PREVIEW: PENGUINS at ROCKET, JANUARY 13, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their Canadian tour as they arrive in Quebec to take on the Laval Rocket at Place Bell with a special 4:00 start time.

The Penguins (22-10-2-1, 47 pts, .662%) look to build on a six-game win streak that has them leading the Atlantic Division, while the Rocket (16-17-5-2, 39 pts, .488%) are in the fifth spot in the North Division.

Saturday’s game is the second of two meetings between the clubs this season.


TIME: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE: Place Bell
WATCH: AHLLive.com
LISTEN: WILK News Radio


SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Friday, October 20 WBS Laval 6-0 WIN
Saturday, January 13 Laval WBS  4:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins posted their second win against the Belleville Senators in a week, sweeping the season series with a 6-2 victory on Friday night. Ryan Haggerty recorded the first hat trick of his professional career, while Anthony Peters stopped 19 shots to record his fourth straight win between the pipes. Christian Thomas, Garrett Wilson, and Jean-Sébastien Dea also tallied for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Laval Rocket hosted Hartford Wolf Pack at Place Bell on Friday night and exploded for three goals in the first period, two off the stick of Adam Cracknell, culminating in a 4-2 victory for the Rocket. Hartford pulled back within one during the second period, but a Matt Taormina power play tally finished off the Wolf Pack. Zachary Fucale was solid in net, slamming the door on 27 of 29 Hartford attempts.


PENGUINS NOTES
Ryan Haggerty tallied his first professional Hat Trick on Friday night giving him six points in four games (5+1) since the new year.

Haggerty established a new single-season career-high by recording his 16th goal of the season in Friday night’s win. Haggerty’s previous high of 15 goals came with the Hartford WolfPack in the 2014-15 season, when it took him 73 games to hit that mark. He netted his 14th, 15th and 16th with the Pens in his 25th game this season.

Haggerty’s 16 goals tie him for 12th place in the AHL.

Christian Thomas has four goals and five points in his past three games, and carries a three-game goal streak into today’s action.

Garrett Wilson is on a five-game point streak and has seven points (2G-5A) since the holiday break. Points in five-straight games is an AHL career high for Wilson.

Penguins power play has now tallied three goals in their last 12 attempts making them .250 on the new year.


ROCKET NOTES
Left Winger Chris Terry leads the AHL with 41 points and is tied for first with 19 goals.

Adam Cracknell has a three-game point scoring streak (3+1)

Laval is tied for first in power play goals for in the North Division (32), but the Rocket rank last in the AHL with a 76.3 penalty kill percentage.

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AHL SLAP SHOTS – FEBRUARY 1, 2017

There weren’t any American Hockey League games played yesterday, but it was still one of the busiest news days that the AHL has seen this season.  Here’s a rundown of the big ticket items from Tuesday, January 31.

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

CONGRATS CARTER – The piece of news that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans will be happiest about is the NHL debut of Carter Rowney.  The undrafted fourth-year pro was originally recalled by Pittsburgh last week when Evgeni Malkin was sidelined due to injury, but he didn’t crack the lineup in his first stay with the team.

After being returned to NEPA and helping the Pens to wins over Utica and Binghamton last week, Rowney was recalled again by Pittsburgh on Monday, and suited up for the club in its 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. He logged 9:24 of ice time in the victory while skating alongside Bryan Rust and Carl Hagelin.

Rowney was among the hottest players on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster headed into the AHL All-Star break.  After missing about a month and a half due to injury, Rowney returned to the Pens lineup on January 13 in Rochester.  He recorded eight points (5+3) during the next eight games, and posted a four-game goal streak from January 13-18, a career best for the 27-year old center.


Photo courtesy Rocket de Laval – http://www.rocketlaval.com

ROCKET LAUNCH – The Rocket de Laval, who will hit the ice next year serving as the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate, unveiled their logo and uniforms yesterday afternoon.

The team’s uniforms feature the familiar red, white and blue of the parent club, and the team name pays homage to Maurice ‘the Rocket’ Richard, who played 18 seasons with the Canadiens, won eight Stanley Cups, and became the first player to record 50 goals in a season and 500 in a career.

The Rocket will play their home games at Place Bell, a 10,000 seat facility currently under construction.


ADIEU ALBANY – The New Jersey Devils announced that they will move their AHL club out of Albany and into Binghamton next season, and they signed a deal to keep hockey in New York’s lower tier for the next five seasons.

The Ottawa Senators announced earlier this year that they would be relocating their minor league operations to Belleville, Ontario for the 2017-18 season, leaving the future of hockey in Binghamton in limbo for several months.

“After evaluating multiple scenarios and obtaining the approval of the AHL Board of Governors, we have agreed to partner with a local operating group in Binghamton, NY to relocate the franchise for the 2017-18 season,” said Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils. “The new arrangement will allow the organization to focus its efforts on developing our player prospects, while leaving the business operations to those with expertise in the market.”

Albany has been home to an AHL team since 1993, when the Capital District Islanders moved from nearby Troy, New York and became the Albany River Rats.  The River Rats were affiliated with the Devils (1993-2006) and the Carolina Hurricanes (2006-10) during their tenure, with the Colorado Avalanche splitting the affiliation with Carolina in 2006-07.

When the Hurricanes relocated their AHL club to Charlotte, New Jersey moved it’s minor league operations back to the capital city and dubbed them the Devils.