The Week Ahead 11/4

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Editor's note: Now that the season is in full-swing, I'll provide a weekly look at what lies ahead for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms as well as what games I'll be attending that week. Be sure to let me know what you think of a weekly update like this and what you would like to see more of below in the comments and on Facebook/Twitter.

This week, I'll have in-game coverage of Wednesday night's Lehigh Valley Phantoms game against the Worcester Sharks. Follow @TonyAndrock_TCG on Twitter for all of the action.

Friday night, I'll be heading to Syracuse to see the Crunch take on the Norfolk Admirals. Saturday night, I'll be live from the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton as the BSens host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow @H_P_Hockey on Twitter for live in-game updates.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
5-5-1-0, 11 points - Second Place East Division

Up Next

After being swept in a two-game road trip to Norfolk by the Admirals, the AHL Pens look to get back on track with a three-game weekend this week starting at home against rival Hershey. The Pens will make their first trip of the season to Binghamton Saturday night before hosting Syracuse on Sunday afternoon.

11/7 - Friday vs. Hershey (6-4-0-0), 7:05 p.m. ET 

Hershey leads the East Division entering the first week of November. They have the league's leading scorer in Kris Newbury and two solid goaltenders in Philipp Grubauer and rookie Pheonix Copley, the latter of which had a recent shutout streak snapped last weekend.

Leading Scorers: Kris Newbury (six goals, nine assists), Casey Wellman (six goals, four assists) and Tomas Kundratek (zero goals, nine assists)
Goalies: Pheonix Copley (3-1-0, 1.71 GAA, .927 SV%, 2 SO) and Philipp Grubauer (3-3-0, 2.36 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO)

11/8 - Saturday @ Binghamton (3-5-2-0), 7:05 p.m. ET 

The BSens have gotten off to a bit of a slow start considering they won the division last year and returned most of their 2013-14 roster. They have allowed a ton of shots and goals, while also putting up a lot of offense themselves. Goaltender Andrew Hammond has played far better than his numbers suggest.

Leading Scorers: Chris Wideman (seven goals, six assists), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (three goals, five assists) and Buddy Robinson (two goals, five assists)
Goalies: Andrew Hammond (2-5-2, 3.80 GAA, .900 SV%, 0 SO) and Scott Greenham (1-0-0, 2.24 GAA, .942 SV%, 0 SO) 

11/9 - Sunday vs. Syracuse (4-4-1-0), 4:05 p.m. ET 

The Crunch have seen a lot of their go guys back and forth between the NHL and AHL, and just had the privilege of having the rehabbing Jonathan Drouin in town at the end of October. The Crunch boast highly-touted rookie goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Leading Scorers: Jonathan Marchessault (three goals, five assists), Cedric Paquette (four goals, three assists) and Joel Vermin (three goals, three assists)
Goalies: Kristers Gudlevskis (3-2-0, 2.77 GAA, .908 SV%, 0 SO) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (1-2-1, 2.71 GAA, .903 SV%, 0 SO) 

ROSTER NOTES - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Jeff Zatkoff went down with a lower body injury and rookie goaltender Matt Murray has stepped in and taken over the WBS Pens net. He lost both games over weekend but has been playing far better than even his above average numbers (2-2-1,  2.02 GAA, .919 SV %, 1 SO) suggest. He had a puck handling gaffe over the weekend that led to a goal, but Murray is still in his first full season of pro hockey and mistakes are going to be made.

Pittsburgh called up Scott Harrington with Olli Maatta undergoing treatment to remove a tumor from his thyroid. Barry Goers is day-to-day with what is being termed an upper body injury and Derrick Pouliot skated in a red no-contact jersey, which leaves the AHL Penguins a little thin on defense. 

The AHL Pens received a boost up front as Pittsburgh re-assigned forwards Jayson Megna and Beau Bennett to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bennett is on a conditioning stint in which he can stay for up to two weeks. Both Megna and Bennett are expected to be in the lineup Friday night at home versus rival Hershey. 

Conor Sheary returned to the WBS lineup Saturday night after an eight-game absence. Josh Archibald looks to make his season debut this weekend, recovering from a shoulder injury that kept him out of regular season action to this point.

Nick Drazenovic (lower body) and Anton Zlobin (upper body) remain out week-to-week. Zlobin was injured in Norfolk this past weekend after being a healthy scratch for most of the season.

