Condon Earns Two ECHL Awards in April



The Wheeling Nailers  announced today a pair of league honors. Goaltender Mike Condon has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Month and CCM ECHL Rookie of the Month for April.

Condon, 23, earns the honor, following an outstanding month of April, which saw him win all four of his starts, with three of the victories coming via shutout. Mike’s first two appearances came in consecutive days, as he recorded back-to-back shutouts against the Toledo Walleye on April 1st and 2nd. The Holliston, MA native turned aside 35 shots in a 4-0 win on the 1st, before a 31-save performance gave Wheeling the upper hand in a 3-0 contest on the 2nd. Condon’s season-high shutout streak ultimately ended at 166:40 on April 4th, but he and the Nailers were victorious again, as a 24-save effort helped to produce a 4-1 win over Evansville. Finally, on April 12th, Mike set another season-high, posting a 45-save shutout in a 5-0 triumph on the road against Cincinnati.

Overall this season, Condon appeared in 39 games for the Nailers, compiling a 23-12-4 record, a 2.18 goals against average, a .931 save percentage, and six shutouts. His save percentage ranked first in the ECHL, his shutouts ranked second, his win total was tied for fifth, and his goals against average finished sixth. The six shutouts were also the most in a single season for a Wheeling backstop.

These are Mike’s fifth and sixth league honors of the season, as he won ECHL Goaltender of the Week three times (Nov. 25-Dec. 1, Mar. 10-16, Mar. 31-Apr. 6), while also taking home ECHL Rookie of the Month in November. The Princeton University graduate becomes the first player in team history to win ECHL Rookie of the Month twice in one season and the fourth all-time, joining Sean Collins (Oct. 2005), Nick Petersen (Jan. 2011), and Chris Barton (Nov. 2011). Condon is also the fourth Nailer to take home ECHL Goaltender of the Month, joining David Brumby (Oct. 1998), Dany Sabourin (Nov. 2004), and Andy Franck (Apr. 2006).

In the ECHL, Condon becomes the first player since Justin Donati in 2009-10 to win ECHL Rookie of the Month twice in the same season. He also becomes the first player since Jayme Platt in December of 2001 to win ECHL Goaltender of the Month and ECHL Rookie of the Month during the same month.

Mike Condon and the Nailers will begin the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday night at 7:35 against the South Carolina Stingrays. Wheeling’s three home games during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series will take place on April 23rd, 25th, and 26th (if necessary), with all contests starting at 7:00.

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Wheeling Announces Kelly Cup Roster



The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced their roster for the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The roster consists of 20 active players, one reserve player, and eight players who are eligible, but are currently in the American Hockey League. The active roster features 12 forwards, six defensemen, and two goaltenders.

In goal, the Nailers will turn to Mike Condon and Kieran Millan – two netminders who are both under contract with NHL clubs. Condon is coming off of a remarkable rookie season, which saw him post a 23-12-4 record, a 2.18 goals against average, a .931 save percentage, and six shutouts in 39 games. Mike won nine of his final ten starts, while compiling a 4-0-0 record in April, allowing just one goal on 135 shots. Millan appeared in five games with Wheeling, going 2-2-0, including a 23-save shutout on February 23rd.

Defensively, two of the six blueliners for the Nailers have won a Kelly Cup, as Mike Ratchuk took home the championship in 2012 with Florida, while Dustin Stevenson earned a ring with Reading in 2013. Ratchuk finished second among ECHL defensemen in scoring (44 pts) and first in goals (15), and Stevenson led the team with a +25 rating. Peter Merth is the only player from either squad to play in the 2011 playoff series between Wheeling and South Carolina, as he will play postseason hockey for the fourth straight year. Rounding out the defense are Paul Cianfrini, who had a career season with 16 points, along with Myles Harvey and Jake Areshenko.

Up front, Sahir Gill and his ten-game point streak lead the charge into the playoffs, as he ended up leading the team with 41 assists and 54 points. Despite playing in just 44 games, Zack Torquato racked up a career-high 52 points, while Cody Sylvester was the team leader in goals, with 24. Denver Manderson split the season between the AHL and ECHL, making the most of his time in Wheeling, by snagging 29 points in 27 games. Chaz Johnson returns to the postseason in search of his first championship since 2007 with the UHL’s Rockford IceHogs, while Max MacKay, Tyler Fernandez, Shane Bakker, Patrick McGrath, and Derek Army will all get their first tastes of playoff hockey in the pros. Christiaan Minella storms into the second season with 13 goals in 23 games, and Tom Kuhnhackl finishes off the forwards with 14 points in 16 games.

The Nailers will begin the postseason in South Carolina on Friday night at 7:05. Wheeling’s three home games in the series will take place on April 23rd, 25th, and 26th (if necessary) at 7:00.

Roster
1 G Mike Condon
2 D Mike Ratchuk
3 D Peter Merth
4 D Paul Cianfrini
5 F Tyler Fernandez
6 D Myles Harvey
7 F Max MacKay
9 D Dustin Stevenson
10 F Shane Bakker
11 F Christiaan Minella
12 D Jake Areshenko
13 F Patrick McGrath
15 F Zack Torquato
16 F Cody Sylvester
19 F Derek Army
21 F Sahir Gill
22 F Tom Kuhnhackl
27 F Denver Manderson
30 G Kieran Millan
98 F Chaz Johnson

Reserve
14 D Matt Grassi

Eligible Players in AHL
D Nick D’Agostino
D Barry Goers
G Eric Hartzell
G Peter Mannino
F Carter Rowney
D Harrison Ruopp
D Drew Schiestel
F Anton Zlobin

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Penguins Re-Assigned To WBS



The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned defenseman Simon Despres and forwards Chuck Kobasew and Harry Zolnierczyk to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League (AHL), it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

All three players dressed for the Penguins in Sunday’s season-finale against the Ottawa Senators at CONSOL Energy Center.

