PENGUINS WEEKLY RELEASE 7:
PENGUINS’ NEW ENGLAND SWING PROVES UNKIND
WBS suffer first road loss, but looks to rebound with two of three at home
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Penguins 2, PIRATES 3 (SO)…
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins incurred its first blemish on their 2011-12 road record with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
With the score 2-1 and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skating 5-on-4 in the third, Ben Street knotted the match with a wrist shot from the near circle that found its way over the shoulder of Curtis McElhinney.
In the shootout, Ryan Duncan and Colin McDonald traded goals in round one before Brett MacLean notched the go-ahead marker in the fifth frame. McElhinney would deny Jason Williams’ ensuing bid to give the Pirates the win.
The Pirates were able to take a 1-0 edge with 4:29 left when Maxim Goncharov completed a 2-on-1 with Jordan Szwarz.
The Penguins tied the score at 9:11 of the second as the Pirates’ clearing attempt bounced off Brian Gibbons’ shin pad and into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Portland took back its lead six minutes later on Michael Stone’s power play tally.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19: Penguins 3, MONARCHS 4 (SO)…
For the second night in a row, the Penguins went to the shootout and for the second straight game they ended up on the wrong side of the decision as they were defeated by the Manchester Monarchs, 4-3, at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
With the game knotted in a 2-2 tie in the final period of regulation, Manchester took the lead at 9:02 when Jordan Nolan poked a loose puck home. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton needed a little more than a minute to bring things even as Robert Bortuzzo’s shot beat Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for his first goal of the year.
In the shootout Dave Meckler, Marc-Andre Cliche and Nolan each converted for Manchester, while Zatkoff stopped 4-of-5 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shooters.
The Penguins enjoyed a 5-on-3 power play and took a 1-0 lead with 4.5 seconds left in the first when Niko Dimitrakos’ point shot zipped under Zatkoff.
After killing off a two-man advantage for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the beginning of the second stanza, Manchester got even at 3:36 when Linden Vey knocked a rebound chance past Thiessen.
Andrew Campbell gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game 4:08 before the second intermission, but the Penguins would tie it, 2-2, a minute later when Ben Street gathered a turnover and whipped a shot inside the near post.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20: Penguins 1, SHARKS 3…
The Penguins suffered their first regulation loss on the road this season with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center. The loss was the Penguins’ third in row as they went winless during their three-game New England road trip with a record of 0-1-0-2.
Benn Ferriero and the Sharks needed only 7:10 of the first period to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Worcester right-winger got things started at 4:16 and, three minutes later, Ferriero struck on the man-advantage.. Thiessen would exit after the tally as Scott Munroe came into the game to replace the starting netminder.
Worcester made it 3-0 in their favor at 6:32 of the second with Brandon Mashinter’s rebound goal. Eric Tangradi knocked a power play goal past Tyson Sexsmith with 28.4 seconds left in regulation.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Munroe turned aside 20-of-21 shots in 51:59 of relief work. Sexsmith made 33 saves for Worcester.
END OF THE ROAD….
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton saw its 8-0-0-0 road record take a hit with a shootout loss to the Portland Pirates on Friday. Dating back to last season, the Penguins had won 12 straight on the road, three short of the AHL record set by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the 2004-05 & 2005-06 seasons. The Penguins suffered their first regulation loss on the road on Sunday versus Worcester.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE…
Despite a rough weekend through New England, the Penguins still have the third-best defense in the AHL, allowing only 2.44 goals per game and rank first in shots allowed at 25.8/game. They are also tied for second in the league for both goals allowed in the first period (11) and in the second (11).
Penguins’ blueliner Simon Despres remains tied for the league lead with three game-winning goals. He also ranks first among rookies and defenseman in that category.
PENGUINS RECENT TRANSACTIONS…
11/16/2011 Steve MacIntyre LW DEL Recalled from loan by Pittsburgh
11/16/2011 Eric Tangradi LW ADD Returned on loan from Pittsburgh
WEDNESDAY, November 23, 7:05 PM: PENGUINS vs. Crunch
The Crunch make their first trip of the season to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, having lost three of their last four games. Syracuse sits in fourth place in the East Division, just two points behind the Hershey Bears.
