WBS Results Recap: Weekend of October 15th

Welcome to the WBS recap for the weekend of October the 15th. This was the first 3 games in 3 nights of the season for the Baby Penguins who looked to rebound from their loss against Charlotte last weekend.

The Penguins were missing Chris Summers after he was recalled to the NHL and they also continue to be without Jeff Taylor, Colon Smith, Troy Josephs and Jarred Tinordi to injury.

Friday Night (10/13/17)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Home) – 5-0 Victory.

Dylan Zink slid in to Summers’ spot, otherwise, it’s the same lineup as last weekend. Despite a slow start, the Penguins romp to a 5-0 shutout victory over Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate, Lehigh Valley. Casey DeSmith got his first start of the year, completing a 33 save shutout while the Penguins PK managed to kill off all 7 powerplay opportunities for Lehigh Valley.

Scoring:
Friday 13th October

Saturday Night (10/14/17)
@ Lehigh Valley (Away) – 3-2 Loss

The same lineup 2 nights in a row with Tristan Jarry coming into the game. It was a penalty heavy game in which the Penguins cost themselves victory by failing to convert on multiple 5 on 3 opportunities, as well as failing to convert on a 5 minute major penalty. There was a late rally to bring the game to 3-2 but it was too little too late. Daniel Sprong, however, did continue his scoring streak to 3 games.

Scoring:
Saturday 14th October

Sunday Night {10/15/17)
Syracuse Crunch (Home) – 6-1 Victory

There were a few lineup changes. Zink gets scratched in favor of Ethan Prow, making his first appearance of the year. Zach Aston-Reese (who had struggled through the first 3 games) and Jarrett Burton (who took a cross check to the face resulting in a major penalty Saturday night) were replaced in the line up by Gage Quinney and Freddie Tiffels. Both Quincey and Tiffels made their season debuts.

The Penguins scored a  6-1 victory. It was a weird game with 8 minor penalties in the 2nd period alone. The Baby Penguins didn’t look like a team coming into their 3rd game in 3 days. With plenty of jump and a heavy shot advantage, they used their speed to have Syracuse chasing the play the entire game.

Scoring:

Sunday 15th October

THREE TAKEAWAYS:

1) Aston-Reese has had a rough start to the beginning of the year. He played top-6 minutes until some shuffling in the loss against Lehigh Valley and is still yet to get on the scoresheet. Only appearing in three games and looking a bit behind the play really isn’t a huge issue or something to be that concerned about yet, but his struggles are hugely different to that of Sprong. Sprong has scored 4 goals and has 2 assists through 4 games and has shown the ability to drive the play significantly.

2) Lukas Bengtsson looks perfectly healthy after his injury disrupted season and is playing at a very high level. He is registering the most time on ice (as per my naked eye as the AHL doesn’t track TOI) and playing on the top PP. There’s still some work to be done in the defensive zone as he does struggle with bigger forwards due to his size, but this is a very positive development for both the Penguins organization and for Bengtsson himself.

3) Don’t panic over guys not producing and don’t get too excited over guys producing plenty. The season is only 4 games old. However, WBS, when they’re on, look like an unstoppable offensive team. The influx of rookies like Sprong and Adam Johnson, as well as Thomas Di Pauli and Bengtsson managing to begin the year healthy has made the Baby Penguins offense look almost unstoppable at times. The Sprong-Bengtsson connection on the powerplay has created 2 carbon copy goals so far, and will likely repeat it for most of the year.

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