Lines from Saturday's Game:

Scott Wilson - Andrew Ebbett - Tom Kostopoulos 
Conor Sheary - J-S Dea - Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl - Adam Payerl - Dominik Uher
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Matia Marcantuoni - Bobby Farhnham

Brian Dumoulin - Taylor Chorney
Scott Harrington (called up to PIT) - Philip Samuelsson
Reid McNeill - Alex Boak

Matt Murray - Eric Hartzell

WBS Scratches: Jeff Zatkoff (lower body), Nick Drazenovic (lower body), Josh Archibald (upper body), Anton Zlobin (upper body), Nick D'Agostino, Barry Goers (upper body), Zack Torquato and Derrick Pouliot (upper body).

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 
4-3-1-0, 9 points - Third Place East Division


After dropping their third straight game Saturday night vs. Hartford, the Phantoms will now head on their first extended road trip of the season, starting Wednesday night in Worcester against the Sharks. The Phantoms will play Friday night in Manchester and Saturday night in Portland before finishing their four-game road trip next Friday night in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins.

11/5 - Wednesday @ Worcester (5-3-1-0), 7:00 p.m. ET 

The Sharks have been a surprise in the Atlantic Division in the first month, just two points out of first place. Troy Grosenick has been terrific in net and has gotten offensive support as well, which has translated to five wins in October.

Leading Scorers: Freddie Hamilton (five goals, three assists), Daniil Tarasov (two goals, six assists) and Micheal Haley (five goals, two assists).
Goalies: Troy Grosenick (5-2-1, 2.78 GAA, .906 SV%, 0 SO) and J.P. Anderson (0-1-0, 4.06 GAA, .778 SV%, 0 SO)

11/7 - Friday @ Manchester (5-3-0-0), 7:00 p.m. ET 

The reigning AHL regular season champions from 2014 have been above average through October, but find themselves with the rest of the pack in the standings due to the division having four teams at or above .500 records. The combo of Jordan Weal and Brian O'Neill continues to dominate their opposition.

Leading Scorers: Jordan Weal (two goals, six assists), Brian O'Neill (three goals, four assists) and Sean Backman (two goals, four assists).
Goalies: Jean-Francois Berube (3-2-0, 2.05 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO) and Patrik Bartosak (2-1-0, 3.12 GAA, .890 SV%, 0 SO)

11/8 - Saturday @ Portland (5-5-0-0), 7:00 p.m. ET 

Portland is looking to rebound from one of the worst seasons in franchise history last year. So far, so good for the Pirates who are still in the thick of things early on in 2014-15. They have several talented young forwards in the system. 

Leading Scorers: Alexandre Bolduc (three goals, seven assists), Brendan Shinnimin (three goals, five assists) and Lucas Lessio (four goals, two assists).
Goalies: Louis Domingue (3-1-0, 2.26 GAA, .929 SV%, 0 SO) and Mike McKenna (2-4-0, 2.67 GAA, .917 SV%, 0 SO)


The Phantoms are led in net by 14-year veteran Rob Zepp (4-1-1, 2.75 GAA, .910 SV%, 0 SO), who has started all but two games for the Phantoms so far this season. Zepp has stabilized what has been a young and relatively inexperienced defines core.

Speaking of defense, Shayne Gostisbehere was returned to the Phantoms over the weekend after the Flyers signed Carlo Colaiacovo and called up Brandon Manning from Lehigh Valley. Gostsisbehere's return should provide the Phantoms power play a boost. 

Mark Alt is out long term with an upper body injury. Steven Delisle suffered an upper body injury during the team's morning skate on Saturday night. Delisle's status for Wednesday night's game.

Brett Hextall (upper body) is still not 100 percent, though he has been skating with the team in practice since being out of the lineup two weeks ago. Jay Rosehill has served his three-game suspension and can return to the Phantoms lineup.

Lines from Saturday Night's Game:

Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Andrew Gordon
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Zack Stortini
Darroll Powe - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson
Austin Fyten - Andrew Johnston - Derek Mathers

Robert Hagg - Jesper Pettersson
Oliver Lauridsen - Maxim Lamarche
Brett Flemming

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz 

Phantoms Scratches: Mark Alt (upper body), Steven Delisle (upper body), Brett Hextall (upper body) and Jay Rosehill (served final game of suspension)


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