GAME PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs SOUND TIGERS – APRIL 6, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their final home stand of the year against their divisional foe, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (41-21-6-2, 90 pts, .643%) continue to seek points as they look to secure the second playoff position in the Atlantic Division, while the Sound Tigers (35-27-5-3, 78 pts, .557%) sit just outside of a playoff spot in the same division.

Todays’ game is the fifth of six meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, October 28 Bridgeport WBS/td> 2-5 WIN
Saturday, December 16 Bridgeport WBS 3-2 OT Loss
Wednesday, January 3 WBS Bridgeport  3-2 OT WIN
Sunday, March 25 WBS Bridgeport  3-6 Loss
Friday, April 6 WBS Bridgeport  7:05pm
Sunday, April 8 Bridgeport WBS  3:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins fended off a late comeback attempt by the Hershey Bears to defeat their I-81 rival, 5-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Tuesday night. Tristan Jarry backstopped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to victory and the Penguins improve to 9-0-1-1 against the Bears this season. The Penguins saw Teddy Blueger, Garrett Wilson, Sam Lafferty, Daniel Sprong, and Jean-Sébastien Dea all score, as Hershey had goals from Connor Hobbs, Anthony Peluso, and Mathias Bau. Jarry made 30 saves in the win for the Penguins.

The Sound Tigers scored twice on the power play Tuesday morning to earn a 3-2 win against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Travis St. Denis netted the game-winner midway through the third period, while Casey Bailey and Kellen Jones also beat goaltender Dan Vladar. Eamon McAdam made 23 saves to guide the Sound Tigers to their fourth win in the last five games. The Sound Tigers finished the game 2-for-5 on the power play, while its penalty kill went 1-for-1.

PENGUINS NOTES
Daniel Sprong was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team on Wednesday, and leads all rookies in goals scored (28) and is second in points (57). He is just four points behind Manitoba Moose forward Mason Appleton’s total of 61, despite playing in 12 fewer games.

Sprong’s 28 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in ten of his past eleven games, totaling seven goals and six assists in that span.

Sam Lafferty recorded his first professional goal in the Penguins win over the Hershey Bears on Tuesday. Lafferty has three points (1+2) in eight games with the Penguins since signing an amateur tryout contract on March 7 after the completion of his senior season at Brown University.

The Penguins have lost only twice when leading after two periods and have a 25-1-1-0 record in that situation.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has the second-best home record in the AHL at 25-9-1-1 (.722%). Only the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have a better mark at 25-6-3-2 (.764%).

The Penguins lead the season series over the past five years with a 13-7-2-0 record against the Sound Tigers.

SOUND TIGERS NOTES
Travis St. Denis leads the Sound Tigers with 44 points (23+21)

Bridgeport also comes in with the division’s best penalty kill percentage (84.6%).

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have four players with over 400 games of AHL experience on their active roster
Bridgeport’s Power Play has gone 24% against the Penguins this season

CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Kevin Czuczman spent two seasons with the Sound Tigers from 2014-16 accumulating 22 points (5+17) and 151 penalty minutes.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Defenseman Andrey Pedan also spent time in Bridgeport from 2012-15 totaling 42 games for 15 points (5+10).

TOM KOSTOPOULOS TO RETIRE FOLLOWING 2017-18 SEASON


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos has announced that he will retire from playing following the 2017-18 season, his 19th season of professional hockey.

“I’ve been lucky to make a living playing the game I love for the past 19 seasons,” said the 39-year old Kostopoulos. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Lisa, and kids, Lily and Luc, away from the rink.”

“No player has meant more to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, or represented the organization better, than Tom Kostopoulos,” said team CEO Jeff Barrett. “His commitment to the team, his teammates, the fans and the local community make him a truly unique individual, and one we are extremely lucky to have known for almost 20 years.”

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Kostopoulos was selected in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 1999 National Hockey League draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He made his professional debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 12, 1999 on the road against the St. John’s Maple Leafs.

Kostopoulos placed second on the Penguins with 26 goals, 32 assists and 56 points as a rookie during the team’s inaugural 1999-2000 campaign, and finished third on the club the following year with 52 points (16+36) while appearing in all 80 regular season games.

In his third season, Kostopoulos paced Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 27 goals and 53 points in 70 games, and was selected to the Canadian All-Star Team for the 2002 AHL All-Star Classic. He also appeared in 11 contests with the Pittsburgh Penguins, recording a goal in his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on December 29, 2001.