The Crunch road power play unit has a 27.6% success rate (8-for-29) good for third in the AHL, but the penalty kill ranks 27th on the road at 73.0% (27-for-37). Dan Sexton has a four-game road assist streak (6a) dating back to October 26 at Lake Erie.
The Penguins and Crunch will next face off on December 3 in Syracuse. Wilkes-Barre leads all-time series at 48-43-5-2-3.
FRIDAY, November 25, 7:05PM: PENGUINS vs. Bears…
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face off against third-place Hershey (7-4-3-2) for the fifth time this season, having won three straight against the Bears. Hershey is winless in its last four games (0-1-1-2).
Hershey boasts two scorers in the top six in league scoring in Keith Aucoin (4g-17a-21pts) and Chris Bourque (9g-11a-20pts) and a third-ranked offense that is notching 3.38 goals a game. The Bears’ power play leads the AHL with 30.1% conversion rate (22-for-73).
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey will have seven more meetings remaining in the season series after Friday’s game. The Penguins lead the Bears all-time with a record of 62-53-4-6-3.
SATURDAY, November 26, 7:05PM: Penguins at SENATORS…
The Penguins head to Binghamton for the second time this month for their fourth meeting of the season series. The Senators put an end to their eight-game winless streak with a 4-2 win at Hamilton on Friday. The victory brought Binghamton’s record to 6-10-1-1 as the team remained in fifth place in the East Division.
The Senators have scored first just six times this season, fewest in the American Hockey League. Binghamton is 3-3-0-0 in those contests. They have been outscored 9-27 in the second period and have led going into the third only once this year.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 2-0-1-0 against Binghamton this season and leads the all-time series 39-27-4-3-2.
Tickets for these and all upcoming Penguins home games are available at the PennStar Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena, through any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets can be purchased via phone by calling 1-800-745-3000. Additionally, full and partial season ticket plans for the 2011-12 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Hockey are on sale, and available by calling 570-208-PENS (7367).
All 80 regular-season Penguins games can be heard live on the home for Penguins hockey, 102.3 The Mountain, and on-line at www.wbspenguins.com. Games may also be viewed on-line at www.ahllive.com. AHL Live, powered by NeuLion, is the official video provider of the American Hockey League.
THANKS 4 GIVING…
The Penguins are teaming up with our friends Rocky, Sue and Lissa over at 98.5 KRZ to help make Thanksgiving a little better for those in need.
Your favorite morning radio team is putting together a team of volunteers to help do all the prep work at the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen for that week’s Thanksgiving dinner.
You can help out and have some fun by joining the effort. Bring your kids or your co-workers on Tuesday, November 22 and help us slice & dice hundreds of pounds of potatoes, carrots & onions. The kitchen is also accepting cash & food donations.
The Penguins are chipping in too with a great ticket deal. Purchase a ticket to our home game on Friday, November 25 against the Hershey Bears, and we’ll throw in a Penguins hat and food voucher for a hot dog, soda and popcorn. Plus $4 for each ticket sold will go back to help out the soup kitchen.
Tickets for the Thanks 4 Giving deal are $23 (Red Zone), $21 (Gold Zone) and $18 (Blue Zone). Call the Penguins at 208-7367 to order yours today (make sure you mention the THANKS 4 GIVING deal).
If you would like to volunteer to help out at the kitchen, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include your name and the number of volunteers in your group.
PENGUINS COAT DRIVE…
The Penguins will be holding their second annual coat drive in conjunction with Eye Care Specialists of Kingston.
The team is asking fans to bring new or gently used coat donations to home games on Friday, November 25 versus the Hershey Bears and Friday, December 2 against the Portland Pirates. Coats will be collected at the East Gate Entrance of the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Penguins will also be accepting donations at their front office location at 40 Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre.
PENS & PINS…
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be holding their 2nd annual “Pens & Pins” Charity Bowling Tournament on Sunday, December 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Chacko’s Family Bowling Center, Wilkes-Barre. All proceeds will go to support Allied Services, an organization providing health care and support services throughout the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins players and coaches will be chosen randomly to captain five-person teams of fans in a two-game format. The registration fee is $50 per person or $200 for a team of five and includes two games of bowling, free shoe rental, pizza and soda and a commemorative 2011 “Pens & Pins” T-shirt. Fans can register by calling the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS.