Top Scorers of the Week:

Nick Johnson – 4 goals, 1 assist

Mark Letestu – 2 goals, 2 assists

Luca Caputi – 1 goal, 3 assists

Janne Pesonen – 1 goal, 4 assists

Weekly Recap

Despite losing numerous key players to Pittsburgh and elsewhere, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are still a young team striving to win.

Chris Minard, Bill Thomas, Dustin Jeffrey, and Paul Bissonnette are all contributing in Pittsburgh. Ryan Stone was traded in a deal that sent him along with Dany Sabourin to Edmonton for NHL goaltender Mathieu Garon.

No worries.

The Penguins dominated and outclassed one of the top teams in the AHL, the Hershey Bears, last Sunday. The Penguins took the game 6-2 thanks to outstanding performances by Johnson, Pesonen, and Caputi. Johnson scored both of his goals in the second period of that game. John Curry picked up the win, stopping 15 of 17 shots.

Next, the Penguins took on Binghamton on January 16th at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Penguins ended up losing this contest, 6-4. One reason was that Martin Gerber was in net for the B-Sens on a conditioning stint. He stopped 43 of 47 shots faced. Jeff Taffe scored a nice shorthanded goal in the 2nd period, when he blew a wristshot past Gerber. About a minute later, Tommy Goebel fired a shot on net and Luca Caputi put the rebound in with one hand on his stick. The Penguins would attempt to comeback with a goal by Stone, but the Sens tallied again, and added an empty net goal to seal the deal.

The Pens traveled to Albany to take on the River Rats on Saturday. Luca Caputi, Danny Richmond, and Joey Mormina did not play in the game. Jonathan Bombulie of the Citizen’s Voice had this to say,

“I don’t know why Caputi, Richmond and Mormina weren’t on the scoresheet. From what I’ve gathered from people who were there, all three dressed. It’s a mystery and frankly, it smells fishy.”

Being three men short the Pens gave their all, but in the end the result was the same. The Rats won 5-3, after they also tallied an empty net goal. A rare poor showing by defenseman Ben Lovejoy as he finished the game with a plus-minus rating of -2. He was paired up with Reid Cashman instead of his regular in Mormina, so that probably had something to do with it. Adam Berkhoel was given a chance in net, but surrendered 4 goals on 26 shots.

Finally, the Penguins defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers yesterday afternoon by a final score of 3-0. Mark Letestu, Nick Johnson, and Connor James were the lone goal scorers. John Curry was named the first star of the game. He stopped all 35 shots against. Caputi, Richmond, and Mormina were all back in the line-up and played in the game.

To sum up, the Pens have a record of 2-2 without some of their most important role players. Organizational depth is what the Penguins have. Forward Jordan Morrison was called up from Wheeling and has been rewarded with some power play time already. He has 1 assist in the 3 games he has played in so far. He also had hit 2 goal posts. It helps when ECHL call-ups like himself and Goebel step up and get the job done.