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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Nailers Announce Season Opening Roster

Active Roster Consists of 22 Players, With Four Additions on the Way

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced their season opening roster. The roster consists of 22 players – 14 forwards, six defensemen, and two goaltenders. There is also one player on Injured Reserve, as well as four additions pending.

At the goaltending position, the Nailers have a pair of affiliated players. Pittsburgh prospect Eric Hartzell returns to Wheeling for his second professional season, after going 18-13-2 as a rookie between the AHL and ECHL levels. He is joined in the crease by rookie Franky Palazzese, who recently signed with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Palazzese is coming off of a four-year career in the OHL, which included 27 wins as a 20-year old last season.

The Nailers’ blueline features two returning players, as 2013-14 Players Player Award winner Paul Cianfrini and second-year player Myles Harvey make their way back to the Ohio Valley. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rookie Clark Seymour and Hamilton rookie David Makowski are the two affiliated players on defense, while Brendan Rempel and Zach Yuen will both suit up for their sophomore seasons in the ECHL.

Ten of the 14 forwards on the opening roster have called Wheeling home in the past, as Derek Army, Shane Bakker, Jarrett Burton, Tyler Fernandez, Sahir Gill, Chaz Johnson, Max MacKay, Patrick McGrath, Tyler Murovich, and Carter Rowney will all don the Nailers jersey in 2014-15. Joining those ten will be second-year players Riley Brace and Jeremie Malouin, as well as rookies Troy Barss and Stefano Momesso.

Wheeling will open the season with one player on Injured Reserve, as 2013-14 All-ECHL Second Team member Mike Ratchuk looks to battle his way back into the lineup when healthy.

There will be more shuffling taking place prior to Saturday’s opener, as the Nailers made two trades, while agreeing to terms with another player. Wheeling acquired forward David Gilbert, as well as defensemen Justin Sefton and Ben Shutron from the Orlando Solar Bears for future considerations. They then swapped defenseman Justin Baker and newly acquired blueliner Dylan King to the Allen Americans for future considerations. Finally, the Nailers agreed to terms with defenseman Ben Blood, expecting to sign him to a contract within the next two days.

Uniform numbers will be available once all transactions have been completed.

The Wheeling Nailers will open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday night, when they play host to the Reading Royals at 7:35. Tickets are available, but selling quickly. Get yours by calling (304) 234-GOAL.


Eric Hartzell
Franky Palazzese

Paul Cianfrini
Myles Harvey
David Makowski
Brendan Rempel
Clark Seymour
Zach Yuen

Derek Army
Shane Bakker
Troy Barss
Riley Brace
Jarrett Burton
Tyler Fernandez
Sahir Gill
Chaz Johnson
Max MacKay
Jeremie Malouin
Patrick McGrath
Stefano Momesso
Tyler Murovich
Carter Rowney

Injured Reserve
Mike Ratchuk

Trade Acquisitions
David Gilbert
Justin Sefton
Ben Shutron

Agreed to Terms
Ben Blood

Traded to Allen
Justin Baker
Dylan King

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Zack Torquato Gets PTO With WBS

It was announced this morning that the WBS Penguins have signed forward Zack Torquato to a professional tryout agreement (PTO).

Torquato, 25, recorded two goals, five assists and 22 penalty minutes in 18 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-native also appeared in 44 games for the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers during the 2013-14 season, ranking second on the squad with 52 points (14G-38A) and 38 assists.

A former sixth-round selection (178th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Torquato has skated in 44 American Hockey League games, posting eight points (3G-5A) and 34 PIM with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Rockford IceHogs and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The fifth-year pro has totaled 46 goals, 117 assists and 216 penalty minutes in 205 ECHL contests with Idaho, Toledo and Wheeling.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battle the St. John’s IceCaps in the first match of a two-game set in Newfoundland on Friday, Oct. 17 at 6:00pm EDT. Listen to all of the action on WILK Newradio or AHL Live.

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Schedule Changes For Wheeling

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced a set of changes to their 2014-15 regular season schedule. Wheeling will play four road games against the Brampton Beast, while the home schedule does not feature any changes.

