WBS Penguins 6 - Hershey 2
The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their winning streak to eight games, defeating the Hershey Bears 6-2 on Saturday night. John Curry made 30 saves to earn the win and improve to 4-0 on the season.
The Penguins have emerged as a top contender in the American Hockey League and through eight game, have earned three victories against Hershey who are a power house in the AHL.
This is an extremely deep team with a handful of veteran players who have NHL experience and several prospects who are on the verge of being NHL ready and who are and would be in the NHL if they weren't in the Penguins system.
Chris Conner (2) led the offensive attack for Wilkes Barre, with 2 goals an assist in the win.
Eric Tangradi (1), Andrew Hutchinson (2), Zach Sill (1), and Joe Vitale (5) also scored for Wilkes Barre.
The Penguins dominate special teams continued Saturday night, scoring two power play goals and Joe Vitale added a short-handed goal, the third shorthanded goal for Wilkes Barre on the season.
The Penguins are killing penalties at a 93 percent rate and top defensemen prospects Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait are among the key contributors to the units success.
Strait and Bortuzzo have worked together as the Penguins shutdown pair and both players are inching closer to being NHL ready. Strait leads the team with a plus-7 rating and the two have a combined plus/minus rating of plus-13.
Penguins scouts are extremely high on Bortuzzo who is regarded inside the organization as the Penguins No. 2 defenseman prospect behind Simon Despres.
How the Penguins are going to find space for them on the NHL roster is a big question mark heading into the next couple seasons.
An under-rated player in the Penguins system is Joe Vitale. He's a player GM Ray Shero said this summer that will play in the NHL whether it's with the Penguins or elsewhere.