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Round Two: Penguins vs. IceCaps

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Penguins survived the first round and now face a very good St. John's team in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. A quick look at the basic regular season notes and numbers for the opposition:
The St John's IceCaps (AHL) represent the Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Regular Season: 1st place Atlantic Division, 2nd place Eastern Conference
76 games played, 43-25-5-3, 94 points, Goals For: 240, Goals Against: 216
Leading scorers: RW Machacek(18G-32A), D Postma(13G-31A),           D DeSantis(11G-32A), RW King(22G-19A), LW Jaffray(17G-21A)
The schedule for the seven game series which begins tomorrow night in Newfoundland. I won't be making the 1,800 mile trip up for the road games but will still have live coverage on Twitter with thanks to the AHL Live. I'll be watching closely. There has been a link for a free video stream for the last few WBS playoff games and if I come across one I will post it on Twitter as well as on the blog.

Note that all times are in Penguins time (EST). St. John's is an hour and a half ahead so plan accordingly as all games on the road this series start at 6 p.m.
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-St. John’s IceCaps vs. 4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 - Tue., May 1 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 2 - Wed., May 2 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 3 - Sat., May 5 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
Game 4 - Sun., May 6 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 4:05 ET
*Game 5 - Tue., May 8 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
*Game 6 - Fri., May 11 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
*Game 7 - Sat., May 12 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET

On paper these two teams are pretty even in basically every statistical category.  Looking more closely at each position after the jump with my thoughts and a prediction.

On to the Rock - Pens Win 2-1

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Penguins win Game Five and advance to the second round. They will play the St. John's IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets NHL). The schedule for the best of seven series is as follows:
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-St. John’s IceCaps [WPG] vs. 4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins [PIT]
Game 1 - Tue., May 1 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 2 - Wed., May 2 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
Game 3 - Sat., May 5 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
Game 4 - Sun., May 6 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 4:05 ET
*Game 5 - Tue., May 8 - St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 ET
*Game 6 - Fri., May 11 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
*Game 7 - Sat., May 12 - W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00 ET
* if necessary
An intense game from the drop of the puck to the final horn. The Penguins came out flying in front of the home crowd and while they weren't able to make it count on the scoreboard, the continued pace and pressure the Penguins maintained throughout the game ultimately paid off for a total of seven seconds.

If I said before the beginning of the series that Cal O'Reilly would score even one goal in the five game series you probably would have thought I was nuts! O'Reilly scored his third of the series tonight on the power play late in the second period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Credit to Jason Williams and an excellent pass from Colin McDonald on the assists.

Then it was the Penguins turn to get that lucky bounce. On the face-off immediately after the O'Reilly goal, Brian Strait cleared a puck into the Bears defensive zone. The puck took a weird hop off the corner wall and dribbled out in front of the net and off defenseman Cameron Schilling. Fan favorite Zach Sill was able to get a piece of it and direct it on net, beating Sabourin and sending the Mohegan Sun Arena crowd into a frenzy. Two goals in seven seconds and a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Hershey never gave up in this series or tonight's game for that matter. Have to hand the intrastate rivals some credit, they battled. The always dangerous Ryan Potulny gave the Bears hope on the third period's opening shift, beating Brad Thiessen 23 seconds into the final frame and drawing the Bears within one goal.

The game would stay 2-1 the rest of the way with great end to end action and big saves by both netminders. The Bears would pull Sabourin in the waning moments but to no avail. Penguins win the game 2-1 and the best of five series 3-2.

Up next is the St. John's IceCaps and unless the loyal readers of this blog start a "send Tony to Newfoundland" donation campaign I don't plan on making the 1,800 plus mile trek to eastern Canada for Games One and Two. I'll still be live tweeting the games with thanks to the AHL Live feed online and will have a series breakdown, along with previews and recaps of each game of the series.

All Even: Special Teams Haunt Penguins

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm sure everyone has heard the stat of the night by now but in case you didn't:
The Penguins go 0 for 9 on the power play and the Bears go 3 for 4 with the man advantage.
That's your game in a nutshell. The Penguins couldn't convert on their opportunities and the Bears did tonight, which is why they will play the winner-take-all Game Five tomorrow night in Wilkes-Barre.

