- Wilkes-Barre shoots to 6th in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Will likely see magic number dip to 34. 11 hours ago
- So that means the Norfolk Admirals are the new East Division leader. But I thought they suck, Ads fans? 11 hours ago
- Comets win 6-5 in a shootout. Wow. Joe Cannata relieves Joacim Eriksson in goal & becomes Cannata-non-grata, shuts down BNG, stopping 27/28 11 hours ago
- RT @NorfolkAdmirals: FINAL: HER 1-3 NOR Admirals score three unanswered in the 2nd to draw weekend series with Hershey. 11 hours ago
- RT @PSBSens: Should Norfolk hold on and the #BSens lose the shootout, they relinquish first place in the East. 11 hours ago
- Utica and Binghamton heading to OT. No idea how Binghamton lets this happen, East Division'll take it though. 11 hours ago
- Gamer'll will need to wait, heading over to Bingo / Utica 11 hours ago
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Category Archives: WBS
March 8, 2014Posted by on
Penguins with a much needed 4-2 win in Hamilton tonight. Your best players need to be your best players. Andrew Ebbett is certainly one of them. His 2-1-3 tonight and Wilkes-Barre’s bend-but-not-break defense in the third period help the Pens skate out of the Canadian version of the Steel City on a Saturday night.
How about Peter Mannino? As the games go by the Wilkes-Barre goal crease looks firmer and firmer. Only three goals allowed on this road trip (I don’t think they count shootout goals scored in goals against average) and some stability returning to the crease.
Mannino opposed Robert Mayer. The Pens scratched Barry Goers for Nick D’Agostino and Anton Zlobin for Adam Payerl.
First Period: Balanced period for both teams. Shots were 10-9. One of those for Hamilton went in when born set-up man, Martin St. Pierre assisted on a Gabriel Dumont goal late in the third.
Second Period: Pens had a carryover power play from the first. They must have spent the entire first intermission talking about it and drawing up a play as Andrew Ebbett got his first of the night to tie the game at 1-1.
Then, a Marty St. Pierre hook at 2:18. Penguins power play. :03 later, on a face-off win from Ebbett, Tom Kostopoulos whips one home for a 2-1 Penguins lead.
Later, Denver Manderson stuffs in a puck on the post to put the Pens ahead 3-1.
Much needed shot of offense for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, who only had one goal to show for the road trip when stepping on the FirstOntario Centre ice for the second period.
Third Period: Mike Blunden scores on a power play and it was a 3-2 game. Penguins were on their heels all game long, being outshot in the period 11-5 and it felt like it.
But time became the canine’s enemy. With Mayer pulled, Tom Kostopoulos intercepts a pass at center ice and skates in and dishes to Ebbett who deposits the empty net goal, sending the Penguins to victory.
Three Stars: 3) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, assist, +1) 2) Gabriel Dumont (goal, assist, even) 1) Andrew Ebbett (two goals, assist, +1)
Standings: Norfolk 72 — Binghamton 71 — Penguins 70 — Hershey 67 — Syracuse 53
Conference: 1) MCH (84) 2) SPR (76) 3) NOR (72) 4) STJ (76) 5) BNG (71) 6) WBS (70) 7) PRO 70 8) ALB (69)
SendToNews Highlights: Are here.
Wheeling Update: Nailers win in overtime up in Elmira, 3-2.
Pens travel to Toronto for a 3 p.m. start. Gameday will be up here 11 a.m.
Don’t forget to set your clocks forward.
Let’s Go Pens!!!
March 8, 2014Posted by on
Away Game: 29
AHL Game: 867
Who: Hamilton Bulldogs
Where: FirstOntario Centre
When: 7:00 p.m.
Last Game: Last night in Utica, the Pens had a lead with 7.2 left, but lost in a shootout 2-1. Spencer Machacek scored for Wilkes-Barre. For Hamilton, they hosted Oklahoma City and lost 2-1. Nathan Beaulieu scored the only goal for the Bulldogs.
