Sunday, November 21, 2010

AHL Game 17: WBS 2, Binghamton 1

The 4th line grind.Zach Sill and Jesse Boulerice have gained some popularity around the AHL for their fists, but what about their sticks?

Well Zach and Jesse had the golden sticks Sunday and their goals would be the deciding factor in the game. Binghamton obviously had a gameplan to shut down the top scoring talent of the Pens like Dustin Jeffrey, Brett Sterling, Tim Wallace, and Joe Vitale but they never would have thought to pay any special attention to the duo of Zach Sill and Jesse Boulerice.

After Geoff Kinrade put the Sens up 1-0 6:12 into the period, the grinding line of the Pens went to work to give them some momentum and energy, but instead they gave them a tie game. Jesse Boulerice leveled the Binghamton defenseman with the puck and managed to chip the puck out in front right to the waiting stick of Zach Sill. The 4th line would strike again in the 2nd, this time with Sill feeding it to Boulerice for the score.

Not to be lost in all this 4th line praise is the exceptional play of Brad Theissen. Theissen held off the early Senators onslaught (16 shots in 1st period) with minimal damage and then shut them down for the final 2 frames. He finished with 31 saves and improved his record to 9-1.

Games like this showcase the all-important depth of the Pens. Being an AHL team, there will be instances where your best players may be called away from you at moment's notice and the guys lower down in the depth chart need to step up. If Jesse Boulerice and Zach Sill can lead a team to victory with their scoring, then perhaps the upcoming callups (depending on the Sid/Kunitz situation) won't slow down the Pens a beat.

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