PENS PRACTICE REPORT: PEDAN PROGRESS


Andrey Pedan had appeared in 211 American Hockey League games prior to Saturday afternoon’s contest against the Laval Rocket.  And in that time, the Russian defenseman had a grand total of one multi-goal game in his minor league career, that coming on April 6, 2014 as a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

So you could excuse the 6’5” blue line for being just a little bit happy when he popped in three goals to lead the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins past the Rocket this past weekend.

“I was excited.  There  were not many hats out there, playing on the road,” laughed Pedan.  “[Garrett Wilson] did a really good job in front [of the goal], so it was easy.  I just had to hit the net.”

Pedan’s first goal was a shot from the slot that hit goaltender Michael McNiven, then fluttered over the goal line.  But tallies two and three were deftly placed shots from the point, both coming on the power play.

The sixth-year pro was happy to hit the back of the net, even if it wasn’t the first thing on his mind.

“I don’t really worry about points, just taking care of the D-zone,” he said.  “We have a great group of forwards who can score.”

Perhaps the only person happier than Pedan this past weekend was head coach Clark Donatelli, who has seen the early season acquisition (he was traded to the Penguins for defenseman Derrick Pouliot) bloom on the Penguins backline.

“We’ve been working with him here now since the trade and trying to get him up to speed on our systems and his details and his habits, how he plays,” Donatelli said.  “I think you can see a big difference from when we got him to now.

“Less is more with him.  It’s hard to do less when you’re competing like that.  But I think he’s buying in.  He did a lot less and got three goals, and got a lot accomplished on the defensive side of the puck as well.  So he’s come a long way since we got him, and we’re really happy with his success.


Pedan wasn’t the only Penguin celebrating a hat trick last weekend.  Ryan Haggerty started off the team’s trek through Canada with a three-goal game in a 6-2 victory against the Belleville Senators on Friday night.  What made it even more special is that his father, Roger, was on hand as part of the team’s fathers’ trip to witness it firsthand.

“It was something special to have all of the dads here,” said the younger Haggerty, who now has 16 goals in just 26 games this season.  “And it’s pretty cool to play that well as a team and to go out and win a game like that.  It’s more special to have all of the dads with us.”

Haggerty has already eclipsed his previous single-season high of 15 goals in a season, set in 2014-15 with the Hartford Wolf Pack.  It took him 73 games that year to reach the mark.

“Hagg’s has been playing great all year,” Donatelli said.  “He’s got an NHL shot and release.  He’s just played fantastic from the time he stepped on the ice his first game this year.  He’s been very consistent in his play, and I think that’s a big difference from last year.”


The Penguins have been known as one of the top defenseive teams in the AHL in recent years, with their goaltenders taking home the Harry ‘Hap’ Holmes Award, presented to the netminders on the team with the lowest goals against average, in five of the past seven seasons.

So it may be a bit of a surprise to learn that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton currently ranks second in the league in goals scored per game at 3.67 (132 goals in 36 games).

What’s even more impressive is that the team has done plenty of damage while two of its top scorers – Dominik Simon and Daniel Sprong – have been on recall with Pittsburgh.

Simon was originally summoned by Pittsburgh on December 8, but returned to the team on December 30.  He netted the overtime winner in that contest before returning to the NHL club.

Sprong got his promotion on that same day, after netting 18 goals in 29 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Despite not having the duo in the lineup since the end of the calendar year, the Penguins have posted five straight wins (seven overall dating back to December 29), and have outscored the opposition 23-9 in 2018.

“Spronger leaves, and it’s just another opportunity for someone else to come in and grab that ice time,” said Donatelli.  “We have a lot of guys here that are going to take advantage of that.  You’re seeing it with him and Simon being up there, where guys are getting more ice time.  They jump right in there and take advantage of that.”


Wednesday night’s game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms starts a stretch of games that will see the Penguins face off with Atlantic Division foes in 10 of 11 contests.  And although the Pens currently hold down the top slot in the standings, Donatelli knows the upcoming schedule will be a challenging one to navigate.

“My experience in this division, even when you’re winning you don’t break away [from the pack],” he said.  “If you’re not on your ‘A’ game, you’re going to get beat in this league, and especially in our division.  We’re just going to approach it one game at a time.  It’s a tough stretch for us, but our guys are ready.”


