PENGUINS STYMIED BY NELL, WOLF PACK IN 4-1 LOSS

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE. Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins struggled to solve rookie goaltender Chris Nell in a 4-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

After a lackluster start, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-19-4-2) came back with an 18-shot performance in the second period, and eventually got on the board in the third. However, quick-strike offense from the Wolf Pack put them in a position to ride the strong play of Nell to a victory.

The visiting Wolf Pack more than doubled the Penguins’ shot total in the first period, firing 16 pucks on net. Anthony Peters stood tall, turning the first 11 shots aside until Cole Schneider tipped a bid from the point through Peters’ equipment at 16:14 of the opening frame. The Wolf Pack struck again 34 seconds later when Dan DeSalvo jammed in a rebound.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took control of the pace of play in the second period and used four power play opportunities to out-shoot Hartford, 18-3. Time and time again, Nell stifled the Penguins’ scoring attempts, whether they were on the man advantage or skating at even strength.

Still trailing by two after the second intermission, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came out determined in the final frame of regulation. Just under five minutes into the third period, Daniel Sprong finally beat Nell and put the Penguins on the board with his first even strength goal since Jan. 26.

The Penguins continued the press, and Kevin Czuczman hit the post on a shot through traffic that appeared destined to be the tying goal. However, Hartford stormed down the ice moments after Czuczman’s post shot and took advantage of a turnover in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s zone to pull back ahead by two. Less than a minute after Steven Fogarty made it 3-1, Vinni Lettieri added another goal with 4:17 left in regulation to put enough distance between the Wolf Pack and Penguins and secure the victory.

Peters made 26 saves on the night, while Nell stopped 30 shots.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Mar. 18, against the Hershey Bears. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS LOSE TO CHECKERS, 3-1

BOXSCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Charlotte Checkers faced one another for the second night in a row at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but this time, the Penguins were on the losing end of a 3-1 final on Wednesday.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-18-4-2) pressed hard in the third period, but couldn’t muster the comeback to suffer its first loss in Charlotte in franchise history (5-1-0-0).

The two clubs played to a scoreless tie in the first 20 minutes of play, despite the Penguins forcing plenty of turnovers and generating several odd-man rushes.

Charlotte finally found the game’s first goal at 7:30 of the middle frame when Julien Gauthier muscled his way from the corner to the hashmarks and overpowered Anthony Peters with a heavy snap shot. The Checkers expanded their lead to 2-0 six minutes later on a power play goal generated on a tic-tac-toe setup finished by Greg McKegg.

As the Penguins entered the third period, they wasted no time peppering Alex Nedeljkovic with shots. The Checkers’ goalie continually stifled their efforts until Tom Sestito pitchforked a rebound through Nedeljkovic’s five-hole at 8:11 of the final frame. Daniel Sprong raced past Charlotte’s defense for a breakaway, was stopped by Nedeljkovic, but kept his feet moving to gather the loose puck and put it back on goal, creating the rebound opportunity for Sestito.

With the comeback in sights, McKegg dashed his former team’s hopes by notching an insurance marker for Charlotte with 5:23 left in regulation.

Peters recorded 27 saves, while the opposing Nedeljkovic posted 17 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is at home on Saturday, Mar. 17 against the Hartford Wolf Pack and serves as the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SCORE IN BUNCHES TO BEAT CHECKERS, 5-2

BOXSCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Quick-succession scoring led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 5-2 triumph over the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-17-4-2) picked up two pairs of goals in a matter of seconds throughout the course of the contest to win its third game in a row and earn points in six of its last seven.

The Checkers were on the Penguins early, dominating possession in the first eight minutes of the game. All of their offensive zone time culminated in a goal, as Valentin Zykov potted his league-leading 31st tally of the season at 8:52 of the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded swiftly though, as Zach Trotman and Tom Kostopoulos scored 31 seconds apart for the Penguins to shock the Queen City crowd and take a sudden 2-1 lead.

Zach Trotman throws a puck on net and ties the game, 1-1
Tom Kostopoulos takes a Gage Quinney feed and makes it 2-1

After a largely uneventful first half of the second period, the Penguins struck twice in quick fashion again. First, Tom Sestito forced a turnover by levying a crunching hit at the Checkers’ blue line, and Sam Lafferty delivered an on-the-money pass to Joseph Cramarossa for a breakaway goal. Twenty seconds after

Sam Lafferty sets up Joey Cramarossa for the eventual game-winner.

