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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Weekly: 11-30-15

This is my house. I have to defend it.

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Three games in four days over the Thanksgiving weekend. Let's give thanks.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Binghamton, 11-25-15

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened their extended weekend with a return visit to the short ice at Binghamton, where their record-setting 11-game winning streak was destroyed by the Senators last weekend. WBS certainly came out of the gates intending to avenge the prior Friday’s loss, taking a 2-0 lead just 4:23 into the first on goals by Carter Rowney, his eighth of the season, and Kael Mouillierat, his fifth.  Binghamton controlled the remainder of the period, however, using a power play goal by Eric O’Dell at 15:48 to cut the lead to 2-1 after 20 minutes.  The second period belonged to WBS if you look at shots on goal, which ended 20-3 to the Penguins, but Binghamton goalie Matt O’Connor repelled them all, and Binghamton’s Cole Schneider recorded a power play goal at 9:07 to level the proceedings after 40.

After a Ryan Dzingel goal at 4:45 of the third, it looked as though Binghamton would once again foil the Penguins, but Dominik Simon continued his amazing rookie season at 13:53 with his seventh goal of the season to tie the game.  In overtime, it was another dynamic youngster, Derrick Pouliot, who provided the game-winner at 3:55 to give WBS the extra point and a 4-3 overtime victory.  Goalie Matt Murray turned in an uncharacteristic (for him) performance, stopping only 18 of 21 shots, but a win’s a win.

Three stars:

3) Cole Schneider, BNG; one goal, one assist

2) Dominik Simon, WBS; one goal, one assist

1) Derrick Pouliot, WBS; game-winning goal in OT

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Providence, 11-27-15

The Penguins returned to the friendly confines of the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Black Friday to welcome the Providence Bruins.  It took over 18 minutes for the scoring to begin, but Conor Sheary provided his third goal of the season at 18:22 of the first to give WBS the 20-minute lead.  Mouillierat tallied a power play goal at 8:13 of the second, his sixth of the season, to expand the lead to 2-0, and Simon wrapped a bow on it at 15:47 of the third, his eighth of the season.  WBS 3, Providence 0.  Matt Murray reverted to his usual form, stopping all 29 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season, while Providence’s Malcolm Subban (P.K. Subban’s brother) stopped 27 of 30 WBS shots in a losing effort.

There was also this little tidbit of history:

My fellow writer here at Pensburgh, @kikkerlaika, also tweeted out this tidbit following Friday's game:

We'll come back to that in a moment.

Three stars:

3) Kael Mouillierat, WBS; one goal, one assist

2) Conor Sheary, WBS; game-winning goal

1) Matt Murray, WBS; 29-save shutout

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Hershey, 11-28-15

Nothing like ending the weekend with a Saturday night showdown against your biggest rival, eh?

Very tight first period in this game. And I don't mean "tight" as in interference, holding, and shenanigans...I mean tight as in several good chances by each, sticks in lanes to deflect passes, lots of effort. Hershey controlled most of the play, but came out of the first 20 with only a 9-8 shot advantage and no goals.

WBS wasted no time getting on the board in the second, with Will O'Neill floating a pass for Kevin Porter to get behind the defense and triple-deke Justin Peters for the game's opening goal. Tim Erixon also received an assist at 0:26 of the second period. Then, at 9:24 of the first, the ever-reliable-on-defense Niclas Andersen fired home his second goal of the season from the right hand point. Oskar Sundqvist also got an assist. Jean-Sebastien Dea then finished WBS's scoring for the evening by sliding a backhander through two sets of legs in front and just inside the far post. Erixon and Dominik Simon received assists on the power play goal, Dea's seventh goal of the season, at 13:19.

Hershey made it interesting, with a goal at 19:46 of the second by Erik Burgdoerfer and a sharp-angle goal by Riley Barber at 5:39 of the third, but that would be as close as they got. Former Penguin and multi-time Bear Chris Bourque rang the metal with 1:06 to go and WBS killing off a late penalty, but goalie Tristan Jarry stopped everything else he saw to preserve the 3-2 victory and keep the Penguins perfect at home in ten games, the longest such home winning streak in team history.

WBS outshot Hershey 33-27, extending the streak that @kikkerlaika shared above to 9 games and extending the shot differential to 314-227.

Line combinations:

Porter Rowney Simon
Mouillerat Wilson Sheary
Uher Kostopoulos Sundqvist
Archibald Dea Sestet
Pouliot Oleksy
Andersen McNeill
Erixon O'Neill

Three stars:

3) Kevin Porter, WBS; one goal

2) Tim Erixon, WBS; two assists

1) Jean-Sebastien Dea, WBS; game-winning goal

Statistics

(Stats are as of November 28, 2015, compiled from theahl.com after the games of November 28 concluded)

Individual Leaders
  • Goals - Scott Wilson, 11 (T-3rd in AHL)
  • Assists - Conor Sheary, 16 (T-1st in AHL)
  • Points - Sheary/Dominik Simon (tie), 19 (T-8th in AHL)
  • Rookies - Simon's 19 points in 18 games is tied for fourth in the AHL.
  • Goalies
    • Matt Murray - 10-2-0, GAA 1.94 (5th in AHL), save percentage 93.7% (3rd in AHL), 3 shutouts (T-2nd in AHL)
    • Tristan Jarry - 6-0-0, GAA 1.94, save percentage 92.8% (has only played 340 minutes, needed 360 to be included in the league leader rankings

Team Statistics

  • Special Teams
    • Power Play - 26.1% home (3rd in league), 18.9% away (11th), 22.9% overall (4th)
    • Penalty Kill - 88.6% home (T-8th), 84.8% away (11th), 86.8% overall (7th)
  • Goals For and Against
    • 72 goals scored in 18 games (2nd in AHL behind Toronto's 79 in 20 games)
    • Average 4.00 goals scored per game (1st in AHL, just ahead of Toronto's 3.95 goals per game)
    • 37 goals allowed in 18 games (2nd in AHL behind Ontario's 35 allowed in 17 games)
    • Average 2.055 goals allowed per game (2nd in AHL behind Albany at 2.052)
  • Team Record: 10-0-0 home, 6-2-0 away, 16-2-0 overall, 32 points
  • Team Points Percentage: 88.9% (1st in division, conference, and league; no one else is above 80% through 11-28-15)

The Week Ahead

December 4 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 pm EST

December 5 vs. Hartford, 7:05 pm EST

December 6 at Hershey, 5:00 pm EST

Next Week: After the game in Hershey on December 6, WBS will have played 21 games this season.  Next week, I'll take a look at how their 21-game record compares with the 21-game records of past seasons.