The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon not only gave the team back-to-back wins on the weekend, it also gave the Pens the distinction of being the first team in the AHL to hit double-digit wins on the season.
That came as a bit of a surprise to head coach Clark Donatelli.
“I didn’t realize that, but it feels good,” Donatelli said after practice at the Toyota SportsPlex on Tuesday. “The guys are playing hard, and it’s good to get a good practice in here. We’re just taking it game-by-game, period-by-period. We just try to get better every day.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is off to a 10-2-1-0 mark, good for 21 points an the top winning percentage (.808) in the league.
“It’s early. We’re not 15 games into it,” Donatelli stated. “But we’re off to a good start and we’re going to hopefully continue to do the same things.”
The Penguins are in the middle of a stretch that sees the team play six games in just nine games, including a Wednesday night matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown. The Flyers’ affiliate enters this week’s action riding a six-game winning streak which has them just four points behind the Penguins in the Atlantic Division standings.
“We’re going to have to be ready right off the bat,” Donatelli said. “I think that they’re going to come at us really quick. We’re going to be on the road, and we’re going to have to have a good start.”
|DATE:||Wednesday, November 16, 2016|
|LISTEN:|| WILK News Radio (103.1) | bit.ly/WBSWILK
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
|RECORD||8-3-1-0 (17 pts) | Second in Atlantic Division|
|GOALS||Greg Carey & Colin McDonald||7|
WHO’S HOT: Former Penguins forward Colin McDonald had a three-game goal streak (Nov. 5-12) snapped Sunday in Hershey, but is still tied for the Phantoms lead with seven tallies in just 12 games.
NEWS AND NOTES:Jordan Weal is tied for fifth in the AHL with 15 points (4+11)…T.J. Brennan is tied for second among AHL defensemen with 12 points (3+9)…Greg Carey leads all AHL skaters with six power play goals…The Phantoms are third in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the league with a 25.05 power play percentage (15 for 60)…
ABOUT THE PENGUINS
|RECORD||10-2-1-0 (21 pts) | First in Atlantic Division|
|ASSISTS||Jake Guentzel & Carter Rowney||7|
WHO’S HOT: Rookie forward Reid Gardiner has three goals in his past four games. He netted his first professional goal in a 7-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on November 5. It turned out to be the game-winning goal.
NEWS AND NOTES: The Penguins have allowed just one goal in nine of their 13 games so far this season…Goaltender Casey DeSmith leads the AHL in both goals against average (1.00) and save percentage (.963)…Tristan Jarry isn’t far behind DeSmith in either category, ranking fifth in goals against average (1.76) and third in save percentage (.935)…A pair of Penguins rookies made their AHL and North American pro debuts last weekend. Center Thomas DiPauli suited up for the first time on November 11 against the Toronto Marlies, and also played in the Penguins win in Hartford on Sunday. DiPauli was signed as a free agent our of Notre Dame this past summer….Defenseman Lukas Bengtsson made his debut on Sunday in Hartford, going scoreless in the win. He spent last season with Frolunda in Sweden, winning the league championship before signing with Pittsburgh as a free agent…The Penguins remain the top penalty killing team in the league with a 90.6% success rate (48 of 53).
The Penguins return home on Friday night to host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:05pm. Tickets for Friday night’s game are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.