Last week, the ECHL announced that seven new teams joined the league from the Central Hockey League – Allen, Brampton, Missouri, Quad City, Rapid City, Tulsa, and Wichita. Out of those seven, the Nailers will get to face the Brampton Beast in 2014-15, making their way to Powerade Centre for four games. The first contest between Wheeling and Brampton takes place on Sunday, December 7th, when the Nailers were originally scheduled to visit the Elmira Jackals. Then, in January, the Nailers will travel across the border one more time, facing off with the Beast on Friday the 16th, Saturday the 17th, and Sunday the 18th. Those three games replace the originally scheduled battles against the Florida Everblades and Orlando Solar Bears in the Sunshine State.

The start times for the four games are as follows: December 7th at 2:00, January 16th at 7:30, January 17th at 7:00, January 18th at 2:00.

The Nailers will begin the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday night, when they play host to the Reading Royals at 7:35.

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Manchester Downs Penguins 4-1

It was the WBS Penguins taking on the Manchester Monarchs this afternoon here in WBS, the Penguins looking to redeem their loss from last night against the Phantoms and the Monarchs looking to extend the Pens losing streak to two games.

The Pens would get tree chances in the first to convert on the power play but would not be able to get things going the Monarchs wouldn’t be able to convert either on the one power play chance they had.

The Monarchs would score twice in the first even strength putting the Pens in a two goal rut heading into the second period, if it’s worth anything WBS was ott shooting Manchester 10-7.

Finally in the second period the Penguins broke their silence Jean-Sebastien Dea would get the tally on a delayed penalty call cutting the Monarchs lead in half Penguins trailing 2-1, but it wasn’t long after that the Monarch’s stretched their lead back to two goals as Jeff Zatkoff got schooled on a forehand / backhand combo that beat him clean Monarch’s now lead 3-1.

Manchester would go ahead by three as Kevin Raine tossed one from the blue line beating Zatkoff, in not so impressive numbers that would be the ninth goal on Zatkoff in a game and a half not something we are used to seeing from Jeff. Thats how things would end after 2 the Monarch’s leading the Penguins 4-1.

Third period wasn’t really any better for the Penguins it seemed that the Monarch’s had

Uher grabs a partner with Kevin Raine for a little two step  Photo - PensFans4Ever

Uher grabs a partner with Kevin Raine for a little two step
Photo – PensFans4Ever

their number, the boys just couldn’t catch a break. Dominic Uher grabbed a dance partner Kevin Raine form the Manchester Monarch’s, and did a little two step but it didn’t seem to spark anything with WBS.

The Penguins seemed to rally now and then but again this afternoon it seemed as if they were not on the same page as each other, passes not tape to tape  a lot of miss communication maybe not really sure but it just seemed they were off.

Bobby Farnham gets penalty shot awarded Photo - PensFans4Ever

Bobby Farnham gets penalty shot awarded Photo – PensFans4Ever

Later in the third period Bobby Farnham got a fast break went in on Jean-Francois Berube and was hooked drawing the penalty and giving Bobby a penalty shot. Unfortunately Jean-Francois Berube kept Farnhams attemp out keeping it a 4-1 game.

After all was said and done the Monarch’s would walk away from this game the victor the Penguins getting their second L for the weekend, not something you want to see as a Penguins fan but sometimes you will have that for a weekend. It’s deffinately better to get this kind of a weekend this early in the season than it is to get it later in the season, but it never and easy thing to swallow.

you can get more stats and information on our interactive schedule here


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Cyclones Earn Split in Preseason Series

Pittsburgh Native Madore Makes 19 Saves; Army Nets Third Goal in Two Games

Historically, the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones have been very evenly matched. Thanks to matching 5-3 scores, they can add the 2014 preseason to that list. After Wheeling came away with the 5-3 win on Friday, the Cyclones rebounded on Sunday, taking home a victory of an identical count. Pittsburgh native Rob Madore stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced for Cincinnati, while Derek Army notched a pair of points for the Nailers.

Despite a 15-10 advantage in shots on goal for the Nailers, it was Cincinnati who stormed out of the gates with a pair of tallies in the first period. At the 4:08 mark, Wade Megan set up David Pacan, who drilled in a one-timer from the right circle, finding the top-left corner of the net. Then, in the midst of killing off a four-minute penalty to Francis Beauvillier, the Cyclones struck again. Stephan Vigier stole the puck in the right circle, skated to the slot, and flipped a shot into the top of the cage.

