On a hockey loaded weekend filled with both tricks and treats, the Baby Pens came through with a big treat for their fans. Heading into the weekend 6-0 at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, they terrorized the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night with a final score of 4-1. Saturday night, they faced the Hershey Bears for the third time this season, and Chris Connor’s 3 point night helped lift the Baby Pens to 8-0-0 and a 3 point lead over the rest of the AHL.
Let’s take a look at some of the key factors in the Baby Pens hot streak.
- Good Goaltending: With Curry and Thessien both holding records of 4-0 and solid save percentages, the Pens can rely on the performance of the guys between the pipes. Curry’s save percentage is 94% and Theissen’s is 93%. Both goaltenders are off to good starts for the season and have looked comfortable and sharp in games.
- Everyone Chips In: The Baby Pens have been able to rely on contributions from many members of the team, not just a select few. On Saturday against Hershey, Chris Connor scored his first 2 goals of the season, but he wasn’t the only contributor. The Baby Pens also had goals from Vitale, Tangradi, Hutchinson, and Sill settling the final score at 6-2. The night before, against the Phantoms, the Baby Pens 4 goals came from Craig, Johnson, Sneep, and Boulerice. This kind of team effort in putting points on the board is another key weapon. When a team is getting goals from everyone on the ice, it strains opponents in how they play, strategize and counterattack. The more weapons in the arsenal, the harder it is to defend against the attack.
- Powerful Penalty Kill: The Baby Pens have killed 31 consecutive penalties dating back to October 15th in Charlotte, NC. That may not seem like a big deal at first but when you consider that the Hershey Bears had 7 power play opportunities in Saturday night’s game, it gives an idea of just how hard their PK units are working during games. Having a strong penalty kill is key against some of the high powered offensive teams that the Penguins have faced (like the Hershey Bears) and will face (Worcester Sharks) in upcoming games.
The Baby Pens next game is against the Rochester Americans, this Friday 11/5. The puck drops at 7:35 pm. Let’s see if the Baby Pens can make it 9-0. Look for updates on their weekend matchups through the week.