The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 17 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PENGUINS WEEKLY – 1/16/18

AHL’s first Fathers’ Trip ends with Penguins winning seven-straight

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (23-10-2-1) tries to extend its season-best win streak against division rivals

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Jan. 12 – PENGUINS 6 at Belleville 2
Ryan Haggerty kicked off the Penguins’ Fathers’ Trip with a bang, scoring his first pro hat trick and setting a new career high with 16 goals this season with his dad, Roger, in attendance. The Penguins also saw Christian Thomas find the back of the net for the fourth-straight game, and Jean-Sébastien Dea added an empty netter to seal the Pens’ sixth win in a row.

Saturday, Jan. 13 – PENGUINS 4 at Laval 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was powered to its seventh win in a row once again on the back of a hat trick. This time, it was D-man Andrey Pedan tallying three times for his first career hatty. The Penguins surrendered early period goals twice to the Rocket, but responded in less than three minutes both times. The Penguins also got their special teams going with two power play goals from Pedan, including the game-winner.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Jan. 17 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season-best seven-game win streak began after back-to-back losses to Lehigh Valley on Dec. 23 and 27. The Penguins look to avenge those defeats to keep their current streak alive. The Phantoms lead the season series with a 4-2-0-1 record against the Penguins in seven meetings.

Friday, Jan. 19 – PENGUINS at Providence
The Penguins visit the Bruins for the first time this season. In these two clubs’ only match-up this season, Providence came to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Nov. 11 and were met with a 4-3 overtime loss on a Ryan Haggerty snipe.

Sunday, Jan. 21- PENGUINS at Hartford
In three games between the Penguins and Wolf Pack this season, the home team has won every time. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hopes to end that streak at XL Center in a 5:00 p.m. showdown.

 

Ice Chips

– Christian Thomas was named to Canada’s men’s hockey roster for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on Thursday.

– Ryan Haggerty and Andrey Pedan’s hat tricks marked the first back-to-back hat tricks in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history.

– Pedan became only the second defenseman in Penguins history to record a hat trick (Alex Picard: Mar. 17, 2012).

– After posting a hat trick and five points (3G-2A) along with a plus-5 rating in last weekend’s games, Pedan was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday.

– Since signing his second PTO with the Penguins this season, goalie Anthony Peters has won five straight starts with a 1.79 goals against average and .929 save percentage in that time.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 36 23 10 2 1 49 .681
2. Lehigh Valley 40 23 12 2 3 51 .638
3. Providence 38 22 12 3 1 48 .632
4. Bridgeport 37 18 13 4 2 42 .568
5. Charlotte 38 21 16 0 1 43 .566
6. Hershey 40 17 17 3 3 40 .500
7. Springfield 40 17 21 1 1 36 .450
8. Hartford 40 15 19 3 3 36 .450

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong*^ 29 18 10 28
Ryan Haggerty 26 16 11 27
Jean-Sébastien Dea 36 9 14 23
Teddy Blueger 36 11 11 22
Zach Aston-Reese 34 5 16 21
Kevin Czuczman 32 1 20 21
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 19 12-5-2 2.53 .915 2
Anthony Peters 8 5-2-1 2.83 .900 0

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Wed, Jan. 17      Lehigh Valley  Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Fri, Jan. 19          Providence     Dunkin’ Donuts Center     7:05 p.m.

Sun, Jan. 21       Hartford           XL Center                            5:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Sun, Jan. 14       (LW) Cody Wydo                    Reassigned to WHL

Fri, Jan. 12         (G) Casey DeSmith                          Recalled to PIT

Fri, Jan. 12         (G) Adam Morrison                         Signed to PTO

Tue, Jan. 9         (RW) Reid Gardner                Reassigned to WHL

ANDREY PEDAN NAMED CCM/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The American Hockey League announced today that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Andrey Pedan has been selected as CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 14, 2018.

In two games last week, Pedan totaled three goals and two assists for five points along with a plus-5 rating to help the Penguins extend their winning streak to a season-best seven games.

Pedan tallied two assists and was a plus-4 in the team’s 6-2 victory at Belleville on Friday night. Then on Saturday, he notched the first hat trick of his pro career – including the game-winning goal – in a 4-3 win at Laval. Pedan’s three-goal game came after he had scored three times in his previous 50 outings dating back to last February.

Pedan’s hat trick was only the second three-goal outing by a Penguins defenseman in franchise history, and the first since Alex Picard did so on March 17, 2012. It also marked the first time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19-year history that the team recorded hat tricks in back-to-back games, as Pedan’s career night came the day after Ryan Haggerty scored his first career hat trick at Belleville.

