Chirps from Center Ice

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

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!

GAMEDAY: @ Albany 11/21

@     alb

Away Game: 7

AHL Game: 222

Who: Albany Devils

Where: Times Union Center

When: 5:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night in Binghamton, the Penguins 11 game winning streak was snapped as the Binghamton Senators were victorious by a score of 3-1. Dominik Simon scored the only got for the Penguins in the loss…For Albany, the Devils hosted the Springfield Falcons and won 4-0. Yann Danis picked up the win for Albany with a  30 save shutout.

Record: For WBS: 12-2-0-0 (24 pts., 1st place Atlantic Division) — For ALB: 9-3-3-0 (21 pts., 2nd place North Division)

Why you should care: The Penguins are going to be losing to get back into the win column against a stingy Albany team that can slow you down and wear you down. If last night was frustrating for Penguins fans with the loss to Binghamton, this game against the Devils may be that tenfold if the Penguins don’t come out and take control of the game early.

Referee(s): Jake Brenk

Linesmen: Matt Brady / Jim Harper

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @AlbanyDevils

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /albanydevils

Instagram: wbspenguins / albanydevils

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso 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

Other Game to Watch: Bridgeport is in Utica. The Sound Tigers are keeping the Penguins honest in the division.

Next Five Games: @ BNG 11/25, vs. PRO 11/27, HER 11/28, LV 12/4, HFD 12/5

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!!

GAMEDAY: @ Binghamton 11/20

@     bng14

Away Game: 6

AHL Game: 210

Who: Binghamton Senators

Where: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Sunday in Hartford, the Penguins scored five goals in the second period and stormed back from a 5-1 deficit and beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 7-6 in overtime. Scott WIlson scored the game winning goal. For Binghamton, they hosted the Springfield Falcons and lost 4-3. The Falcons scored three straight power play goals in the third period.

Last Meeting: October 28 in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 4-3. The B-Sens scored two power play goals, but J-S Dea scored the go ahead goal.

Record: For WBS: 12-1-0-0 (24 pts., 1st place Atlantic Division) — For BNG: 4-9-1-0 (9 pts., 7th place North Division)

Why you should care: The Penguins can make it a dozen wins in a row with a solid performance against a struggling Binghamton team. It’s a trap game for the Penguins. The Senators have struggled recently but they always match up against the Penguins well.

Referee(s): Jamie Koharski

Linesmen: Brian Oliver / Jud Ritter

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @BSens_Hockey

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /binghamtonsenators

Instagram: wbspenguins / bsens_hockey

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TLTomVenesky // @SteinTime44

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

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For Binghamton: Oldies 96.9

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: Tomorrow’s opponent Albany hosts the hot Springfield Falcons in a matchup of two soaring teams.

Next Five Games: @ ALB 11/21, @ BNG 11/25, vs. PRO 11/27, HER 11/28, LV 12/4

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.

AHL Power Rankings: Week 6

What a weekend it was. You had comebacks a plenty and blowouts galore. Lots of teams are in great position heading into a week before Thanksgiving while other teams have a lot of work to do.

It’s the Penguins and Rampage world though, and the rest of the AHL is just living in it.

Not much change to the Top 5 this week. Lots of teams elevatored up and down this week behind these teams.

Hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct to see where your favorite team ended up this week.

Read more of this post

Conor Sheary Named AHL Player of the Week

It’s always a welcome surprise when you don’t expect something, especially if that something is good news.

Well today, the AHL announced that Conor Sheary was named Player of the Week for the period ending November 15.

Sheary had a goal and seven assists this past weekend to put him just one off the team lead in points held by Scott Wilson.

Sheary had four assists in yesterday’s big 7-6 overtime win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday. Interestingly enough, Sheary wasn’t named a star in that game.

The Week 6 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog at 4 today.


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