Lafferty earned his first pro point with the helper on Cramarossa’s tally, Teddy Blueger found the back of the net during the power play. Blueger’s man advantage marker gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 4-1 lead at 15:02 of the middle frame.

Teddy Blueger pokes home a power play goal to seal the deal.

Charlotte cut into the deficit with a power play goal of its own. Andrew Poturalski did the honors with a one-timer in the high slot with 3:02 left before the second intermission.

Still trailing by two late in the third period, Checkers head coach Mike Vellucci got aggressive and pulled his goalie for an extra attacker with 4:44 remaining in regulation. Charlotte’s bold move only resulted in Kostopoulos setting up Blueger for an empty net goal with 1:31 left in regulation.

Anthony Peters recorded 29 saves for the win. Charlotte goalie Alex Nedeljkovic posted 23 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 14, and their opponent will be the Checkers once again. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/13/18

 

Penguins play Checkers tonight, tomorrow, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (35-17-4-2) makes first visit to Bojangles’ Coliseum since 2011 playoffs

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 9 – PENGUINS 3 at Binghamton 2 (OT)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went to overtime with Binghamton for the third-straight meeting, and the Penguins came out on top once again. The Penguins are now 4-0-0-0 against the Devils this season thanks to Teddy Blueger’s fourth overtime game-winning goal of the year.

Saturday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Grand Rapids 1
The Penguins held on to beat the defending Calder Cup Champions in the Griffins’ first visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since Mar. 25, 2009. Adam Johnson notched the first shorthanded goal of his career, while Kevin Czuczman scored the game-winner with 8:35 left in regulation.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made the trek to North Carolina and will face Charlotte at Bojangles’ Coliseum for the first time since the 2011 playoffs. Charlotte has been a tough opponent for the Penguins, winning both of the clubs’ earlier meetings.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Game 2 of the Penguins’ set at Bojangles’ Coliseum takes place on Wednesday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 8-7-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
The Penguins host their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Pens are 2-2-0-0 against the Wolf Pack this season with the home team emerging victorious in all four contests.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
The Penguins welcome their bitter rival to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for a Kids Free Sunday matinée. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a 7-0-1-1 record against Hershey this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger’s four OT goals is also the most in a single season in Penguins history, and has him tied with Carter Rowney and Tom Kostopoulos for the franchise’s all-time lead.

– Jean-Sébastien Dea is on a three-game point streak and has 11 points (2G-9A) in his last 12 games.

– On Friday, Michael Leighton played in his first game since Dec. 22, 2017. He has won both of his starts with the Penguins, and both victories have come in overtime against Binghamton.

– Daniel Sprong currently ranks in a tie for third among all AHL rookies in goals (21), points (44) and shots on goal (146).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 63 40 16 3 4 87 .690
2. PENGUINS 58 35 17 4 2 76 .655
3. Providence 61 36 20 3 2 77 .631
4. Charlotte 62 35 24 0 3 73 .589
5. Bridgeport 61 30 23 5 3 68 .557
6. Springfield 62 28 29 4 1 61 .492
7. Hartford 62 26 29 5 3 60 .476
8. Hershey 63 25 29 4 5 59 .468

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 48 21 23 44
Jean-Sébastien Dea 55 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 53 14 18 32
Ryan Haggerty 55 16 15 31
Zach Aston-Reese^* 41 9 20 29
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 18 9-5-3 2.63 .906 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Tue, Mar. 13   Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Wed, Mar. 14 Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 17     Hartford           Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 18   Hershey           Mohegan Sun Arena         3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Thu, Mar. 8        (RW) Josh Jooris                             Recalled by PIT

Fri, Mar. 9          (D) Kevin Spinozzi                       Assigned to WHL

Mon, Mar. 12    (D) Dylan Zink                          Reassigned to WHL

JEFF TAYLOR REASSIGNED TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) have reassigned defenseman Jeff Taylor to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

Taylor has skated in 13 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season after joining the team on an amateur tryout agreement late in the 2016-17 campaign. In 19 total AHL games, the 23-year-old defenseman has posted one assist. The first-year pro from Clifton Park, N.Y. has put up 19 points (4G-15A) in 28 games with the Nailers this season.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Tuesday, Mar. 13, when they travel to North Carolina and take on the Charlotte Checkers. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

TAYLOR AND ZINK REASSIGNED TO WHEELING

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) have reassigned defenseman Jeff Taylor from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. Furthermore, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has reassigned defenseman Dylan Zink to Wheeling.

