Archive for November, 2012

Sigh.

November 29, 2012

(PR) Wheeling, WV – One inch to the right, and it would have been a whole different story.

But in the end the Trenton Titans, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, didn’t get the bounce they were hoping for. And the last-second pressure they applied on the Wheeling Nailers wasn’t quite enough as the Titans fell, 3-2, in front of 1,876 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

The loss is the second straight for the Titans, who fall to 7-9-0-1=15 (3-5-0-1 on the road), while the Atlantic Division rival Nailers improved to 5-8-2-1=13 points (5-2-1 at home).

Jacob Drewiske – in his first game back from injury since October 20 against Cincinnati – took a great feed in the lower-left circle after a deep rush from Ryan Grimshaw with five seconds to play. His one-timer beat Wheeling goalie Scott Darling (2-3, 19 saves) but ripped off the left post and into the corner to end the game.

Former Titans provided most of the Nailers’ scoring punch, as Luke Pither (G, GW assist), Matt Germain (A) and Peter Lenes (GWG) combined for four points.

Pither started the scoring at 14:06 of the first, when his deflection bounced off Titans goalie Scott Wedgewood (5-4, 28 saves), flipped over his shoulder and just crossed the goal line for a 1-0 Nailers lead.

Conner Goggin got the offense going for the Titans early in the second. His first professional goal was a beauty, as Ryan Hayes pulled up at the right point and let Stephen Schultz fly down the right wing. With the defense shifted, Hayes drifted into the right circle as Goggin flew into the zone through the slot. His one-timer beat Darling top-left corner to tie the game at 1-1 less than three minutes in.

Trenton then took a 2-1 lead at 16:42 of the period thanks to its scoring leader, Andy Bohmbach. The Big Easy sniped one top shelf from in tight as Schultz and Hayes added the helpers.

Any momentum was short-lived as Wheeling scored just 13 seconds later on a blast from the point by Carl Sneep to tie the game 2-2 through two.

Pither then set up the winner at 2:25 of the third with some forechecking work on the left wing. He worked the puck loose long enough to find Lenes – alone and racing in towards the right post to redirect it past Wedgewood for the eventual game winner.

Trenton rang three shots of the post in retaliation – including two in the final minute – but couldn’t quite break through in the end.

The Titans now head back home to face the Elmira Jackals in a two-game set this weekend, Saturday December 1 (7:05) and Sunday December 2 (3:05). Tickets are available for both games by calling (609) 341-1100, or online at TrentonTitansHockey.com.

AFTER THE WHISTLE

With the assist, Stephen Schultz now has a point in five straight games (G, 4A)

The teams combined to go 0-for-7 on the PP (TRE 0-4)

Trenton finished the month of November 2-7-0-1 (1-4-0-1 on the road)

The Titans are now 3-3-0-1 in one-goal games and are 1-8 when they don’t score first

Advertisements

Conboy, Wilson Suspended

November 26, 2012

(ECHL PR) PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Monday announced the following fines and suspensions as a result of ECHL Game #192, Greenville at Trenton, on Nov. 24.

Trenton’s Andrew Conboy has been suspended for one game. Conboy was assessed a game misconduct for aggressor under Rule #46.2 at 17:56 of the third period, and is suspended automatically as a result of receiving an aggressor penalty in the final five minutes of regulation.

Conboy will miss Trenton’s game at Wheeling on Nov. 28.

Trenton’s Kelsey Wilson has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount. Wilson was assessed a game misconduct for aggressor under Rule #46.2 at 17:56 of the third period. He is suspended for one game as a result of receiving an aggressor penalty in the final five minutes of regulation, and is suspended for one game and fined under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline.

Wilson will miss Trenton’s games at Wheeling (Nov. 28) and vs. Elmira (Dec. 1).

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, player fines collected by the ECHL are given to the PHPA for its ECHL Player’s Hardship Fund.

Greenville’s Brendan Connolly has been fined an undisclosed amount under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, player fines collected by the ECHL are given to the PHPA for its ECHL Player’s Hardship Fund.

Titans Shut Out At Home

November 25, 2012

(PR) Trenton, N.J. – The Titans, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, lost to the Greenville Road Warriors Saturday night, 3-0.

The Titans (7-8-0-1, 15 pts) conclude the season series with Greenville (12-6-1-0, 25 pts) 1-1, as Trenton picked up an Opening Night win, 3-1, in the only other meeting back on October 12.

After a scoreless first 2 periods, Greenville finally got on the board with a goal by Scott Pitt, 4:01 into the third, assisted by Bretton Cameron and Brendan Connolly. The Titans got a chance to tie things up on the power play after Greenville’s T.J. Reynolds took a slashing minor at 6:34. But just 23 seconds into the man-advantage, Greenville notched a shorthanded breakaway goal by Jeremy Gouchie. After Bretton Cameron stole an errant Titans pass, he managed to poke the puck to a streaking Gouchie who deked and beat Scott Wedgewood under his glove for the 2-0 lead.

