WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Americans

WBS Penguins Game Day Report: Penguins vs. Americans
By: Ali Myers

Last Game Recap:
Chris Conner tied a team record for five points in a game, and Nate Guenin scored his first goal in over 100 AHL games, as the Penguins defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6-3 at the Onondaga War Memorial.

Guenin opened the scoring at 6:16 of the first period with Zach Sill and Tim Wallace getting the assists. Later, with under two minutes left in the opening frame, captain Wyatt Smith tallied his first goal of the night. Conner got an assist to earn his first point on the night. Luca Caputi got the secondary assist.

Conner and Caputi paired up again in the second period to help Robert Bortuzzo stretch the Pens’ lead to 3-0 1:59 into the period. Then, with Syracuse’s Grant Clitsome off for slashing, Smith put a shot past Crunch goalie Kevin Lalande for a 4-0 lead. Conner received the primary assist for his third point of the night.

Derek Mackenzie broke in all alone on Brad Theissen while David Liffiton served a slashing penalty, but the period ended with the Penguins still up 4-1.

Syracuse attempted a comeback in the third period with a power play goal by Nick Holden and an even strength goal from defenseman Jonathan Sigalet. However, Chris Conner scored at 14:24 to put the Penguins back in front by two. Conner sealed the deal at 19:24 when Lalande was pulled for an extra attacker.

Three Stars:
3. Derek Mackenzie (Syracuse): one goal, one assist
2. Wyatt Smith (WBS): two goals, one assist, +2
1. Chris Conner (WBS): two goals, three assists, +2

Tyler Spurgeon was released from his PTO and returned to the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.

The loss broke a four game losing streak for the Penguins.

Chris Conner was the fifth Penguin to score five points in a game. The others are Janne Pesonen (3/11/09), Tyler Kennedy (1/6/07), Kurtis McLean (1/18/2006), and John Slaney (1/21/2000).

With last night’s win, the Penguins record improves to 21-20-1-1 for 44 points and third place in the East Division.

Penguins Scratches:
Lane Caffaro
Jon D’Aversa
Konstantin Pushkarev
Wade Brookbank
Aaron Boogaard
Keven Veilleux

Next Matchup:
Who: WBS Penguins vs. Rochester Americans
When: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Blue Cross Arena(Rochester, NY)

Last Meeting Recap:
In a back and forth matchup, the Penguins were victorious over Rochester by a score of 5-3. Six goals were scored in the first period alone, with Rochester getting on the board just 21 seconds into the game. However, for every Americans goal; Mark Letestu, Joe Vitale, and Konstantin Pushkarev had a response to make the game 3-3 at the end of the first. Deryk Engelland scored what would be the game winner at 16:26 of the second period. Letestu put in an empty net goal with seven seconds left in regulation. The Penguins’ victory allowed for a split of the season series to that point; with each team winning one game.
About the Americans:
The Rochester Americans compete in the North Division of the Western Conference. After several poor seasons, the Amerks are currently in second place in their division with a record of 25-16-2-0. However, they are 4-6 in their last ten games. They will be entering tonight’s game after a brutal 6-1 home loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs which ended a three game winning streak. The Amerks’ power play is the league’s 7th ranked with a 19.3% success rate.

The Penguin Connection:
Jeff Taffe spent two seasons between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Pittsburgh Penguins. He holds a WBS all time record for assists in a season with 50. He was also a member of the taxi squad for the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs. He is currently on a two year deal with the Florida Panthers; Rochester’s NHL affiliate.

Amerks to Watch:
Center Jamie Johnson is currently on a four game point streak. He leads Rochester with 42 points on the season (17+25). He had an assist on the first Americans goal the last time the Penguins met the Americans.

Jeff Taffe may come back to haunt his former team tonight. He has four goals in his last three games and also has three assists in that time.

Follow the Action:
AHL Live
102.3 The Mountain

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