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WBS Update: Pens Look for 4-0 Start Today in Charlotte

Nick Johnson has started the season on the team's top line with Dustin Jeffrey and Brett Sterling.
Nick Johnson has started the season on the team's top line with Dustin Jeffrey and Brett Sterling.

After winning their first two home games against the Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms, the Pens traveled to Charlotte this weekend to play two games against the Checkers.  Dustin Jeffrey led the Pens in their 4-2 victory over the Checkers on Friday, scoring both on the power play and shorthanded.  Brad Thiessen picked up his second win in as many starts stopping 30 of 32 shots.  The Pens will look to remain unbeaten today at 3 p.m. in Charlotte.  A look at the team and some things to know about this year's team after the jump.


Lineup Notes:

The roster has become more definitive now that Wheeling has started their season.  WBS sent G Mattias Modig, F Joey Haddad, and F Casey Pierro-Zabotel to the ECHL.

After losing Andrew Hutchinson to Pittsburgh, the Pens signed former WBS defenseman Joey Mormina to a professional tryout contract (PTO). At 6-6 220, Mormina adds size and grit to an already solid defensive unit.

Keven Veilleux and Ryan Craig are still day-to-day with their injuries.  Both made the trip to Charlotte but I don't expect either of them to suit up today.

John Curry and Brad Thiessen have both been impressive so far this season. Neither is considered the starter yet as they have been alternating starts this season. With that said, expect Curry in goal in about an hour for the Pens since Thiessen played on Friday night.


3 Stars so far:

1. Joe Vitale

Vitale is in his 3rd season with WBS, after completing his first full season last year.  In 74 games he recorded six goals and 26 assists while playing mainly on the teams 3rd and 4th lines.  This season he is enjoying a bigger role and has been centering the team's 2nd line while Craig and Veilluex are on the shelf.  Surprisingly, he leads the team in scoring in the first three games with two goals and an assist.  If he continues to play well, it will be hard for the coaching staff to keep him out of a top 6 role.


2. Bryan Lerg

I'm sure most of you have never even heard of Lerg.  I was surprised that he made the team over a few other guys but he has been playing very well so far.  He had spent the previous three seasons with the AHL's Springfield Falcons.  He's got two assists so far and has been effective on both sides of the ice.


3. Dustin Jeffrey

Jeffrey was held off the scoresheet the first two games of the season but erupted for two goals on Friday night.  He leads the team in shots with 16 in the first three games, and has been the team's first line center.  He also is on the top power play unit as well as a solid penalty killer.  Jeffrey should continue to light the lamp and be ready to get the call to the NHL when a forward is needed.


Any questions about the team don't hesitate to ask.  I'll be following WBS all season long!