkes-Barre, the Pens lost 2-1. Chuck Kobasew scored the only goal for the Pens in the loss.

Record: For WBS: 42-25-3-5 (92 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For UTI: 34-32-5-4 (77 pts., 3rd place North Division)

Why you should care: The Division Championship has already been decided to Binghamton, but the Penguins are now playing for seeding. Many factors are in play. The most simplest one is a win cements the Pens at the five seed and a date with St. John’s in Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Referee(s): Steve Patafie

Linesmen: Jim Harper / Andy Petrus

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @UticaComets / @CometsInGame

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /UticaComets

Instagram: wbspenguins / uticacomets

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie / @CometsTales / @OD_Comets

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / UTI: Brendan Burke @brendanmburke

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @CometsArmy

Radio: For WBS: 103.1 WILK-FM / For Utica: 94.9 K-Rock

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: I am giving you two. Albany hosts Springfield and Providence is in Worcester. Both of these games can determine where the Pens end up in playoffs is Wilkes-Barre does not win tonight.

Welcome to the Pageau Sheau — Pens LOSE 5-4

WBS          @          button_bng200

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The Binghamton Senators are the East Division Champions.

But it didn’t look like it in the third period of this game, a 5-4 Wilkes-Barre setback. The Penguins outshot the Penguins 26-7 and outscored them 2-0 and nearly tied the game late. Brian Dumoulin shot a puck right at Chris Conner camped out on the right of starting goaltender Andrew Hammond’s crease but Conner didn’t get all on the tip which would have forced overtime.

But they don’t play hockey on what ifs. The now is that the Penguins will need to start the 2014 Calder Cup Campaign on the road, without home ice advantage.

The aforementioned Andrew Hammond vs. Peter Mannino.

Chris Conner was in the lineup, down on conditioning. Zach Sill and Carter Rowney are the names you know that were scratched. Josh Archibald and the rest of the ATOs were scratched. Scott Wilson took warmups. The veteran scratch was Spencer Machacek.

First Period: Shane Prince took a pass from below the goal line and was parked right in front for a 1-0 Binghamton lead. A turnover in front of the Wilkes-Barre net and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his first of three to make it 2-0. Jonathan Bombulie says that the Binghamton Senators make you pay for your mistakes. He wasn’t lying.

Second Period: On a carry over power play from the first, Pageau scored his second on a power play. Then, nifty passing by Alex Grant to David Dziurzuynski and it was 4-0 Penguins. With Dominik Uher in the box for a hook, Pageau finished off his hat trick to make it 5-0 Penguins.

Looking back at the recap so far, it was an all out assault by the Binghamton Senators. Or was it? Did Binghamton just capitalize on turnovers and nifty passes or were the Penguins that bad?

Adam Payerl got one back. Then the Penguins started their comeback.

Bobby Farnham shorthanded. Farnham tore up ice quick, put a wild shot on net that wasn’t close, tracked down the carom and had a wide open net to shoot into. The momentum that Wilkes-Barre had was broken by intermission and the start of the….

Third Period: All Wilkes-Barre from start to finish. Hammond made big saves though. A setup by Chris Conner to Barry Goers was stopped. Anton Zlobin draws the Binghamton net minder out of the net and attempts a wrap around but is stopped. Andrew Ebbett got one past Hammond to cut the deficit to two. While on a power play, Hammond made a sprawling save to keep it a two goal lead. Chuck Kobasew gets one by Hammond to make it a one goal lead for the Senators. With Mannino pulled, the Penguins got close, but never found the equalizer. Dumoulin had Conner at the far post but Conner missed it or else who knows what….

Notes: Mannino hadn’t given up more than two goals in a game since November….the Penguins goaltenders as a whole have a 5.33 GAA and a .809 SV% in Binghamton this season.

Three Stars: 3) Chuck Kobasew (goal, assist, +2) 2) Mark Stone (three assists, +1) and 1) J-G Pageau (three goals, +1)

Around the Division: Syracuse loses to Rochester 5-1….the Norfolk Admirals are headed to the playoffs with a 3-1 win against the Hershey Bears. With a 2-1 Providence overtime win, the Hershey Bears are eliminated form Calder Cup Playoff contention for the first time since 2005-2006.

Other Games that Matter: I gave you the Providence box above. St. John’s is locked in at the 4 seed and Albany was off. It’s still up in the air as to who the Penguins can face in the first round.

Basically how it runs is this. If Wilkes-Barre loses tomorrow in Utica in regulation and Albany (vs. SPR) AND Providence (@ WOR) win, the Pens are a 7 seed. That’s as low as they can go. Win, and the Pens are a 5 no matter what. OTL and SOL get tricky depending on competition. It’s something that I hope that Jason Chaimovitch and the brain trust in Springfield are working on at this ungodly hour (11:44 p.m. on a Friday)

Standings: Binghamton 94 — Penguins 92 — Norfolk 90 — Hershey 86 — Syracuse 73

Conference: 1) MCH (105) 2) SPR (100) 3) BNG (94) 4) STJ (97) 5) WBS (92) 6) ALB (91) 7) PRO (91) 8) NOR (90)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers won Game 1 in South Carolina 3-0.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Gameday for the final regular season game vs. Utica will be up at 3. If the Springfield brain trust manages to put together scenarios, I may run a mini blog post with the who’s and how’s.

Let’s Go Pens!!

