WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. River Rats

Last Game Recap:
The Penguins couldn't generate any offense against a high powered Hershey team and fell 4-0 to the Bears on Saturday night.

After a scoreless first period in which the Penguins held the Bears to four shots on goal, AHL points leader Keith Aucoin put a puck behind Brad Thiessen at 1:10 of the second period. At 10:09, Penguins defenseman Alex Grant received 17 minutes worth of controversial penalties after sticking up for teammate Konstantin Pushkarev, who had been elbowed by Hershey defenseman Greg Amadio. On the ensuing power play, Aucoin picked up his second point of the night with an assist on Andrew Gordon’s goal.

In the third, Hershey once again got on the board early, this time with an Alexandre Giroux goal at 1:51 where Aucoin picked up his third point of the game with the primary assist. Francois Bouchard rounded out the scoring at 14:11 with assists from Kyle Wilson and Boyd Kane. Braden Holtby earned the shutout with 25 saves while Thiessen took the loss with 24 saves on 28 shots. It marked the third time the Pens have been shutout by the Bears this season, and it was also Hershey’s 22nd consecutive home win.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Greg Amadio (Hershey): hit, fight
2. Keith Aucoin (Hershey): goal, two assists
1. Braden Hotlby (Hershey): shutout

WBS Scratches:
Steve Wagner
Joey Haddad
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Current Record: 31-29-1-2 (65 points; fourth in East Division)

News and Notes:
Eric Tangradi suffered a cut on his face in Saturday’s game after crashing into the net. He will not play in tonight’s game as he is being monitored for concussion symptoms.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel was recalled from the Wheeling Nailers on Tuesday. He has 39 points (12+27) and a -10 rating in 45 games with the Nailers.

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Albany River Rats
When: Wednesday, March 10 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Last Meeting Recap:
The Baby Pens set a new record for goals in a game when they defeated the River Rats 9-2 on February 17. Chris Conner netted a hat trick for the Penguins; which would be his first of two in consecutive home games. Conner also had three assists for a six point night. Wyatt Smith and Luca Caputi each had four point games for the Penguins, who got their fourth straight win in the victory.

About the River Rats:

NHL Affiliate: Carolina Hurricanes
ECHL Affiliate: Florida Everblades

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 34-24-3-4 (75 points; second in East)
Power Play Away: 12.9% (26th)
Power Play Overall: 15.9% (21st)
Penalty Kill Away: 79.7% (23rd)
Penalty Kill Overall: 81.6% (19th)
Goals For/Against: 192/188

Last Game: After losing in a shootout against the Norfolk Admirals last Friday, the River Rats got revenge on Saturday by defeating the Admirals 4-2. Jerome Samson led the way with two goals and an assist for Albany while new addition Oskar Osala got his first two points on the River Rats with two assists.

The Penguin Connection:
Four members of the Penguins have played for the River Rats during their careers.

Ryan Bayda played the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons with the River Rats. In 76 combined games, he had 36 goals and 35 assists for 71 points.

Wade Brookbank was also on the 2007-2008 Albany squad and had two assists and a -3 rating in 25 games.

Chris Lee played with Bayda on the 2006-2007 Albany roster and had one assist and a -3 rating in three games.

Jesse Boulerice had seven points (4+3) in 16 games during the 2006-2007 season.

River Rats to Watch:
Jerome Samson was named the AHL Player of the Week for his play during the week of March 1-7. He had seven points (3+4) in three games last week. He is Albany’s leading scorer with 59 points (30+29) in 63 games.

Oskar Osala is a player the Penguins are familiar with since he spent the majority of the season with the Hershey Bears. He comes to Albany with 31 points (15+16) in 55 games.

Ali’s Analysis:
The Pens appeared to take the weekend off last weekend; only scoring two goals in two games and coming out flat on Friday night. With the time off, they are hopefully nice and refreshed to take on an Albany team that will be looking for revenge after losing by seven goals in their last visit to Wilkes-Barre. If the Penguins win tonight, they will once again be two points behind Bridgeport for the final division playoff spot.

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