Brian Strait, who left Wednesday's Game Three in the second period and didn't return, was out of the lineup. So too was Nick Petersen for personal reasons. Philip Samuelsson and Matt Rust replaced those two, respectively. It was Brad Thiessen vs. Dany Sabourin in net.

Now onto some key moments that really changed the course of the game.
  • Late in the first period, while the Penguins were on a power play, Geoff Walker gets pushed into goaltender Dany Sabourin and gets tagged for goalie interference. Clearly a makeup call. While four on four, the Penguins Alexander Picard misses and open net on a 2-on-1 chance and the Bears come down the ice and have a puck go in the back of Thiessen's net off of Cameron Schilling with 2:36 left in the period. The second odd bounce goal to get the Bears off and running in back to back games.
  • In the second period, Boyd Kane slew foots Joey Mormina in the corner wall of the Pens defensive zone and Mormina gets called for interference. The Bears score on that power play as well and take the 2-0 lead.
  • Alex Grant got the Penguins within striking distance with a great shot fake and pass to Jason Williams who tapped it into a basically open net late in the second but ultimately the unsuccessful power play tells the tale of Game Four.
Have to give the Bears some credit. They backed themselves into a 2-0 series hole and have evened things up with two big wins in front of their home crowd. The home team has won every game of the series. The team that has scored first has won every game of the series.

Here's to hoping I was right all along about this series. I predicted the Penguins in five before the series started in my series breakdown post. Game Five is Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.

Bears Force Game Four With OT Win

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You had to know the Bears were going to come out flying tonight, being on the brink of elimination. No team wants to get swept out of the first round. Especially in front of their home crowd.

The Bears got a flukey goal from fourth line enforcer D.J. King and Colin Schilling scores his first as a pro and the Penguins spent most of the night overcoming the 2-0 deficit.

The Pens got one back :38 seconds into the middle frame on a goal by Cal O'Reilly and tied it 6:22 into the third courtesy of Eric Tangradi.

The 2-2 tie was short lived as Kyle Greentree scored moments later to give the Bears the lead back at 3-2.

Have to like that the Penguins never gave up on this game and battled hard to the very end.  Alex Grant tied the game at three with a power play goal and you got the feeling that the Pens might be able to steal this game if they could get one before overtime. That was not the case tonight.

Nick Petersen takes a highsticking minor in overtime and the Bears score their first power play goal of the series to force Game Four, which will be on Friday night at the Giant Center. For what it's worth, Petersen never actually made contact with his high stick but nonetheless his stick shouldn't have been swinging over Boyd Kane on the forecheck anyhow.

One side note, Brian Strait left the game late in the second period after being sandwiched and hit up high behind his own net. He did not return for the third period.  If he is unable to play Friday, look for one of Cody Wild or Philip Samuelsson to take his place. I would take Wild but that's just me.

Pens Look For Sweep Tonight 4/25

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Hoping to see the handshake line tonight!
After winning both home games, in dominating fashion, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins look to go for the series clinching win in Game Three tonight at the Giant Center in Hershey. Puck drops at 7 p.m. EST.

Highland Park Hockey will be providing live in-game updates of all the action on Twitter @H_P_Hockey. Be sure to follow us if you aren't already!

What you need to know about tonight's game after the jump.

Tangradi, Strait and Despres Return 4/23

Monday, April 23, 2012

With the Pittsburgh Penguins season over, the parent club returned forward Eric Tangradi and defensemen Brian Strait and Simon Despres to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL). All three will be ready to go for Game Three on Wednesday. The question is whether or not head coach John Hynes wants to tinker with a lineup that has dominated Hershey through two games.

The Penguins also signed former draft choices Dominik Uher (5th round - 2011) and Reid McNeill (6th round - 2010) to amateur tryouts (ATO). These guys will join the Black Aces squad.