GAMEDAY: @ Binghamton 4/18

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Away Game: 37

AHL Game: 1113

Who: Binghamton Senators

Where: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Sunday at home vs/ Toronto, the Pens lost their first game after leading after two periods to the Toronto Marlies 3-2. Anton Zlobin had two assists. For Binghamton, they hosted Toronto on Wednesday and lost in overtime 5-4. The OTL tied the B-Sens with the Penguins atop the East Division.

Last Meeting: April 12 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 2-1. Scott Harrington scored the go ahead goal in the third period. Peter Mannino stopped 15 of 16 shots.

Record: For WBS: 42-24-3-5 (92 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For BNG: 42-24-3-5 (92 pts., 1st place East Division)

Why you should care: Two identical teams record wise square off on the Southern Tier of New York for the East Division Championship. The B-Sens, with a win, wrap up the title. The Penguins aren’t going to let that happen easily. Is this an appetizer for a future playoff date in the future?

Referee(s): Terry Koharski

Linesmen: John Everett / Francis Trempe

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @BSens_Hockey

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /binghamtonsenators

Instagram: wbspenguins / bsens_hockey

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie / @PSBSens

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For BNG: Grady Whittenburg @BSensRadio

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: 103.1 WILK-FM / For Binghamton: Oldies 96.9

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: Hershey must win tonight to keep their playoff hopes alive. They play Norfolk tonight in Virginia.

Remaining Game: @ UTI 4/19

PSST! Hey, Man? You Up!?

I put the following up on Facebook, but figured it’s too good to go there, so we blog.

Only I am in bed, sleeping. This is a scheduled blog for you night owls enjoying NHL playoff hockey, West Coast baseball, late night TV or something else…

Chris Conner was sent to Wilkes-Barre for conditioning. This puts the Pens at two over the veteran limit.

Jonathan reports that Reid McNeill is out this weekend with a lower body injury but will be ready for playoffs.

Binghamton burned their game in hand on the Penguins tonight. They lost in overtime to the Toronto Marlies 5-4. The B-Sens and Pens are now tied in points for the East Division lead. 

Easiest way for the Penguins to win the division is win the next two games. They get the B-Sens Friday then Utica Saturday. The Comets were eliminated from playoffs today. If Bingo wins in regulation, because they have the tiebreaker on WBS, they are the East Division Champions.

Bingo gets Norfolk Saturday. The Admirals will have bussed in from Virginia the night before. They beat Hershey tonight 4-3 in regulation. If they do that again Friday in the rematch they eliminate the Bears.

The Albany Devils have clinched a playoff berth. Albany’s first since the old River Rats days. The Devils are going to be a tough out. I project them as a 6 seed, meaning that the East Division Champion (either WBS or Bingo) gets them round one in the 3-6 matchup.

It all may be meaningless, as the Texas Stars locked up the best record in the AHL tonight and are my odds on lock to represent the West in the Calder Cup Finals in June.

Unless something big breaks Thursday, next blog update comes Friday afternoon for the setup vs. Binghamton.

Now, go to bed already!

Here’s Chuckie

When Chuck Kobasew was recalled back to Pittsburgh, I had honestly thought that was the last time we would see him in Wilkes-Barre. Kobasew, assigned to Wilkes-Barre March 5, put up 10 goals and an assist in 11 games. Seemingly a man playing a kid’s game.

He’s back.

Kobasew was re-assigned today by Pittsburgh along with Harry Zolnierczyk and Simon Despres as the Penguins are about to embark on their run for their first ever Calder Cup. With the unknown status of Brian Dumoulin and the injury to Philip Samuelsson, the addition of Simon Despres is welcome and needed.

Having Kobasew back in town adds one more body over the veteran limit, but at this time of year having seven healthy veterans is a good problem to have.

Our neighbors to the north and south of I-81 loaded up too.

Ottawa sent Cody Ceci, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone to Binghamton yesterday, made official today.

Washington sent Julien Brouillette and Peter Leblanc to Hershey yesterday. Tyson Strachan was assigned today after clearing waivers. Chandler Stephenson signed his ATO and joined the team en route to Norfolk, for two huge games against the Admirals for seemingly the right to go to the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre signed three guys to ATOs today. Jean-Sebastian Dea, Clark Seymour and Matthew Murray. A forward, defenseman and a goaltender. Seymour and Murray were with the team last Spring on ATOs. Dea wowed in the Fall and earned himself a contract. Out of the trio, I would bet we see Dea.

Sad news out of Abbotsford today, as it was announced that the Heat would not return for a sixth season. The five seasons in British Columbia have been a disaster at the turnstyle, with Abbotsford at the bottom of AHL attendance. To boot, the city had to subsidize the team for 10 years meaning that the taxpayers had to pay for the team. There’s speculation that the team may relocate to Glens Falls in the Fall, with the Phantoms already set to move to Allentown in October.

Be thankful you have a Penguins team that plays at or near capacity night after night.

Week 28 AHL Power Rankings

Could have used more.

That’s the theme that many teams will be saying to themselves this week. There are five spots remaining. Three in the East and two in the West. For teams jockeying for those final five spots, there are some that could have used more points.

The Albany Devils are not one of those teams. They are your biggest gainer this week after a perfect weekend.

Biggest fall this week belong to your Hartford Wolf Pack, out of the tenth spot and down six spots. The Pack are playing spoiler, but got smoked on the Rock by the IceCaps.

The Texas Stars are still your number one team. There is a change to the number two team, no longer held by the Grand Rapids Griffins, but you will have to click through the jump to see who and where your favorite team ended up.

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