Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Wheeling

Clark’s Army — Tim Army Named Assistant Coach

Announced Thursday was the rounding out of the hockey operations that will oversee the on ice product of the 2017-18 campaign the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins will embark on in about two months.

Tim Army was named assistant coach, Seamus McKelvey was named head athletic trainer and Mike Joyce was named the teams strength and conditioning coach.

I was desperately looking for a pun headline to tie these announcements in together. The Army pun is a layup, Mike Joyce was a drummer in The Smiths, and Seamus would have been the boy headed to the army in the pun related to the Smiths once I couldn’t find.

Meat is Murder was a rejected pun headline. What’s with me and puns anyway? That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.

Anyway, let’s get serious.

Joyce interned last year with the Penguins and impressed enough to land the job. He’s a Scranton native.

McKelvey had some time with the Penguins and last season worked as an assistant trainer with the Providence Bruins.

Army and head coach Clark Donatelli have a history together.

Obie went on to say that there will be audio of the call Army had with the local media available on the team website Friday so if you are looking for something to listen to give that a listen.

In case you are wondering, Army is the father of Derek, who did time in Wilkes-Barre a few seasons ago.

Out the door, a couple more things. Wheeling re-signed Garrett Meurs to a contract this week and ex-Penguin Clark Seymour is back from Austria where he spent last season, signing with the Florida Everblades.

Have a great weekend.

Depth Gage – Pens Sign Quinney 8/7

Some puns are layups. Consider this one an easy two points.

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins continued to fill out the back end of their lineup Monday when they announced the signing of Gage Quinney to a one year AHL contract.

Quinney played in Wheeling last season and of the players who appeared in at least 15 games, he had the best points per game ratio with .978. That nugget from Pens play-by-play voice Mike O’Brien this morning.

Color man Nick Hart chimed in later that Quinney impressed a bit at Pens camp last Fall and had a stellar season in Wheeling.

Nice to see the Penguins signing guys who put time in at Wheeling to AHL contracts. That’s how you build a strong minor league system, you reward guys who have put the time in.

The Nailers had a signing of their own today, goaltender Colin Stevens. Press release here and neat tweet with an infographic and highlights below…

Note that the Stevens signing is an ECHL signing, meaning that any AHL team, including the Penguins, can sign him to their team should the need arise.

Oh, while not officially announced, the Penguins may have an assistant coach in line to be hired this week. This from the always on the pulse of things Twitter feed of the great Mark Divver…

Stay tuned.

Wheeling Wrap 4/11

The Wheeling Nailers closed out the 2016-17 ECHL season this past weekend. Let’s take a look at how they fared.

On Wednesday, the Nailers traveled to Canada to take on the Brampton Beast and lost 5-2. The Nailers connected on power play goal in the third period by Riley Bourbonnais and Nick Sorkin scored on the other goal. Sean Maguire stopped 28 of 33. Beats goaltender Andrew D’Agostini turned away 35 of 37 Nailers shots to pick up the win.

In their home finale Friday, the Nailers crushed the Kalamazoo Wings 7-2. Riley Bourbonnais had a hat trick, Christian Hilbrich notched a goal and two assists along with Garrett Meurs. Daniel Leavens had a goal and three assists and Sean Maguire stopped 36 of 38 shots.

In the rematch Saturday in Kalamazoo, the Wings would exact some revenge on the Nailers and beat them 5-2. Joel Martin turned aside 45 of 47 Nailers shots sent his way. Kale Kerbashian and Tyler Currier scored for the Nailers in their final game.

The Nailers closed the books with a record of 34-30-8-0, good for 76 points, missing the playoffs by nine points.

It’s been fun recapping these Nailers games for you during the season Tuesday’s at noon. Maybe I bring the future back next season.

Wheeling Wrap 4/4

It’s the second to last edition of the Wheeling Wrap, where we take a look back at the week that was for the Wheeling Nailers.

The Nailers were officially eliminated from a playoff spot this past weekend and this week is their final week of the regular season. Let’s take a look back at the week that was for the Nailers…

Wheeling beat Brampton at home on Friday by a score of 4-3. Cody Widow had a goal and and assist, Daniel Leavens had two goals and Sean Maguire picked up the win, stopping 32 of 35 shots by the Beast. Wheeling went 1 for 5 on the power play. The Nailers used three first period goals to help them hold off a hard charging Beast team who are playoff bound.

Sunday, the Nailers were defeated by the Reading Royals at home 5-3 which sealed up a playoff spot for the Royals and shut the door on the Nailers playoff hopes. Wheeling scored three unanswered goals to take the lead in the second period but the Royals responded to tie the game back up heading into second intermission. In the third, Reading scored a second power play goal and the Nailers with Sean Maguire pulled for the extra attacker saw the Royals score an empty net goal. Nick Sorkin had two assists for the Nailers, Oliver Labelle had two goals and an assist for Reading and starting goaltender for the Royals Mark Dekanich stopped 32 of 35 shots.

