Chirps from Center Ice

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


Two shorthanded goals by Kevin Porter 1:19 apart and an assist on a Dominik Simon third period goal are enough for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins to get by the Syracuse Crunch 3-1 with a new look lineup. 

More on the blog in a bit. 

GAMEDAY: vs. Syracuse 10/22

vs.     syr14_200

Home Game: 3

AHL Game: 56

Who: Syracuse Crunch

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night at home against Springfield, the Pens lost 1-0. Reto Berra made 23 saves and the Thunderbirds blocked a boatload of shots. For Syracuse, they hosted Utica and lost 5-4. The Comets cashed on the two power plays awarded. Gabriel Dumont was named first star of the game with two goals and an assist.

Record: For WBS: 1-1-0-0 (2 pts., 3rd place Atlantic Division) — For SYR: 2-1-0-0 (4 pts., 3rd place North Division)

Why you should care: Crunch were in a track meet last night with the Comets and lost. Penguins were in a defensive battle last night with the Thunderbirds last night and lost. Does fast and loose prevail or is the team that is better on defense win tonight?

Referee(s): Pierre Lambert / Keith Kaval

Linesmen: Ryan Knapp / Jason Mandroc

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @SyracuseCrunch

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /syracusecrunch

Instagram: wbspenguins / officialsyracusecrunch

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso / @TLTomVenesky // @syrhockey

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For SYR: Dan D’Uva @Dan_DUva

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @CrunchSyracuse

Radio: For WBS: WILK NewsRadio / For Syracuse: ESPN Radio Central New York

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): None

Other Game to Watch: Defending Calder Cup champion Cleveland head to Grand Rapids to take on the Griffins. Both teams are off to good starts.

Next Five Games: @ HER 10/23, ALB 10/26, @ SPR 10/29, SYR 10/30, BNG 11/4

Berra Luck Next Time — Pens LOSE 1-0

button_hfd200          vs.          WBS

1                                              0

I’m not a journalist, but games like these must be fun for those guys whose names you see in the paper after every Penguins game. Tom and Seth must love games like these.

Goaltender battle where there isn’t anything out of the ordinary extracurricular wise that steals away from the main game story. Player A scores the only goal for Team A and Team B can’t do anything to get a puck past Team A. Quotes on how guys fought hard and will take a positive out of giving up just one goal in a loss fills out whatever space the copy editor back at the sports desk allows for that night.

A 1-0 Springfield Thunderbirds win tonight. A seemingly harmless Ryan Horvat shot in the first period that Tristan Jarry can make a save on in his sleep gets by. Reto Berra stops all 23 shots sent his way and the Thunderbirds steal one in Wilkes-Barre.

One thing I noticed in stark contrast to the Hartford game last Saturday was Springfield’s speed. The Wolf Pack seemed stuck in mud all game and the Penguins ran circles around them. Not tonight. It was Springfield that took it to the Penguins early.

Reto Berra opposed Tristan Jarry.

Lines were…

Jake Guentzel – Carter Rowney – Tom Kostopoulos
Dominik Simon – Kevin Porter – J-S Dea
Garrett Wilson – Oskar Sundqvist – Josh Archibald
Reid Gardiner – Sahir Gill – Ryan Haggerty

Reid McNeill – Chad Ruhwedel
Stuart Percy – Steve Oleksy
Cameron Gaunce – Tim Erixon

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

David Warsofsky was recalled by Pittsburgh earlier in the day. Derrick Pouliot was placed on injured reserve. The Penguins swapped out Patrick McGrath up front for Reid Gardiner, making his pro debut, and Warsofsky for Reid McNeill.

First Period: Thunderbirds jump all over the Penguins from the start, outshooting them 8-2. Then Ryan Horvat scores on his lucky shot that Jarry doesn’t get the pad down on and lets in for a 1-0 Thunderbirds lead.

Penguins get a penalty kill, it was perfect this evening, and get some jump from the success of the kill but aren’t able to manufacture a goal.

Second Period: Berra’s best save of the night came in full splits with the glove from a Stuart Percy blast from the blue line ticketed for the back of the net. Later, Cameron Gaunce was roughed giving the Penguins a power play. I thought at the time that it had the feel of a turning point, but Springfield blocked a ton of shots in the game.

Tristan Jarry made tremendous saves giving his team the opportunity to tie the game. I said in the Rapid Recap that I felt he was the better of the two goaltenders this evening despite the loss.

Third Period: The biggest thing to happen in this period was Josh Archibald leaving the ice after taking a puck to the mouth. The update after the game was that he was cut, and should be fine, as told to the WBS media.

Berra made one save at the buzzer with Jarry vacated for the extra man off of a deflection which would hav =e counted, but the Penguins never found the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Tristan Jarry (22 saves on 23 shots) 2) Ryan Horvat (goal, +1) and 1) Reto Berra (23 save shutout)

Around the Division: Bridgeport beats Lehigh Valley 5-2. Sound Tigers struck three times in the second and twice in the third….St. John’s, after starting the season 0-3, spent all week in Providence this week and beat the Bruins 4-1. Hartford and Hershey were off.

