WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Bears

Last Game Recap:

After being shutout by Binghamton on January 15, the Penguins got revenge by taking a 3-2 shootout victory on Friday night. Chris Conner opened the scoring on a Penguins’ 5-on-3 advantage at the 17:54 mark of the first period. Tim Wallace put the home team in front at 10:17 of the second period, but Binghamton battled back thanks to a goal by Jim O’Brien with 39 seconds remaining in the period. Kaspars Daugavins evened the score at 3:38 of the third with his 14th goal of the season. Ryan Keller and Martin St. Pierre got the assists on both Binghamton goals.

After each team had a combined three shots during overtime, the Penguins headed to their second shootout in a week and elected to shoot first. Captain Wyatt Smith easily put a shot behind Senators goalie Mike Brodeur to put the Pens up 1-0. Daugavins was denied and Chris Conner and Ryan Keller were both turned away in the second round. Both the Pens and the Sens put up goals in the third and fourth rounds respectively, and Dustin Jeffrey secured the win for WBS by scoring in the fifth and final round.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Tim Wallace (WBS): one goal, +1
2. Martin St. Pierre (Binghamton): two assists, shootout goal
1. Dustin Jeffrey (WBS): game winning shootout goal/one assist, +1 in regulation

WBS Scratches:
Jon D’Aversa
Robert Bortuzzo
Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Record as of 2/13/10: 24-26-1-1 (50 points; fifth place in East Division)

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Hershey Bears
When: Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Last WBS/Hershey Meeting:
The Pennsylvania rivals last met less than a week ago on Super Bowl Sunday. WBS jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the second period, but the Bears fought back and took a 5-4 victory over the Pens. Mathieu Perreault scored a hat trick for Hershey and Bryan Helmer scored with a little over a minute remaining to complete Hershey’s comeback win. Four different Penguins (Joe Vitale, Wade Brookbank, Nick Johnson, and Chris Conner) scored each of the WBS goals.

About the Bears:

The Bears have only played one game since last meeting the Pens; a 5-2 victory over Albany on Friday night. Their record of 40-9-0-2 for 82 points is still first place in the East Division and the Eastern Conference. When it comes to special teams, Hershey is ranked first overall in both the power play (22.8% success rate) and the penalty kill (90.2% success).

Bears to Watch:
Andrew Gordon scored two goals in last night’s game against Albany and currently has twelve power play goals this season.

Boyd Kane is tied for the AHL lead with four shorthanded goals this year. He has 34 points for Hershey this season and has a +19 rating. He is also a past Calder Cup champion with the Bears (2006).

Ali’s Analysis:
The Pens got back to their game last night; throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Senators goalie Mike Brodeur and even had Zach Sill drop the gloves with Matt Lowry. However, their defense is still suspect; as is evidenced by nearly letting Binghamton back into the game. The Penguins will also have to ramp up their special teams; again going the extra mile to do whatever it takes to secure a win. If they stick to the classic Penguins hockey they played last night, it is likely they will finally put Hershey in the double digits in the loss column.

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