The Wheeling Nailers Have Announced 4 Transactions

The Wheeling Nailers have announced four transactions today two of which you probably already know if you have been following our blog Hartzell’s move to WBS and Ruopp’s move to Wheeling

Add- D Harrison Ruopp has been assigned to Wheeling by Pittsburgh.
Delete- G Eric Hartzell has been assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by Pittsburgh.
Add- G Jeff Wyer has been signed by Wheeling.
Delete- D Myles Harvey has been traded by Wheeling to Utah for future considerations.

Harrison Ruopp
6’2″, 193 lbs.
Born in Zehner, SK on 3/17/93.
Current Season: 1 game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 0G, 0A, 0PTS, 2PIM
Professional Career: 41 games, 0G, 3A, 3PTS, 78PIM

Eric Hartzell
6’4″, 210 lbs.
Born in White Bear Lake, MN on 5/28/89.
Current Season: has yet to make an appearance
Professional Career: 39 games, 18-13-2 record

Jeff Wyer
6’1″, 185 lbs.
Born in Reading, MA on 7/5/91.
Current Season: has yet to make an appearance
College Career (U. of New Hampshire): 15 games, 3-5-2 record

Myles Harvey
6’5″, 225 lbs.
Born in Montreal, QC on 6/27/88.
Current Season: has yet to make an appearance
Professional Career: 37 games, 3G, 4A, 7PTS, 23PIM

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Harrison Ruopp Travels To Wheeling

It was announced this afternoon that the Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned defenseman Harrison Ruopp from the WBS Penguins to the Wheeling Nailers .

A second-year pro from Zehner, Saskatchewan, Ruopp posted 34 penalty minutes in 21 games with the Penguins last season.  The 21-year-old also recorded three assists and 42 PIM over 19 games for Wheeling.

Prior to beginning his pro career, Ruopp played in 214 games over four seasons (2009-2013) with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, totaling 34 points (3G-31A) and 395 penalty minutes.

Originally selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the third round (84th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Ruopp was acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 22, 2012.

The Penguins face the Springfield Falcons this Friday evening at 7:05pm, and will play host to the Binghamton Senators on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm.

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Hartzell WBS Bound

Eric Hartzell Photo credit - Wikipedia

Eric Hartzell
Photo credit – Wikipedia

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this afternoon that they have assigned goaltender Eric Hartzell to the WBS Penguins from the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

The 25-year old second-year pro went 10-8-1 last year for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2.48 goals against average, a .901 save percentage, three shutouts and was named AHL Goaltender of the Month for January.    In 14 appearances with Wheeling in 2013-14, Hartzell posted a record of 8-5-1 with a 3.13 GAA, a .900 save percentage and one shutout.

Hartzell was named USA Hockey College Player of the Year and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2013 after posting a 30-7-5 record and helping Quinnipiac University reach the school’s first-ever Frozen Four appearance and NCAA championship.

The Penguins return home this Friday evening to face the Springfield Falcons at 7:05pm, and will play host to the Binghamton Senators on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm

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Penguins Get Roasted By Devils 4-0

Tonight was our Federally evaluated disaster drill for the Susquehanna Steam Plant at EMA so I didn’t get a chance to listen to the game. But through the magic of the Press release I can bring you the outcome, as for the drill it went well the Penguins not so good dropping to the Devils 4-0

Keith Kinkaid stopped all 22 shots he faced and Mike Sislo continued with his hot hand against the visitors, as the Albany Devils posted a 4-0 shutout win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday night at the Times Union Center.

The Penguins (2-3-0-0, 4 pts) saw their two-game win streak come to an end, while the Devils (3-0-0-1, 6pts) won for the second time in a row.

The two teams matched up evenly in the first period, with neither club scoring in the frame and both putting six shots on the board.  But Sislo and the Devils power play opened things up in the second, as the fifth year pro tallied twice on the man advantage to give Albany the 2-0 lead.  Tonight’s performance gave Sislo six goals in his past four games against the Penguins dating back to November 8 of last season.

The Pens got a scare late in the second period when goaltender Jeff Zatkoff had to be helped off the ice after stretching to make a save.  Zatkoff made eight saves on 10 shots in 37:55 of playing time.

Matt Murray entered the game and held the home club scoreless through the first 18 minutes of the third period.  But, with Murray pulled for an extra attacker, one-time Penguins forward Tim Sestito found the empty net to make it a 3-0 contest, and Reid Boucher followed up with a tally off the ensuing faceoff to finish off the scoring.

The Penguins return home this Friday evening to face the Springfield Falcons at 7:05pm, and will play host to the Binghamton Senators on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm.

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Riley Brace Wins ECHL Player of the Week

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce that forward Riley Brace has been named Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for the week of October 17-19.

