Condon Incredible Again in 1-0 Game Three Win

Minella Scores Lone Goal in Final Minute of Second; Wheeling Leads Series 3-0

Mike Condon did it again. For the fifth time in April and the eighth time this year, Condon was perfect between the pipes. With nine seconds remaining in the second period on Wednesday, Christiaan Minella gave the Wheeling Nailers the only goal they needed, as they edged the South Carolina Stingrays, 1-0 at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling now has a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series.

A defensive and goaltending spectacle kept the game scoreless until the final seconds of the middle frame. The Nailers won an offensive zone face-off, with Max MacKay dropping a pass back to Dustin Stevenson at the right point. Stevenson took a wrist shot, which was stopped by Allen York. However, the rebound kicked out to the left side of the slot, where Christiaan Minella lunged forward, and willed the puck into the back of the net. The goal was Minella’s second of the series, as Wheeling took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

In the third period, the Stingrays turned the pressure up, outshooting Wheeling, 12-5. However, the Nailers continued to keep them off of the scoreboard, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the series with the 1-0 triumph.

Mike Condon earned his fifth shutout of the month and eighth of the year for the Nailers, stopping all 38 shots he faced. Allen York played well for South Carolina, but took the loss, making 25 saves on 26 shots.

The Nailers and Stingrays will battle in game four of the series on Friday night at 7:00.

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Coach Hynes On Round One Calder Cup Playoff’s Vs. Binghamton

WBS Head Coach John Hynes talks about what he feels going into the first round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs facing the number one offense in the AHL.  Coach conveys how WBS has had a geat defense this season and that playoff’s are a different situation in that you get to concentrate on one team at a time.

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Nailers Announce Tailgate Party for Game 4

Free Food, Drink Available, as Fans Invited to Support Wheeling in Playoff Run

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce the details of a pregame tailgate party. The party will take place, starting at 5:00 on Friday afternoon, prior to game four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series between the Nailers and Stingrays.

Last weekend, Wheeling grabbed a 2-0 series lead, by winning 3-0 on Friday and 3-2 in overtime on Saturday at North Charleston Coliseum. Mike Condon continued his magnificent play between the pipes, making 59 saves on 61 shots, while Chaz Johson and Tom Kuhnhackl provided the game winning goals. Now, the Nailers will come home to WesBanco Arena for games three, four, and five (if necessary), and they are looking for their seventh player (you, the fans) to help lift them to a possible series win.

Prior to Friday night’s game four, fans will be invited to a pregame tailgate party, beginning at 5:00 in the back parking lot of WesBanco Arena. There will be free hot dogs and Pepsi products available, as well as a chance to win giveaway items, while possibly meeting a few players, as they enter the arena in preparation for battle that evening.

The Wheeling Nailers Tailgate Party is presented by Pepsi, Clear Channel Communications, Main Street Bank, and The Paper Shack.

Game three of the best-of-seven series between Wheeling and South Carolina takes place on Wednesday at 7:00, before games four and five (if necessary) on Friday and Saturday, also at 7:00.

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Deslauriers and Hartzell Recipients Of Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award

It was announced today by the WBS Penguins that goaltenders Jeff Deslauriers and Eric Hartzell are the recipients of the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2013-14 season. Both goalies have been a great part of what drives WBS.

Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) with at least 25 games played on the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton surrendered a league-low 185 goals in 2013-14, finishing its regular season on Saturday with a record of 42-26-3-5 and 92 points, qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 12th consecutive season. As a team, the Penguins owned a 2.34 goals-against average and eight shutouts for the season; in addition to the goaltending of Deslauriers and Hartzell, the Penguins got 11 wins and four shutouts in 18 appearances from Peter Mannino in 2013-14.

This is the third time in four seasons under head coach John Hynes, and the fourth time in nine years overall, that the Penguins have ranked first in the AHL in goals against.

The Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, which was first awarded in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named for Hockey Hall of Famer Harry “Hap” Holmes, a prominent figure in early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his time. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56), Johnny Bower (1957, ’58), Marcel Paille (1961, ’62), Gerry Cheevers (1965), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Joey MacDonald (2003), Jason LaBarbera (2005, 2007), Cory Schneider (2009), Cedrick Desjardins (2010), Ben Scrivens (2012) and Jeff Zatkoff (2013).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway Wednesday.

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Kuhnhackl Gives Nailers 2-0 Series Lead

Wheeling Wins Third Overtime Playoff Game at South Carolina

The Wheeling Nailers have made a habit of coming up with dramatic finishes in the playoffs at North Charleston Coliseum, and on Saturday night, they added another chapter to that novel. Tom Kuhnhackl broke a 2-2 tie with 9:53 gone by in overtime, as the Nailers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with a 3-2 victory.

The Stingrays opened the scoring during the latter part of the first period, getting on the board in the series, while ending Mike Condon’s shutout streak at 154:20. The goal came on a transition rush, as Wayne Simpson skated hard down the left side of the ice, before hitting trailer Luka Vidmar in the right circle. Vidmar collected the puck on his tape, before lifting a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the goal.

The second period featured one goal for each squad, with the two tallies separated by just 13 seconds. The Nailers got the equalizer first, courtesy of a power play goal. Sahir Gill won the ensuing face-off to Max MacKay, who immediately hooked up with Denver Manderson for a slap shot which was powered through from high in the zone. Gill’s assist extended his point streak (regular season and playoffs) to 12 games. Unfortunately, South Carolina’s response came right away, as Jack Downing came out from behind the net, sneaking a shot in from the bottom of the left circle.

With 11:09 to go in the third period, Wheeling drew even. Denver Manderson tossed a shot on goal from the left side, which was knocked away by netminder Pheonix Copley. However, Chaz Johnson pounced on the rebound, dragging it to his forehand, before slipping it inside of the right post. Johnson’s second tally of the postseason ultimately forced overtime.

9:53 into the extra session, the Nailers pulled away with the victory. Tom Kuhnhackl took a pass from Jake Areshenko, before flying down the left side, and taking a wrist shot, which was launched into the top-right corner of the net.

Mike Condon grabbed the win in goal for Wheeling, stopping 35 of the 37 shots he faced. Pheonix Copley suffered the loss for South Carolina, making 37 saves on 40 shots.

The Nailers and Stingrays will head to Wheeling for game three on Wednesday night at 7:00. Games four and five (if necessary) will also take place at WesBanco Arena on April 25th and 26th (if necessary) at 7:00.

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Comets Fire Past Penguins

The WBS Penguins took on the Utica Comets tonight looking for a winn to end the season but not converting on the power play and no good bounces turned this game into a loss.

Things get off to a good start for both sides Matt Murray getting his first Pro start tonight as he sits in the net for the WBS Penguins. Utica would be the one to draw first blood scoring just 7:18 in getting the credit for the tally would be Peter Andersson.

The first went by without a penalty, this is a good thing the boys are keeping it together tonight as they really need to. Leaving the ice after one period of play trailing the utica Comets 1-0 but looking at 40 more minutes of regulation play left.

The WBS Penguins would get the first power play of the game early in the second period but would not be able to convert it and remained down by one goal. By the midway point of the game the Penguins were still trailing the Comets but getting some great chances just had to find the opening.

Later in the second ex-Penguins Brandon Defazio would get called for a trip as he takes down Brian Dumolin putting the Penguins back on the power play only the second power play of tonight’s game, but again the Penguins come up empty and continued to trail the Comets 1-0.

WBS would give the Comets a chance on the power play late in the second as Scott Harrington would sit for elbowing, Utica would not convert and would give the Pens 1:54 of power play at the end of the second and as the Pens swarmed the net Utica’s gets called for a slash giving the Pens 57 seconds of 5 on 3. No conversion for the Pens but they would  get 6 seconds  of 5 on 3 and 58 seconds of 5 on 4  power play to start the third period.

