Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: WBS

Never Question Quinney — Pens WIN 6-1


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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.

Lines were…

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.

Video highlights….

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!


Offensive explosion this afternoon by the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins who unload six goals on the Syracuse Crunch and win 6-1.

Gage Quinney was the first star of the game, with a goal and two assists in his first game of the season for the Penguins.

Casey DeSmith picked up the win.

More in a bit.

GAMEDAY: vs. Syracuse 10/15


Who: Syracuse Crunch

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 3:05 p.m.

Last Game: Last night in Allentown, the Pens got behind the Phantoms 3-0 and never were able to rally for the win coming up just short losing 3-2. Garrett Wilson and Daniel Sprong scored for Wilkes-Barre in the loss. For Syracuse, they hosted the Utica Comets and also lost by a score of 3-2. Erik Cernak and Cory Conacher scored for the Crunch in the loss.

Record: For WBS: 1-2-0-0 // For SYR: 1-2-0-1

Referee(s): Peter Tarnaris / Chris Waterstradt

Linesmen: Ryan Knapp / J.P. Waleski

Why You Should Care: Early days, but a feeling that both teams need this win this afternoon. No one wants to start their work week starting at a 1-3 record.

Promotion(s): Halloween, Kids 14 and Under Free (with paid adult ticket), & Postgame Kids Skate

Other Game to Watch: Lehigh Valley travels to Hershey at 5 p.m.

Next Five Games: LAV 10/20, HFD 10/21, HER 10/27, @ BRI 10/28, @ LV 11/3

Lyon and Payback — Pens LOSE 3-2


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Yes, hockey is a funny game.

Last night, Alex Lyon couldn’t stop a nose bleed and didn’t even finish the game, a 5-0 Penguins win Friday, then comes back Saturday night at home and shuts down the Penguins for most of the game, including a 5:00 stretch of major penalty in the second period and the Penguins lose this one tonight by a score of 3-2.

12 power plays awarded tonight by the whistle of referee Reid Anderson. As I have gotten older I have steered away from the “referees cost the Penguins games” mantra. I mean, if it’s egregious and a referee is ruining the game because he is having a bad night I will call it out, but in this instance, Anderson awarded six power plays a side and the Penguins allowed a power play goal and scored a power play goal and were not able to score on a 5:00 major penalty in the second period. So it is as even as even can get from a perspective of the man in the orange arm band is concerned tonight.

Fact of the matter is, special teams battles are becoming the Achilles heel of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and we are only three games in.

Tristan Jerry opposed Alex Lyon.

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Thomas Di Pauli

Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Zach Trotman – Kevin Czuczman
Dylan Zink – Frank Corrado

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: There were not any, save for Jarry in goal for DeSmith.

First Period: Penguins had 1:15 of 5-on-3 time that they could not score on. Pens had plenty of chances, but with those chances came open lanes that the Phantoms allowed Lyon to get a look at the puck and make the save.

Phantoms come back and score a goal on the power play. Matt Read knocked this one in to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead…

The Pens had allowed just one goal in 357:08 prior to that goal by Read. Putting that in perspective, 360 minutes is six games.

Second Period: Penguins fall behind 2-0 when Andrey Pedan loses his edge and falls down in the neutral zone giving a 3-on-1 odd mad rush to the Phantoms the other way when Mike Vecchione scores.

T.J. Brennan got thrown out of the game for this cross check on Jarrett Burton….

That drew the ire of Tom Sestito who was nearby and let Brennan know about it….

But the Penguins were unable to score on the 5:00 major penalty. The Penguins had the puck in the zone for a good three minutes. Daniel Sprong hit a post.

Third Period: Phantoms score again on a failed clear by the Penguins. Greg Carey put home a rebound…

Penguins got one back off the stick of Daniel Sprong that made it 3-1…

That gave Sprong three goals in three games. Here is another look…

Some of the comments on the GIF posted by Coal Street were that Sprong’s shot is unfair to the other team. It’s really hard to disagree.

Andrey Pedan, who had an awful game, was called for hooking Danick Martel while Martel was on a breakaway. Reid Anderson awarded a penalty shot to Martel that Jarry made the save on….

Before you start with the, “Jarry sucks, play DeSmith” argument, Nick Hart offers this….

Garrett Wilson scored to pull the Pens to within one with this goal parked in front of Lyon’s crease…

Another look…

The Penguins, with Jarry pulled for an extra attacker, were never able to find the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Alex Lyon (27 saves on 29 shots) 2) matt Read (goal, +1) and 1) Mike Vecchione (goal, +1)

Around the Division: Charlotte exacts some revenge with Bridgeport after the Sound Tigers beat the Checkers Friday with a 3-2 win…Belleville gets their first win of the season beating Hershey in the Bears home opener by a 5-2 score…Utica beats Syracuse 3-2…Toronto beats Providence by the same score and Hartford beats Springfield 4-3.

Standings: Charlotte and Hartford with 6 each, Providence with 4 on percentage over Lehigh Valley with 5, then Penguins and Sound Tigers with two and then Springfield and Hershey with 0.

Wheeling Update: Hunter Fejes had four goals, but it was Garrett Meurs with the overtime game winner as the Nailers win a barn burner with the Swamp Rabbits down in Greenville. SC by a score of 7-6.

