Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: WBS

GAMEDAY: vs. Lehigh Valley 1/31

vs. lv-white

Home Game: 24

AHL Game: 667

Who: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night in Springfield, the Pens won 5-0. Matt Murray had a 28 save shutout and was named the first star of the game. For Lehigh Valley, they lost at home to the Hershey Bears last night by a score of 6-1. Taylor Leier scored the only goal for the Phantoms in the loss.

Last Meeting: December 13 in Allentown, the Pens lost 2-1 in a shootout. J-S Dea scored a goal for the Penguins in the loss.

Record: For WBS: 24-17-1-3 (52 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For LV: 20-18-4-1 (45 pts., 3rd place East Division)

Why you should care: Penguins come home to a sellout crowd tonight against a Phantoms team that has lost two in a row and playing its third game in three nights. Wilkes-Barre has won four in a row and still need to do the right things in order to have success.

Referee(s): Tim Mayer / Keith Kaval

Linesmen: Jud Ritter / Luke Murray

Twitter: @WBSPenguins and @WBSGameDay / @LVPhantoms

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins / /LehighValleyPhantoms

Instagram: wbspenguins / lehighvalleyphantoms

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky / @gblockus

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For Lehigh Valley: Bob Rotruck @BobRotruck

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For Lehigh Valley: Fox 1470

Television: AHL Live and WQMY-TV local in Wilkes-Barre.

Promotion(s): Trading Card Set, courtesy of Times Tribune

Other Game to Watch: Battle of division leaders tonight as the Northeast Division leading Syracuse Crunch face-off against the East Division leading Hershey Bears in Chocolatetown tonight.

Next Five Games: SPR 2/3, @ HER 2/7, @ BRI 2/8, BNG 2/11, POR 2/13

¡Cuatro es Importante! — Pens WIN 5-0

WBS          @          button_spr200

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The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have won four straight games. G Matt Murray has collected four shutouts this season, surpassing his counterpart Jeff Zatkoff in doing so.

The Penguins won tonight 5-0 in Springfield. Matt Murray had a 28 save shutout. The Penguins have not allowed the Falcons to score a goal on them yet this season. The Penguins won 5-0 back in October and it was, ironically enough, Matt Murray’s first shutout of the season.

Oh, if you haven’t yet figured out the headline yet, it’s “Four is Important” translated over to English from Spanish. I might be the only AHL blogger to use the Spanish language as a headline this weekend, or season, for that matter.

Anyway, this post game recap includes some new things that I am experimenting with. Twitter recently implemented native video. In lieu of you clicking off and looking at a Vine of a goal or a highlight, I am able to embed the highlight straight into the blog recap without you, the reader, having to click off someplace else. Great timing, eh? The Pens scored five goals total tonight and you have five different highlights to look at, embedded right here in the blog.

The aforementioned Matt Murray vs. Oskar Dansk.

Lines were…

Conor Sheary – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Carter Rowney – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – Jayson Megna – Adam Payerl
Dominik Uher – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Derrick Pouliot
Barry Goers – Nick D’Agostino

Matt Murray – Eric Hartzell

Alex Boak took warmups but was scratched. Other scratches were J-S Dea, Josh Archibald and Pierre Leblond. Jeff Zatkoff took morning skate but is still week-to-week, technically.

Adam Payerl’s first game since December 26 at Binghamton.

First Period: Penguins started out slow, but after a penalty to Springfield, Jayson Megna scored this goal on a rebound left by Dansk…

The Penguins weren’t done. Tom Kostopoulos scored this goal from a nice pass from Nick Drazenovic on a quick developing two on one…

Penguins add on another power play goal from Taylor Chorney…

Obie summed up the period succinctly. The Penguins didn’t dominate the period, but they were opportunistic.

Second Period: Penguins would kill off a double minor to Reid McNeill thanks to a few great saves in close by Murray. A Penguins power play would come and go, but then Derrick Pouliot would find Conor Sheary on this nice goal that made it 4-0 Penguins…

1:14 later, Bryan Rust would toast Nathan Oystrick and score this goal that chased Dansk…

Enter ex-Penguin Scott Munroe, who settled things down a bit for the Falcons. Murray had a great save on a defensive breakdown by the Penguins.

Third Period: Penguins put it on cruise control and played prevent. Penguins didn’t really push anything offensively but neither did Springfield. Shots in the period were 10-4 Penguins, ironically. Don’t be surprised to see Scott Munroe come out first Tuesday night in Wilkes-Barre in the rematch.