Record: For WBS: 30-20-3-5 (68 pts., 3rd place East Division) — For HAM: 25-26-1-4 (55 pts., 4th place North Division)
Why you should care: Penguins left something behind in Utica last night. It was that second point. Look for a much more determined team tonight and don’t be surprised if the Pens win this one big.
Referee(s): Tim Mayer / Jean-Philippe Sylvain
Linesmen: Cory Piche / Jesse Wilmot
Beat Writers: @CVBombulie
Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep
Television: AHL Live
Other Game to Watch: Since we are in the Western Conference this weekend, let’s stay there and keep a tab on Milwaukee and Rockford, two teams battling for playoff positioning in the West.
Next Five Games: @ TOR 3/9, HAM 3/14, NOR 3/15, @ SYR 3/21, UTI 3/22
March 7, 2014Posted by on
Textbook Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins hockey tonight for 59:52 tonight.
Up 1-0 late in third, with under a minute left and Comets G Joacim Eriksson pulled, ol’ buddy Brandon DeFazio slips one under G Peter Mannino through a crowd. A lifeless Utica Comets crowd was alive.
Overtime solves nothing, probably the most even set between the two teams, with an even three shots each.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth round of the shootout, another ol’ buddy, this time Cal O’Reilly is staring down Peter Mannino. Neither team to this point scored a single shootout goal.
The Utica Comets were wearing green jerseys. It was an Irish themed night, in March, with St. Patricks day a week or so away.
So you can guess how this one ended up with O’Reilly, a common Irish name, on Mannino, whom I am assuming has some Italian in him, what with the vowel at the end of his name.
Utica wins 2-1 in the shootout. The Pens leave a huge point behind in the Mohawk Valley.
Four big things to takeaway from this game:
1) Brian Dumoulin was back from injury.
2) Chuck Kobasew was not on the trip. Russ Hryvnak tweeted that he will join the team next week.
3) Peter Mannino was great in net, but…
4) The Wilkes-Barre defense bottled up the Comets, allowing them only 10 shots through two periods.
Utica got a few more shots in the third, with the Pens playing prevent and the Comets in all out desperation mode.
Spencer Machacek took a nice pass from Jayson Megna, camped out behind Eriksson’s net and zipped one in 1:12 into the second period.
I wasn’t able to watch much of the game or listen, but it seemed that the Wilkes-Barre defense simply just limited Utica to not much and whatever they did, Mannino was there.
Three stars went went DeFazio (game tying goal) O’Reilly (shootout GWG) & Eriksson (32 saves on 33 shots) — laughable that Peter Mannino didn’t get a star but with the setup of a late game tying goal and shootout game winner and a goalie that stops all 5 shooters, I can see the reasoning.
Rest of the Division, Standings and Conference look like this:
Other Game of Note: Albany yaks up a 3-1 lead in Maine to the Pirates but manage to eke out a 4-3 shootout win.
Standings: Binghamton 70 — Norfolk 70 — Penguins 68 — Hershey 67 — Syracuse — 53
Conference: 1) MCH (82) 2) SPR (74) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (74) 5) NOR (70) 6) PRO (70) 7) ALB (69) 8) WBS (68)
Binghamton is in the cat bird seat, with at least a game in hand on everyone in the top eight.
SendToNews Highlights: Aren’t up yet. I may check for a link tomorrow.
Pens travel to Hamilton for a date with the Bulldogs tomorrow at 7 p.m. Gameday for that will be up at 3 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!
March 7, 2014Posted by on
Away Game: 28
AHL Game: 862
Who: Utica Comets
Where: Utica Memorial Auditorium
When: 7:00 p.m.
Last Game: Saturday in Atlantic City against the Albany Devils, the Pens won 2-1. Brendan Mikkelson and Tom Kostopoulos scored third period goals and Peter Mannino stopped 19 of 20. For Utica, they hosted Oklahoma City and won in a shootout 4-3. Nine Comets registered points.
Last Meeting: December 14 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 1-0. Nick D’Agostino scored the goal and Eric Hartzell stopped all 22 shots faced.
