Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Postgamer

Back on Track, Jack — Pens WIN 5-3

WBS          @          ALB

5                                               3

The worst thing about losing last night to the Binghamton Senators last night was not only did it snap a history making 11-game winning streak for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins but that the Penguins played okay against an overly bad Binghamton team that played extremely well against the AHL’s best team.

If you would have asked me on Thursday of this week which team this weekend posed the biggest threat to the Penguins winning streak, it would have been Albany. Here is why:

– The Devils were on an 8 game point streak coming into tonight.
– The Devils were second in the AHL in both penalty killing and power play.
– It’s a much, much improved Devils team that has veteran netminder Yann Danis anchoring the nets with speedy forwards.

So an extremely good, “measuring stick” game for both teams and one that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins get a passing grade after a 5-3 win tonight.

Tristan Jarry vs. Yann Danis.

The only lineup change was on the fourth line with Tom Sestito returning from injury and taking the place of Tyler Biggs.

First Period: The Devils had some early odd man looks but Jarry closed the door. None finer than this save on Corey Tropp with the Devils bearing down on a 2-on-1:

The Devils were really bottling up the Penguins in the neutral zone, so much so that the Penguins just could not establish anything that resembled an offensive zone chance. But the Pens adjusted and received two straight power plays that they could not convert on. The looks were there but nothing got past Danis.

Second Period: The Penguins used their most productive period to take a 3-1 lead. Josh Archibald started a two one one, dished to J-S Dea who finished this play to put the Penguins on the board first:

Off the ensuing face-off, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond fought Tom Sestito in a spirited bout between the two heavyweights.

Penguins would kill the first Albany power play but not the second as Mike Sislo scored a power play goal for Albany with Blake Pietila providing the screen in front. The face-off dot has been none too kind to the Penguins these past few days.

Scott Wilson scored on a power play for Wilkes-Barre as this puck kicked right to him and he knew exactly what to do:

Penguins tacked on their third goal of the period when Carter Rowney singled to right field…

Nice hand / eye coordination by Rowney there.

Wilkes-Barre has outscored their opponents 32-7 in the second period.

Third Period: The Penguins woes on the face-off circle continued as Reid Boucher scored off of one to bring the Devils to within one. Then the Devils would get back on even footing when Tim Erixon turned a puck over to Boucher who was off to the races with ex-Penguin Paul Thompson. Jarry made the stop on the Boucher offering but could not stop the Thompson rebound and the Penguins were reeling a bit.

Penguins couldn’t get anything by Danis. They tried and tried but he continued to close the door. It was going to take a freaky gaol to beat him. It happened.

Through the blur there, that is Conor Sheary with the shot. The Devils showed a different angle that showed Joe Faust in front trying to knock down the puck with his glove. Instead, it caromed off of it and changed the angle on Danis and went in the net.

Time started to become the enemy of the Devils, with Danis pulled Tom Kostopoulos dished to Oskar Sundqvist who scored on the empty net to seal it for the Penguins.

I guess the moral of the last two days is that the Penguins play really well against great teams and against bad ones like Binghamton, they struggle. Once they get over that hump, and I have every reason to believe that they will, they may be unstoppable and the win streak set just last week may be in jeopardy again.

Hey, who do the Penguins play next? That’s right! Binghamton! In Binghamton on Thanksgiving Eve! We won’t have to wait long to see if the Penguins can get over that hump.

Three Stars: 3) Reid Boucher (goal, assist. -1) 2) Conor Sheary (goal, assist, +1) and 1) Scott Wilson (goal, assist, +1)

Derrick Pouliot chipped in two assists. Tristan Jarry improves to 5-0. It will be interesting to see who jumps out of that tunnel Wednesday evening in Binghamton.

Here’s video highlights courtesy of the Devils:

Around the Division: Hershey wins 4-2 to sweep Portland this weekend….Bridgeport beats Utica 4-2. If the AHL didn’t rank teams by percentage this year, the Sound Tigers would be leading the Atlantic Division and not the Penguins…Hartford beats Lehigh Valley 3-1. The Wolf Pack have all of a sudden won two in a row….Providence beats Springfield 4-1. The win snaps a seven game losing streak for the P-Bruins.

