WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced the date and time of their home opener for the upcoming 2017-18 season. The Penguins will officially begin their 19th season on Saturday, Oct. 7, when they face off with the Charlotte Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza at 7:05 p.m.
This summer, Charlotte was added to the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division as a part of offseason realignment around the American Hockey League. The Penguins’ home opener will mark the first visit from the Checkers since 2011.
Last season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished with the best record in the AHL (51-20-3-2, 107 points) and captured the franchise’s second-ever MacGregor Kilpatrick Trophy. The league-leading Penguins were led in scoring by 38-year-old captain Tom Kostopoulos, who was already re-signed with the Penguins for the 2017-18 season.
Charlotte was the last Western Conference team to qualify for the 2016-17 Calder Cup Playoffs, squeezing into the postseason picture with a point earned on the final day of the season. The Checkers finished with a 39-29-7-1 record (86 points), the team’s third-highest win total since joining the AHL in 2010. It was their first season under the tutelage of head coach Ulf Samuelsson, who has since moved on to an assistant coaching job with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Checkers Assistant General Manager Mike Vellucci will step behind the bench as head coach for the 2017-18 season.
The AHL will announce the entirety of its league schedule tomorrow.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.