Chirps from Center Ice

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

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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