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Empty Netter Assists - 04-03-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-What are Olli Maatta's (right) credentials for the Calder Trophy?

-The Penguins eat healthier than you.

-Penguins forward prospect Bryan Ruster is expected to report to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an amateur tryout contract.

-Mike Condon made 31 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-0 shutout of the Toledo Walleye.

 

-Happy 32nd birthday to current Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland. A free agent signing in the 2007 offseason, Engelland has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Penguins. He appeared in nine games in 2009-10 and recorded two assists while compiling 17 penalty minutes. In 2010-11, Engelland played in 63 games, scored 10 points and recorded 123 penalty minutes. During the 2011-12 campaign, Engelland set career-highs with 73 games and 17 assists. He appeared in six postseason games in the spring of 2012 and recorded one assist. Last season, Engelland appeared in 42 games while recording six assists. Engelland played in seven postseason games last spring and failed to record a point. This season, Engelland played in 54 games and scored 12 points. In 241 career regular season games, he has scored 47 points and accumulated 306 penalty minutes. In 13 postseason games, he has recorded one assist.

-Happy 81st birthday to former Penguins forward Billy Dea. Claimed from the Blackhawks in the 1967 expansion draft, Dea was a member of the Penguins for the first two years of their existence. During the club's inagural season of 1967-68, he appeared in 73 games and netted 28 points. He followed that in 1968-69 by seeing action in 66 games and scoring 18 points.Prior to the 1969-70 season, Dea was traded to the Red Wings for Mike McMahon. In 139 games with the franchise, he had 46 points.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Neil Belland. A free agent signing in the 1986 offseason, Belland appeared in three games and recorded one assist for the 1986-87 Penguins. He joined Lukko Rauma in Finland the following season.

-After the Jump: Ellwood City's Stephen Johns signs with the Blackhawks.

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Robert Morris lands JuCo commit

Written by Craig Meyer on .

http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/06/02/63/1584343/3/628x471.jpg

(Photo: Albany Times Union)

Robert Morris has received a commitment from former Siena and current Cloud City Community College (Kansas) forward Lionel Gomis, according to Andrew Chiappazzi of Rivals.com.

A native of Dakar, Senegal, Gomis' backstory is a unique one, partially because of a little-heard-of NCAA policy that put his long-term eligibility into question. When he arrived in the United States, Gomis was fluent in French, but knew little English, something which caused him to reclassify from a junior to a sophomore. After signing with Siena, he was informed by the NCAA that he effectively had to sit out his freshman season, play as a sophomore, but beyond that, he could no longer play. The rule that prompted that decision states that an athlete must complete their high school core-curriculum requirements no later than the high school graduation date in a five-year period. Basically, the time that he missed not going to school in Senegal were counted against him once he entered college (his final two years) and he would have had to sit out the first year because of his reclassification. In all, it was a pretty bizarre situation.

Siena was able to successfully petition the NCAA's ruling and Gomis was on the team for two seasons. In December of 2012, his sophomore year, he opted to transfer, citing family reasons. He appeared in just one game that season, playing two minutes in the Saints' season-opening loss to Vermont.

At 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, it would appear that Gomis could help bolster a Colonials frontcourt that looks pretty thin entering next season. Robert Morris returns six scholarship players from last season and has signed two incoming freshmen, guard Jafar Kinsey and forward Andre Frederick. With forward Jeremiah Worthem and guard Britton Lee suspended until January -- and both of their scholarship statuses up in the air -- Gomis will give the Colonials nine scholarship players (not including Worthem and Lee).

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Empty Netter Assists - 04-02-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Shelly Anderson's recap from last night's game. "We all felt like the first 10 [minutes] we were carrying the play. I think the shots were pretty evident of that. For whatever reason, we got away from that. Maybe we thought that came easy or thought we could get away with cheating. It didn't work." - Sidney Crosby.

-The Associated Press' recap. "I thought we kept it simple and kind of slowly frustrated them as it went on and it was a win we needed." - Hurricanes captain/forward Eric Staal.

-Highlights:

-The Penguins gathered near the bench:

-Carolina's Andrej Sekera battled Crosby for this puck:

-Beau Bennett battled with Carolina's John-Michael Liles for position:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Kris Letang was named the Penguins' nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-Should the Penguins rest players if and when they clinch the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division?

-The Penguins signed forward Bryan Rust, a third-round pick in 2010, to a two-year entry-level contract. Rust, 21, just finished his senior season at Notre Dame where he appeared in 40 games and scored 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists).

-The Penguins signed forward Scott Wilson, a seventh-round pick in 2011, to an entry-level contract. Terms were not reported. Wilson, 21, just finished his senior season at Massachusetts-Lowell where he appeared in 31 games and scored 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists).

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Philip Samuelsson will be sidelined four to six weeks due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino was named the AHL's goaltender of the month for March.

-After the Jump: Douglas Murray faces discipline for a dangerous hit.

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Plum's Adamski, Vincentian's Cortese off to terrific starts

Written by Mike White on .

Talk about good starts. For Plum softball player Hannah Adamski and Vincentian baseball player Jay Cortese, it's more like torrid starts.

Adamski's start has been on the unbelievable side. She has been up 11 times in three games and has eight hits. But get this: She has seven home runs. And she's only a sophomore.

Adamski hit three home runs in the first game and two in each of the next two games. All of them were over the fence. No inside-the-park jobs. She's a darn good athlete,  too. She qualified for the PIAA swimming championships earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Cortese has had quite the two days. Yesterday, he pitched a one-hitter and struck out 12 against Karns City. Today against Springdale, he hit for the cycle and had nine RBIs. He was 5 for 5 with a single, triple, home run and two doubles.

Cortese also is a good athlete. He was a starter on Vincentian's basketball team that made it to the WPIAL Class A semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

 

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Talkin' Bout Practice - April 1

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pitt passed the halfway mark of spring ball today with its eighth practice of the season. Here are a couple of quick notes from the session (which was unfortunately indoors on this gorgeous day)...

- No real change to the depth chart on either side of the ball. Bam Bradley sat out of today's session, which meant that redshirt freshman Reggie Green was the second-team Sam linebacker. Other than that, it was pretty much as it has been all camp with backs and receivers rotating through, and Jones-Smith/Johnson/Rowell/Rotheram/Clemmings along the offensive line.

- On the defense, more of the same with Soto/Render/Mosley-Smith/Durham along the line and Gonzalez/Galambos/Thomas at linebacker. Starting secondary is still Coles/Vinopal/Webb/Pitts.

- Chryst described today's session as "up and down" and we saw that with three picks from the quarterbacks. The first was a pass from Chad Voytik intended for Ronald Jones running a corner route, but the pass was just a bit underthrown and Lafayette Pitts was able to step in front and pick it off. The second one came from Trey Anderson on a crossing route over the middle where it looked like he just didn't see Nicholas Grigsby dropping back into coverage, and Grigsby made the pick. Finally, Voytik had the third when he didn't see Trenton Coles falling back and Coles picked him off.

- James Conner did some positional drills with the defensive linemen today. This isn't necessarily news, because he has been subbing in on the defensive line at times this spring, but most of those times were just him coming on in emergency situations. This was the first time I can recall Conner actively working with defensive ends coach John Palermo and the rest of the unit in individual drills.

- One position to watch this spring is the nickelback role, which has fluctuated a lot. Today, it looked like Jahmahl Parder was the first guy off the bench in sub packages, but I also think the coaches do like Trenton Coles in that role too.

- Grigsby was a guy who stood out to me in today's practice because I think he could bring a lot of versatility to some defensive packages next year. He's a linebacker by trade, and the second-team Will linebacker right now, but he also comes on some of Pitt's sub packages as essentially a fourth defensive lineman. Specifically today, we saw a look that had Soto/Render/Durham as the defensive line, with Grigsby and Galambos as the linebackers, but Grigsby playing more as just a stand-up rusher, similar to what Ejuan Price would do at times last year (before he transitioned to more of a true defensive end).

- The day wasn't perfect for the secondary, as they bit hard on a couple of fakes at the end of practice. First, Lafayette Pitts fell hard for a double-move by Tyler Boyd, which went for a 63-yard touchdown from Voytik. A couple of plays later, pretty much everyone in the defensive backfield bit on a play fake, which allowed Anderson to find a wide-open Ronald Jones for another long touchdown.

- Still limited work for Adam Bisnowaty and Gabe Roberts in today's practice. Both had helmets and shells on, but neither took part in team drills. 

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