The Nailers close out the season this week with a trip to Brampton, Ontario Wednesday before heading home to close out the season at Wesbanco Arena with a date with the Kalamazoo Wings before boarding a bus to Kalamazoo to close out the season Saturday in Michigan.

Wheeling’s record stands at 33-28-8-0, good for 74 points and fourth place in the North Division.

Wheeling Wrap 3/28

The season is dwindling down for our ECHL affiliate in Wheeling, West Virginia and the Nailers have a lot of work to do if they want to make a final push for a spot win the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Let’s take a look back at the week that was for the Nailers.

They hosted the Idaho Steelheads all week last week for a trio of games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Nailers won 4-1 over the Steelheads. Tyler Currier had a pair of goals and Sean Maguire won in net for Wheeling stopping 20 of 2 shots faced. Each team struck once on the power play, the Nailers had two tries and Idaho had three tries. Cody Wydo had a game high six shots to go with a goal and an assist.

On Friday, Idaho would punch back and take this one 3-2 over the Nailers. Maguire took the loss in net, stopping 25 of 28. Garrett Meurs and Kale Kerbashian scored for Wheeling, who could not score on eight power play tries.

In the rubber match Saturday, Idaho would take this one 4-1. Gage Quinney would score the only goal in the contest for Wheeling.  Doug Carr took the loss for the Nailers, stopping 24 of 27.

The Nailers are seven points back of the Manchester Monarchs for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. They have a 32-27-8-0 record good for fifth place.

This week, the Nailers host the Brampton Beast Friday and the Reading Royals Sunday. There are only five games left in Wheeling’s season.

Wheeling Wrap 3/21

Tuesday afternoon and that means another look back at the week that was for the ECHL affiliate of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, the Wheeling Nailers!

The season is winding down in the ECHL. Eight games remain for Wheeling, but let’s look back at the last four.

On Wednesday, the Nailers were in Elmira visiting the Jackals for a trip to New York and beat the Jackals 5-4. Gage Quinney had a hat trick, Christian Hilbrich and Brett Stern both had two assists each and Doug Carr picked up the win, stopping 29 of 33 shots. The Nailers went 1-for-5 on the power play.

On Friday, the Nailers visited the Adirondack Thunder for the first of two games with the Thunder on the weekend. The Nailers picked up a big 5-2 win. Cody Wydo picked up a pair of goals and Sean Maguire stopped 32 of 34 shots to pick up the win.

Saturday in the rematch, the Nailers were defeated 5-4 in overtime by the Thunder. Wheeling went up 3-0 on the Thunder before seeing the Thunder storm back for four straight goals, Christian Hilbrich’s goal with :20 left forced overtime. Alex Wall scored with :16 left to give the Thunder the extra point. Wheeling’s newest acquisition Kale Kerbashian picked up three assists. Wheeling struck twice on the power play. Sean Maguire took the overtime loss.

On Sunday, the Nailers bussed back to where their New York trip began in Elmira, and were defeated by the Jackals 6-5 in a wild, back and forth affair. The aforementioned Kale Kerbashian had two goals, Alex Carrier dished out two assists but the Nailers were unable to get the overtime game winner they would have loved on this road trip. Doug Carr took the loss in net for the Nailers and Wheeling went 1-for-5 on the power play.

The Nailers sit in fourth place in the North Division with a 31-25-8-0 record good for 70 points, five points behind the Manchester Monarchs for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division.

This week, the Nailers play host to the Idaho Steeheads, who come in for three games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Wesbanco Arena.

Wheeling Wrap 3/14

Tuesday’s at noon here at Chirps from Center Ice mean we take a look back at the week that was for the Wheeling Nailers, the Penguins ECHL affiliate.

The Nailers played three games this week and went 1-2. On Friday, they were shutout and lost 3-0 to the Quad City Mallards. Sean Maguire took the loss for the Nailers, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Wheeling went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

On Saturday, the Nailers and Mallards met again in a rematch. The Nailers won that one 6-4. The story in this game was the play of Johnny Daniels, who scored three goals in :57 for the Nailers for a natural hat trick. Cody Wydo scored one and Tyler Carrier scored two. Doug Carr picked up the win stopping 22 shots. The Nailers scored one on the power play and were 2/2 on the penalty kill.

Sunday, the Nailers hosted the league best Toledo Walleye and lost 6-3. The Nailers were in the game until the third period when Toledo pulled away and scored three in a row to pick up another win. Gage Quinney and Nick Sorkin each had a goal and an assist among them.

The Nailers remain in fourth place in the North Division with a 29-25-6-0 record and really need to start making a push here if they want to make the playoffs.

Wheeling can make up ground in that quest heading to last place Elmira this Wednesday, then travel to Glens Falls to take on the Adirondack Thunder for a pair Friday and Saturday. The Thunder are in third place and ahead of the Nailers by eight points. Wheeling caps off the weekend with a Sunday visit back to Elmira.

So it is a huge week ahead for the Nailers for their playoff chances. Can they do it?