Penguins: Players in the Spotlight: Butenschon and Ference

By pbadmin

One came up and one went down. It’s amazing what can happen through the course of one day. For a couple of young defenseman in the Penguins organization one day brought both reward and disappointment. One player was given a chance in the ‘big leagues,’ while the another was reminded what exactly it takes to be present on NHL ice.

Sven Butenschon had 9 goals and 10 assists in 34 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, earning the respect of both his peers and the Penguins organization. It is for this reason that General Manager Craig Patrick decided to pull him up for a game. In order to do so however, Pittsburgh had to first ship Andrew Ference down to the American Hockey League to clear a spot on the NHL roster. As odd as that may seem, Ference’s relocation to the minors was anticipated anyway. Why not give another prospect the chance to shine, even if it was for just one night?

Sven welcomed the opportunity, logging 18 minutes of ice time and finishing with a plus minus rating of plus – 1 against the Flyers, despite a 6-2 Penguin’s loss that evening (Jan. 8th). Both the coaching staff and management alike admitted to being impressed by his performance.

D -Sven Butenschon
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215
Shoots: Left
Born: March 22, 1976; Itzehoe, West Germany
Acquired: Pittsburgh’s third choice (57th overall) in 1994 Entry Draft.

While Butenschon was making progress, Ference appeared to be slipping. Granted Andrew Ference is a talented defenseman, no one would argue that point, but at the moment he lacks the confidence to be a fulltime success in the NHL. KC took a shine to him early in the season, playing him just about every night, but Coach Brooks would like to see more. He knows there much more potential in this 5’10 bundle of energy than he is currently seeing … or at least was seeing. Perhaps a stint in the American Hockey League was the right move. It appears to be helping Ference refocus and find the confidence in which he had lost. Considering the way he has been playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins the past couple games, one goal and three assists, Andrew should be back in Pittsburgh in no time at all. Until then, the “Jr. Pens” will no doubt benefit from his presence.

D -Andrew Ference
Height: 5-10
Weight: 190
Shoots: Left
Born: March 17, 1979; Edmonton, Alberta
Acquired: Pittsburgh’s eighth round choice (208th overall) in 1997 Entry Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins -Game Recaps
January 8th, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins faced the Philadelphia Phantom. Ference had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, but it wasn’t enough as the team went 0-for-6 on the power play and lost for the eighth straight time by a score of 7-2.
January 9th, Butenschon and Ference were reunited as teammates on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster in Albany, New York. Greg Crozier and John Slaney each scored, while Tom Kostopolous’ did his best to rally the troops with a shorthanded goal, cutting the deficit to 4-3, but it wasn’t enough. Unfortunately for the “Jr. Pens” the Albany River Rats were anxious to hand them their ninth straight loss. It didn’t take long for the River Rats to turn ’4-3′ into a final victory.

Wilkes-Br/Scranton Penguins (AHL) Top 10:
GP G A PTS PIM
John Slaney 27 13 17 30 15
Greg Crozier 36 13 13 26 18
Valentin Morozov 32 10 13 23 2
Tom Kostopoulos 34 12 10 22 62
Dennis Bonvie 29 2 20 22 210
Tyler Wright 25 5 15 20 86
Sven Butenshon 35 9 10 19 48
Martin Sonnenberg 27 8 11 19 47
Pavel Skrbek 33 6 10 16 26
Boris Protsenko 29 7 7 14 20

Penguins Prospects In Pittsburgh:
GP G A PTS PIM
Michal Rozsival 40 3 10 13 16
Tyler Wright 12 3 3 6 4
Andrew Ference 30 2 4 6 20
Robert Dome 19 1 5 6 0
Hans Jonsson 34 1 3 4 4
John Slaney 8 1 3 4 4
Tom Chorske 23 1 2 3 2
Martin Sonnenberg 9 1 2 3 0
Dennis Bonvie 7 0 0 0 32
Sven Butenschon 1 0 0 0 0

Organization Standings (NHL, AHL, ECHL):
NHL -Atlantic Division
GP W L T PTS
New Jersey 42 25 12 5 57
Philadelphia 41 24 11 6 55
*Pittsburgh 40 18 19 3 44
NY Rangers 41 14 20 7 38
NY Islanders 40 10 24 6 26

AHL -Empire Division
GP W L T PTS
Rochester 41 22 14 5 50
Syracuse 39 17 15 7 41
Hamilton 41 11 19 11 33
Albany 38 12 22 4 29
*Wlks-Br/Scranton 38 8 25 5 22

ECHL -Northwest Division
GP W L T PTS
Peoria 33 21 9 3 45
Huntington 39 18 14 7 43
Dayton 37 18 15 4 40
Johnstown 35 17 13 5 39
Toledo 33 13 16 4 30
*Wheeling 35 12 21 2 26

Penguins News:
1/14/00 – The Pittsburgh Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, will honor Mario Lemieux at a pregame ceremony before the game against Jacksonville (7:30 EST).
1/9/00 – The Pittsburgh Penguins sent defenseman Sven Butenschon back to the Wilkes-Br/Scranton Penguins (AHL).

1/8/00 – The Pittsburgh Penguins assigned Andrew Ference to Wilkes-Br/Scranton (AHL) and recalled Sven Butenschon

1/3/00 – The NHL suspended NY Islanders Gino Odjick for eight games without pay. The suspension was given after Gino delivered a punch to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis December 30th.

12/29/99 – The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled goaltender Craig Hillier from Wilkes-Br/Scranton (AHL)

12/26/99 – The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled Dennis Bonvie from Wilkes-Br/Scranton

Upcoming games:
Pittsburgh Penguins:
Wed 1/12/00 9:00 Pittsburgh at Phoenix
Thu 1/13/00 9:00 Pittsburgh at Colorado
Sat 1/15/00 8:00 Pittsburgh at Nashville
Wed 1/19/00 7:30 St. Louis at Pittsburgh

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins:
Wed 1/12/00 7:30 WB/S at Syracuse
Fri 1/14/00 7:35 Rochester at WB/S
Sat 1/15/00 7:00 WB/S at Hershey
Wed 1/19/00 7:35 Rochester at WB/S

Wheeling Nailers:
Wed 1/12/00 7:00 Wheeling at Dayton
Fri 1/14/00 7:30 Jacksonville at Wheeling
Sat 1/15/00 7:30 Toledo at Wheeling
Fri 1/21/00 7:30 Wheeling at Hampton Roads