Record: For WBS: 30-20-3-4 (67 pts., 3rd place East Division) — For UTI: 24-26-3-4 (55 pts., 4th place North Division)
Why you should care: Penguins begin a three game road trip in the Western Conference against an improved Utica team hungry for a playoff spot just like the Penguins. Tonight will not be easy.
Referee(s): Fred Leblanc
Linesmen: Jim Harper / Francis Trempe
Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep
Television: AHL Live
Other Game to Watch: Hershey and Norfolk in Virginia. Should be a good test for both clubs.
Next Five Games: @ HAM 3/8, @ TOR 3/9, HAM 3/14, NOR 3/15, @ SYR 3/21
March 6, 2014Posted by on
Welcome to the Third Quarter Chirps from Center Ice Quarterly Grades.
Almost forgot about these, what with the hubbub surrounding the NHL trade deadline, the snow in the Northeast, polar vortexes, big boy jobs and whatever else.
Oh, on that Trade Deadline, if you missed my analysis of the moves surrounding the AHL East Division, click this and then come back.
Anyway, back to the Grades. I included the January 17 game at Providence to make it a 20 game snap shot instead of the standard 19. This is paying off logistics involved in the Second Quarter, where I had to cut it short a game because of the January 17 Providence-Portland-Providence trip.
I have to say, a really flat period for a lot of guys. When I recap games and such I just recap what went on that game or weekend. Looking back at this quarter especially, I see why the Penguins are struggling. You’ll see why when you look at each capsule.
So here they are. Rules are anyone who skated gets a blurb. That means Chris Conner, Cody Sylvester, etc. don’t get grades. If you played six or more games or more you get a grade.
Here we go, after the jump.
March 5, 2014Posted by on
With all the hype surrounding trade deadline day for the NHL, let’s cut to the chase and examine how it affects the AHL’s East Division.
Let’s get right to it…
Pittsburgh / Wilkes Barre
Marcel Goc from Florida and Lee Stempniak from Calgary for draft picks. So, the Wilkes-Barre roster and prospect pipeline stays intact. Chuck Kobasew, who cleared waivers yesterday, to Wilkes-Barre. Chris Conner can NOT be sent to Wilkes-Barre because he was not on waivers yesterday. So, ideally from a Wilkes-Barre perspective, it’s Conner for Kobasew. I’ll reserve judgement on whether this is good or bad after I see what Kobasew and do in the AHL.
Jonathan tweeted that Simon Despres and Brian Gibbons were on the Wilkes-Barre roster at 3 p.m. and thus eligible to return to the Penguins at some point.
Washington / Hershey
Bears end up netting Chris Brown from Phoenix / Portland in an NHL deal for Marty Erat and John Mitchell. Brown has put up solid numbers in Portland for the past two seasons. He’s 14-21-35 so far this year. Brown was also sent from Phoenix with Rostislav Klesla, but Klesla’s stay in Chocolatetown lasted less than 24 hours as he was sent to Buffalo with G Michal Neuvirth in the trade for G Jaroslav Halak.
Connor Carrick and Dmitry Orlov were eligible to be sent to Hershey, but were not and will remain with Washington for the duration.
Ottawa / Binghamton
Initial returns are that the winners of the NHL Trade deadline in the East Division are the Binghamton Senators, who get a depth defenseman in Patrick Mullen from the Utica Comets and Alex Grant (yes, THAT Alex Grant) from Norfolk / Anaheim for Andre Petersson. Grant makes a dangerous Binghamton power play even more dangerous. Ottawa also papered down Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman, making that duo eligible for the AHL if the need arises.
In another minor move, Ottawa loaned Joe Corvo to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. But Corvo, a Chicago area native, is hurt and isn’t expected to play the rest of the season. He also is making $900K this season.
Tampa Bay / Syracuse
Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina to Columbus for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. Syracuse looks like the big winner in this trade. Marchessault was Springfield’s leading scorer (14-27-41) Richard Panik was recalled earlier today, meaning his AHL days are done at least for this year and Vlad Namestnikov was sent to Syracuse. If there is one downside, the moves today leave the Crunch a bit thin on the blue line.