Brace, 22, burst onto the scene with the Nailers, scoring three goals, while adding an assist in his first ever game with the team on Saturday night against the Reading Royals. The points were recorded on four consecutive Wheeling tallies, starting with the goal that gave the Nailers a 3-2 lead at the 12:24 mark of the second period. Seven minutes later, Riley banged in his second goal of the period, putting the home team ahead by a pair. After assisting on Ben Shutron’s first professional goal, the Ottawa, ON native completed his first pro hat trick with 1:08 left in the game. The hat trick was Brace’s first since February 10, 2012, when he completed that feat as a member of the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

This is Brace’s second professional season, after playing for four different clubs at the AHL and ECHL levels in 2013-14. The majority of his time was spent in the AHL, as he recorded five points in 48 games with the Worcester Sharks and Iowa Wild. Riley also appeared in 13 games with the San Francisco Bulls and Ontario Reign, notching nine points. Prior to turning pro, the 5-foot-11 forward played five seasons of junior hockey in Mississauga with the St. Michael’s Majors and Steelheads. There, he accumulated 89 goals, 145 assists, and 234 points in 304 games.

On behalf of Riley, a case of pucks will be donated to the Wheeling Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) by Sher-Wood Hockey, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Sher-Wood Hockey has donated more than 31,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.

Brace becomes the first Nailer to win Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week in 2014-15, after Cody Sylvester (2) and Zack Torquato won the honor last season.

Riley Brace and the Nailers will play their first road games of 2014-15 over the weekend, starting at Gwinnett on Friday night at 7:35. Wheeling’s next home game takes place on November 1st, when it battles the Reading Royals at 7:35.

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Pens Heat Melts IceCaps 4-1

It was the WBS Penguins taking on the St. John’s IceCaps tonight  as the WBS Penguins look to go 2 for 2  in the win  column for the weekend. No the boys are not home they are on the road trying to better last night’s win and make it two. The IceCaps were looking to go 1 for 2 and redeem their home loss with a win.

The WBS Penguins were the first on the board tonight as Scott Wilson earned his first pro goal putting the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 2:59 of the first period Wilson’s goal came  off of nice assists from Philip Samuelsson and Barry Goers.

It was just over 2 minutes later the Penguins would strike again as Nick Drazenovic would light the lamp for his first goal of the 14-15 season putting the WBS Penguins up 2-0. That is where the first period would end the Penguins looking at a two goal lead heading to the dressing room for the first intermission, but everyone knows that a two goal lead is a dangerous one.

The IceCaps J.C. Lipon would light the lamp just 4:09 into the second frame cutting the Penguins lead in half, putting a little pressure on the Penguins (remember what I said about a 2 goal lead being a dangerous lead), and giving his team a lift trying to turn the mojo in the IceCaps favor.

But as fate would have it that is where the second frame would end the WBS Penguins head off the ice for the second intermission just one goal ahead of the IceCaps and looking at 20 more minutes of hockey.

Third period action, the IceCaps were looking to even things up but just couldn’t find the right mix. The Penguins Bryan Rust netted the Penguins third goal beating Peter Budaj at 7:00 of the third period giving the Penguins that two goal buffer once again.

Then late in the third Penguins Zack Torquato who is on PTO here in WBS put the lid on the jar as he netted the Penguins fourth of the night with only 1:57 to play, an empty net goal at 18:03  insured the win for WBS.

WBS now finishes up its first road trip of the season on Tuesday night as they visit the Albany Devils at 7:00pm.  Next WBS Pens home game is on Friday night, when they will meet the Springfield Falcons at 7:05pm.

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Penguins Squeak By IceCaps In OT Victory

Sorry fans for the late entry but it was a family night last night, something that comes before hockey so I am going to leave you with the press release for last night’s game.

Reid McNeill’s goal at 2:56 of overtime snapped a two-game losing streak, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back to post a 2-1 win over the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday night at the Mile One Centre.  The victory was the first of the year for the Penguins (1-2-0-0, 2 pts), who spoiled the IceCaps’ (1-1-2-0, 4pts) home opener.

McNeill, who tallied just one goal while appearing in 55 games with the Penguins last season, made the most of an offensive zone faceoff win by Jean-Sebastien Dea.  The rookie forward won the draw back to the Pens’ blueliner, who snapped a shot that beat netminder Peter Budaj for the win.

The game was a battle of veteran goaltenders for the first 37 minutes, as both Budaj and Jeff Zatkoff held the opposition at bay.  But Scott Kosmachuk took a centering feed from Kris Fredheim with under three minutes to play in the second to give the home squad a 1-0 lead.

Jayson Megna tied the game at 8:54 of the third period with a shot that banged off of Budaj and trickled over the goal line, giving the third-year pro his first goal of the season.

Zatkoff, who spent all of last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, picked up his first win with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since posting an 18 save shutout against the IceCaps in St. John’s on April 13, 2013. The two teams will face off once again on Saturday night at 6:00pm Eastern Time.

NOTES:  Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play…Wilkes-Barre/Scranton held a 30-22 shot advantage in the game…Dea’s helper on McNeill’s goal made him the first Penguins player to pick up a goal and an assist on the season…Defenseman Alex Boak made his AHL debut in the game…The Penguins are now 6-1-0-0 all-time in regular season games played in St. John’s.

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