Three Stars: 3) Conor Sheary (goal, assist, +2) 2) Bryan Rust (goal, assist, +1) 1) Matt Murray (28 save shutout)

Around the Division: Hershey beats Lehigh Valley in Allentown 6-1 to stay a point up on the Pens with  three games in hand. Binghamton loses to Norfolk 5-3 at home.

Standings: Hershey 53 — Penguins 52 – Lehigh Valley 45 — Binghamton 39 — Norfolk 39

Conference: 1) MCH (60) 2) SYR (59) 3) HER (53) 4) SPR (56) 5) HFD (55) 6) WBS (52) 7) POR (51) 8) ALB (51)

Wheeling Update: Nailers win 4-1 in Kalamazoo. Zack Torquato had two assists and was a +3.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here. You’ll need to click off to see ‘em.

Penguins come home to a sold out crowd tomorrow night against the Phantoms, playing their third game in three nights. Gameday for that will be up her eon the blog at 3 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!!

GAMEDAY: @ Springfield 1/30

Away Game: 22

AHL Game: 652

Who: Springfield Falcons

Where: MassMutual Center

When: 7:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Saturday in Norfolk, the Penguins won in overtime 3-2. Tom Kostopoulos scored the overtime game winning goal. For Springfield, the Falcons hosted the Providence Bruins last Saturday and lost 2-1. Micheal Chaput scored the only goal for Springfield in the loss.

Last Meeting: October 24 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 5-0. Matt Murray had a 21 save shutout and Bryan Rust had two goals and an assist.

Record: For WBS: 23-17-1-3 (50 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For SPR: 26-13-4-0 (56 pts., 2nd place Northeast Division)

Why you should care: We have two second place teams here that have been on top of their respective divisions for the majority of the season. Both teams are eager to get back to the top and want to take the right first step.

Referee(s): T. J. Luxmore

Linesmen: Paul Simeon / Chris Low

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay // @TheFalconsAHL

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /falconsahl

Instagram: wbspenguins / falconsahl

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For SPR: Andy Zilch @andy_zilch

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For Springfield: WHYN News Talk 560

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: It is going to be a theme here as we head to the final stretch of the season. Hershey is in Allentown tonight taking on the Phantoms tonight. Both teams have games in hand on the Penguins.

Next Five Games: LV 1/31, SPR 2/3, @ HER 2/7, @ BRI 2/8, BNG 2/11

Happy Birthday! — Pens WIN 3-2 (OT)

WBS          @          NOR

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Tom Kostopoulos celebrated his 36th birthday today. He’s heading to Utica Sunday to captain the AHL’s Eastern Conference in the league’s All-Star Classic.

But before he could sit back and celebrate a birthday and reflect on accomplishments that led him to be named captain of the AHL’s Eastern Conference and named starter, he had business to attend to tonight in Virginia.

His overtime game winning goal assured a sweep of the Norfolk Admirals by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins by a 3-2 score.

Lines looked like this tonight…..

Conor Sheary – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Jayson Megna
Dominik Uher – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Barry Goers
Scott Harrington – Derrick Pouliot

Matt Murray – Eric Hartzell

J-S Dea took warmups but was scratched. Pierre Leblond served the third game of his three game suspension. So the lineup was unchanged from last night.

The Penguins opposed recent stone in the shoe known as Jason Labarbera.

First Period: Norfolk jumped all over the Penguins to start. Emerson Etem rang a post then later on a busted Wilkes-Barre clear, scored to put the Admirals ahead 1-0. Then, the Penguins started to push back and Jayson Megna scored when Brendan Bell snapped his stick attempting to maneuver the puck out of his own end.

Wilkes-Barre seemed ignited prior to the Megna goal after a fight by Bobby Farnham with Joseph Cramarossa after Etem scored.

Second Period: No scoring in this period. Penguins had a few cracks at the power play but Norfolk was great in blocking shots.

Third Period: Scott Wilson put the Penguins ahead with this shot from the high slot off of a nice feed by Bryan Rust to give the Pens a 2-1 lead. It was Wilson’s fourth game in a row where he has scored a goal. Norfolk was able to edge back even with a power play goal from Nic Kerdiles on a deflection. A frenetic pace by both teams to finish.

