Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: WBS

Too Close For Comfort — Pens WIN 5-4

NOR          vs.          WBS

4                                             5

That was dangerously close.

The Penguins, up 5-1 at one point and Jayson Megna scoring the first Penguins home hat trick since 2012, see Norfolk rattle off three straight goals and narrowly hang on to win 5-4 and lock up the four seed and a first round date with the Syracuse Crunch in Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Here is a look at the schedule:

Friday 4/24
Saturday 4/25
Wednesday 4/29
Thursday 4/30
Saturday 5/2

Home games in bold. Penguins release here. All games in Wilkes-Barre start at 7:05. The games up in Syracuse start at 7.

Penguins still have a game left tomorrow in Lehigh Valley. Hynes told Tom that he doesn’t plan on resting many guys with the Penguins cemented in the four seed with nothing more to play for. We will see tomorrow.

Before we get ripping on the post game recap, the Norfolk Admirals played their final AHL game tonight.

Norfolk has been an up and down team from my memory. They have either been really really good (28 was in a row and a Calder Cup) or really really bad (this year) – they will play in the ECHL next year as an Edmonton Oilers / Bakersfield Condors affiliate. I have a lot of people that read the blog, shared the blog and linked to the blog. A lot of good people in Virginia. I think that the Admirals of the ECHL will be a force that will need to be reckoned with. Who knows, with all of this shuffling that goes on, maybe you see Norfolk back on the AHL landscape like you saw Winnipeg in 2015. Who knows. No one can take that Calder Cup away from the fans of the Norfolk Admirals. Fans in Wilkes-Barre would give you an eyeball for one. Be proud of what you accomplished and be happy that you still have hockey to watch on Hampton Roads.

Jeff Zatkoff vs. Ryan Faragher

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Josh Archibald – Jayson Megna – J-S Dea
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers
Danny Syvret – Steve Shamanski
Sean Escobedo – Alex Boak

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Kasperi Kapanen took warmups and was scheduled to skate on the third line with Archibald and Megna but must have been injured because after the game, Hynes told the WBS media that he is day to day. Sean Escobedo was in for Clark Seymour.

Also a report out of St. Johns, Ryan Parent is on his way to Wilkes-Barre. Parent is a defenseman with over 100 NHL games, that was on a PTO with the St. John’s IceCaps. Stability for the Pens vs. dressing a bunch of ECHL guys.

First Period: Jayson Megna would score a power play goal early in front of Faragher that put the Penguins on the board early. The Pens needed this jump because of the clunker they laid last night vs. Albany.

The parade to the penalty box continued for the Admirals, yet they managed to outshoot the Penguins 11-10 in the period and tied the game on a Brandon Montour shot from the point that deflected off of a Penguins player and in for a tie game heading to the…

Second Period: Penguins were in trouble. The entire first four minutes were played in front of Jeff Zatkoff. He held the Admirals out of the net and this was your turning point.

Barry Goers blast at the top of the point. 2-1 Penguins.

Alex Boak breaks up a would be John Kurtz breakaway.

Jayson Megna cashes on a  power play goal. 3-1 Penguins.

At this point, with the Penguins defense and the way that Norfolk wasn’t converting, it was over, right?

Third Period: Wrong.

Tom Kuhnhackl finishes a Dominik Uher pass to make it 4-1. Megna gets hit hat trick that makes it 5-1. The rout is on. The Penguins are clinching home ice and everything is turning up roses….

LOL at you. These are the Cardiac Penguins.

Louis Leblanc roofs one over Zatkoff to make it 5-2 on a power play.

Mike Sgarbossa snakes through everyone and slips one past Zatkoff that makes it 5-3 on another Norfolk power play goal.

Time dwindling, Joe Cramarossa scores with Faragher pulled that makes it 5-4.

Time ultimately won and the Penguins held on for the win.

I bet John Hynes will not be happy with the way that the Penguins almost lost that game.

