When it was announced during warmups that Zach Aston-Reese was going to be a healthy scratch tonight and that Gage Quinney was going to slot run and make his AHL professional debut, it raised some eyebrows.
Not because of Quinney, mind you, but because Aston-Reese is the higher listed prospect. That he sits in the fourth game of the season for a guy making his AHL debut that has been a professional in the ECHL previously certainly piqued my interest.
Quinney made his presence felt in a big way. A goal and two assists and first star honors, Pens beat Syracuse 6-1 in a laugher.
How about they weekend Casey DeSmith had? Shutout the Phantoms on Friday and only allowed one goal on a five on three power play for Syracuse off the stick of AHL sniper Cory Conacher in the second period. DeSmith has turned away 57 of 58 shots so far and hasn’t given up a goal yet at even strength.
DeSmith opposed Connor Ingram.
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – Gage Quinney – Daniel Sprong
Freddie Tiffels – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Teddy Blueger – Thomas Di Pauli
Andrey Pedan – Ethan Prow
Zach Trotman – Kevin Czuczman
Lukas Bengtsson – Frank Corrado
Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry
Lineup Notes: Ethan Prow for Dylan Zink on defense, Jarrett Burton and Zach Aston-Reese for Freddie Tiffels, making his pro debut and Gage Quinney, making his AHL debut. Zach Trotman, originally a question mark last Monday heading into the week, played all three games.
First Period: :34 in, J-S Dea cleaned up the rebound of a shot by Lukas Bengtsson…
Pens looked like they were going to open the floodgates, but after giving up the first goal to Dea, Ingram settled in and kept his team in the game, denying a shorthanded breakaway by Andrey Pedan and multiple odd-man rushes. Penguins ended the period with 12 shots to Syracuse’s 4.
Second Period: Pens double up on a shot by Daniel Sprong that went in off the skate of Garrett Wilson in slow motion…
And as Taylor mentioned, Sprong’s first professional assist and Gage Quinney’s first pro point in his Penguin debut.
Penguins score a third goal as a power play expired. Thomas DiPauli scored on this deflection of a shot by Blueger….
Wilkes-Barre found itself in a bit of penalty trouble with two penalties that put Syracuse on a 5-on-3. After a time out, Cory Conacher scored from the far dot to ruin Casey DeSmith’s shutout bid….
Penguins kill off the other minor or else things would have really gotten interesting, then Christian Thomas defects in a shot by Zach Trotman to make it 4-1 Penguins and the runaway was on…
Call initially announced as Trotman’s goal then reversed in second intermission.
Mike O’Brien set this next play up on radio. He was mentioning at the time that Daniel Sprong had yet to score in the game to extend his goal scoring streak. Sprong must have heard him because seconds later, he did this…
First even strength goal for Sprong. Neat little thing I picked up after was when Sprong went to the bench for congratulations, the entire team ignored him. He must score too much.
All that was left for was to have Gage Qunney score.
Nice pass from behind the net to the guy in front Blueger who either missed intentionally or knew Quinney was trailing. Either way, nice play.
Three Stars: 3) Christian Thomas (goal, even) 2) Daniel Sprong (goal, two assists, +3) and 1) Gage Quinney (goal, two assists, +3)
Around the Division: Springfield is still looking or their first win, losers 2-1 to the Toronto Marlies…the Hershey Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms needed extra time to decide a winner with the Phantoms taking home the two points in a shootout, 4-3 the score there.
Standings: Phantoms with 7, Charlotte and Hartford with 6, Providence and Wilkes-Barre with 4, Bridgeport with 2, Hershey with 1 and Springfield still has 0.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off, they are on their way home from Greenville, SC after winning both games against the Swamp Rabbits.
Power Rankings for Week 2 are due Monday at 4. Check me out then.
Let’s Go Pens!