The second period featured an exchange of goals and a goaltending switch. Both markers occurred before the change in net, starting with the Nailers, who netted their first power play goal of the preseason at the 5:51 mark. Derek Army swung a pass across the offensive zone to Zack Torquato at the top of the left circle. With plenty of space on hand, Torquato glided toward the net, wristing a shot in off of the right post. Cincinnati regained its two-goal lead 2:11 later, when Wade Megan picked up a loose puck at the right side of the crease, before roofing a shot for a 3-1 advantage after 40 minutes.

For the second consecutive game, the final stanza started with a goal for the visitors, as Shayne Taker converted off of a rush with Joe Basaraba, putting the Cyclones ahead by three. That’s when Wheeling began to battle back. Carter Rowney centered a pass for David Makowski, who slammed in a power play goal from high in the slot at 7:01, making the score 4-2. Derek Army then closed the gap to one, when he shifted from forehand to backhand for his third goal and fifth point in two games. Unfortunately, the Nailers were unable to complete the comeback, as Brian Nugent blistered in a shot from high in the zone for a 5-3 final score in favor of Cincinnati.

Joe Howe picked up the win in goal for the Cyclones, making four saves on six shots. He relieved Rob Madore, who thwarted 19 of the 20 attempts sent his way. Jeff Wyer was the losing netminder for Wheeling, turning away ten of the 12 shots he faced. Eric Hartzell started, going 10-for-13.

The Nailers will open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday at 7:35, when they play host to the Reading Royals.

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Army’s Shorty Gives Nailers Tall Victory

Photo Credit - Wheeling Nailers

Photo Credit – Wheeling Nailers

Third periods tended to be magical for the Wheeling Nailers during the 2013-14 season, and on Friday night, the 2014-15 squad wrote a similar script. After falling behind 3-2 in the third period, the Nailers rallied with three goals, including a shorthanded marker by Derek Army, completing a 5-3 comeback victory. Army had two goals and an assist, while Jeff Wyer stopped 19 of 20 shots in goal.

The Nailers wasted little time in opening the scoring, as they tallied the first marker just 1:37 into the contest. Tyler Fernandez and Derek Army battled for a loose puck in the left corner, with Army ultimately driving a shot on goal from the left circle. Cincinnati netminder Sam Brittain made the initial save, but the rebound deflected out to Stefano Momesso, who found the left side of the cage.

The middle frame started in similar fashion to the first, with Wheeling striking at the 1:27 mark. Fernandez led Army into the offensive zone, before Army’s creativity led to the goal. The rookie forward carried the puck on his backhand, lifting a shot over Brittain’s glove, putting the home team ahead, 2-0. However, the Cyclones battled back, tallying twice in a span of 2:01 to knot the game at two. David Pacan stormed through the defense, beating Franky Palazzese with a wrist shot, before Brian Nugent connected for the equalizer, picking the top-right corner from the left circle.

Cincinnati used a shorthanded goal to earn its first lead of the evening at the 14-second mark of the third period. Pacan won the face-off ahead to Nugent, who slipped a backhander through Jeff Wyer’s legs. The Nailers bounced back to tie the game 4:27 later, thanks to an alert play by Jarrett Burton. Justin Baker’s point shot glanced off of Burton, who quickly found the loose puck, flipping in a backhander to even the score at three. With 4:03 left in regulation, Army put Wheeling back on top. Myles Harvey’s lead pass set up his college teammate, who went to his backhand, roofing the eventual game winning goal. Chaz Johnson added an empty netter for at 5-3 Nailers triumph.

Jeff Wyer stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in relief, earning the victory in goal for Wheeling. Joe Howe took the loss for Cincinnati, surrendering two goals on seven shots. Franky Palazzese of the Nailers made 14 saves on 16 shots, while Sam Brittain turned away 13 of 15 shots for the Cyclones, as the two starting netminders.

The Nailers and Cyclones will meet again in Wheeling on Sunday afternoon at 5:05. Opening Night for the Nailers takes place on October 18th at 7:35, when they host the Reading Royals.

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