Standings: Penguins (.867 points percentage) — Bridgeport (.750) — Hershey (.618) — Hartford (.500) — Springfield (.500) — Portland (.467) — Lehigh Valley (.441) — Providence (.375)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers tried to sweep the Florida Everblades but were unsuccessful tonight, losing 5-2. Anton Zlobin left the first period win an apparent injury. The Nailers take two of three wins back with them back to West Virginia when they host the Reading Royals Wednesday night.

My Week 7 AHL Power Rankings will hit the blog Monday at 4.

Let’s Go Pens!

Southern Tier Letdown — Pens LOSE 3-1

WBS          @          button_bng200

1                                               3

It has been 40 days since the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins lost a hockey game. It was bound to happen sometime. It happened tonight as the Penguins lost an extremely frustrating game to the Binghamton Senators by the score of 3-1.

There were sticks in every passing lane for the Penguins tonight and despite the very liberal shot totals that Binghamton is known for up here, the Penguins couldn’t manufacture anything that resembled a good look all night. The AHL’s best power play was 0-for-6.

I called this a trap game in my gameday setup. I was right.

Matt Murray opposed Chris Dreidger, who was outstanding in net for the home team.

Lines were:

Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Kevin Porter – Carter Rowney – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Josh Archibald – J-S Dea – Tyler Biggs

Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill
Reid McNeill – Niclas Andersen

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry

Tom Sestito skated the warmups but was the scratch.

First Period: Murray got beat on the first shot he faces which came on the power play. It was scored by Mike Kostka from the point that tipped on its way towards and tripped up Murray. Just a frustrating period all around for the Penguins who got all the offensive zone time that they could have desired plus four chances on a power play but for every opportunity Binghamton had a stick in a lane or a body blocking a shot or a pass.

The B-Sens doubled their lead at 18:19 when Cole Schneider’s shot was tipped in by someone in front of Murray. The Pens trailed 2-0 heading into the…

Second Period: Penguins would get one back when Tim Erixon pinched deep and backhanded a pass to Dominik Simon who corralled the puck, settled it and waited out Driedger and put it upstairs to cut the Penguins lead to one. Prior to that, Binghamton bottled up the Penguins and kept with the sticks in lanes and bodies in front. One close call for Wilkes-Barre was when the B-Sens found themselves on a quick three on one that ended up with Ryan Dzingel air mailing a shot over a sprawling Murray which would have made it 3-0.

Third Period: Penguins did not do themselves any favors taking three penalties to start. They held the leagues worst power play with out a goal and began to chase the game. To Binghamton’s credit, they kept putting sticks and bodies in passing lanes and only allowed the Penguins 7 shots on goal.

Then Wilkes-Barre found itself on a 1:01 of 5-on-3 power play time. Head Coach Mike Sullivan used his time out to draw something up but the Senators managed to kill it all off, not before J-S Dea hit the post. Matt Murray did a fine job in the third in keeping it a two goal game but was pulled for the extra attacker. It wasn’t long until David Dziurzynski hit the empty net to seal it.

Three Stars: 3) Mike Kostka (goal, assist, +1) 2) Cole Schneider (goal, assist, +2) 1) Chris Driedger (40 saves on 41 shots)

Here’s the Coal Street info graphic:

Around the Division: Tomorrow’s opponent Albany shutout Springfield 4-0….Hershey gets a goal with 14 seconds left to beat Portland 3-2….Hartford beats Utica 3-2…Lehigh Valley beats Providence 4-1 and Rochester beats Bridgeport 1-0 in overtime.

Standings: Penguins (.857 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.735) — Hershey (.594) — Springfield (.536) — Portland (.500) — Hartford (.471) — Lehigh Valley (.469) — Providence (.333)

Wheeling Update: Wheeling wins 5-3 in Foorida over the Everblades. Newly assigned Evan Wardley scored on his first shot this season. Brian Foster picked up the win.

Here’s some video highlights…

Pens travel to Albany to face an even tougher Devils team. With gamete at 5 pm Saturday afternoon, the Gaameday setup for that hits the blog Saturday at 1.

Can’t win em all.

Let’s Go Pens!!

Gator Huntin’ — Nailers WIN 6-5

WHL      @      FLA

6                                 5

In keeping with trying to watch as many Wheeling Nailers games I can this season and keep tabs on the ECHL affiliate, I was able to take in the Wheeling Nailers taking on the Florida Everblades in Estero, Florida Wednesday night. The Nailers are there for three straight games this week. Florida leads the ECHL South Division and the Eastern Conference with a record of 11-4.