Three Stars: 3) Tom Kuhnhackl (goal, even) 2) Barry Goers (goal, +1) and 1) Jayson Megna (hat trick, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey wins 5-1 over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and get to 100 points….Binghamton shuts out Rochester 5-0.

Standings: Hershey 100 — Penguins 95 — Binghamton 76 — Lehigh Valley 74 — Norfolk 64

Conference: 1) MCH (109) 2) HER (100) 3) HFD (93) 4) WBS (95) 5) SYR (92) 6) PRO (89) 7) WOR (88) 8) SPR (86)

Wheeling Update: Nailers are all tied up at a game a piece 1-1 as the Toledo Walleye win 2-1 in overtime in Game 2 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Game 3 is in Wheeling on Wednesday.

SendToNews Highlights: YouTube instead:

Gameday for the regular season road finale against Lehigh Valley will be up at 1 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!!!

RAPID RECAP — Pens Win 5-4

Closer than we wanted it to be, but the Penguins wrap up home ice in the first round of the playoffs and are the 4 seed. They will face the Syracuse Crunch. This is the schedule: 

Friday 4/24 home

Saturday 4/25 home

Wednesday 4/29 road

Thursday 4/30 road

Saturday 5/2 home

As for this game, Jayson Megna broke out and had a hat trick. The Penguins scored two power play goals. 

Late push by Norfolk, playing in their last ever AHL game, made it interesting. Norfolk was down 5-1 and scored four three straight goals. 

Regular season concludes Sunday in Allentown with the Penguins having absolutely nothing to play for. I wonder what team will dress for that game. 

Full recap to follow shortly.

GAMEDAY: vs. Norfolk 4/18

vs. 

Home Game: 38

AHL Game: 1138

Who: Norfolk Admirals

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night vs. Albany, the Pens were shutout 4-0. For Norfolk, they hosted Lehigh Valley in their final home game as an AHL franchise and won 4-2. Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist for second star honors.

Last Meeting: January 24 in Norfolk, the Penguins won in overtime 3-2. Tom Kostopoulos scored the game winning goal.

Record: For WBS: 43-24-3-4 (93 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For NOR: 27-38-6-4 (64 pts., 5th place East Division)

Why you should care: Penguins gave up the East Division Championship to Hershey last night but can still clinch home ice in round one with a win and a Syracuse loss. They battle a Norfolk team that will be emotionally drained after playing their final AHL home game in Virginia last night. The Admirals won’t be a pushover though as they will battle to the bitter end in their final game as an AHL franchise.

Referee(s): Jon McIsaac

Linesmen: Leo Boylan / Scott Pomento

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @NorfolkAdmirals
@AdsGameUpdates

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /NorfolkAdmirals

Instagram: wbspenguins / NorfolkAdmirals

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For NOR: Pete Michaud @AdmiralsVoice

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @BeneathTheScope / @ShawnDulin

Radio: For WBS: WILK News Radio / For Norfolk: AM 1650 WHKT

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by McDonald’s / Penguins Jersey Off Their Backs

Other Game to Watch: At this point it’s all about Syracuse, who host Bridgeport tonight.

Remaining Game: @ LV 4/19

The Devil You Say? — Pens LOSE 4-0

ALB          vs.          HER

4                                               0

I hate when I foreshadow bad things….

The Albany Devils are locked up in a playoff battle for the eighth and final seed in the Calder Cup Playoffs with three other teams. The Penguins, without key defensemen and some scorers, didn’t match the intensity that the Devils had and fell flat and lost by a score of 4-0 tonight.

Call it a matchup problem. Call it half of the usual defense corps either hurt or on recall to Pittsburgh. Just don’t call it Matt Murray’s fault.

Matt Murray was not named AHL MVP today. That honor went to Manchester’s Brian O’Neill. I can’t explain why a player that was named as a Second Team AHL All-Star was nominated as the league MVP, but the Texas Stars media contingent put it into words nicely. Check that out if you are so inclined.

