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Penguins Cruise to 5-2 Win Over Bears

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins really put on a show tonight for the home crowd. Five goals and a handful of fights gave fans plenty of entertainment. The Penguins also dominated the play, out shooting the Bears 41-16 and winning their preseason home opener by a score of 5-2.

Penguins Preseason Game 2: Hershey

Schnell might have been the most active Penguins forward on Wednesday night.
After a 3-1 to open the preseason Wednesday night in Saratoga Springs, the Penguins return home for the first of three preseason games this weekend. The first game tonight at home vs. the Hershey Bears will be a 7 p.m. EST start.  The Penguins also travel to Hershey for tomorrow night's game and return home on Sunday for a 5:05 p.m rematch against the Adirondack Phantoms.

Highland Park Hockey will have live in-game updates on Twitter as well as a post game recap on the blog for all three games.

Expect to see a much better WBS Penguins lineup tonight for the home crowd. Guys like Zach Sill, Keven Veilleux and Bryan Lerg should get their first action of the season tonight. We'll have lineup combos and scratches over on the blog's Twitter feed during the warmups.

Also, feel free to use this post as a game thread for tonight's game (I'll be checking in between periods). I will post Game Threads as their own post starting next Saturday for the regular season opener, also against the Hershey Bears.

Nick Johnson Claimed By Minnesota

According to Bob McKenzie on Twitter:
MIN claims Nick Johnson from PIT on waivers
I like the take from the Pensburgh, another Penguins blog I contribute to on SBNation. Johnson was easy for the Wild to take A look at because of familiarity with Chuck Fletcher and head coach Mike Yeo.

Hopefully this becomes a Chris Bourque situation where Minnesota doesn't like what they see and place Johnson back in waivers. That, in a nutshell, is the only way you'll see Nick Johnson in an AHL Penguins jersey.

Otherwise, good luck to Johnson on his NHL pursuit.

We'll have a preview of tomorrow's home preseason game against the Hershey Bears tomorrow afternoon, with live in-game updates on the Twitter side.

WBS Penguins Drop 1st Preseason Game

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Photo of tonight's preseason game came courtesy of Michael Cignoli of the Saratogian.
In a game that wasn't on the radio or streamed online, the updates were few and far between.

The Penguins lineup featured eight guys on a tryout. Notable guys like Keven Veilleux, Zach Sill, Geoff Walker, Bryan Lerg, Joey Mormina and Carl Sneep were given the night off. Chad Langlais was also scratched.

Here's a quick recap of tonight's game, which was played in a rather small rink of an area high school in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The Phantoms took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a power play goal from Garret Klotz. The Penguins had appeared to tie it in the waning seconds of the period but an incidental contact with the goaltender infraction against Brian Gibbons negated the tying goal.

The Phantoms extended their lead to two in the middle frame, with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Eric Wellwood. The first real scrap of the game also occurred in the second period, with Adirondack's Tye McGinn dropping the gloves with Penguins' Brandon DeFazio.

Another power play goal for the Phantoms in the third period made it 3-0. Luckily the Penguins ruined Jason Bacashihua's shutout bid with 2.7 seconds left on a goal from forward Chris Barton.

All in all, the score and result doesn't mean too much in the grand scheme of things. The Penguins didn't give up anything at even strength, which is a good thing.  But they also allowed three power play goals and were unable to score on one of their own.

The Penguins will practice at their home venue, the Mohegan Sun Arena, tomorrow afternoon and prepare for three games in three nights starting at home Friday against the Hershey Bears. They'll travel to Hershey for Saturday night's game and then back home for Sunday's rematch against these same Phantoms.

Other interesting notes were the two players wearing the assistant captain "A" on their jersey for the Penguins. Michael Cignoli of the Saratogian pointed those out as being forwards Ben Street and Devin DiDiomete.

Thanks again for the updates provided by Tim McManus and Michael Cignoli tonight!

Day 2 Update, 7 Cuts, 1st Preseason Preview

Brian Gibbons has impressed many with his speed and skating ability to create plays. Gibbons along with Paul Thompson and Ben Street  will be the three guys I would expect the most from tonight.

A lot of news and updates before tonight's opening preseason game against the Adirondack Phantoms in Saratoga Springs.
  • First off, the game will not be on the radio. We'll have updates over on the Twitter side when we can.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins made another round of cuts today sending defenseman Scott Harrington back to his junior team, the London Knights (OHL). Goaltenders Scott Munroe and Brad Thiessen and forwards Ryan Craig, Nick Johnson, Colin McDonald and Eric Tangradi were assigned to the AHL Penguins. This coming from the team's press release:
Craig, Johnson, McDonald and Munroe will have to clear waivers by Thursday at noon before joining WBS.
  • The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins were back at the Coal Street Rink in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday morning for their second straight practice this week. There weren't any new arrivals, which gave me a better chance to watch the same guys competing on the ice.The Penguins practiced for an hour and used the second hour for a 20 minute scrimmage. We exclusively covered the scrimmage on Twitter, with team white beating team black.
  • They had a pregame skate this morning then off to Saratoga Springs to face the Adirondack Phantoms tonight.
  • According to Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie, Penguins head coach John Hynes commented that tonight's lineup would be heavy on tryout players. I overheard Zach Sill telling a fan he was unsure if he was playing after yesterday's practice session ended.
A preview of tonight's preseason game as well as who might be in the lineup for the Penguins after the jump.