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Penguins Playoff Tickets Go On Sale April 16th

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that tickets for individual playoff games will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 16 at 10:00am.

Tickets to Home Games A and B can be purchased at the Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena, through any Ticketmaster outlet, online at ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Penguins playoff ticket packages are also available by contacting the Penguins Front Office at (570) 208-PENS.

The Penguins finish up their 2013-14 regular season with a pair of road contests thisFriday in Binghamton and Saturday in Utica.

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Penguins Sign Three to ATOs

It was announced this morning that the WBS Penguins have signed three players to ATOs forward Jean-Sebastien Dea, defenseman Clark Seymour and goaltender Matt Murray

Dea, 20, recently completed his third season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The forward was tied for fourth in the QMJHL with 49 goals, while registering 26 assists and 53 penalty minutes in 65 games. He also posted nine points (6G-3A) in nine playoff games.

A native of Laval, Quebec, Dea has totaled 192 points (111G-81A) in 183 regular-season games and 33 points (19G-14A) in 18 postseason contests.

Murray helped lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to the West Division title this season in the Ontario Hockey League. The 19-year old from Thunder Bay, Ontario ranked second in the league in wins as he compiled a record of 32-11-6 in 40 games and was tied for first in the league with six shutouts. He was also fifth in goals against average (2.57) and third in save percentage (.921).

Selected in the third round (83rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Murray has gone 79-60-14 with a 3.42 GAA, and a .921 save percentage and eight shutouts.

Seymour, 20, set career highs offensively this season for the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, recording seven goals, 13 assists, 20 points and 85 penalty minutes over 61 games. He also led team defenseman with five points (2G-3A) in 11 games during the playoffs.

Originally from Brockville, Ontario, Seymour was a fifth-round pick (143rd overall) of the Penguins in 2012. Seymour has played five seasons in the OHL between Peterborough and the Kingston Frontenacs, collecting 57 points (14G-43A) and 272 PIM over 288 contests.

The Penguins finish up their 2013-14 regular season with a pair of road contests this Friday in Binghamton and Saturday in Utica.

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Nailers to Meet Stingrays in Round One

Wheeling Finishes Sixth, Set to Face South Carolina in Second Postseason Series

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced their opponent and schedule for the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Nailers will face the South Carolina Stingrays in a best-of-seven series, beginning on Friday night at North Charleston Coliseum.

During the 2013-14 regular season, the Nailers posted a 39-27-1-5 record, earning 84 points, which placed them sixth in the Eastern Conference Standings. While Wheeling was tied with Greenville, a 36-34 edge in regulation/overtime wins gave the Nailers the upper hand, earning them that position. That places Wheeling against South Carolina, who finished third in the Eastern Conference, compiling a 43-23-2-4 record, which was good for 92 points.

The Nailers and Stingrays clashed only once during the regular season, as South Carolina picked up a 3-0 victory at North Charleston Coliseum on December 28th. Jeff Jakaitis turned in a 21-save shutout for the Stingrays, while Alex Westlund was the losing goaltender for Wheeling, making 26 stops. Luke Greiner, Ryan Grimshaw, and Peter Boyd were the goal scorers.

This is the second time that Wheeling and South Carolina will meet in the postseason, as the two sides also decided a first round series during the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Nailers got the upper hand, 3-1 in the best-of-five series, winning games one and two in North Charleston, before clinching the series at WesBanco Arena in game four. Both road wins for Wheeling in that series came in overtime, courtesy of Andrew Orpik and Kyle Bushee.

The 2014 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series between the Wheeling Nailers and South Carolina Stingrays will begin at North Charleston Coliseum on Friday and Saturday, before heading to WesBanco Arena on April 23rd, 25th, and 26th, with all Wheeling home games beginning at 7:00.

Playoff tickets are available for purchase by calling the Nailers at (304) 234-GOAL.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinal
Wheeling Nailers vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Game 1 – Fri. Apr. 18th at South Carolina, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat. Apr. 19th at South Carolina, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed. Apr. 23rd AT WHEELING, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri. Apr. 25th AT WHEELING, 7:00
Game 5 – Sat. Apr. 26th AT WHEELING, 7:00 (if necessary)
Game 6 – Tue. Apr. 29th at South Carolina, 7:05 (if necessary)
Game 7 – Wed. Apr. 30th at South Carolina, 7:05 (if necessary)

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Hartzell Back Vokoun Gone

As we tweeted earlier  but could not get up uintil now the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they have assigned goaltender Eric Hartzell to the WBS Penguins from the Wheeling Nailers and have recalled goaltender Tomas Vokoun from his conditioning assignment with the WBS Penguins

Vokoun appeared in two games for WBS over the weekend, going 1-1. He was playing his first games since having emergency surgery to dissolve a blood clot in late September.

Hartzell has gone 10-8-1 this year for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2.48 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and three shutouts.  In 14 appearances with Wheeling, the 24-year old rookie netminder has posted a record of 8-5-1 with a 3.13 GAA, a .900 save percentage and one shutout.

In four seasons at Quinnipiac University, the native of White Bear, Minnesota posted a career record of 58-27-17 with a 1.96 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 106 games.

The Penguins finish up their 2013-14 regular season with a pair of road contests next Friday in Binghamton and Saturday in Utica.

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