Anyway, back to matters at hand. The Hershey Bears won 3-2 tonight over the Binghamton Senators and the Bears are the East Division Champions. It really never was or shouldn’t have been in doubt that the Bears were going to win the Division, the Penguins just made it interesting and really controlled their fate the entire time.

Matt Murray opposed Scott Clemmensen, who by rights was great when he needed to be.

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Andrew Ebbett – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Dominik Uher
Josh Archibald – Jayson Megna – Kasperi Kapanen
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Nick D’Agostino – Barry Goers
Danny Syvret – Alex Boak
Steven Shamanski – Clark Seymour

Matt Murray – Jeff Zatkoff

Remember those days when Barry Goers was the seventh defenseman? Those were the days.

First Period: Historical matchup problems against the Albany Devils coupled with a first period that had absolutely no flow whatsoever played right into the hands of the Devils, who got two goals in the period. The first by Stefan Matteau, swooping in on a puck unmarked to give the Devils a 1-0 lead and again by Joe Whitney, who was the beneficiary of a bad turnover in the neutral zone by the Penguins that made it 2-0.

Second Period: Came and went with no scoring that had better flow. Penguins had some chances but Clemmensen was up to task.

Third Period: Albany quickly made it 3-0 off of a set face-off play. Soon after, a puck banked in off of Murray and it was 4-0 and the rout was on. Penguins called time out after that, looked better, but were held off of the board. Teams traded the only power plays awarded all game late in the third but did not score and that was it.

Three Stars: 3) Stefan Matteau (goal, +2) 2) Darcy Zajac (goal, assist, +2) and 1) Scott Clemmensen (22 save shutout)

Around the Division: You already know about the Bears winning and congrats to them on the East Division Championship. Remarkable turnaround from last season, missing playoffs. Norfolk beat Lehigh Valley in their last ever AHL home game by a score of 4-2. Both teams with long bus rides back to Pennsylvania. Norfolk to Wilkes-Barre, Phantoms to Hershey. I’m guessing Hershey, with the division in hand and the 2 seed locked up, will dress a bunch of new guys against the Phantoms.

Standings: Hershey 98 — Penguins 93 — Lehigh Valley 74 — Binghamton 74 — Norfolk 64

Conference: 1) MCH (107) 2) HER (98) 3) HFD (93) 4) WBS (93) 5) SYR (92) 6) PRO (89) 7) WOR (88) 8) SPR (84)

Syracuse lost in overtime to Adirondack tonight and Worcester beat Providence. Worst that Wilkes-Barre can finish now is fifth. They can lock up the four seed with a win tomorrow and a Syracuse loss for sure. After that, well….I wish I was good at math.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers are off, but they beat the Toledo Walleye Thursday for a 1-0 series lead in that best of seven. Game 2 goes Saturday.

SendToNews Highlights: Aren’t up yet. I wonder if the Penguins will even bother.

Pens back at it against Norfolk tomorrow at 7. Gameday for that up Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!!

RAPID RECAP: Pens LOSE 4-0

The Penguins went up against a hungry Albany Devils team battling for its playoff life against a Penguins team decimated by defensive call ups and injuries and the results were predictable. 

A 4-0 loss. Coupled with a 3-2 Hershey win against Binghamton at home and it’s the Bears who are your East Division Champions.

So the best that the Penguins can do is a 4 seed. I’ll check those other finals and will see what that picture looks like when the full recap goes up in a little while.

Blech. Go Pens.

GAMEDAY: vs. Albany 4/17

 

vs. 

Home Game: 37

AHL Game: 1119

Who: Albany Devils

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Sunday in Portland, the Penguins won 3-1. Andrew Ebbett had a goal and an assist and Jeff Zakoff stopped 29 of 30 shots. For Albany, they hosted Syracuse Wednesday and won 6-2. Newcomer Matt Lorito had a goal and four assists for the Devils in the win.

Last Meeting: December 19 in Wilkes-Barre, the Devils won 4-2. Brandon Burlon had a goal and an assist for first star honors.