Greenville capped off the night with an empty net power play goal by Marc-Olivier Vallerand at 19:02. The shutout was the debut of Greenville goaltender Bryan Hince (1-0, 33 saves), who made his first appearance of the season since being injured in a preseason game. Wedgewood (5-4, 35 saves), who got the win last night over Evansville, was outstanding between the pipes despite the loss.

It was the first shutout pitched against the Titans this year, and the first one since March 24 of last season – that one also at home – a 7-0 loss to Reading.

The Titans now turn their attention to the only Atlantic Division foe they have yet to play, the Wheeling Nailers. Faceoff is Wednesday November 28, at 7:05 pm, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV. Coverage can be heard locally on 107.7 FM The Bronc, or online at 1077thebronc.com.

Third Jersey Photo Gallery

November 24, 2012

Eric Baier

Andy Bohmbach

Andrew Conboy

Ryan Grimshaw

Niko Hovinen

Andrew Johnston

Matt Konan

Stephen Schultz

Ian Slater

Justin Taylor

Scott Wedgewood

Kelsey Wilson

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

McKenzie Dealt, Hayes Activated

November 24, 2012

Live from the press box at Madison Square Garden, a quick Trenton Titans update…

The Titans traded forward Jim McKenzie to the Evansville IceMen after last night’s game, most likely for future considerations…which is most likely cash.  So much for not making a trade.  Also, Trenton activated forward Ryan Hayes from injured reserve, and he could play tonight.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 15: Post-Game Notes

November 24, 2012

I think that video, my game story and feature on Ian Slater should keep you occupied for a while.

I will not be covering tonight’s game, nor will anyone from The Trentonian. I will instead be at Madison Square Garden covering Michigan-Cornell.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 15: Pre-Game Notes

November 23, 2012

6:55 PM — The line chart says Hovinen is starting, the official lineup card says it’s Wedgewood.  So.  Flip a coin.

6:45 PM — Rob Madore starts in goal for Evansville, and…I think Hovinen for Trenton?  Wedgewood was the first player on the ice for warmups…

6:00 PM — Evansville is dressing 14 skaters.  Think of all the guys looking for jobs right now.  That’s kinda inexcusable, and yes I know they’ve been slammed by injuries.

5:55 PM — Titans lines are:

Bohmbach-Johnston-Haczyk
Noebels-Taylor-Schultz
Conboy-Slater-Nagy
Wilson

Grimshaw-Baier
Konan-Kessel
DiLauro-Goggin

Hovinen
Wedgewood

5:20 PM — Titans scratches are: Banwell-Hayes-Drewiske-Carrier-Hostetter…which means the active 18 are

30-1

3-5-6-7-8-20

9-11-12-14-15-16-17-21-22-24

4:45 PM — Well, not much I can tell you that you didn’t already get out of the morning skate stuff…

Matt Konan will wear #8 for the Titans in his pro debut tonight, while Andrew Johnston has been assigned #21.

Lineups and all that stuff when we get them.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Wedgewood Set To Return Tonight

November 23, 2012

Scott Wedgewood, clad in new mask, is set to return for the first time since his Nov. 9 injury (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

It looked like business as usual for Scott Wedgewood at Friday’s morning skate.

Wedgewood, wearing a new plan white mask, was a full participant and showed no ill effects from the head injury he suffered in a collision with teammate Andrew Conboy on Nov. 9 against Reading.  He is expected to backup Niko Hovinen tonight, and may start tomorrow.

“I got to get on the ice on Monday and Tuesday for half practices, and the last couple days I’ve been going full out,” he said.  “I’ve been fine, I’m back to normal.”

Wedgewood did experience headaches and “discomfort” in the time period immediately after his injury, but was never diagnosed with a concussion or anything specific.

“We had some doctors look at me to make sure I was up to par before getting out on the ice,” he said.  “Especially with the way concussions are going now, you have to be extra cautious.  I had to miss two more games than I wanted to, but it’s better to take that extra two days than have it linger around for two more months.”

In eight games, the 20-year-old top goaltending prospect of the New Jersey Devils has posted a 4-3 record with a 2.62 GAA and .910 save percentage.  His next game will be his first with his new Masked Marvel brand mask, which he says was a planned change and had nothing to do with the injury.

“I’d love to (play tomorrow),” he said.  “I haven’t heard the word yet.  It still has to go up top and everything has to be cleared.  But I’ve talked to Vince, and I feel fine and he knows that.  It’s a coaching decision as well as it is a personal decision.  But I gave him the OK that I’m good, and if he feels comfortable, hopefully I’m back in there and can get my feet back under me.”

As for that new headgear, it remains unpainted, but that should change soon.

“I’m going to wear it this weekend and hopefully get in one of these games,” he said.  “Hopefully I can talk to somebody about (the mask getting painted) and fire off some ideas, see what gets approved and see what gets put on it.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 15: Morning Skate Notes

November 23, 2012

Titans head coach Vince Williams leads the team in the morning skate (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

11:30 AM — An appearance at the morning skate by me.  I’m shocked too.  But there seemed like a lot I needed to get done.