Kostopoulos led the team with 42 assists, and ranked second with 63 points, during the 2002-03 campaign, and appeared in eight games with the NHL Penguins. He spent the majority of the 2003-04 regular season with Pittsburgh, posting 22 points (9+13) in 60 games, while also putting up 20 points (7+13) in 21 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He then led the AHL club with 23 points (7+16) in 24 postseason games, guiding the Penguins to their second appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.

Kostopoulos suited up for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season, recording 71 points (25+46) in 64 contests.

He spent the next seven years exclusively in the National Hockey League, suiting up for the Los Angeles Kings (2005-07), Montreal Canadiens (2007-09), Carolina Hurricanes (2009-10) and Calgary Flames (2010-12). He appeared in his 600th NHL game on March 6, 2012.

Kostopoulos returned to NEPA on January 23, 2013, singing a professional tryout contract with the Penguins. He recorded his 100th goal in a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton uniform on March 1 against the Hershey Bears.

Kostopoulos signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh after appearing in 17 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but was claimed off of waivers by the New Jersey Devils on March 6. He finished out the 2012-13 season by appearing in 15 games with the Devils, picking up one goal and 18 penalty minutes.

The following off-season, Kostopoulos signed an AHL only deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and has spent the past five seasons with the Penguins. He paced the team with 22 goals and 47 points in 2013-14; represented the Penguins at the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic in Utica, serving as team captain for the Eastern Conference; and again led the team with 54 points (24+30) during the 2016-17 season.

Kostopoulos was named the recipient of the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey in 2016, and became just the fourth player all-time to appear in 600 games in both the AHL and NHL when he suited up against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on February 4, 2017.

Limited to 26 games so far this season, Kostopoulos appeared in his 650th game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 28 against the Providence Bruins.

Fans will have a chance to show Kostopoulos their appreciation, as the Penguins close out their 2017-18 regular season home schedule with games this Friday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Saturday against the Binghamton Devils. Tickets for both games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

WBS 1999-2004

318

97

149

246

527

WBS 2013-2018

335

88

133

221

362

WBS TOTALS

653

185

282

467

879

MANCHESTER

64

25

46

71

99

AHL TOTALS

717

210

328

538

978

PIT TOTALS

79

10

16

26

76

LA TOTALS

152

15

29

44

173

MTL TOTALS

145

15

20

35

219

CAR TOTALS

99

9

16

25

136

CGY TOTALS

140

11

15

26

101

NJ TOTALS

15

1

0

1

18

NHL TOTALS

630

61

96

157

723

PRO TOTALS

1347

271

424

695

1701

FAN FRIDAY INFO

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PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BEARS – APRIL 3, 2018

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins welcome their in-state rival Hershey Bears to Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

The Penguins (40-21-6-2, 88 pts, .638%) continue to look to secure their playoff berth while holding second spot in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Bears (29-33-4-5, 67 pts, .472%) reside in seventh place in the same division and will miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Today’s game is the eleventh of twelve meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS:  570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Friday, October 27 WBS Hershey  3-2 WIN
Sunday, November 5 WBS Hershey   2-3 SOL
Sunday, November 12 Hershey WBS   1-5 WIN
Sunday, December 3 Hershey WBS   4-3 OTL
Sunday, December 10 Hershey WBS   1-4 WIN
Saturday, December 30 Hershey WBS   1-2 OT WIN
Wednesday, January 24 Hershey WBS   0-4 WIN
Friday, February 2 WBS Hershey   4-1 WIN
Sunday, February 25 WBS Hershey   3-2 WIN
Sunday, March 18 WBS Hershey   6-4 WIN
Tuesday, April 3 WBS Hershey   7:05pm
Sunday, April 15 Hershey WBS  5:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins dropped a tenacious battle to the Providence Bruins, 3-1, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night. The Bruins scoring came from Adam Payerl, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Swarz. The Penguins only goal on the night came from Jean-Sébastien Dea. Tristan Jarry made 24 stops in the loss.

 

The Bears welcomed the Laval Rocket to Giant Center for the first time in franchise history and walked away with a 6-3 victory on Saturday evening. Mathias Bau tallied twice while Garrett Mitchell, Dustin Gazley, Jeremy Langlois, and Hampus Gustafsson also found the back of the net. Pheonix Copley stopped 20 of 23 attempts for the victory.

