Chirps from Center Ice

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

Sneep Show – Pens WIN 4-1 over Albany

My goodness this team is deep. When you have Rookie Defensive Defenseman Carl Sneep getting two goals and chasing starting goaltender Mike McKenna on a night where the Pens would win 4-1 it just speaks volumes to the depth that this Wilkes-Barre team has.

John Curry vs. Mike McKenna. Jesse Boulerice was back in the lineup after his 10 games suspension. The Pens sent Ryan Schnell to the Wheelhouse and scratched Bryan Lerg while Keven Veilleux centered the fourth line. Joey Mormina also was scratched.

First period: Devils had all the chances early in the period. Curry really had a great night in goal. About half way Brett Sterling boarded Brad Mills and picked up a five minute major for boarding. Mills would go to the locker room but would return. The Devils couldn’t do anything with it as the Pens only allowed two shots on goal for the entire five minute major. Late, the Pens were aggressive on the forecheck and then Carl Sneep uncorked a shot from the top of the right circle which found its way past McKenna to put the Pens up 1-0. Then with under a minute to play in the first Dustin Jeffrey would draw two defenders and feed a pass to Eric Tangradi right on Mike McKenna’s doorstep to put the Pens up 2-0 going into the first intermission.

I thought that the Devils won the first half and the Pens the seocnd half (clearly) that period.

Second period: At 2:02 of the second, Carl Sneep throws a routine wrist shot from a rookie defensive defenseman at McKenna which found it’s way in for a 3-0 lead. That was it for McKenna as Head Coach Rick Kowalsky went with Dave Caruso in goal. Caruso really settled things down I thought after that as about two minutes later Dan Kelly puts the Devils on the board. Then very late in the second Mattias Tedenby was just putting on a stickhandling and dangling clinic as the Devils sustained pressure in their zone for a bit. Curry made some neat pad saves and kept the score at 3-1.

Third period: Again, John Curry with some huge 10-bell saves in the third. Albany had established themselves in their offensive zone for at least a good three minutes and Curry kept them off the scoreboard. Late in the game, Olivier would sit for a tripping call and Nick Johnson would bury the rebound left by Caruso for the power play goal. Really that was it. Albany sent a lot of guys down for conditioning and the like but it was clear that they just could not run with Wilkes-Barre this evening. John Curry wins his 98th game as a member of WBS.

Three stars were Dan Kelly, Carl Sneep and Eric Tangradi.

Around the Division: Bingo lost to Hershey 3-2. Don’t look now but the Bears have won five in a row. If you ask me, no way that Binghamton loses two in a row this weekend. I am not saying expect the Pens to lose tomorrow, all I am saying is that tomorrow night’s game with the Senators just got that much more interesting in my opinion. Charlotte beat Adirondack 2-1. Springfield beat Norfolk in a shootout 3-2. Tough loss for the Admirals on a night where WBS, Hershey and Charlotte all win. Toronto beat Syracuse 5-2.

Miscellany: This gem from Bears beat writer frightens me a little bit. The Milwaukee Admirals pumped the Western Conference leading Peoria Rivermen 8-1 tonight.

Standings: WBS has 72 points in first. Hershey has sole possession of second now with 59 points. Norfolk has third with 58 points. Charlotte is a point behind with 57 points. Binghamton almost has to win to stay relavant tomorrow in fifth with 51 points. Right now they would cross over into the Atlantic Division if the playoff started tomorrow. Albany, Syracuse and Adirondack sit six, seven, eight with 39, 38 and 33 points respectively.

Tomorrow: I am traveling to Binghamton tomorrow for the game. While I am on my way to Binghamton, Charlotte and Hershey will play in Titletown at 2 p.m. Springfield and Norfolk will have a rematch.

Before I leave Binghamton tomorrow I would ideally like to have the postgamer up and posted. I am not taking my computer or my iPad with me to Bingo, rather will be taking “notes” for each period and throwing it all together at the conclusion of the game. Links to other action may not be immediately available, but if you have clicked on them before in the past, I trust you know where to find them.

Let’s Go Pens!

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