Someone forgot to tell the Nailers. They beat the Everblades 6-5 in a high scoring affair.

Franky Palazzese opposed Anthony Peters. The Everblades are an affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes / Charlotte Checkers.

The Nailers jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 4:17 into the game.

– John McCarron got the party started at 1:41 with a nice wrist shot from the top of the right circle through Everblades defenseman Corey Syvret’s legs that handcuffed Peters.

– Harrison Ruopp scored his first professional goal from the point with lots of bodies in front and it was 2-0 Nailers at 3:02.

– Florida tried to energize themselves after the face-off so Rob Florentino fought Shane Bakker. It didn’t work. Bakker pummeled Florentino with punches and pulled his jersey over his head before being separated by the linesmen.

– Jarrett Burton scored to make it 3-0 Nailers and the rout was on. Or was it?

Florida came into the game with a +29 goal differential. With their 3.73 goals scored per game, good for second in the ECHL in offense, no lead is safe.

Two Everblades goals in the span of :52 to cut the Nailers lead to 3-2 late in the first. Gabriel Desjardins scored from in close then defenseman Matt Stanisz scored his first goal of the year after a desperate clearing attempt by Wheeling found his stick and he wasted no time in wristing home a shot that cut it to one heading into the second period.

It only took Wheeling 4:08 to score three more goals in the second period.

Zack Torquato scored at :53 and the two goal lead was re-established for the Nailers. Nice wrist shot that beat Peters. I had the sense that the Nailers wanted to get the first goal in the period because of the high octane offense of the Everblades.

Nailers scored on a power play when John McCarron caused a turnover and made it 5-2. This was the first time all season that Florida had given up five goals.

:16 later, Ty Loney found himself alone on a breakaway somehow and it was 6-2 Nailers.

Ethan Werek scored for the Everblades and it was a 6-3 game. Too much time and too much space for Werek there. Nine goals scored before the game had reached the halfway point, 6:39 to be exact.

Florentino drilled Zack Torquato with a hit and fought Clark Seymour. It was Florentino’s second fight of the night and he lost both of them. Seymour one punched him.

In case you were wondering there is no, ‘two fights and you are done’ rule in the ECHL like there is in the AHL.

Wheeling killed off a total of 1:52 of two separate 5-on-3’s on Florida’s top power play unit late in the second period.

Brant Harris scored the first of his two goals in the period for the Nailers on a play that looked offsides. About 12 minutes later, he scored on a power play when Palazzese tried to cover a rebound but Harris chipped it over him.

Florida had a lot of chances and created a lot of rushes. Florida outshot Wheeling 14-5 in the period but Palazzese stood tall in net.

Three stars were Ethan Werek with a goal and an assist, Brant Harris with two goals and John McCarron with two goal in that order.

No one else in the Nailers division, the North, played tonight. The Nailers lead the division with 15 points followed by Kalamazoo with 13, Toledo with 12 and Brampton with 11.

The Nailers rematch against the Everblades on Friday.

Winning in the Eleventh Hour — Pens WIN 7-6 (OT)

WBS          @          button_hfd200

7                                              6

Down 5-1 after twenty minutes tonight, I wouldn’t have blamed you if you shut the radio off and went back to your Sunday afternoon.

But this is proving to be a special group of Penguins. A five goal second by the Wolf Pack, a five goal period by the Penguins in the second, a game tying goal by ex-Penguin Jayson Megna with 1:09 left to tie it and Scott Wilson scored in overtime to seal the stunning, come from behind overtime win by the score of 7-6 and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguin have won 11 games in a row.

Matt Murray opposed Mackenzie Skapski.

The only lineup changes that the Penguins made were Reid McNeill for Niclas Andersen on defense and Tyler Biggs for Josh Archibald up front.

First Period: Hartford was the rested team, having not played last night while the Penguins were bussing up playing their third game in less than three days. It showed in the first period.

At 1:39, Marek Hrivik opened the scoring after he dispossessed Dave Warsofsky in front of the net.

1:05 later, Nick Tarnasky scored to make it 2-0, and the early rout was on.