 

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins have gone 8-0-1-1 in the season series against the Bears, and have not lost in regulation to Hershey since April 14, 2017.

Daniel Sprong leads all AHL rookies in goals scored and is second in points with 55. He is just six points behind Manitoba’s Mason Appleton total of 61, despite playing in 13 fewer games.

Sprong’s 27 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in nine of his past ten games, totaling six goals and five assists in that span.

Chris Summers is six games from 450 in his AHL career.

BEARS NOTES

Hershey’s Nathan Walker is one point from 100 in his AHL career

Mathias Bau scored for the first time in 23 games on Saturday night, tallying twice

Despite their record Hershey is 20-1-0-2 when they lead after 40 minutes

Chris Bourque leads the Bears in points with 50 (14+36)

Joe Whitney is one game away from 450 AHL games

CONNECTIONS
Penguins forward Christian Thomas spent the 2016-17 season with the Bears, and led the team in goals (24) and power play goals (12).  His goals, assists (25) and points (49) totals were all career highs.

Bears center Zach Sill spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time list with 277 games played. Sill recorded 73 points (33+40) and 315 penalty minutes with the Penguins between 2009 and 2014.

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

TOYOTA SPORTSPLEX TRAINING PROGRAM STARTS APRIL 9


Help your youth hockey player up his or her skills with the Toyota SportsPlex’s On Ice/Off Ice Combo Training program.

The Spring Session runs from early April through mid-June, and will focus on skating, stick handling, shooting and game situations on the ice; while players will work on their mobility, flexibility, strength, power and endurance in off-ice sessions each week.

Each class lasts two hours, with one hour on and one hour off of the ice.

Pee Wees hit the ice each Monday afternoon (starting April 9) at 4:40pm, while Bantam players start at 5:45pm on Mondays.

Midget U16/U18 classes are held on Wednesdays starting at 6:00pm.

For info on pricing, or to sign your skater up, call 570-208-9474 or visit toyotasportsplex.com.

PENGUINS MYSTERY BAGS ON SALE THIS SATURDAY


Fans will have the chance to get their hands on some very unique Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jerseys when the Penguins GOALS Foundation hosts its third annual MYSTERY BAG SALE this Saturday, April 7, during the team’s regular season finale.

We’ve grabbed 90 classic, authentic Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jerseys (five different designs – not game-worn) and had them customized with some of your favorite Pens’ players numbers and names.  Then we packed all 90 in Penguins duffle bags, and stuffed those bags to the zipper with goodies including hats, pucks, bobbleheads, mini-statues and more!

The jerseys – which include sweaters featuring Tom Kostopoulos, Casey DeSmith, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Daniel Sprong, Teddy Blueger, Thomas Di Pauli, Garrett Wilson, Ryan Haggerty and Christian Thomas – will be available exclusively for purchase at the Pens game against the Binghamton Devils on Saturday.  Fans won’t know whose jersey, or which design, they will be getting until they open their bags.

All jerseys are authentic sweaters, and sized 56, 58, 58+ or 58 Goalie cut.  The five designs included are the Penguins’ 2013-16 road sweater; 2013-16 home sweater; the 2015-16 warm up sweater; the 2014-15 third jersey; and the 2010-11 third jersey.

Each bag will be made available for purchase at the game this Saturday on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. The price for each jersey is $300, and all proceeds will benefit the Penguins GOALS Foundation.

As this is a MYSTERY BAG, we cannot guarantee specific sizes or players.  All sales are final, no exchanges will be made.

Individual game tickets for Saturday night’s game are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BRUINS – MARCH 31, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins welcome a potential first round playoff foe, the Providence Bruins, to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza Saturday night.

The Penguins (40-20-6-2, 88 pts, .647%) have regained second place in the Atlantic Division after winning twice in their last two games, while the Bruins (40-23-3-2, 85 pts, .625%) sit just three points behind in the same division, but bring with them a two-game losing streak.