On defense, it would be Samuelsson and Wild as the odd men out for Strait and Despres.
It will be interesting to see where Tangradi fits in this lineup. Here's the lines the Pens have used in the first two games:

Petersen - Street - Walker
Lerg - O'Reilly - Thompson
McDonald - Gibbons/Rust - Williams
DeFazio - Sill - Craig

So who sits for Tangradi in Game Three? In my opinion, you don't even touch the Prostitution Line. Street, Petersen and Walker have been a formidable line for quite some time. I'm thinking Tangradi would be a nice add with O'Reilly and Lerg, replacing Thompson's spot on that line. No one has played themselves out of the lineup to this point, which is why Hynes will have a tough decision to make.

Pens beat writer Joonathan Bombulie suggests Lerg back to center to sit Rust/Gibbons, meaning Tangradi would slot in on the line with O'Reilly and Thompson.

We'll have to wait and see. None of the three down from Pittsburgh practiced today. Bortuzzo also was absent due to illness.

In other news, get your tickets for Game Three in Hershey as soon as possible. I've been on hold at the ticket office for the last 2o minutes!

 Hopefully, this means EDIT: Pens fans are invading the Giant Center! When I told the ticket lady I was looking for tickets at the other end of the ice she replied, "Oh boy, there's been a ton of you guys calling today."

Keep calling and buying out the tickets. Pens fans are the best in the league, hands down! Game Three is Wednesday night in Hershey at the Giant Center. From their team website:
Tickets are available at Giant Center Box office or by phone 717-508-BEAR (2327). The Box Office is open Monday- Saturday from 9 AM -5 PM.

WBS Wins 7-2, Puts Bears on the Brink

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Penguins couldn't have started their push for the Calder Cup any better, with another decisive victory over the Bears in Game Two. Pens lead the series 2-0 and can finish the Bears in Game Three on Wednesday night in Hershey.

Six different Penguins scored tonight including two from guys you might not expect. Cody Wild scored the eventual game winner on the Penguins third goal in the first period and when Hershey started to gain momentum in the second period, Matt Rust put a backhander past Dany Sabourin to make it a 5-1 game.

Colin McDonald continues to impress in the playoffs, as he opened the scoring 1:19 into the game and ended the scoring with 1:51 left in it. He has scored two goals in both of the playoff games.

Zach Sill got his first of the playoffs as did Geoff Walker with a nice tip in goal. Ben Street added a shorthanded penalty shot goal as well.

By no stretch of the imagination is this series over. A 2-0 series lead is just that, a lead.

The Bears have their work cut out for them now, but as already evidenced in the NHL this postseason the series clinching win is the toughest win of the series.  Teams fought all year to get to where they are right now and nobody wants to bow out in the first round.  I fully expect the Bears to come out flying in front of their fans in a do-or-die situation on Wednesday at Giant Center.

WBS Dominates Bears 3-1 in Game One

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Penguins played a textbook game of hockey tonight and take the 1-0 series lead with a strong performance.  Game Two is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST. Don't expect any lineup changes tomorrow either as the Pittsburgh Penguins win Game Five tonight, so Simon Despres and Brian Strait should stay put.

One down, 14 more to go in the race for the 2012 Calder Cup.

Colin McDonald led the Penguins surge with two goals, his first coming on a power play 14:40 into the game. Alexandre Picard gave a perfect slap pass and McDonald tipped it past Dany Sabourin for the 1-0 lead. The Penguins dominated play in the first period, out shooting the Bears 12-3 and really taking it to their opponent.

Cal O'Reilly scored his first goal as WBS Penguin in the second period, another power play goal, to give the Pens a 2-0 lead halfway through the game.

McDonald got his second goal of the night to ice it for the Pens. The league's leading goal scorer from last season putting pucks in the net in late April is just fine with me.

Mike Carman tipped a Kevin Marshall point shot with 1:52 left to break Brad Thiessen's shutout bid, but too little too late for the Bears and they now trail the best of five series 1-0.

WBS Penguins Begin Calder Cup Quest

Hopefully we see a lot of this on home ice!
The Penguins host the Hershey Bears in Game One of the best of five series tomorrow night, marking the beginning of what is hopefully a quest for the Calder Cup.