Training Camp: Day 1 Update

Monday, September 26, 2011
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins took to the ice at the Coal Street Rink for their first on-ice practice session earlier this morning. It was a typical John Hynes up-tempo practice with a lot of new faces, some unfamiliar to fans.

Luckily the players wore jerseys that had a name as well as a number on the back off the jersey so I got to take a pretty good look at some of the "new guys" in the system or on a tryout. Not many in attendance at the Monday morning practice but I did see some local news stations and local writers on hand. 

After the jump, a look at all the guys who participated and where they stand in terms of being under contract or strictly here on a tryout basis.

The Quest Begins Now

 The time for another season of Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins hockey has come. The Penguins begin a new journey in the organization's 13th year, coming off of a record setting regular season a year ago. Sure, bowing out in the second round of the playoffs didn't resonate well with those whose have close ties. But today the Penguins clean off the slate and start all over.

The first day of AHL Penguins camp begins with some off-ice testing followed by the first on-ice session of the season at 10 a.m. EST.

We will be in attendance with live updates over on the Twitter side. Check for a post on the blog sometime this afternoon.

Pittsburgh Penguins Trim Roster to 39

Friday, September 23, 2011

Yesterday the Penguins announced that 13 players were cut from the NHL roster (see below). Earlier this afternoon, the Pens sent three more players to Wilkes-Barre in Keven Veilleux, Bryan Lerg and Zach Sill.

They will join Brandon DeFazio, Brian Gibbons, Ben Street, Paul Thompson, Geoff Walker, Simon Despres, Alex Grant, Joey Mormina, Philip Samuelsson, Carl Sneep, and Patrick Killeen at the WBS camp, which begins on Monday.

Tom Kuhnhackl (Windsor, OHL) and Dominik Uher (Spokane, WHL) were sent back to their respective junior clubs.

Black & Gold Game Recap/Insights

Monday, September 19, 2011
While most of the eyes in tonight's crowd were on guys like Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, and understandably so, I paid closer attention to the players on the bubble.

Guys like Nick Johnson and Eric Tangradi didn't really show me too much tonight. While guys like Jason Williams and Richard Park played well and are making their case to crack the NHL lineup. But I'd have to say the two guys that impressed me the most at tonight's Black & Gold game were Simon Despres and Geoff Walker.

Despres didn't look out of place most of the night. He seemed confident in his decisions to carry the puck into the zone and his outlet passes were great too. While I don't see him making the NHL club straight out of camp, Despres should play some valuable minutes in the AHL this season and could become an NHL defenseman in the very near future.

Walker, outside of the Wilkes-Barre Penguins nation, is relatively unknown. But his performance tonight definitely turned some heads. He was a force on the fore check and set up the Gold team's third goal.

Due to some technical issues I wasn't able to live tweet after the first period and I apologize. I'm hoping to figure out what went wrong and fix it so that Penguins fans can get updates on the WBS Penguins games all season long, both home and away.

I will post up pictures I took of the event tomorrow sometime. Any questions or comments about tonight's game? Leave 'em below and I'll answer any questions you might have.

Black & Gold Game Preview

The Penguins second Black and Gold game, an intrasquad scrimmage, will be played tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Here's what the line combinations look like for each team, as reported by the NHL Penguins team website earlier this morning:
Team Black: (F) Kunitz-Staal-Williams, Cooke-Park-Kennedy,Tangradi-Lerg-N. Johnson, MacIntyre-Craig-Thompson (D) Engelland, Harrington, Michalek, Niskanen, Sneep, Strait (G) Fleury and Thiessen
Team Gold: Neal-Malkin-Sullivan, Dupuis-Letestu-McDonald, Gibbons-Sill-Veilleux,
Kuhnhackl-Vitale-Walker (D) Despres, Letang, Lovejoy, Martin, Morrow, Picard, Samuelsson (G) Johnson and Munroe
Highland Park Hockey will be updating everyone on the Black and Gold game live from the Mohegan Sun Arena. You can follow these live updates on the blog's Twitter feed. I might post updates in the comment section here as well.

Either way, there will be some Penguins hockey being played tonight and as always, we will have full coverage of what should be a sold out event.

WBS Penguins Preseason Schedule Set

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Penguins will start their preseason schedule with a trip to Saratoga Springs.

According to Tim McManus, Phantoms beat writer at the Glens Falls Post-Star, the Adirondack Phantoms will play a preseason game Wednesday, Sept. 28  in Saratoga Springs at Weibel Avenue rink against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The venue seems a bit odd, as it is home of the Saratoga high school teams, but the announcement sets the WBS Penguins preseason schedule as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 28th against the Phantoms at Weibel Avenue Rink
Friday, September 30th vs. Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, October 1st @ Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m.
Sunday October 2nd vs. Adirondack Phantoms at 5:05 pm.

I was going to put together a list of Penguins related news but that can wait until tomorrow as this is the first WBS related news of major importance in awhile.

Highland Park Hockey will be the best place to keep up to date with the happenings of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. We will have game previews, recaps and open threads for each game along with all the breaking news, highlights, stats, practice updates, interviews from players & coaches and much more.