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Penguins Notebook: Penalty Kill Near Perfect

RMU Grad Cowan Suits Up For Toronto

Monday, 09.13.2010 / 12:45 AM / Features
By Jason Seidling
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Penguins Notebook: Penalty Kill Near Perfect
LONDON, ONTARIO – The Penguins are a perfect 2-0 thus far at the 2010 rookie camp in London, Ontario, and one of the chief reasons behind their success has been the work of the penalty killers.

Pittsburgh played down by a man six times on Sunday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, including a 1:48 minute sequence early in the second period when they had to kill of a two-man disadvantage. The Penguins were able to deny all six Toronto power plays, giving the Penguins 12 successful kills in 13 chances through two games.

Even that tally was offset when the Penguins Dustin Jeffrey picked up a shorthanded marker against Ottawa on Saturday.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes, who is running camp for the Penguins, credits the penalty kills’ success as one of the chief reasons why the Penguins have started the tournament 2-0.

“The penalty kill did a very nice job,” Hynes said. “Alain Nasreddine runs that. He was a very good penalty killer himself, so the players are buying into it. They are sacrificing their bodies. That was one of the biggest differences in the game (on Sunday) along with Brad Thiessen.”

Leading the way on the penalty kill in addition to Thiessen against Toronto were forwards Jeffrey, Eric Tangradi and Zach Sill, and defensemen Brian Strait, Robert Bortuzzo and Simon Despres. All six either made key shot blocks or got pucks the length of the ice when the Penguins were down by a man.

Brown’s Stock on the Rise

While most of the players who comprise the Penguins’ roster this weekend are either Pittsburgh property or draft picks, four attendees – Tyler Brown, Taylor Peters, Ryan Schnell and Alex Smigelski – are in London on a tryout basis.

All four players have had their share of good moments the first three days of camp, and Sunday was Brown’s time to stand out.

“For me, it’s all about getting experience,” Brown said. “I just have to keep my feet moving and do the simple things. Hopefully the coaches notice that and I can move on from here.”

Although he didn’t factor into the scoring summary on Sunday, the coaches had to take notice of the energy that the 6-foot-2, 184-pound forward brought each time he stepped over the boards.

On at least three occasions Brown, who spent the past three seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, used his speed to get to the outside and create open looks for himself, narrowly picking corners on Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens.

“I just like to use my speed going wide and create some chances,” Brown said. “I know that we have guys who like to drive the net so I am going to try fire pucks on net and hopefully there are rebounds for the guys.”

Brown has one more chance to catch the eye of management when the Penguins conclude tournament play on Tuesday with a 2 p.m. matinee against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“That is all I am trying to do is make an impression,” Brown said. “Hopefully the coaches like what I am doing and something can happen from that.”

Robert Morris Grad Suits Up For Toronto

Toronto had a Pittsburgh connection in their lineup on Sunday night as former Robert Morris Colonials defenseman Dave Cowan suited up for the Maple Leafs.

Cowan, who graduated from RMU in May after four successful seasons with the Colonials, is attending Toronto’s camp on an amateur tryout contract.

Unfortunately the Calgary, Alberta native’s night was cut short when he was knocked out of the game 2:48 minutes into the second period after being hit from behind by the Penguins Ryan Schnell.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Cowan is hoping to earn a contract with Toronto following a four-year career with RMU that saw him post three goals and 24 points in 111 games while playing a shutdown role for head coach Derek Schooley’s squad.

Cowan spent one game with the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals last spring after graduating from RMU.

Scoring Summary

TOR, Brayden Irwin (1), 6:46, 1st period
PIT, Geoff Walker (1), 10:39, 2nd period
PIT, Dustin Jeffrey (3), 19:25, 3rd period

RELATED ARTICLE: Thiessen Solid In Goal As Penguins Defeat Toronto 2-1 >>
RELATED ARTICLE: Pens-Leafs Prospect Game Blog >>



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