Tonight’s game is the sixth and final regular season meeting between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, November 11 WBS Providence 4-3 WIN
Friday, January 19 WBS Providence 1-0 Loss
Friday, February 9 Providence WBS 4-0 Loss
Sunday, February 11 Providence WBS 3-2 WIN
Wednesday, March 28 WBS Providence 5-2 WIN
Saturday, March 31 WBS Providence  7:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins got a third-period equalizer to force overtime, and Daniel Sprong notched the deciding goal in the extra frame for a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center on Friday night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton received a three-point effort from Christian Thomas (2+1), as well as a regulation goal from Zach Trotman, before Sprong capped it off in overtime. Michael Leighton stopped 30 shots to remain unbeaten (4-0-0) with the Penguins.
The Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night, 2-0, in their final trip of the season to the PPL Center. The P-Bruins were shut out for the fifth time this season while Jordan Binnington made his 24th start of the season in net. Lehigh Valley got goals from Greg Carey and TJ Brennan and Dustin Tokarski stopped all 22 shots he faced. Providence was 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-of-3 on the penalty kill.

 

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins achieved 40 wins for the 13th season in a row, a league record.

Daniel Sprong potted the OT winner last night for his team-leading 27th goal of the season. His goal total is the second-highest for a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rookie all-time, trailing only Michel Ouellet’s 30 goals in 2003-04.

Sprong leads all AHL rookies in goals scored, and is second in points with 54. He is just six points behind Manitoba’s Mason Appleton total of 60, despite playing in 13 fewer games.

Sprong’s 27 goals are tied for seventh among all AHL scorers, and his five game-winning tallies are tied for 11th.

Sprong now has points in eight of his past nine games, totaling six goals and four assists in that span.

BRUINS NOTES
Despite losing to Lehigh Valley last night, a loss by Bridgeport to Springfield on Friday dropped Providence’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to six.

Austin Czarnik leads the Bruins in every major offensive category and sits in third in the AHL in points

Jordan Binnington has the second best goals against average in the AHL this season with 1.98

Zane McIntyre is tied for first with the most shutouts in the AHL with 6. Two of those have come against the Penguins

CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Zach Trotman spent parts of four seasons with the Bruins (2011-15) where he played 150 games and netted 56 points (13+43).

Bruins head coach Jay Leach spent the 2015-16 season on the Penguins’ bench, and posted a 2-0-1-0 mark as the team’s interim head coach.

Bruins right winger Adam Payerl spent parts of four seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton playing 130 games and posting 31 points (10+21).

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

PREVIEW: PENGUINS at WOLF PACK – MARCH 30, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins pay their final visit of the season to the XL Center as they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday. The home team has won four of the previous five matchups this season.

The Penguins (39-20-6-2, 86 pts, .642%) are ranked second the Atlantic Division, while the Wolf Pack (31-30-5-3, 70 pts, .507%) sit in sixth in the same division.

Friday’s game is the sixth and final meeting between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: XL Center
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, October 21 WBS Hartford  3-2 SO WIN
Friday, December 15 Hartford WBS  7-3 Loss
Friday, Decmber 29 WBS Hartford  5-1 WIN
Sunday, January 21 Hartford WBS  1-0 OTL
Saturday, March 17 WBS Hartford  1-4 Loss
Friday, March 30 Hartford WBS  7:15pm

RECENT ACTION

The  Penguins used a second period surge to defeat the visiting Providence Bruins, 5-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday night. Daniel Sprong scored his team-leading 25th and 26th goals of the season within the opening minutes of the middle frame to spur Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on to beat their rival, and reclaim second place in the Atlantic Division. Aside from a big night from Sprong, the Penguins’ Joseph Cramarossa, Teddy Blueger, and Jarred Tinordi all contributed to the victory.  Jakub Zbořil and Anton Blidh tallied for the P-Bruins.  Both Tristan Jarry and Zane McIntyre ended up with 27 saves on the night.

The Wolf Pack battled the Springfield Falcons at the XL Center and ended up finding the victory in a shootout by a final score of 4-3 on Wednesday night. Hartford’s Vinni Lettieri, Brandon Crawley, and Adam Tambellini all scored in regulation.  The Wolf Pack won their league-high ninth shootout game, getting just one necessary goal from Scott Kosmachuk in the third round, while the Thunderbirds could not beat Alexandar Georgiev on their attempts.

PENGUINS NOTES
By scoring on Wednesday night, defensemen Jarred Tinordi established a new career high in goals with five this season.

With his goal on Sunday, Pedan upped his point total to  22 (9G-13A) this season, surpassing his previous career-best of 21 points in 2015-16.

Daniel Sprong leads the series with six points (5+1) and, with two goals Wednesday night, moved into a tie for first in the AHL rookie goal scoring race (26).  He is also second among all rookies with 53 points this season.