Quick observations, John Hynes told Mike O’Brien in the pre show that one of the focuses the Penguins were going to work on after the All-Star break was special teams. The Penguins had multiple chances this weekend to take a lead with power plays but never could connect….Jayson Megna is usually the butt of my sophomoric jokes on the blog and elsewhere, but he had a hell of a game tonight. Nearly every chance he had was a Grade A opportunity.

Overtime: Tom Kostopoulos scored this goal on a deflection. This came after a John Hynes timeout. Before this, the Penguins had an opportunity to score on a power play but let it pass.

Three Stars: 3) Nic Kerdiles (goal, -1) 2) Scott Wilson (goal, +1) 1) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey beat Binghamton 3-2 in overtime to stay ahead of the Penguins by a point in the standings and lead the East Division at the break….Lehigh Valley beat St. John’s 4-3.

Standings: Hershey 51 — Penguins 50 – Lehigh Valley 45 — Binghamton 39 — Norfolk 37

Conference: 1) MCH (58) 2) SYR (57) 3) HER (51) 4) SPR (56) 5) HFD (53) 6) WBS (50) 7) WOR (49) 8) POR (49)

Wheeling Update: Nailers lost 4-1 to the Fort Wayne Komets.

SendToNews Highlights: Here is YouTube…

So that’s the break. Pens are in action again next Friday in Springfield. Here’s what you have coming at you this weekend and this week…

– Week 16 AHL Power Rankings at a special time, 2 p.m. Sunday.
— My big board chart page is already updated for your perusal.
— I may throw in a quick blurb of who won what at the Skills Competition Sunday night.
— I am pinch hitting for Tom Venesky from The Times-Leader Monday night. So buy a paper Tuesday to see my name and a bunch of words put together about the All-Star Classic. I will have a blog of the goings on Monday night after my duties for the paper conclude.
— I am planning on getting audio of the AHL’s Yearly State of the League. Stay tuned. I will probably make a blog out of that.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Norfolk 1/24

Away Game: 21

AHL Game: 632

Who: Norfolk Admirals

Where: Norfolk Scope

When: 7:15 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game / Last Meeting: Last night, the Penguins beat the Admirals 4-2. Andrew Ebbett scored two goals for Wilkes-Barre in his return to the lineup since November.

Record: For WBS: 22-17-1-3 (48 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For NOR: 16-22-2-2 (36 pts., 5th place East Division)

Why you should care: Penguins look to close out the weekend with a sweep of the Admirals. Last night was far from a cakewalk for the Pens and you know that the Admirals will be out for revenge and wanting to split the weekend.

Referee(s): Mark Lemelin

Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso / Jud Ritter

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 / @BeneathScope / @ShawnDulin

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

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: Hershey, a point ahead of the Penguins for first in the division, host the Binghamton Senators.

Next Five Games: @ SPR 1/30, LV 1/31, SPR 2/3, @ HER 2/7, @ BRI 2/8

Hey, Ebbett! — Pens WIN 4-2

WBS          @          NOR

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The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have been slumping as of late. They just sloughed off a six game losing streak when they beat the St. John’s IceCaps at home back in Wilkes-Barre.

You don’t all of a sudden just snap out of a losing streak and look like world beaters again. You may have gotten lucky in the game that saw your losing streak end. A bounce here or there and, you got lucky. Usually, what plagued you in the losing streak rears its ugly head once again.

Well, for the Penguins, they almost got caught in the closet with the ghosts that brought them that losing streak.

Enter Andrew Ebbett. Down from Pittsburgh during the NHL All-Star break. Ebbett has been a point producer for the Penguins at the AHL level. That continued tonight as his two goals ignites the Penguins over the Norfolk Admirals by a score of 4-2.

Ebbett wasn’t the only player down from Pittsburgh. Derrick Pouliot and Scott Harrington were down too. It was the strongest lineup in months for the Penguins. Lines looked like this…

Conor Sheary – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – Carter Rowney – Jayson Megna
Dominik Uher – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney – Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill – Barry Goers
Scott Harrington – Derrick Pouliot

Matt Murray – Eric Hartzell

Injured G Jeff Zatkoff’s status is “officially week-to-week” per Obie. Adam Payerl started skating this week and is still, “week to week” and is on the trip with the Penguins.

Josh Archibald took warmups but was scratched. Other healthy scratches were J-S Dea and Nick D’Agostino. Pierre Leblond served the second of his three game suspension.