Anaheim / Norfolk
Jonathan’s take on today’s proceedings is here.
In my view, Wilkes-Barre has the most work to do in the divsion, with seemingly everyone else bolstering up their rosters. The Kobasew add is nice and should help, but you just never know with how a player who has spent most of his time in the NHL will take a demotion back to the AHL. You go from airplanes and caviar to bus rides and 3 a.m. McDonald’s stops.
Time, always tells.
March 1, 2014Posted by on
Coming into the third period of today’s game in Atlantic City against the Albany Devils and trailing 1-0, I tweeted that the Penguins had been shutout for 107:36 since last scoring Tuesday night vs. Hershey.
Brendan Mikkelson’s shot from the blue line 13:33 later ended the shutout streak. Tom Kostopoulos’ power play goal about two and a half minutes later on the power play put the Penguins out front for good and they would win 2-1 over the Albany Devils.
Peter Mannino started the game for the Penguins, his last start? November 8 in Wilkes-Barre against these same Devils. A game where he would be pulled then later sent to Wheeling, where it took him two months to report.
Full circle for Mannino, who gave the Penguins tonight something which was really lacking, steady goaltending. The first time since February 7 in Portland that the Penguins only allow one goal to the opponent.
Now you might be thinking that the sorry Albany Devils aren’t really an offensive juggernaut and you couldn’t be more wrong. The Devils are a solid club that block shots and kill penalties and were prior to tonight a point ahead of the Penguins in the Conference.
That shot blocking by the Devils made for a pretty boring first forty minutes of play. The Penguins only had nine shots on goal through two periods. A Mike Sislo backhander on a rebound of a shot while the Devils were on a 5-on-3 in the first period was the only goal allowed by the Penguins tonight.
Keith Kinkaid manned the net for the Devils. The Penguins recalled Anton Zlobin and Tom Kuhnhackl today from Wheeling. Zlobin took warmups but was scratched.
With the score 1-0 to begin the third and with both teams seemingly in it, it boiled down to who wanted it more.
The Penguins found themselves on what ended up to be a 6:00 penalty kill. Andrew Ebbett would high stick Mattias Tedenby and draw blood for a 4:00 double minor penalty.
Mike Carman, in an attempt to backhand the puck down ice, puts it over the glass with :03 left on the Ebbett double minor.
Penguins kill it all off. Brendan Mikkelson waits, waits and waits then snaps a shot from the top of the blue line for a tie game. Later, Tom Kostopoulos scores his 20th goal of the season on the power play to put the Penguins ahead 2-1.
Devils would pull Kinkaid with a minute to go, but the Penguins and Mannino closed the door.
Three Stars: 3) Mike Sislo (goal, evn) 2) Brendan Mikkelson (goal, +1) 1) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, even)
Around the Division: Binghamton loses 1-0 in St. John’s and are swept by the IceCaps this weekend. The Norfolk Admirals sweep the best team in the AHL with another win vs. the Monarchs tonight, 4-1. The Hershey Bears lose to the Charlotte Checkers 4-1 and have all of a sudden lost five in a row. Syracuse was up 4-1 and need overtime to defeat the Adirondack Phantoms 5-4.
Other Game of Interest: Worcester ends its seven game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. who see their seven game winning steak end.
Standings: Binghamton 70 — Norfolk 70 — Penguins 67 — Hershey 65 — Syracuse 53
Conference: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (72) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (72) 5) NOR (70) 6) WBS (67) 7) PRO (67) 8) ALB (66)
Wheeling Update: Nailers were in Reading tonight and lost 4-1. Eric Hartzell backed up tonight.
SendToNews Highlights: No where to be located. Don’t hold your breath.
Penguins off till next weekend. So tomorrow, I’ll be keeping tabs on Utica @ Bridgeport, Albany @ Providence and Charlotte @ Hershey. You should probably follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already for the results of these games and where the Penguins wash out in the Conference Sunday night.
Other than that, come back Monday afternoon for the Week 22 AHL Power Rankings which’ll debut at 4 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!!!