Standings: Early days, but Springfield and Bridgeport with 4 points each, Wilkes-Barre, Hartford, Lehigh Valley and Providence with 2 and Hershey with 0.

Wheeling Update: Nailers were off. They are in Cincinnati Saturday.

If the Pens run a video highlight package tonight, I’ll edit it in here. There were no fights, so I don’t know what, other than the Horvat fluke goal and maybe a few saves from Berra and Jarry, they can come up with. It would make a blogger happy though.

Gameday setup for Saturday’s game against Syracuse hits the blog Saturday at 3.


A seemingly harmless turnaround shot by Ryan Horvat in the first period of this game somehow eludes Tristan Jarry to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead, and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins can’t get any quality shots at Springfield goaltender Reto Berra and lose 1-0. 

Shots were 23-23. Springfield must have blocked double that. Berra was good when he needed to be, but Jarry was better. I know that doesn’t make sense because he took the loss but he kept his team in the game, they just could not do anything for him in the offensive category.

Full work up in a bit. 

GAMEDAY: vs. Springfield 10/21

vs.     spr16_200

Home Game: 2

AHL Game: 42

Who: Springfield Thunderbirds

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Saturday in the home opener, the Penguins beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 6-2. Josh Archibald scored the first goal of the season for the Penguins, Jake Guentzel had four points. For Springfield, they were in Bridgeport last Sunday and won 2-1. Reto Berra stopped 17 of 18 shots and was named first star of the game. The Thunderbirds missed on two penalty shots, :37 apart.

Record: For WBS: 1-0-0-0 (2 pts., 1st place Atlantic Division) — For SPR: 1-1-0-0 (2 pts., 3rd place Atlantic Division)

Why you should care: The Penguins rolled the Hartford Wolf Pack last Saturday. They will be looking to do the same against a Springfield Thunderbirds team that is still looking to find it sea legs. You can’t underestimate Springfield, but the Penguins should be ready for the challenge.

Referee(s): Cameron Voss / Furman South

Linesmen: Tom DellaFranco / Jud Ritter

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay // @thunderbirdsahl

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /thunderbirdsahl

Instagram: wbspenguins / thunderbirdsahl

Beat Writers: @CVSethLakso and @TLTomVenesky

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For SPR: Ryan Smith @RyanSmithHockey

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For Springfield: WHYN News Talk 560

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): November Magnetic Schedule (First 5,000), Postgame Autographs

Other Game to Watch: I like Binghamton / Albany. The Devils obliterated their competition last weekend and the B-Sens shut out the Hershey Bears last Saturday. Could be an interesting matchup.

Next Five Games: SYR 10/22, @ HER 10/23, ALB 10/26, @ SPR 10/29, SYR 10/30

Wheeling Wrap 10/18

I am debuting a new feature on the blog on Tuesday called, “Wheeling Wrap” where I take a look at the week that was surrounding the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

The Nailers were in action just once this past weekend and raised their Eastern Conference Championship banner Saturday night at home against the Brampton Beast. They also kicked off their 25th season.

The Beast would win 3-2 in overtime.

David Vallorani would open the scoring for the visitors at 4:26 of the first period. The Nailers would answer back in the second period when Josh Shalla would score the first goal of the season for the Nailers at 9:13 of the second period.

Wheeling would edge ahead of the Beast in the third period with a goal by Darryl Lloyd.

Luke Pither would answer at just about half way for the Beast at 9:59 for the Beast that made it a 2-2 game. Pither would later win the game for his team in overtime, beating Nailers starting goaltender Doug Carr at 3:27 of overtime. Carr would stop 30 of 33 shots in the overtime loss.

Neither team capitalized on the power play.

The Nailers are 0-0-1-0 very early on in the North Division, a division that consists of six teams. Adirondack, Reading, Brampton, Manchester and Elmira all are in the same division with the Nailers this season.

Wheeling plays host to the Reading Royals this Thursday before traveling to Cincinnati to take on the Cyclones Saturday night.

AHL Power Rankings: Week 1

It’s the first weekend of AHL hockey for the 2016-17 season and the Week 1 AHL Power Rankings are due.

If you are new to this, it’s one guys attempt at ranking all the AHL teams, 1-30. It runs all season on Monday at 4 p.m. most times, right here on the blog.

In this weeks version, the defending champs sit at the top of the mountain after raising a banner and beating a division rival.

The Eastern Conference runner ups and their closest competition are 2 and 3 this week.

Every team played a game this week except for the Bakersfield Condors, who are ranked, you just have to find them.

I won’t keep you. The Rankings begin after the jump if you didn’t link in direct.

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