Garrett Wilson has six points (2+4) in his past five games, and carries a three-game points streak (1+3) in to tonight’s game.

Joseph Cramarossa has 10 points (6+4) in 20 games with the Penguins since being acquired from the Stockton Heat.  He had 10 points (3+7) in 37 games with his former team.

Michael Leighton is 3-0-0-0 in his time with the Penguins with all three wins coming beyond regulation against the Binghamton Devils.

WOLF PACK NOTES
The Wolf Pack have won the last two games between themselves and the Penguins, and are 3-1-0-1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the season.  That includes wins in both of the Penguins’ earlier visits to Hartford, 7-3 on December 15 and 1-0 in overtime January 21.

Vinni Lettieri leads the team in goal scoring with 21. He has six more than the next closest Wolf Pack member.

CONNECTIONS
Penguins defenseman Chris Summers spent parts of three seasons (2014-17) with the Wolf Pack, recording 24 points (7+16) in 161 games with the team.

Penguins forward Ryan Haggerty broke into the AHL with Hartford in 2014-15, posting 33 points (15+18) in 76 games with the club.

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BRUINS – MARCH 28, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins welcome a potential first round playoff foe, the Providence Bruins, to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza Wednesday night.

The Penguins (38-20-6-2, 84 pts, .636%) are in third place in the Atlantic Division, while the Bruins (40-21-3-2, 85 pts, .644%) sit just one point ahead in the same division.

Tonight’s game is the fifth of six meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME:         7:05 p.m.
PLACE:      Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCH:   AHLLive.com
LISTEN:    WILK News Radio
TICKETS:  570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office


SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, November 11 WBS Providence 4-3 OT WIN
Friday, January 19 WBS Providence 1-0 Loss
Friday, February 9 Providence WBS 4-0 Loss
Sunday, February 11 Providence WBS 3-2 SOWIN
Wednesday, March 28 WBS Providence  7:05pm
Saturday, March 31 WBS Providence  7:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins couldn’t muster the same comeback magic they showed earlier in the week as they closed out their three-in-three weekend set with a 6-3 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Sunday afternoon. The Pens fell behind by a 4-0 score early, before Chris Summers netted his first goal of the year. Bridgeport quickly recaptured the four-goal lead, before Jean-Sebastien Dea and Andrey Pedan tallied back-to-back power play goals. But that was as close as the home squad would get, and the Sound Tigers tacked on an empty net goal to complete the scoring. The Penguins finished the game two-for-six on the power play, while their penalty kill unit was put to work 11 times on the afternoon. Tristan Jarry stopped 25 shots for his first regulation loss in the AHL since Oct. 14, 2017.

The Bruins defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday, 6-1, on Saturday night to sweep their two-game homestand against the first-place team in the Atlantic Division. The P-Bruins got two goals each from Peter Cehlarik and Joona Koppanen, along with goals from Colby Cave and Zach Senyshyn, while Jordan Binnington made his 23rd start of the season in net. Lehigh Valley’s Philippe Myers broke up Binnington’s shutout at 6:56 of the third period, but that was all the division leaders could muster as Binnington stopped 18 of 19 shots.


PENGUINS NOTES
When the Penguins lead after two periods they have only lost two times, winning 23 of 25 games.

Daniel Sprong is second among AHL rookies for goals (24) and points (51) this season. He is the fifth Penguins rookie to record 50-plus points in a season (Toby Petersen – 67 in 2000-01; Tom Kostopoulos – 58 in 1999-00; Matt Murlye – 58 in 2002-03; Rob Schremp – 53 in 2006-07).

Tom Kostopoulos’ next game will be his 650th with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


BRUINS NOTES
Jordan Szwarz and Tommy Cross lead the Bruins with three points in the season series

Austin Czarnik leads the Bruins in every major offensive category, with 21 goals, 40 assists, 61 points and 11 power play goals.

Jordan Binnington has the third best goals against average in the AHL this season with 1.97

Zane McIntyre is tied for first with the most shutouts in the AHL with six. Two of those have come against the Penguins.


CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Zach Trotman spent parts of four seasons with the Bruins (2011-15) where he played 150 games and netted 56 points (13+43).

Bruins head coach Jay Leach spent the 2015-16 season on the Penguins’ bench, and posted a 2-0-1-0 mark as the team’s interim head coach.