WBS gets their second 5 on 3 16 seconds into the third period for a few seconds then goes back to a 5 on 4 giving WBS all the chances they need to even this game up, but Barry Goers would nullify the last 33 seconds of the power play as he would sit for a trip.

Utica would make it two to nothing scoring on the power play Pascal Pelletier would get the tally giving the WBS Penguins a bigger rut to climb at this point leading 2-0. Utica would give the Pens their 6th power play of the game as Peter Andersson would sit in the bin, but WBS cannot convert again.

WBS would pull out the stops nearing the end of regulation boys getting a little chippy everyone looking for a dance partner, after all is said and done Utica would come out on top tonight but, the Penguins would seal their fate for playoffs now the WBS Penguins will face the Binghamton Senators first round

G1: @ BNG 4/25

G2: @ BNG 4/26

G3: vs. BNG 4/30

G4: vs. BNG 5/2

If needed  G5: @ BNG 5/5

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Pens Fall 5-4, Senators Take Division

The WBS Penguins and the Binghamton Senators meet one last time tonight for the 2013-14 regular season. The Senators looking to claim the Division Title the Penguins looking to foil the attempt and get a title for themselves. The Binghamton Senators early lead proves to be too much for the Penguins to overcome.

Tonight’s contest starts off in a bad way for the Pens, Binghamton scoring just 2:49 in to the first period giving the Penguins a small rut to climb out of. WBS having a bad first period turns the puck over in front of Peter Mannino give the Senators a 2-0 game as Jean-Gabriel Pageau gets his first of the game.

Chuck Kobasew takes a late penalty nearing the end of the first period but all things being even both teams leave the ice for the first intermission the Penguins trailing 2-0 the Senators looking at a bunch of carry over time to start the second on the opower play.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau would help the Senators out scoring his second of the game putting him on HTA and giving Binghamton a 3-0 lead and the Penguins a deep rut to climb out of. David Dziurzynski would give the Senators a 4-0 lead just a little while later and things are going from bad to worse for WBS.

A turn over at the blue line for the Penguins and a three on one the other way give Binghamton a four to zero lead. Binghamton would then make it 5-0 with a Hat Trick for Jean-Gabriel Pageau really putting the Penguins behind the eight ball.

Just as it started to look like the Senators were going to walk away with this game Adam Payerl gets the Penguins on the board  making this a 5-1 game and giving his team somoething to work with. Harry Zolnierczyk and Patrick Mullen do a little dance Zolnierczyk trying to spark a little emotion for his team.

Bobby Farnham would take a wrist shot short handed as Tom Kostopoulos sat in the bin, but it would go wide of Andrew Hammond as it bounces back out off the glass Farnham would pick up his own rebound and punch it home cutting the Senators lead to three. The WBS Penguins were now trailing the Senators 5-2 with less than 7 minutes left in the second period.

WBS comes out with some momentum behind them Goers getting a chance early but Hammond sees it. WBS getting another great chance as Aton Zlobin takes the puck around behind Hammond then draws him out of position but nobody in position to help Zlobin from WBS.

The Penguins have had a steady parade to the bin really limiting what they could do offensively something at this point of the game they really could not afford if the wanted to climb out of this hole they were in. Things started to pick up again for WBS as Chuck Kobasew got the puck to Andrew Ebbett who put it top shelf past Hammond to make it a 2 goal game the Pens now trailing 5-3 with 7:50 left in regulation.

Binghamton would give the Penguins a great chances at 14:17 of the third as Ryan Dzingel would sit for a hook. WBS getting some good chances Hammond keeping them honest and the Senators in the lead. With just 2:26 left to play Chuck Kobasew gets a pass from Andrew Ebbett comes in on Andrew Hammond and nails the goal making it a one point game the pens now trailing 5-4.

In the end the WBS Penguins would fall to the Binghamton Senators 5-4, WBS would mount a great effort for the come back but the early lead that the Senators took along with the WBS Penalties proved to be the Achilles tendon. This win is the third division title in twelve years for the Senators. WBS will take on the Utica Comets tomorrow night fighting for a 5th seed. Highlights of tonight’s game below.

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