Don’t know if Coal Street will post highlight so this one. If I see the Phantoms put one up I will edit it in.

Pens finish up the weekend with a home game against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Syracuse Crunch at 3:05 p.m. Gameday setup will hit the blog Sunday at 11.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Lehigh Valley 10/14


Who: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Where: PPL Center

When: 7:05 p.m.

Last Game / Last Meeting: Last night in Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins won 5-0. Casey DeSmith picked up a 33 save shutout, his first of the season and second career against the Phantoms.

Record: For WBS: 1-1-0-0 // For LV: 1-1-0-1

Referee(s): Reid Anderson

Linesmen: Luke Murray / Jason Mandroc

Why You Should Care: Phantoms looking to exact a bit of revenge tonight while the Penguins are looking to continue the weekend with another win against their in-state rivals. Tristan Jarry is scheduled to start in goal for the Pens, who should not be making any lineup changes.

Other Game to Watch: Utica visits Syracuse in a good, clean, old fashioned rivalry game between two Central New York teams.

Next Five Games: SYR 10/15, LAV 10/20, HFD 10/21, HER 10/27, @ BRI 10/28

DeSmith DeShutout Gets DeWin — Pens WIN 5-0


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It’s a good thing knowing that you have an insurance policy in a goaltender that is good, strong and confident.

It’s better when you take about half the shots as the other team and still win by multiple goals.

It also helps when your penalty killing unit goes 7-for-7, like the Penguins did tonight.

A 33 save shutout by Casey DeSmith, Penguins get goals from Tom Sestito, Daniel Sprong, Frank Corrado, J-S Dea and Dominik Simon and steamroll the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight by a 5-0 score.

Casey DeSmith opposed Alex Lyon.

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Thomas Di Pauli

Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Zach Trotman – Kevin Czuczman
Dylan Zink – Frank Corrado

Casey DeSmith – Tristan Jarry

Lineup Notes: Freddie Tifferls skated as the extra body in warmups. Dylan Zink slotted in for the recalled to Pittsburgh Chris Summers.

First Period: Sleepy start for the Penguins, who were being outshot by the Phantoms 5-0 through the first media break. Out of that, Thomas DiPauli beat out a Phantoms defender, I think it was Philippe Morin, may have been Sam Morin, and wheeled around the net of Lyon and passed to a wide open on the opposite side Tom Sestito who topped the goal home to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

Daniel Sprong connected on the power play a little over three and a half minutes later to make it 2-0.

Nice setup by Dylan Zink that set the whole thing up.

Penguins had this stretch tonight where they would go on the power play then give away a silly penalty to Lehigh Valley and skate anywhere from :20 to :40 at four on four. They didn’t allow the Phantoms to score, but it was annoying to see the Penguins earn a penalty and hand it away while on the man advantage.

Second Period: Frank Corrado threw a shot from the point that found its way past Lyon for a 3-0 lead. The puck ate up Lyon from my vantage point. Bad goal to give up in my opinion. You be the judge….

Penguins went to the penalty kill and the Phantoms hemmed them in the whole time but Wilkes-Barre was able to get out of it unscathed. Casey DeSmith had some fine saves.

Later, Tom Kostopoulous had a nice backhand pass to J-S Dea that connected for a 4-0 Penguins lead that chased Alex Lyon…

Shots through two periods were 25-15 Phantoms heading into the…

Third Period: How dialed in was Casey DeSmith tonight?

Chris Conner (remember him?) took a high sticking call that drew blood that put the Penguins on a 4:00 power play. Dominik Simon connected on this shot by Zach Trotman that made it 5-0 past Dustin Tokarski who entered in relief of Alex Lyon after the Dea goal in the second. The Phantoms acquired Tokarski from the San Diego Gulls on Monday.

Video highlights…

Three Stars: 3) Dominik Simon (goal, assist. +1) 2) Tom Sestito (game winning goal, +1) and 1) Casey DeSmith (33 save shutout)

This is the second shutout of Casey DeSmith’s AHL career, the other one coming against this same Lehigh Valley team. In four games against the Phantoms, he has just allowed two goals.

Around the Devision: Hartford with an impressive 5-2 victory over Toronto at home tonight…Bridgeport beats Charlotte 5-3 in North Carolina…Providence stays hot beating Springfield 3-2. Hershey was off.

Standings: Still early days. Providence, Charlotte and Hartford with four points. Lehigh Valley with three, Wilkes-Barre and Bridgeport with two and Springfield and Hershey with zero.

Wheeling Update: The Nailers kicked off their season on the road in Greenville, South Carolina and won 5-4. Reid Gardiner had the game winning goal. He also had an assist. Garrett Meurs had two goals. Sean Maguire picked up the win, stopping 43 of 47 shots.

Coal Street should have video highlights. If I see them I will work in an edit.

These two teams rematch tomorrow in Allentown. Gameday setup hits the blog Saturday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!


33 save shutout by Casey DeSmith and two power play goals by the Penguins special teams coupled with being perfect on the penalty kill propel the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to their first win of the season, 5-0 over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Goals by Tom Sestito, Daniel Sprong, Frank Corrado, J-S Dea and Dominik Simon.

Full piece in a bit.