Welcome to the WBS recap for the weekend of October the 29th. The Baby Penguins had a successful weekend last week, picking up all four available points. They hope to build on that with another back to back situation, playing Hershey at home in an always heated rivalry game on Friday night and then travelling to Bridgeport on Saturday night.
Zach Trotman remains up with the NHL Penguins, and Frank Corrado has joined him with the big club. Jarred Tinordi, Jeff Taylor, Colin Smith and Troy Josephs are still all out injured. Colin Stevens joins WBS on a PTO from Wheeling as Casey DeSmith has been called up to the NHL to serve as Matt Murray’s backup.
Friday Night (10/27/17)
Hershey Bears (Home) – 3-2 Win.
Tristan Jarry gets the first start in the back to back. Dylan Zink and Ethan Prow get into the lineup in place of the recalled Corrado and Spinozzi, as well as Adam Johnson replacing Jarret Burton. Everything else remains the same as the Hartford game from last week. A surprisingly level headed game, with only one real flashpoint of violence when Tyler Lewington cross checked Tom Kostopoulos in the back at the end of the 2nd period, causing JS Dea to try and clean the palms of his gloves with Lewington’s face. Jarry turns in an oustanding performance in a tightly contested game. Dominik Simon pots the game winner and added an assist on an earlier Dea goal.
Saturday Night (10/28/17)
Bridgeport Sound Tiger (Home) – 3-2 SO Win
Zink, Gage Quinney and Kostopoulus all take a game off with Spinozzi and Jarrett Burton getting in, with Ryan Haggerty making his season debut for the Baby Penguins. A low shot game (25 for WBS, 20 for Bridgeport) which finally saw Zach Aston-Reese get off the mark for the season with 2 assists to the debuting Haggerty, who potted what would be the game winner and an empty netter. Adam Johnson also scores his first professional goal to tie the game at 2 back in the 2nd period.
1) Daniel Sprong’s point streak is over. Angels cried. Trees wilted. A pointless weekend for him means he doesn’t move past his current 10 point mark, but he maintains his team lead. On the topic of point scoring, WBS is spreading the wealth this early in the season, with 13 players averaging 0.5ppg or higher. Simon is at 9 points through 8 games, so Sprong needs to get back to scoring if he’s to maintain his lead. Kevin Czuczman leads the D with 6 assists.
2) JS Dea played in his 200th AHL game this weekend, which is no small feat, but his future as a prospect remains as cloudy as ever. His future in the NHL would be as a depth forward, but his deployment in WBS is that of a top 6 guy, including top PP time. Does this signal the organisation somewhat accepting that he won’t become the depth forward they hoped he would be? It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out through the rest of the season if the NHL Penguins hit some injury trouble upfront.
3) Let’s talk about Czuczman for a little bit. He has been an absolute revelation and I cannot wrap my mind around why he didn’t have an NHL contract last year. He skates well, moves the puck well, doesn’t make many mistakes. I expect him to see some NHL time at some point with injuries, and he could very well play himself into a #7D role somewhere in the NHL after this season if he impresses with any NHL time he gets. He has everything you’d want in a depth defenseman and the Penguins likely won’t have an opportunity to sign him as a result.