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WBS Weekly: Dustin Tokarski stops losing streak with first shutout of season

Tokarski’s 28th career shutout sparked a 4-0 win over Hershey on Friday, but WBS could not continue the momentum into Bridgeport.

WBS Penguins goaltender Dustin Tokarski, on his way to a shutout Friday night against Hershey.

4Friday, November 18: Hershey 0 @ WBS 4

The WBS Penguins kicked off a stretch of seven games in 12 days with their fourth game against Hershey of the season this past Friday night. WBS started the night on the right foot, as Drake Caggiula, veteran of 281 NHL games and only 10 AHL games, scored the first goal of his AHL career at 4:16 of the first period. Mitch Reinke and Xavier Ouellet provided assists.

That goal ended up being all that goaltender Dustin Tokarski would need on the night, but WBS gave him three more goals of cushion in the third period anyway. Jonathan Gruden’s second goal of the season at 13:46 of the third doubled the lead, with Ouellet and Tokarski scoring assists.

Sam Houde made the lead 3-0 at 15:24 of the third, assisted by Tyler Sikura and Mark Friedman.

Filip Hållander ended the proceedings with his fifth goal of the season into an empty net at 18:52 of the third.

Gruden took third star for his goal, Caggiula second star for his goal, but the star of the night was clearly Tokarski. He finished with 26 saves and his first shutout of his season. The shutout was Tokarski’s 28th of his AHL career, tying him for ninth in league history.

Saturday, November 19: WBS 2 @ Bridgeport 4

WBS then kicked off a three-game road trip with their first visit to Bridgeport of the season. Defender Ty Smith scored his fourth goal of the year for WBS at 5:32 on a power play to put the Penguins in front, with Drake Caggiula and Alex Nylander assisting.

Bridgeport tied the game at 4:50 of the second, as William Dufour broke through the WBS penalty kill with his 5th goal of the season. Otto Koivula and Sam Bolduc recorded assists.

WBS took the lead again at 17:00 of the second, as Sam Poulin was released on a breakaway and scored his second of the season. Valtteri Puustinen and Filip Hållander posted assists.

WBS could not hold that lead through even the end of the second period, as Koivula scored his 2nd goal of the season on a power play at 19:42 of the second. Parker Wotherspoon and William Dufour got assists.

In the third period, Kyle MacLean scored his 3rd of the season at 4:27 of the third, with Cole Bardreau and Paul LaDue assisting. Bridgeport was then able to hold that lead to the end of the game, and Wotherspoon scored into an empty net at 19:01 of the third to close the door.

Longtime veteran goaltender Cory Schneider took the win with 30 saves on 32 shots, while WBS’s Filip Lindberg took the loss, saving 26 of 29 shots. The WBS power play went 1 for 3, but the penalty kill only went 3 for 5. MacLean, Koivula, and Dufour swept the stars for the home side.

Atlantic Division standings, through the games of November 20

  1. Providence Bruins: 16 games played, 10-2-4, 24 points
  2. Bridgeport Islanders: 15 games played, 9-3-3, 21 points
  3. Hershey Bears: 15 games played, 9-4-2, 20 points
  4. Charlotte Checkers: 15 games played, 9-4-2, 20 points
  5. Springfield Thunderbirds: 16 games played, 7-6-3, 17 points
  6. WBS Penguins: 13 games played, 7-5-1, 15 points
  7. Lehigh Valley Phantoms: 14 games played, 7-6-1, 15 points
  8. Hartford Wolf Pack: 14 games played, 5-5-4, 14 points


Filip Hållander continues to pace the Penguins with 11 points (5G+6A) in 12 games. Alex Nylander is equal to Hållander in goals with five, but he’s got five assists for 10 points and second place on the team. Valtteri Puustinen ends the week with nine points (3G+6A) on the season for the third highest total on the team. Defenders Ty Smith (4G+4A) and Xavier Ouellet (0G+8A) tie for fourth place on the team with eight points. Ouellet’s eight assists lead the team.

Dustin Tokarski, 5-2-1 through eight games, continues to pace the AHL in goals against average at 1.38. His GAA is nearly a half goal per game better than the two goalies for Providence, Brandon Bussi at 1.84 and Kyle Keyser at 1.87. Tokarski ranks second in the AHL in save percentage with .948, only one thousandth of a point behind Bussi’s .949. As for Filip Lindberg, he holds a record of 2-3-0, a GAA of 2.82, and a save percentage of .895 in six appearances.

WBS’s power play conversion percentage of 18.3% ranks 22nd in the AHL at week’s end. The penalty kill clocks in at 80.8%, good for 16th in the AHL.

The Week Ahead

The Penguins will not have much time to enjoy the holidays this week, as they have four games on their schedule. First up is their first trip to Charlotte of the season for two games against the Checkers. Faceoffs on Monday, November 21 and Wednesday, November 23 are each 7:00 pm EST. WBS comes back home for Black Friday to host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 pm EST November 25, then they go right back on the road Saturday, November 26 to take on the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:05 pm EST.