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WBS Update: AHL Pens Win Two of Three Games on Weekend Road Trip

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Brian Strait returned to the lineup this week after missing a few games last week.
Brian Strait returned to the lineup this week after missing a few games last week.

At the midway point of the season, the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) are 32-9 and still out in front of the entire AHL in the standings.  The Pens played three games in about  two and a half days over the weekend and while the road trip got off to a near perfect start, it ended on a sour note - their seven game win streak ended Sunday. But the Pens are 7-1 in games after a loss this season so hopefully the team can get back on track Wednesday when they host the Syracuse Crunch.

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A quick look at the three games played over the weekend after the jump. And be sure to keep an eye out for my WBS mid-season grades coming soon.

Friday 1/14 @ Providence Bruins: 2-0 Win
  • Brad Thiessen earned his 3rd shutout of the season on Friday, while his counterpart Nolan Schaefer made a lot of saves to keep the game close the last two meetings between the teams.
  • Geoff Walker and Brett Sterling were the goal scorers for the Pens.
  • After recording only one goal in the last eight games of December, Sterling has caught fire in 2011.  He's in the midst of a five game point streak, while recording a point in seven of the eight games the Pens have played in January.  Sterling has three goals and five assists in that same eight-game stretch.

Saturday 1/15 @ Adirondack Phantoms: 4-2 Win

  • John Curry helped the Pens to a win on Saturday and their win streak is up to seven games.
  • Four different goal scorers for the Pens, but Corey Potter opened the game with his first goal of the season.  Potter now has a goal and 17 assists on the season.

Sunday 1/16 @ Connecticut Whale: 6-3 Loss

  • The Penguins and Whale were two teams both in the third game in three straight days, but the Penguins looked the sloppier less prepared team.
  • Brad Thiessen was pulled in the first period after allowing four goals on his first 10 shots.  In that first period the Whale registered two shorthanded goals, a power play goal and an even strength goal.
  •  Connecticut's Chad Kolarik scored both of the shorthanded goals, while also adding two assists.
  • The Pens made a comeback in the second period to get to 4-3 heading into the final frame, but simply ran out gas in the tank.

Final Thoughts:

  • Despite the big loss on Sunday, the Pens are still in control of their division. They lead second place Norfolk by 11 points.
  • Hopefully, Andrew Hutchinson will be back in the lineup this week. The power play has struggled without him in the lineup including a 1 for 9 showing with the man advantage Sunday. Hutchinson (knee) has been out since December 17th.