First Period: Penguins really jumped on the Admirals from the start, getting pucks and bodies behind the Norfolk defense. Finally Nick Drazenovic chipped this pass to Conor Sheary who had John Gibson out of position and backhanded it by him for a goal and a 1-0 Penguins lead. Wilkes-Barre was the beneficiary of two power plays, but failed to score. Bobby Farnham was in the middle of everything early on and drew the second penalty called on the Admirals.

Second Period: Felt like an exact opposite of the first period for the Penguins, who looked lifeless at times during the period. They got scored on. Twice. The first goal was a weird one. The Penguins just killed a penalty and the Admirals were streaking up ice, Chris Wagner tries a cross ice pass that deflects off of Scott Harrington and in past Murray and in.

Teams traded some more power plays. Late, Barry Goers goes into the box for a high stick and Andrew O’Brien slams home a big rebound left by Matt Murray to put the Admirals up 2-1.

In the final minute, with 37.1 left, Andrew Ebbett scored this goal to bring the Penguins even again. It was a nice shot that went cross bar and in.

Wilkes-Barre was lucky to come out of the period tied. Just a forgettable period by Wilkes-Barre standards.

Third Period: Penguins had to kill about 1:45 of a Norfolk power play to open and nearly got scored on. Louis Leblanc appeared to have scored a goal, but referee Mark Lemelin lost sight of the puck and ruled that the puck had entered the net after the whistle had blown.

Huge break for the Penguins there. Wilkes-Barre had to go back on the kill again and Norfolk came dangerously close to scoring again, but the Penguins killed the penalty successfully.

Then, the Penguins edged ahead on a Norfolk turnover. Scott Wilson was looking for a streaking Carter Rowney but instead found the stick of Andrew O’Brien who inadvertently directed the puck into his own net past Gibson to give the Penguins the lead. 

Penguins had a late power play. I have said it on a number of occasions before, but if Wilkes-Barre had anything that resembled a decent power play, they could use that to put teams away. Tonight would have been a prime time to do so.

With under a minute to play, the Penguins possessed the puck for a good :30. Norfolk finally got Gibson out of the net, but Ebbett won a neutral zone face-off that went the length of the ice and into the empty net to extend the lead for the Penguins to 4-2 with about 10 seconds left to play.

Three Stars: 3) Mark Fistric (-1) 2) Andrew Ebbett (two goals, +2) and 1) Scott Wilson (goal, assist, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey was idle tonight, so the Penguins have played now three more games than the Bears. St. John’s beat Binghamton 5-2 and Syracuse beat Lehigh Valley 4-2.

Standings: Hershey 49 — Penguins 48 – Lehigh Valley 43 — Binghamton 38 — Norfolk 36

Conference: 1) MCH (58) 2) SPR (56) 3) HER (49) 4) SYR (55) 5) HFD (53) 6) POR (49) 7) ALB (48) 8) WBS (48) 

Wheeling Update: Nailers win at home 5-4 over the Fort Wayne Komets. Riley Brace had 4 assists.

SendToNews Highlights: Admirals put out a YouTube package, so let’s run that instead…

These two teams rematch tomorrow at 7:15 in Virginia. Gameday for that will be up at 3:15.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Norfolk 1/23

Away Game: 20

AHL Game: 618

Who: Norfolk Admirals

Where: Norfolk Scope

When: 7:30 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre, the Pens beat the St. John’s IceCaps 5-1. Conor Sheary had two goals and was named first star of the game. For Norfolk, they hosted the Charlotte Checkers Wednesday and won 3-2 in overtime. Josh Manson scored the overtime winner with a second left on the clock.

Last Meeting: Friday, January 9 the Penguins were shutout by the Admirals 2-0. Jason LaBarbera had a 27 save shutout

Record: For WBS: 21-17-1-3 (46 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For NOR: 16-21-2-2 (36 pts., 5th place East Division)

Why you should care: The Penguins six game losing streak started right around the last time these two teams met two weeks ago. Does that trend continue tonight into this weekend in Virginia?

Referee(s): Mark Lemelin

Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso / Jud Ritter

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 / @BeneathScope / @ShawnDulin

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

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: The Toronto Marlies are in Hamilton in a key North Division matchup against the Bulldogs.

Next Five Games: @ NOR 1/24, @ SPR 1/30, LV 1/31, SPR 2/3, @ HER 2/7

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