Hartford scored what appeared to be a disputed goal, but he call on the ice was right, take a look at three looks here…

It was Ryan Bourque on the left hand side of the third replay that scored the goal and not Chad Nehring. The Penguins were disputing whether Nehring played the puck in the air with a high stick.

Tom Kostopoulos put the Pens on the board finishing this three on one…

Hartford tacked on two more goals before the end of the period. Ryan Bourque cashed his second goal of the night when the Wolf Pack won an offensive zone draw, the save by Murray popped right to Bourque who swept it past Murray and in.

For good measure, Chad Nehring got a step on two Penguins defenders and scored to make it 5-1 before the period expired.

Second Period: Matt Murray was relieved by Tristan Jarry to open the second and the Pens are done, right? There is no way that they come back from four goals on the road after playing three games in less than three days right?


They needed 16:06 to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 lead.

It started with a carryover power play from the first period. The Penguins did not score on the power play, but the relentless pressure remained and Kael Mouillierat banged home a ping ponging puck and the Pens were down three…

Later, Derrick Pouliot cross checked Ryan Bourque in the corner. Innocent enough, the referee raised his arm and the Wolf Pack were getting a power play out of it. But Wolf Pack were particularly mad with Pouliot, setting off a giant scrum. Here’s where I think the game turned in the Penguins favor.

Said this at the time:

Nothing came from the four-on-four that followed, but then Hartford took a penalty, and the comeback was officially on when Derrick Pouliot scored this goal from the point to make it 5-3.

It got worse for Hartford. Steve Oleksy took a high sticking call, Hartford put their league worst power play on the ice, and Kevin Porter scored his first goal in a Penguin sweater shorthanded…

Tom Kuhnhackl would get injured when he was slashed on a breakaway. Carter Rowney took the shot in his absence and missed. But the Penguins had all the momentum still down 5-4.

Scott Wilson with this neat wraparound goal that tied it.

Kevin Porter scored his second of the period and the Wolf Pack, and the rest of the American Hockey League, left their mouths agape…

The comeback was complete, but it was hard to believe that there was still a whole period to play.

Third Period: Magnus Hellberg relieved Skapski in the Hartford net. He came out sharp and denied J-S Dea in the slot. Jarry made a save of his own while Hartford was shorthanded.

Jayson Megna hit a post. Conor Sheary streaked past everyone and had a chance alone on Skapski but the Wolf Pack goaltender shouldered it clear. Jarry made a big save on the Megna – Brian Gibbons line. The chances were coming fast and furious for both teams.

With the teams skating four a side, Jayson Megna finally scored on his old team…

Celebrating emphatically after your rested team blows a four goal lead only to tie like it’s Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final?

Overtime: A Conor Sheary point shot rebounded to Scott Wilson all alone in the kitchen of Hellberg and won the game for the Penguins…

Comeback complete, for real.

Three Stars: 3) Jayson Megna (goal, even) 2) Kevin Porter (two goals, +1) and 1) Scott Wilson (two goals, including overtime game winner, assist, +1)

Around the Division: Hershey finally breaks the goalless drought and beats Rochester 3-1…Portland beats Providence 3-2 in a shootout and Springfield beats Albany 2-1 in overtime.

Standings: Penguins (.923 percentage points) — Bridgeport (.750) — Springfield (.577) — Hershey (.567) — Portland (.500) — Hartford (.438) — Lehigh Valley (.433) — Providence (.357)

Wheeling Update: Two goals from Riley Brace, three assists from Ty Loney was enough to extract revenge and defeat the Evansville IceMen 4-2 at home for the Nailers.

I can edit in some Sullivan quotes. On Tom Kuhnhackl…

On the vibe in the room…

The Penguins will probably have a few days off before they take to the road again Friday up to Binghamton. The Week 6 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog Monday at 4. I may have a special piece this week on the blog on the winning streak. I just haven’t put all the ideas together at the moment, so stay tuned.

Let’s Go Pens!!

Ten Straight. Ain’t it Great? — Pens WIN 3-1

RCH          vs.          WBS

1                                                  3

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins set a franchise record tonight in winning their tenth straight game with a 3-1 win over the visiting Rochester Americans tonight. It’s important in many ways.

