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WBS Weekly: The Jarry Show

Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry stops a total of 59 out of 61 shots to fuel WBS to another perfect weekend...and earn himself a promotion.

Tristan Jarry in the zone.
Kate Frese, SB Nation - @KateFresePhoto

FEBRUARY 2: Hershey 1 @ WBS 4

It certainly seemed like Groundhog Day for the Hershey Bears on Friday night, as they traveled up I-81 North for their eighth meeting of 12 this season against the WBS Penguins. It appeared as though WBS would not have the services of the recently-demoted Jean-Sebastien Dea on Friday, as he was a late arrival for warmups, but Dea was included in the starting lineup alongside Zach Aston-Reese (more on him in a bit), Ryan Haggerty, Ethan Prow, Andrey Pedan, and the star of the weekend Tristan Jarry.

Jarry didn’t start out the weekend very well, allowing the first goal of the game to Riley Barber just 6:22 into the first, but from there he shut the door, stopping a total of 25 out of 26 shots. On this night, the defenders powered the offense, as Andrey Pedan scored his sixth of the season on a powerplay slapshot at 17:59 of the first, then doubled his total at 5:34 of the third as he centered a 3 on 1 rush and buried a centering pass from Greg McKegg. Fellow defender Kevin Czuczman provided the insurance with a floater through traffic at 11:40 of the third, then Jarrett Burton finished the scoring with an empty-netter off an inspired forechecking effort from Daniel Sprong.

The win was WBS’s third in a row, seventh in a row on home ice, and head coach Clark Donatelli’s 100th win for WBS.

Daniel Sprong tallied two assists on the night, also helping on Pedan’s game-winner in the third, for third star honors. Jarry’s 25-save performance earned him second honors, with top honors going to Andrey Pedan.

FEBRUARY 3: Lehigh Valley 1 @ WBS 2

The well-deserved promotion of Zach Aston-Reese to Pittsburgh on Saturday morning necessitated WBS’s own round of promotions, calling on Reid Gardiner and Troy Josephs from Wheeling. Gardiner made the starting 20 against Lehigh Valley, while Josephs did not.

If we’re being honest here, Pink in the Rink night, the tenth meeting of the season between the Penguins and Phantoms, went the Phantoms’ way. The Phantoms dominated play at times, racking up a total shot differential of 35-21, and on several occasions, their play made the WBS defense look extremely suspect.

Lehigh Valley, though, made two huge mistakes on the evening.

The first fell to starting goaltender Dustin Tokarski, who conceded WBS’s first shot of the game off the stick of Jean-Sebastien Dea from a sharp angle just 26 seconds into the game, forcing Lehigh Valley to play from behind right off the bat.

The second fell to the Lehigh Valley penalty kill, which allowed Daniel Sprong the time and space he needs to crank up his one-time slapshot on the power play for his 20th goal of the season for WBS at 12:53 of the first.

The only thing that stopped the Phantoms from running away with this game was Tristan Jarry’s most dominating performance of the season for WBS. Except for former Penguin Chris Conner’s 11th of the season at 9:00 of the third, Jarry wasn’t just perfect...he was fantastic in stopping the other 34 shots he faced from the Phantoms, punctuated by this beauty in the final minutes.

Within the ebbs and flows of a hockey season, sometimes you just need your goalie to steal you a game. Jarry certainly did that, earning well-deserved top honors on the night for WBS’s fourth straight win (eighth in a row on home ice) and a promotion back to Pittsburgh on Sunday morning as the parent Penguins shuffled their backup goaltenders. Sprong’s insurance goal earned second honors, while Dea’s opening strike earned third honors.

STANDINGS (through the games of February 4, as compiled from theahl.com)

  • Atlantic Division: 1) WBS 28-12-4, .682; 2) Lehigh Valley 27-14-6, .638; 3) Providence 26-16-4, .609; 4) Bridgeport 23-17-6, .565; 5) Charlotte 25-19-3, .564; 6) Hartford 21-20-7, .510; 7) Springfield 22-24-2, .479; 8) Hershey 18-23-7, .448
  • North Division: 1) Toronto 34-11-1, .750; 2) Rochester 25-11-11, .649; 3) Utica 24-14-9, .606; 4) Syracuse 26-17-4, .596; 5) Belleville 19-25-4, .438; 6) Laval 17-23-7, .436; 7) Binghamton 13-23-9, .389
  • Central Division: 1) Manitoba 31-10-5, .728; 2) Chicago 24-15-8, .596; 3) Iowa 22-14-10, .587; 4) Grand Rapids 24-18-6, .563; 5) Rockford 24-18-6, .563; 6) Milwaukee 21-20-4, .511; 7) Cleveland 14-24-7, .389
  • Pacific Division: 1) Tucson 24-14-3, .622; 2) Texas 25-17-6, .583; 3) San Diego 23-17-1, .573; 4) Ontario 23-17-3, .570; 5) San Antonio 24-18-4, .565; 6) Stockton 21-16-5, .560; 7) San Jose 21-18-3, .536; 8) Bakersfield 17-18-8, .488

STATISTICS (through the games of February 4, as compiled from theahl.com)

  • GOALS: Daniel Sprong - 20 (T-6th in AHL, 2nd among all rookies); Ryan Haggerty - 16; Teddy Blueger, Christian Thomas - 12; Jean-Sebastien Dea - 11; Zach Aston-Reese, Thomas DiPauli - 9; Garrett Wilson - 8; Andrey Pedan, Gage Quinney - 7
  • ASSISTS: Kevin Czuczman, Zach Aston-Reese - 20; Ryan Haggerty, Daniel Sprong, Jean-Sebastien Dea - 15; Adam Johnson, Teddy Blueger - 14; Dominik Simon, Garrett Wilson - 13; Frank Corrado, Colin Smith, Andrey Pedan - 12
  • POINTS: Daniel Sprong - 35 (4th among rookies); Ryan Haggerty - 31; Zach Aston-Reese - 29; Teddy Blueger, Jean-Sebastien Dea - 26; Kevin Czuczman - 23; Christian Thomas, Garrett Wilson - 21; Andrey Pedan - 19; Adam Johnson - 18
  • GOALIES: Tristan Jarry 6-2-0, 2.60 GAA, .914 save percentage, no shutouts; Casey DeSmith 12-5-2, 2.53 GAA, .915 save percentage, two shutouts; Anthony Peters 7-4-2, 2.33 GAA, .916 save percentage, one shutout
  • SPECIAL TEAMS: Power play 13.8%, 8 shorthanded goals allowed; penalty kill 83.7%, 5 shorthanded goals forced

THE WEEK AHEAD

WBS hits the Atlantic Division road this week with an extended trip to the New England states, starting off with a Wednesday, February 7 visit to Springfield at 7:05 pm EST. From there, WBS heads to Providence for two games against the Bruins, first on Friday, February 9 at 7:05 pm EST, then on Sunday, February 11 at 3:05 pm EST.