Record: For WBS: 43-23-3-4 (93 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For ALB: 35-28-5-6 (81 pts., 4th place Northeast Division)

Why you should care: Expect the best from Albany tonight in a last ditch effort to save their season and make playoffs as an eight seed. On the other hand, expect the same from the already clinched Penguins in a last ditch effort to win the East Division. This should be an excellent game.

Referee(s): Garrett Rank

Linesmen: Francis Trempe / Jud Ritter

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @AlbanyDevils

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /albanydevils

Instagram: wbspenguins / albanydevils

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky / @Pete_Dougherty and @Bill_Cain_

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For ALB: Josh Heller @Josh_Heller

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @trace_1114

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For Albany: 104.5 The Team

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): Fan Friday’s with discounted tickets and $2 beers.

Other Game to Watch: Hershey hosts Binghamton. Any loss by the Bears and the Penguins win tonight and it’s Wilkes-Barre in the drivers seat for the Division crown.

Remaining Games: NOR 4/18, @ LV 4/19

Before the Weekend, Award of Caution

The AHL has been announcing awards this week and Matt Murray has won pretty much every one he has been eligible for.

Earlier this week, Murray was named the AHL’s Most Outstanding Rookie. This goes with his prior nominations to the 2014-15 AHL All-Rookie Team and the 2014-15 AHL First Team All-Star.

Today, he was named the AHL’s Most Outstanding Goalie.

You don’t need me to tell you what Murray has accomplished this season. Nearly every statistical category that Murray has gone up against he has broken. And not by a little, he’s basically taken a sledgehammer and shattered the records to pieces.

He still has three more games to bust up some more of the smaller fragments of what used to be AHL records.

The AHL still has yet to hand out its regular season MVP award. Cases can be made for other mortals, but the AHL’s players and media who vote on these end of year awards would be hard pressed not to give the award to Murray, hell, he has won everything else.

Outside of Murray’s crease, Coal Street added more insurance pieces.

First, Scott Wilson was recalled to Pittsburgh. He was the only forward recalled. As you know, Brian Dumoulin and Scott Harrington went up Sunday.

The Penguins added Jaden Lindo, Pittsburgh’s 2014 sith round pick, to an Amateur Tryout Agreement. The vibe picked up by Jonathan is that Lindo isn’t expected to get into any games.

The Penguins also added Sean Escobedo to a Professional Tryout Agreement. Escobedo is an ECHL’er, wrapping up his season with the Greenville Road Warriors. Jonathan had a dossier of Escobedo’s play in his Wednesday update.

The Penguins clinched a playoff spot last week, but their seeding and whether or not they can win the East Division remains up in the air.

Hershey lost to Lehigh Valley 4-1 on Tuesday. The Bears have a three point lead (96) on the Penguins (93) and have two games left to play, Friday and Saturday against Binghamton and Lehigh Valley, respectively.

The Penguins have three games left, two at home against Albany and Norfolk and then Sunday in Allentown against the Phantoms.

Seeding wise, the Penguins can finish as high as second but no lower than sixth. Right now, they have a two point lead over fifth place Syracuse (who has two games left) and a four point lead over sixth place Providence (three games left) and have the tie breaker (regulation or overtime wins) over every team they are competing with for seeding.

The Penguins need two more points to wrap up a finish of no less than fourth. That is because Syracuse and Providence can only max out 95 points.

It is becoming highly unlikely that the Penguins and Bears meet in the first round. The Penguins would need to lose out and Syracuse or Providence would need to finish a point ahead of Wilkes-Barre to drop them to sixth. Hershey would also need to finish third, but the Bears would only need a point more to finish no higher than second, because they are five points up on third place Hartford (91 points, three games left) and the Wolf Pack can only max out at 97 points and the Bears own the tie breaker. Hershey would need to lose out and have Hartford win out in order to get passed for second.

My head hurts.

The picture will get clearer as the weekend goes on. First things first though, the Albany Devils. Gameday for this hits the blog Friday at 3 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

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