One, it’s a record that is broken. It isn’t often that a team at this level wins ten straight. The Penguins have been around for 15+ years and prior to tonight, it hasn’t happened.

Two, try and find a weakness on this team. There isn’t one. There is no reason to think that the streak ends tomorrow when the Pens face-off in Hartford against the Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon.

Three, the Penguins have let other teams dictate how they are going to play and then countered that. St. John’s wanted to play run and gun. That’s fine. Hershey is a disjointed team that is a rival that gets obliterated. Rochester allows the Penguins 42 shots on goal. Andrey Makarov stops 40 of them. Rochester coming in was last in the AHL in defense. The Penguins shut down Rochester, only allowing them 16 shots at starter Tristan Jarry.

It’s fun. Yeah, it’s November and we aren’t at the quarter pole yet of the season, but this is fun.

No lineup changes for the Penguins tonight. Tristan Jarry started and was opposed by Andrey Makarov.

First Period: 90% of the period was spent in the Penguins offensive zone. Shots were 16-4. The Penguins far and away controlled every aspect of the period but had nothing to show for it. They failed to cash on the only power play of the period.

Remember when the Penguins would have a game one night and go 0-for-7 on a power play and only have like 3 or 4 shots on goal? Not anymore. When Wilkes-Barre goes on a power play, they get chances, and they are several and all good quality.

Second Period: The Penguins dominate the second period, outscoring opponents 21-6 coming into tonight’s game. It came through again for them when J-S Dea collects a puck at his own blue line, walked through the neutral zone and fires a shot at Makarov that went in. It was the baseball equivalent of a change-up. Makarov was sitting dead red (fastball) and instead got the change. The Penguins finally had they goal they were searching for.

Shots at one point were 27-7 in favor of Wilkes-Barre.

Dave Warsofsky scored on a power play to double the Penguins lead to 2-0. The League’s top rated power play connects again.

Shots were 32-8 Penguins heading into the…

Third Period: Rochester came out with pop but the Penguins and Jarry closed off any would be chances. Wilkes-Barre had a couple of power play opportunities, didn’t score on them but had several good looks. Going back to what I said at the open, this is a very, very positive sign going forward.

Jarry loses his shutout bid with 18.7 left when Phil Varone got in behind the defense and caught Jarry on his heels and slipped it five hole to cut the deficit to one.

Amerks head coach Randy Cunneyworth used his timeout and pulled Makarov. Off the ensuing face-off, Oskar Sundqvist dived to break up a pass up the ice at center ice and the momentum of the block knocked the puck into the empty Rochester net just seven seconds after the Americans scored to make it a closer game than the score line would indicate.

So not only do you have all of those things I mentioned at the open keeping this streak going, you have karma. Bring it.

Three Stars: 3) Tristan Jarry (15 saves on 16 shots) 2) Dave Warsofsky (power play goal, +1) and 1) J-S Dea (goal, +1)

Here’s perspective on the streak in the form of a Coal Street Infographic…

Around the Division: The Hershey Bears were shutout again tonight, this time 5-0 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Bears have not scored in 165:07 and face Rochester tomorrow. You have two teams playing their third game in three days and between them, just two goals have been scored all weekend by both teams…Springfield continues to win, this time 4-3 over Binghamton…Lehigh Valley loses 2-1 in overtime to Albany…Hartford, Portland and Providence were off.

Standings: Penguins (.917 points percentage) — Bridgeport (.750) — Springfield (.542) — Hershey (.536) — Portland (.455) — Hartford (.433) — Lehigh Valley (.433) — Providence (.346)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers lost 2-1 to the Evansville IceMen tonight. Adam Krause had the only goal for Wheeling, Brian Foster took the overtime loss.

Here’s the video highlights…

Pens wrap up the weekend with a 4:05 game in Hartford Sunday afternoon. Gameday will hit the blog at noon.

Let’s Go Pens!!!

Seven from Seven — Pens WIN 7-0

HER        vs.        WBS

0                                         7

The fact that Matt Murray collected his second shutout of the season, his 14th overall in 50 total career games played is probably the fourth or fifth thing that the papers or other blogs are going to write about after this 7-0 obliteration of the Hershey Bears by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins Friday night.