Pedan has skated in 31 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2017-18 and has racked up a total of five goals and 11 assists for 16 points, as well as a plus-11 rating. The 24-year-old native of Moscow, Russia, was acquired by the Penguins organization in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks during Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 2017 training camp. Pedan has appeared in 212 career AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Utica Comets and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 25 goals and 51 assists for 76 points, along with a cumulative plus-29 rating. He made his NHL debut with Vancouver in 2015-16, appearing in 13 games.

In recognition of being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Pedan will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Penguins home game.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 17 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PENGUINS’ PEDAN SCORES HAT TRICK IN 4-3 WIN OVER ROCKET

BOXSCORE

LAVAL, Qué. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins established a new season high with their seventh win in a row during a contest in which the team saw one of its players post his first career hat trick for the second consecutive night. Defenseman Andrey Pedan’s three goals fueled the Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the Laval Rocket on Saturday at Place Bell.

Pedan became just the second defenseman in team history to record a hat trick while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improved to 23-10-2-1 on the season, first in the Atlantic Division.

Laval got off to a hot start with Éric Gélinas scoring 32 seconds into the game. However, Pedan’s first goal of the evening evened the score 3:07 when the Russian blueliner rushed the puck through the neutral zone, threw a shot on goal from just below the blue line that deflected off goaltender Michael McNiven’s glove  and across the goal line.

The physical play ratcheted up through the rest of the first period, but neither team managed another goal before the first intermission.

The Rocket reestablished the lead with another early period goal when Adam Cracknell tipped in a shot from the point, only to see the Penguins’ Teddy Blueger answer back 23 seconds later.

Pedan got his second goal of the night on the power play at 5:49 of the second period, putting the Penguins on top, 3-2.

Laval earned its own man advantage marker with Cracknell’s second tally, gathering a rebound right on the doorstep midway through the middle frame.

Pedan nabbed his first career hat trick with a déjà vu set up on the power play, identical to the goal he scored at 5:49 of the second stanza. Once again, Pedan unloaded a shot from the top of the left circle and blistered it past McNiven with four minutes left in the middle frame.

Despite the best efforts of McNiven to keep his team within striking distance, making 11 saves on the Penguins in the third period alone, Pedan’s hat trick-completing tally stood as the game-winner and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton walked away triumphant, 4-3.

Pedan’s hat trick followed an outing in which Ryan Haggerty scored his first professional hat trick on Friday at Belleville.

Anthony Peters landed his fifth-straight win by making 23 saves. McNiven was dealt the loss even though he turned away 37 of 41 Penguins shots.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 17 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH RECALLS SIMON, RE-ASSIGNS THREE TO WBS


The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Dominik Simon from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Casey DeSmith, Andrey Pedan and Garrett Wilson have all been re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Simon, 23, has skated in six NHL games with Pittsburgh this year, collecting a pair of assists. Both helpers came on Dec. 9 against Toronto, the first multiple-point game of his NHL career. Simon has four assists in 11 career NHL contests over the past three years.

The 5-foot-11, 176-pound Simon scored the overtime game-winning goal against the Hershey Bears on December 30 (see video above) after returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that day. Simon’s goal brought his season totals in the AHL to four goals, 13 assists and 17 points in 21 games. He has points in 14 of 21 games.

Pittsburgh originally drafted the Prague, Czech Republic native in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is this Wednesday, January 3, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visit Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PITTSBURGH RECALLS FOUR FROM WBS ON THURSDAY


The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled goalie Casey DeSmith, defensemenn Andrey Pedan and Frank Corrado, and forward Garrett Wilson from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Defensemen Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel, and forward Bryan Rust, have been placed on injured reserve. Letang has been retroactively placed on IR dating back to December 24.

DeSmith, 26, saw relief action in two earlier games for Pittsburgh this year. His most recent NHL appearance was December 9 against Toronto when he stopped eight of nine shots in 38 minutes. At the AHL level, he is 10-5-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 17 games.

Pedan, 24, joined the Penguins in October in a deal from the Vancouver Canucks. The 6-foot-5, 213-pound blueliner has played in 13 career NHL games, all with the Canucks. This year, Pedan has 10 points (2G-8A) and is plus-5 in 26 AHL games with WBS.

The New York Islanders originally chose Pedan in the third round (63rd overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft. He is a native of Kaunas, Lithuania.

Corrado, 24, is joining the Penguins for the third time this season. Earlier this year he played in three games for Pittsburgh, posting an even plus/minus while averaging 11:06 minutes per game.