Bruins right winger Adam Payerl spent parts of four seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton playing 130 games and posting 31 points (10+21).

compiled by Jonathan Kliment

PITTSBURGH SIGNS DANE BIRKS


The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Dane Birks to a two-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Birks’ deal will begin with the 2018-19 campaign. He will report to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this week on an amateur tryout contract.

Birks, 22, has played the past three seasons collegiately at Michigan Tech, improving his offensive totals in all three of his seasons. This year, Birks had five goals, 13 assists, 18 points and a plus-10 in 44 games.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Merritt, British Columbia, Birks wrapped up his career at Michigan Tech with seven goals, 23 assists and 30 points with a plus-27 in 117 contests.

Originally the Pens’ sixth round (164th overall) pick in 2013, the righthanded-shooting Birks spent two-plus seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) before attending school. Birks split his time in the BCHL between the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Merritt Centennials, logging the majority of his action with his hometown club. In 112 career BCHL games, Birks amassed 41 points (9G-32A). He was Merritt’s Rookie of the Year in 2012-13, and its Defenseman of the Year in 2013-14.

Birks represented Canada West at the 2013 World Junior-A Challenge, helping his squad capture the bronze medal.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday Mar. 28, when they host the Providence Bruins. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for the final five home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs SOUND TIGERS – MARCH 25, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins return home to face off against their divisional foe, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, at 3:05pm today.

The Penguins (38-19-6-2, 84 pts, .642%) have points in four straight contests (2-0-2-0), and sit in second place in the Atlantic Division. The Sound Tigers (31-26-5-3, 70 pts, .538%) sit in fifth place, just outside of the final playoff spot in the same division.

Todays’s game is the fourth of six meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 3:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
PROMOS: Kids 14 and younger FREE with paid adult ticket; free postgame skate (bring your own skates); Princess Day featuring A Moment of Magic
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Saturday, October 28 Bridgeport WBS  2-5 WIN
Saturday, December 16 Bridgeport WBS  3-2 OT Loss
Wednesday, January 3 WBS Bridgeport  3-2 OT WIN
Sunday, March 25 WBS Bridgeport  3:05pm
Friday, April 6 WBS Bridgeport  7:05pm
Sunday, April 8 Bridgeport WBS  3:00pm

 

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins scored early and often through the first half of the game, but still needed the shootout to nab a 5-4 win over the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night. The Penguins Jarred Tinordi, Joseph Cramarossa, Andrey Pedan, and Garrett Wilson all beat Mackenzie Blackwood in regulation, while the Devils saw Jacob MacDonald, Nick Lappin, Blake Speers, and Mario Lucia all answered in response to force extra time. It took eight rounds of a shootout to decide the game, but Wilson nabbed the win for the Penguins with a show-stopper shootout goal. Michael Leighton made 37 saves in regulation and overtime, plus seven in the shootout, to record his third win with the Penguins – all coming against the Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton remained unbeaten in five games against Binghamton this season.

Casey Bailey scored his eighth power-play goal of the season on Friday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers suffered a 4-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. Kristers Gudlevskis made 26 saves for the Sound Tigers in his return to Syracuse, where he spent the previous four seasons manning the crease. Bailey scored his 15th goal of the season overall and his team-leading 17th power-play point.

 

PENGUINS NOTES
Zach Trotman is two games away from 200 AHL contests

Daniel Sprong is second among AHL rookies in goals (24) and points (51).

Andrey Pedan set a new personal best for goals in a season with his eighth last night in Binghamton. He picked up seven during the 2015-16 season with Utica.

Fellow defenseman Jarred Tinordi also established a new personal best for goals in a season with his fourth of the year last night against the Devils. He netted three with Hamilton in 2013-14.

The Penguins have lost only twice when leading after two periods, and have a 22-1-1-0 record in that situation

The Penguins lead the season series over the past five years with a 13-6-2-0 record against the Sound Tigers.

SOUND TIGERS NOTES
Travis St. Denis leads the Sound Tigers with 38 points (20+18)

Bridgeport also comes in with the division’s best penalty kill percentage (85.2%).

Goaltender Christopher Gibson is tied for fifth in the league with a 2.31 goals against average. His four shutouts are also tied for fourth.

CONNECTIONS
Penguins Defenseman Kevin Czuczman spent two seasons with the Sound Tigers from 2014-16 accumulating 22 points (5+17) and 151 penalty minutes.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Defenseman Andrey Pedan also spent time in Bridgeport from 2012-15 totaling 42 games for 15 points (5+10).

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

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