– The power play connected three times tonight and still is tops in the AHL.
– Seven different Penguins contributed goals tonight. Only Will O’Neill, Kevin Porter, Dominik Uher, Tom Kostopoulos and Niclas Andersen failed to record a point tonight.
– The Penguins were 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
– Bears top line was held in check. Chris Bourque and Carter Camper can put up points at will and at a moments notice but didn’t tonight.
– Oh by the way, Matt Murray made 24 saves.

You would think with two NHL caliber goaltenders and guys like Bourque and Camper on your team that you would win a lot more than you lose and put up more of a battle against your biggest rival. I think that the Bears flaws were exposed tonight, in a big, bad way. Their defenders were a total combined -8 this evening.

It was Matt Murray against Dan Ellis.

Lines were…

Scott Wilson – Kael Mouillierat – Conor Sheary
Kevin Porter – Carter Rowney – Dominik Simon
Dominik Uher – Oskar Sundqvist – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – J-S Dea – Josh Archibald

Derrick Pouliot – Steve Oleksy
Niclas Andersen – David Warsofsky
Tim Erixon – Will O’Neill

Matt Murray – Tristan Jarry

Scratches were Matia Marcantuoni, Tom Sestito and Barry Goers, all hurt. Marcantuoni and Sestito could be back next week, Goers is shelved three months after having hip surgery. Healthy scratches were Reid McNeill and Tyler Biggs.

First Period: The Penguins went up 1-0 on a power play goal when Conor Sheary centered to Kael Mouillierat in the slot. It wasn’t until 10:50 of the first period that Hershey recorded a shot and were down 7-0 in the category at the time.

Bears started to wake up though but Matt Murray made the save of the night when he slid across to stop a shot that caromed out front to Paul Carey but Dave Warsofsky was in the right place at the right time to keep it out of the net. Bears quickly caught up with the Penguins in the shot category.

Second Period: But as we have seen time and time again in the second period, that is when the Penguins come out determined and accelerate past their opponent. It didn’t take long.

:19 in, Dominik Simon picks a corner in close on Ellis for a 2-0 Penguins lead. I am trying to remember the last Penguin that had a set of hands on him that came close to Simon’s. He has lethal hands on him.

Later, Conor Sheary powered past Bears defenseman Madison Bowey and roofed shot over Ellis for a 3-0 Penguin lead. It was a bad goal to give up for the Bears at the time because the last thing that you wanted to do was chase the game even more against a team like the Penguins.

The second power play goal of the game came when Scott Wilson fired a shot at the net that deflected off of Aaron Ness’ stick and in for a 4-0 Wilkes-Barre lead. That goal chased Dan Ellis and Justin Peters came in relief. I was actually surprised that Peters didn’t get the start in net for Hershey because he has the better numbers.

Peters would stop Dea on a breakaway. Murray would stop a Nathan Walker chance. The Bears settled a bit but the task ahead was steep.

Third Period: The Penguins would break it open when J-S Dea steals a puck in the neutral zone, wheeled around ex-Penguin Zach Sill and go bare down on Peters for a filthy goal and a 5-0 Penguin lead. I had the sense that if Hershey had scored to open the period that the floodgates would open and the game would be closer.

It wasn’t. Oskar Sundqvist would score a late power play goal to make it 6-0. Want to know how good the power play unit is? Sullivan sent out what I thought was the “C” unit for the power play that consisted of Tim Erixon, Dominik Uher, Steve Oleksy, Sundqvist and Dominik Simon.

At 6-0, there was a feeling after the face-off that the Penguins wanted seven. They got it when Tom Kuhnhackl scored at 18:46.

Three Stars: 3) Kael Mouillierat (goal, assist, even) 2) Conor Sheary (goal, three assists, +2) and 1) Matt Murray (24 save shutout)

Some reaction from around the AHL in the form of tweets on this game:

Patrick Williams is one of my idols and covers every angle of this league.

Facts are fun, and color man Nick Hart drops them often.

It isn’t often that you see the Hershey Bears get smacked around like this. In fact,

Look, I don’t get too high when it comes to this franchise. It’s early. It’s November. But I am going to tell you. I cannot find a single weakness with this team right now. Every opponent be it Hartford who was once looking like a solid team or a hated rival like Hershey that comes in and always gives the Penguins fits and always spoils the party is water off of a ducks back. Wilkes-Barre will find your weakness and surgically tear you apart from the inside out. It may not be fun if you are an opponent, but as a Penguin fan that I am, this is fun to watch.