The Penguins owned the season series with the Bears this year (7-3-0-2 in 12 games) but all that gets thrown out the window when the two teams start a race to three wins in round one.

Both teams will be missing some guys on recall to the NHL, but the advantage here goes to the Penguins as the Bears will be without both of their usual netminders: Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin, as well as top line center Keith Aucoin and top defenseman Dmitry Orlov for the time being.

They will be on their way to the AHL when their parent club Washington Capitals are eliminated from contention in the NHL. Right now, the Caps have tied their series with the Bruins 2-2 with an important Game 4 win tonight in Washington, DC. Worst case scenario, the earliest the WBS Penguins would see these guys is for Game 3 if the Capitals bow out in six games. If the Capitals can stretch the series to a seventh game, then it wouldn't be until at least Game 4. Obviously if the Capitals come back and win the series, we won't see any reinforcements during the series.

The Penguins will also be without a few guys it appears as of right now. Defensemen Brian Strait and Simon Despres both played in Pittsburgh's 10-3 thrashing of Philadelphia in last night's Game 4. Eric Tangradi also got his first 2012 playoff action, but he has been with the NHL Pens for quite some time now. All three are eligible to play in the AHL playoffs.

Now let's breakdown the teams and I'll offer my prediction for the series.

Grading The "Stretch Run" 4/17

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The regular season has ended. The Penguins finish the season after 76 games with a record of 44-25-2-5, good for 95 points, 2nd in the East Division and the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Highland Park Hockey's end of the season "Stretch Run" award goes to......

The "Prostitution line" of Nick Petersen, Ben Street and Geoff Walker. I know it's usually one player for the monthly award but these three guys couldn't have done it by themselves. This line just dominated opponents down the stretch so I chose all three. Sue me!

Grades for every player on the roster down the stretch, after the jump.

Pens Drop Season Finale 3-2

Sunday, April 15, 2012

To be honest, the result of the game doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Both teams had their positions locked up before they played each other last night. In essence, another preseason game this afternoon.

Brad Thiessen, Joey Mormina, Alexandre Picard, Ryan Craig, Jason Williams, Colin McDonald and Brian Gibbons sat out tonight. Some of the Black Aces got some game action in the last two games, which was nice to see.

Beat writer Jonathan Bombulie says practice for the playoffs starts Tuesday so expect the next update on the team then.

Forgot to mention this before, but I delayed the March Grades post to allow the regular season games in April to be included. I'll post that early in the week.  I'll also have a breakdown of the Penguins and Bears leading up to their first round series which begins on Friday.

Pens Win Home Finale 3-2

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In a game where a lot of regulars were missing from the lineup and some new faces suited up, the Penguins managed to win the home finale and finish the year above .500 at home.

No Bryan Lerg, Ben Street, Geoff Walker, Brian Gibbons, Zach Sill or Robert Bortuzzo tonight. Andrew Hotham, Adam Payerl, Chris Barton, Matt Rust, and Steve MacIntyre were in.

Bridgeport took a 1-0 lead 22 seconds into the contest. Mike Halmo scored his first scored his first AHL goal.

The Pens got a goal from an unlikely source about two and a half minutes later when Steve MacIntyre (YES STEVE MACINTYRE!) finished off a hard working drive to the net with his first of the season and first goal in 125 pro games. Tip of the hat to Jonathan Bombulie for looking that one up.

Colin McDonald's 14th goal of the season, a power play tally, gave the Pens a 2-1 lead late in the first frame.

No goals in the second period but good saves by both goalies. Brad Thiessen for WBS and Kenny Reiter for Bridgeport. Thiessen made his second start in as many nights, while Reiter (a Pittsburgh native) made his AHL debut.

Jason Williams added the insurance goal 1:06 into the third period and ride Brad Thiessen's saves to a 3-2 victory.

Pens end the season tomorrow in Bridgeport with a 3 p.m. face-off. Then next Friday (4/20), the Pens host the Hershey Bears in the first round of the playoffs.