I spoke to Titans head coach Vince Williams, goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forward Ian Slater…I think you’ll see the Slater stuff later since that was more for a feature than anything else.  I’m intrigued by how his physical presence keeps him in the lineup every night despite just one point in his first 14 games.  It’s not a knock, it actually speaks to just how effective he is in his role given the depth Trenton currently has.  You’ll see that and some Wedgewood comments in The Trentonian tomorrow.

Trenton will also debut their new third jerseys tonight.  They’re primarily red with “Titans” in black block font with the player’s number underneath, as well as gray on the sides.  My initial impression just from seeing the same picture all of you have is that I’m not a particularly big fan, but I need to see it in person before deciding.

Anyway, here are a few comments from Williams on some key issues…

On Wedgewood: “He just got back from having a full week, so he’ll probably be backing up tonight and should be getting back into the routine of things.”

On Luke Pither: “I don’t think he wanted to leave here, but at the same time, we’re handcuffed with the roster.  With the roster spot that went away on November 17, the extra reserve spot, if we want to bring in more contracted guys for whatever reason, we’d have to get rid of an ECHL player, and that’s hard to do with some of the guys that we have here that earned their spot.  (Pither) needs to play more, and Wheeling had a need for forwards.  If it’s another opportunity for him to play more there than he would here, it’s good.”

On Justin Taylor and Kelsey Wilson: “Taylor, I think he’s getting back to playing more of an important role here, so he’s playing a little bit more than I think he was in Kalamazoo.  He obviously has the skill set, he plays with an edge.  He can play in all situations, too.  Wilson is a very smart player.  His type of profile might not compliment that, but his ability to play the game?  He can play.  We’ve only had two games to evaluate him and see where he fits, but he’s the kind of guy that can play in any situation.  I know he gets respect out there, we saw that in the weekend.  He’s a leader guy, he’s been around.”

On Ryan Hayes: “These guys are close.  The biggest thing right now is the manipulation of our roster and being able to activate guys without putting guys on.  We just have to see where that falls.”

On if the team looks for a trade to open a spot: “No.  I don’t think we need to do that.  It’s not like we’re cranked with numbers, it’s just that when you activate someone, someone has to replace him.  So right now there’s a couple guys who are banged up, but we would have done something earlier, we just don’t have the results yet on certain things.  We’ll have to wait and see.  Jacob (Drewiske), with him, he’s kind of where he started at the beginning of the year.  He was out of the lineup, bided his time, came back in.  It’s unfortunate.  We have numbers, I don’t think we’ll have any pushback as far as guys’ attitudes, I think they’re aware of the situation and they’re being pros about it.  It’s an asset that we have.  McKenzie is in the same situation.  It’s a bit of a logjam right now.”

On Andrew Johnston and Matt Konan: “Johnston can skate, he’s a skilled guy.  Konan is going to need some work, he hasn’t played yet.  He’s coming off an injury, but he’s a guy that has some upside in the organization.  So we got him here and we’ll get him playing.  They’re both young guys.  To me, Johnston is a little bit ahead of Konan, just  because he’s been playing up there and he’s been practicing.  I think the biggest thing is he needs to play top line minutes…it’s probably best for his development.”

I’ll have an update on Wedgewood for you as well, let me just see what quotes I don’t use for my print story so I know what to put here…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Catching Up…

November 20, 2012

— Have been off for a few days, but things sure don’t stop on my account…

— First, the Flyers changed Luke Pither’s assignment, first calling him to AHL Adirondack in a paper move, and then assigning him to the Wheeling Nailers.  Pither, 23, scored two goals and one assist in 11 games for the Titans, but it became clear from talking to people with inside knowledge of the team that he simply wasn’t fitting in.

It sends a clear message that regardless of affiliation status, the Titans are doing everything they can to put together a winning formula in the room.  And those type of moves may not be done.  There was interest in Pither shown by a CHL team, but this likely is the best move for him.

And for anyone comparing this to the Lenes/Southorn “trade” last year, well…no.  While there were some off-ice issues involved in that one as well, that was a trade…this is an affiliate changing a player’s assignment.

— The Nailers also added forward Matt Germain, who had been a free agent ever since the Titans released him in training camp.  Germain tallied 24 points in 63 games last season.

— The Flyers weren’t done shaking up the Titans roster.  They re-called forward Jason Akeson to Adirondack and sent down forward Andrew Johnston (left) and defenseman Matt Konan.

Akeson, who led the Phantoms in scoring last season, didn’t exactly light the league on fire like you would have expected, and he had some glaring holes in his defensive game that likely led him to getting sent here in the first place.  In 14 games, he scored just two goals while adding eight assists.  He’s likely to re-join a line in Adirondack with Sean Couturier.

Johnston is in his first professional season, and had scored one goal in his first ten games with the Phantoms.  Konan is still looking to make his pro debut after rehabbing an injury.  The 21-year-old was a prolific point producer in the WHL with Medicine Hat, posting nine goals and 45 assists last season.

– Trenton also released Pier-Olivier Morin for what feels like the third or fourth time by now.  Morin scored one goal in five games with the Titans, but was a minus-4.  The Titans also released Eric Swanick as their emergency backup goaltender, which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot until Scott Wedgewood actually dresses for a game.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com