I threw that last one in for fun.

Video highlights…

Around the Division: Portland beat Hartford 3-2…Springfield continues to put up a ton of goals as they beat Utica 6-3…Lehigh Valley scored seven goals tonight as well as they punched Rochester in the mouth and won 7-1. The Amerks are in Saturday to face the Penguins…Albany beat Providence 4-2.

Standings: Penguins (.909 points percentage) — Bridgeport (.703) — Hershey (.577) — Springfield (.500) — Portland (.455) — Hartford (.433) — Lehigh Valley (.429) — Providence (.346)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers beat Reading 6-1 at home tonight Patrick McGrath took home first star honors with two goals.

The Pens finish out the home stand against the Rochester Americans Saturday at 7. Gameday for that will be up at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Nailers 2 @ Norfolk 6 11/7

WHL       @       NOR

2                                6

With the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins off this Saturday night, I figured I would fire up ECHL.TV and watch the Wheeling Nailers play the Norfolk Admirals at Scope Arena down on Hampton Roads tonight.

The Nailers got smoked 6-2. They drop to 4-4 on the season. The Admirals are trending upwards of recent, winning their third game in a row. The Nailers have lost two in a row.

Wheeling’s Brian Foster opposed Norfolk’s Ty Rimmer.

:27 into the first period, Connor Rankin swept in a puck shot from the far wall past Foster to give the Admirals a quick 1-0 lead. When this happened, the officials noted that the Nailers sent out the wrong starting lineup and assessed a minor penalty on them. I had never seen anything like that and there were some people that I follow on Twitter that never saw it either.

Later, Sahir Gill won an offensive zone face-off and a shot from the point by Clark Seymour was deflected in by Zack Torquato for a tie game.

:34 later, the Admirals went right back ahead when they put a shot on Foster, got him out of position and swept the puck past him and in to re-take the lead.

Riley Brace dispossessed Norfolk defenseman Joe Marciano deep in his own end and passed to a cutting in Jarrett Burton who rocketed a shot over the shoulder of Rimmer for a tie game once again.

Off the ensuing faceoff, Patrick McGrath and Gabriel Verpaelst were willing combatants in a buckets off hockey fight, but before a single punch was thrown, the linesmen jumped in and both would be pugilists were assessed delay of game penalties. That was stranger than the penalty for icing an illegal starting lineup.

With 26.6 left in the first period, Norfolk edged ahead again when a Michael Pelech shot at Foster was erroneously deflected by Burton and right to Charles-Olivier Roussel who scored to make it 3-2. There wasn’t anything Foster could do on that one.

The second period was a much tamer period because you didn’t have a penalty for an illegal lineup or linesmen jumping in to bust up fights. Both goalies settled in, referee Mike Sheehan put his whistle away, and about ten minutes of game time melted off the clock without a whistle. Brian Foster was making some nice saves.

Alexandre Ranger got a step Harrison Ruopp and scored on Foster to double the Admirals lead. I thought that the Wheeling defense was letting Foster down considerably. I saw a player cut right through a four man box and get a shot off on Foster and other plays made where there shouldn’t have been a shot in the first place.

In the third, the play of the game.

With Wheeling on a power play, Josh Currie danced around Zack Torquato, Derek Army and avoided a stick check from John McCarron and scored a ridiculous shorthanded goal that deflated the Nailers and made it 5-2. The Nailers were pressing to this point, but could never recover after that highlight reel goal by Currie.

Here’s a late look at the goal:

Steve Whitney hit an empty net with Foster pulled to round out the final score at 6-2.

Three stars were Alex Ranger with a goal, assist and a +2, Charles-Olivier Roussel with a goal, assist and a +3 and Josh Currie with two goals and a +1.

Ty Loney and Zack Torquato were a -4. Paul Cianfrini and Sahir Gill were -3. Harrison Ruopp and Jarrett Burton were -2.

Toledo lost to Adirondack, Kalamazoo beat Fort Wayne and Brampton lost to Manchester, so your North Division standings look like: Toledo and Kalamazoo with 9 points, Wheeling with 8 and Brampton with 5.

Here’s the infographic but out by Wheeling:

My Week 5 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog at 4 pm. Monday.


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