Pens Lose 3-1, Still Clinch 4th Seed

Friday, April 13, 2012
Should see Scott Munroe tomorrow night. Some surprised he wasn't in tonight.
The Penguins drop a 3-1 decision to the Binghamton Senators tonight, but still wrap up the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference as the Hershey Bears also lost, 6-4 to the Portland Pirates. One more out of town score with relevance. I believe since the Connecticut Whale lost tonight as well that the Penguins and Bears are slated to play each other in round one at the 4 vs. 5 match up.

There were rumblings after the game that the Penguins announced the dates for Games 1 and 2 as next Friday (4/20) and Saturday (4/21). Official announcement should come tomorrow on the full five game series schedule but if I had to guess what it will end up being:
Friday, April 20th, in Wilkes-Barre
Saturday, April 21st, in Wilkes-Barre
Monday, April 23rd, in Hershey
*** Wednesday, April 25th, in Hershey
*** Friday, April 27th, in Wilkes-Barre
*** = if necessary
Penguins host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in tomorrow's home finale, then finish the regular season Sunday in Bridgeport with an afternoon contest.

Munroe The Whale Killer: Pens Win 3-0

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scott Munroe shuts out the Connecticut Whale for the third time this season, his second 3-0 decision, and the Penguins inch closer to locking up the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

The current 5th seed Hershey Bears lost to the Syracuse Crunch in a shootout, so with a five point cushion (93 to 88 currently) it appears as though the magic number to clinch the 4th seed is three. I think on the Twitter side I said one point but my current math is giving me three. The Penguins own all the tiebreakers with the Bears.

But back to Munroe. He shut out the Whale in his WBS debut back in October, while losing the game in the shootout, 1-0. He also shut them out last Friday in Hartford. This was his 3rd shutout of the season against the Whale, his 5th of the season overall.

Do we have a decision to make in net or is Munroe simply "The Whale Killer"?

Recap after the jump.

Power Play Parade: Pens Win 4-2

Friday, April 6, 2012
Tonight, referees T.J. Luxmore and David Banfield called a combined 23 infractions in tonight's contest, including a total of 19 power plays!  Hershey goes 1 for 9 and the Penguins go 3 for 10 and win the game.

The real story of the game is how easily the Penguins got the Bears skilled players off their game tonight. Joey Mormina knocked Ryan Potulny into the middle of next week with a clean stand up hit at the Pens defensive blue line. Potulny left the ice and later returned but was more involved in trying to retaliate than playing his own game.

Kyle Greentree also was taking shots at Penguins players, though he scored both Bears goals tonight in a losing effort.

The Penguins came out and outworked the Bears in all facets of the game in the first period. The Penguins 4th line of Ryan Craig, Zach Sill and Brandon DeFazio punished the Bears physically all night long.

The win puts the Pens' magic number to clinch 4th place down to three points. It's nearly set in stone that the Pens and Bears will meet in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Pens host the Whale tomorrow night. We'll have exclusive live updates as usual, bringing you closer to the action at Mohegan Sun Arena!

Six 'Strait' Power Plays Haunt Penguins

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Penguins came out flying tonight and barely allowed the Admirals out of their defensive zone for the first 7:24 of the game. Then, Ryan Craig gets whistled for holding and the momentum completely flips hands.

Former Penguin forward Michel Ouellet scored his 15th of the season, and the power play goal sparked the Admirals to a 1-0 lead after the first period.

The second period started off how the first ended, with Admirals pressure and Penguins penalty kills. The Pens started the period killing off Simon Despres' minor from the tail end of the first frame. They actually went on to be whistled for seven of the last eight penalties in the game. More on that later.

After killing off Alex Grant's tripping minor, the Penguins started to get more offensive pressure and created some scoring chances.  Bryan Lerg was hooked on a fast break but was able to regain possession of the puck and set up Grant with a one-timer from the point. Lerg tipped it past Tokarski at  the 14:23 mark and tied the game at one, silencing the crowd.

A bad bounce and a bad break resulted in the Admirals game winning goal in the third period.  Brian Strait took his second minor of the period about halfway through the third period when he played a puck into the stands and was tagged for delay of game. 

