AP NEWS

Penguins Weekly: Wheeling Report, Local Connections And Rapid Fire With Patrick McGrath

November 20, 2016 GMT

WHEELING REPORT

Staff writer Seth Lakso checks in with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s affiliate in the ECHL

The Nailers continued their rise up the North Division this past week. As of Thursday, they were riding a five-game winning streak. Forward Josh Shalla (8G-5A) and rookie defenseman Kevin Schulze (2G-11A) are currently tied for the team lead in points with 13. Garrett Meurs is riding a five-game point streak (1G-5A).

Record: 7-3-1-0, 15 pts., 3rd in North

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Throughout the season, staff writer Seth Lakso will check in on how players with ties to Northeast Pennsylvania are performing.

Patrick McGrath

Hometown: Shavertown

Current team: WBS Penguins

As of Thursday, McGrath had appeared in seven of the Penguins’ 14 games. He recorded his first point of the season on Oct. 30, when assisted on a Jean-Sebastien Dea goal. The Shavertown native’s 37 PIMs rank fourth in the AHL, but first among rookies.

C.J. Yakimowicz

Hometown: Kingston

Current team: Sudbury (OHL)

Yakimowicz has four goals and 15 points in 19 games since joining the Wolves early in the season. The forward has cooled of late and has just one assist over his last five games.

Eric Tangradi

High School: Wyoming Seminary

Current team: Grand Rapids (AHL)

The former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin suffered a hand injury last week that will sideline him for the next three weeks. He has four assists in seven games.

Daniel Sprong

Jr. team: WBS Junior Knights

Current team: Pittsburgh (NHL)

Sprong, 19, underwent successful shoulder surgery this past June and is expected to miss the next two months as he continues to recover.

Ivan Provorov

Jr. team: WBS Junior Knights

Current team: Philadelphia (NHL)

The 19-year-old defenseman, who was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, has six assists and a minus-9 rating in 17 games.

Nikita Pavlychev

Jr. team: WBS Junior Knights

Current team: Penn State

The 6-foot-7-inch center began his collegiate career at Penn State this semester and has appeared in 11 games for the Nittany Lions, registering two goals and three assists.

Marcus Joseph

Hometown: Mountain Top

Current team: Youngstown (USHL)

The Sacred Heart commit has made the jump to the USHL, where the defenseman has a goal and two assists in 15 games.

A NOTE, A QUOTE & A NUMBER

?? A note: As of Thursday, rookie Casey DeSmith’s .962 save percentage and 1.00 goals against average ranked first among all AHL goaltenders.

?? A quote: “He’s going to get a bunch of those. Those are the types of goals he’s going to get; he’s hard on the puck, and he’s good in front of the net. If you go to those hard areas, you’re going to get rewarded, and it was good to see him get that first goal.” – Penguins coach Clark Donatelli on rookie forward Thomas Di Pauli’s first professional goal.

?? A number: 300 — AHL games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Kevin Porter. His 300th came on Wednesday against Lehigh Valley.

RAPID FIRE WITH PATRICK MCGRATH

1. What’s your favorite movie?

A: “13 Hours”

2. Do you have any collections?

A: Hockey jerseys from past teams

3. What’s your favorite sport outside of hockey?

A: Golf

4. Who was your favorite hockey player growing up?

A: Mike Modano

5. Cats or dogs?

A: Dogs

6. What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever received?

A: I got a dog once, named Murphy. He’s an Irish Setter

7. What’s your favorite band?

A: Little Big Town

8. What’s the last song you listened to?

A: “Peter Pan,” by Kelsea Ballerini

9. If you didn’t play hockey, what would you do?

A: I’d be an architect, or I would own a gym.

10. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Mild wings and pizza