The 6-foot, 205-pound Corrado has eight points (1G-7A) and a plus-6 in 19 AHL contests with WBS. His plus-6 ranks second on the team among defensemen.

Corrado has skated in 74 career NHL games with Vancouver, Toronto and Pittsburgh, producing three goals, five assists and eight points.

Wilson, 26, is in his second season in the Pittsburgh organization. He spent the entire season with WBS last year before joining the Penguins as a ‘Black Ace’ practice squad member during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

This season, the 6-foot-2, 199-pound native of Barrie, Ontario has 14 points (6G-8A) and a team-high 54 penalty minutes in 25 games. He has played in 34 career NHL regular-season games, and six NHL playoff contests, all with the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Dec. 29 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Friday’s game between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hartford is also an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with upper and lower bowl tickets available for $14 and $2 select draught beers available from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PENGUINS SOAR PAST THUNDERBIRDS, 6-3

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back from a two-goal deficit, defeating the Springfield Thunderbirds, 6-3, on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15-7-1-1) tallied five unanswered goals in the final two frames to earn its second win in a row. Rookies Daniel Sprong (2G-0A) and Zach Aston-Reese (0G-3A) led the offensive onslaught for the Penguins, and Patrick McGrath (1G-0A) scored the second AHL goal of his career and first on home ice.

Andrey Pedan put the home team on board first at 14:55 of the opening frame, but the Thunderbirds evened things up less than two minutes on a point shot by Maxime Fortunus. Springfield pulled ahead, 2-1, just 90 seconds later when Maxim Mamin used slick stickhandling in a tight space at Casey DeSmith’s netfront and lifted the puck over the goaltender.

The Thunderbirds’ lead increased to 3-1 at 8:43 of the middle frame when a strange bounce victimized DeSmith and the Penguins. Chase Balisy attempted a cross-slot pass that ricocheted off of a Penguins defenseman’s boot and then snuck through DeSmith.

Unfazed by the inopportune puck luck, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took over from there.

The Penguins’ run of five unanswered goals started with Greg McKegg scooped up a rebound floating around Samuel Montembeault for his first goal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 12:50 of the second period. Less than three minutes later, Sprong scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season by ripping a blistering one-timer to tie the game, 3-3.

The Penguins regained the lead at 5:07 of the final period as Sprong notched his team-leading 14th goal of the year. Following a wonderful forecheck, Aston-Reese set-up Ryan Haggerty 8:24 into the third stanza for a tally that extended Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to 5-3.

McGrath, a Shavertown, Pennsylvania native, put the game away with an empty-netter with just 1:07 left in regulation, bringing the game to its final score of 6-3.

DeSmith turned aside 24 of the 27 shots he faced in his first game back with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a two-week stint in Pittsburgh. Montembeault denied 30 of 35 for Springfield.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Dec. 15 when they trek up to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 22 against the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS BEAT MARLIES, 4-2, IN CLASH OF CONFERENCE’S BEST

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – In match-up between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came from behind and defeated the Toronto Marlies, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-2-0-1) now owns sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference and has points in eight-consecutive games.

The Marlies notched the first goal of the night a mere 68 seconds into regulation when Dmytro Timashov redirected a shot from Martin Marinčin at the point.

The Penguins evened things up at the 10:58 mark in the first period when Andrey Pedan capitalized on a Marlies turnover in their defensive zone and blasted a slapshot past Toronto goalie Garret Sparks.

Late in the opening frame, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton authoritatively killed off a five-on-three man advantage that lasted 1:44 to keep the score tied going into the first intermission.

Despite peppering Sparks with a season-high 17 shots in the second period, it took until 18:48 of the stanza for the Penguins to find the back of the net, but that’s exactly what Ryan Haggerty did with his fifth goal in four games. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wasted little time applying pressure on the Marlies’ defense to begin the third period, and Thomas Di Pauli tallied 1:49 into the frame, making it a 3-1 score in favor of the Penguins.

Nikita Soshnikov caught the Penguins in the middle of a line change, stepped to the slot, shot, and corralled his own rebound to cut the deficit in half and pull Toronto within one goal at 13:48 of the third. The Marlies never got any closer than that, though, as Di Pauli netted his second goal of the night with and empty netter.

Sparks set a new season high with 38 saves in a losing effort, while Casey DeSmith stopped 22 out of the 24 shots he faced to improve to 5-0-1 on the season and remain undefeated in regulation.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Saturday, Nov. 11, when it takes on the Providence Bruins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.