Penguins finish season strong, prepare for first round series with Checkers
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (45-22-6-3) begins quest for Tom Kostopoulos’ first championship
Friday, Apr. 13 – PENGUINS 3 at Springfield 2
Daniel Sprong set the franchise record for goals by a rookie with his 31st tally of the season. Sprong’s goal opened the game’s scoring, one of only a few bids that fooled Harri Säteri. The Thunderbirds’ goalie conjured 46 saves in the loss.
Saturday, Apr. 14 – PENGUINS 1 at Lehigh Valley 2 (SO)
The Penguins lost a shootout decision to the recently crowned Atlantic Division Champions. Both teams were held scoreless until the final two minutes of the third period, during which both teams found the back of the net. By getting to OT, the Penguins clinched the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division.
Sunday, Apr. 15 – PENGUINS 3 at Hershey 2
The Penguins remained unbeaten in regulation against the Bears in the two clubs’ final matchup of 2017-18, going 10-0-1-1 to notch the best single-season record in the rivalry’s 19-year history. Sprong scored again for goal 32, and Jan Drozg earned an assist in his pro debut.
The Week Ahead
Friday, Apr. 20 – PENGUINS at Charlotte – GAME ONE
Second-seeded Wilkes-Barre/Scranton travels to North Carolina to take on third-seeded Charlotte in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Penguins hope to avenge a 2011 playoff series loss handed to them by the Checkers in the teams’ only postseason meeting. Charlotte closed out the season on a 10-game point streak (9-0-1-0), and won 15 of its last 18 contests.
Saturday, Apr. 21 – PENGUINS at Charlotte – GAME TWO
The Penguins went 1-3-0-0 against the Checkers in their four-game regular season series, but both teams were evenly matched on the special teams front. Both were 16.7% on the PP and 83.3% on the PK when facing one another this season.
– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is going to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 16th consecutive season, the AHL’s longest active streak.
– Daniel Sprong’s 32 goals not only established a new franchise record for rookie scoring, but he also tied Janne Pesonen for the second-most goals in a season in team history.
– Sprong finished the season ranked in the AHL’s top five in three categories: third in goals (32), fourth in shots (214) and fifth in points (65). Sprong also led all rookies in goals and shots, while tying fellow first-years for tops in power play goals (11).
– Five of Michael Leighton’s six starts as a Penguin have gone past regulation. He is 4-0-1 in those games.
FINAL DIVISION STANDINGS
|1. Lehigh Valley||76||47||19||5||5||104||.684|
* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh
UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME
Fri, Apr. 20 Charlotte Bojangles’ Coliseum 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Apr. 21 Charlotte Bojangles’ Coliseum 6:00 p.m.
Tue, Apr. 17 (LW) Sam Miletic Reassigned from OHL
Tue, Apr. 17 (LW) Jan Drozg Released from ATO
Fri, Apr. 13 (G) Alex D’Orio Reassigned to QMJHL
Wed, Apr. 11 (C) Anthony Angello Signed to ATO
Wed, Apr. 11 (C) Cam Brown Signed to PTO