On the ensuing face-off, Cal O'Reilly broke his stick and the Admirals moved the puck around to Mark Barberio, the AHL's leader in scoring by a defenseman, who beat Munroe on a basically uncontested shot to give the Admirals the crucial 2-1 lead.

Penguins hit a couple posts in the third period, notably Jason Williams' shot that clanked off the bar. They did everything but score and fall 2-1. The streak continues for the Admirals, which is now up to 23 games.

The Pens outplayed the Admirals at even strength. Both Admirals goals tonight came on the power play.  The Penguins got into penalty trouble against a team with the 2nd best power play in the league and it ultimately cost them the game.

They say the calls usually even themselves out but they certainly did not tonight. Interesting that the final power play count was seven for the Admirals and just two for the Penguins.  The Thompson rough in a scrum started by the Admirals in Munroe's crease never should have resulted in a power play. Either send both guys that are roughing after the whistle or don't call anything.

The Petersen tripping was soft as well, especially considering the Admirals already were awarded three third period power plays in the first 11:56 of the period.

Either way, the Penguins hung right with the Admirals and were arguably the better team tonight.  The Admirals wrapped up the top spot in the East and the Pens are pretty much slated for a match up with the Hershey Bears in the 4 vs. 5 battle. The Pens currently own a two point advantage over the Bears for the 4th spot.

Our monthly grades continue with March Grades and our WBS Player of the Month award coming before this weekend's games. If any news breaks before Thursday's morning practice, I'll have it. If nothing notable happens the Grades will go up tomorrow night.

WBS @ NOR Preview 4/3

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Penguins and Admirals clash in what will be the last regular season meeting between the two teams. 

The Admirals have the East division wrapped up and besides the 22 game win streak and a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference, they are riding the momentum they have built since SuperBowl Sunday.

The Penguins know the best they can finish is 4th and an intrastate rivalry series with the Hershey Bears is looming after April 15th's season finale against Bridgeport.  The Pens would like to come in and end this ridiculously long winning streak and make a statement. These two teams could see each other in a potential 2nd round match up and the Pens haven't fared well against the Admirals, going just 2-7 against Norfolk this season.

Random Stat: Depth Scoring

I looked at the top five teams in the Eastern Conference and counted how many players on the active roster that had scored 10+ goals and here's what I found:
Norfolk = 8
St John's = 8
Bridgeport = 6
Wilkes-Barre = 11
Hershey = 7
So while the Penguins don't have one or two guys in the league's scoring race, they have what appears to be more well rounded goal scorers. If a team dresses 18 skaters and 11 of them have put in at least ten goals each, it's a lot of work for the opposition defensively because they cannot key on just one guy or one line.

I'll be live at the Scope tonight providing updates and exclusive coverage of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL). The place to be when the Pens are on the road is right here!

Monday's Defensive Movement 4/2

Monday, April 2, 2012
Samuelsson (left) was demoted to the ECHL. Sneep (right) will have season ending surgery.
A few things to catch up on as the Penguins get ready for a Tuesday night match up with the red hot Norfolk Admirala, the last regular season meeting between the teams.
  • First off, Brian Strait was re-assigned to the AHL Penguins since Kris Letang returned in Pittsburgh. And since Strait was back in the AHL ranks, Philip Samuelsson was sent to the ECHL affiliate Wheeling Nailers. The Nailers are getting ready to start their 2012 playoff run.
  • In other defensemen news, Carl Sneep will have season ending surgery according to head coach John Hynes through Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie. A great start but ultimately an injury plagued season for Sneep. 
With these moves, here's how the WBS defense shakes out:
Robert Bortuzzo - Brian Strait
Alexandre Picard - Joey Mormina
Simon Despres - Alex Grant - Cody Wild
Up front, Jason Williams missed Saturday's game in Albany but he practiced today so he appears ready for tomorrow's game.

Highland Park Hockey will be at the Scope in Norfolk again providing exclusive in game photos, updates. etc on the Twitter side. Follow us if you're not already! We will post photos on our Facebook page of the game as well.