Taylor skated in 13 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season after joining the team on an amateur tryout agreement late in the 2016-17 campaign. In 19 total AHL games, the 23-year-old defenseman has posted one assist. The first-year pro from Clifton Park, N.Y. has put up 19 points (4G-15A) in 28 games with the Nailers this season and had six points in seven contests during the month of February before being reassigned to the Penguins.

Zink, 25, has four goals and 18 assists for 22 points in 44 games in Wheeling this season. He also appeared in seven games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, posting his first AHL point in his first game of the season with an assist on Oct. 13, 2017 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The Penguins’ next game is Tuesday, Mar. 13, when they travel to North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Checkers. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PETERS HOLDS DOWN THE FORT, PENGUINS OUST GRIFFINS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Goaltender Anthony Peters had a stellar night between the pipes for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, leading them to a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Peters recorded 32 saves in the victory and played a big role in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (34-17-4-2) going a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill against one of the league’s top power plays.

On the Penguins’ second penalty kill of the night, Joseph Cramarossa fed Adam Johnson for a breakaway chance. Johnson deked goaltender Tom McCollum, sliding the puck across the goal line for a shorthanded goal that opened the scoring at 12:45 of the first period.

The Griffins proceeded to out-shoot the Penguins, 11-5, in the first period and kept the barrage of shots coming through the second stanza, firing 13 shots in the middle frame. Peters was up to the challenge, turning away every puck he faced.

Late in the second period, the Penguins were assessed a bench penalty for too many men on the ice. Then they immediately saw Thomas Di Pauli called for a delay of game face-off infraction, giving the Griffins a full two-minute five-on-three man advantage. The Penguins’ penalty kill was brilliant once again, and Peters made two jaw-dropping stops on cross-crease one-timers orchestrated by Grand Rapids.

Eventually, the Griffins solved Peters and tied the game when Ben Street knocked in a rebound from a blocked shot at 7:58 in the third period.

The Penguins came right back and responded three and half minutes later, as Kevin Czuczman fired the puck through a mass of humanity and past a screened McCollum.

Grand Rapids never truly tested Peters with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, and so Wilkes-Barre/Scranton held on for the 2-1 win.

McCollum stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced in a losing effort.

The Penguins’ next game is Tuesday, Mar. 13, when they travel to North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Checkers. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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BLUEGER REPRISES ROLE AS OVERTIME HERO IN 3-2 WIN AT BINGHAMTON

 

BOXSCORE

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Teddy Blueger scored yet another overtime game-winning goal as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins downed the Binghamton Devils, 3-2, at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.

Blueger notched his league-leading fourth overtime-deciding tally of the season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (34-17-4-2) to beat Binghamton for the fourth time in four meetings this season.

The Penguins got off to a hot start when Jean-Sébastien Dea used a shorthanded goal to give the team the first lead of the game at 4:41 of the opening frame. Gage Quinney tacked on another goal five and a half minutes later, shooting from an angle along the goal line and somehow snuck behind Eddie Läck.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton almost escaped the first period unscathed until Jacob MacDonald scores with 1.2 seconds left before the intermission. Binghamton lined up for an offensive zone face-off with 2.2 ticks remaining in the period when Michael Latta won the draw cleanly to MacDonald, who blasted a slap shot from the point into the Penguins’ net.

As power play opportunities began to mount for the Devils in the second period, the Penguins’ penalty kill held the home team’s man advantage unit at bay. By the end of the contest, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton successfully killed off all five of its opponents power plays throughout the game.

Despite the penalty killing prowess of the Penguins, the Devils found another late period goal to pull even, 2-2. Latta found a puck that skittered into the slot, spun a backhand shot towards the cage and tied the game with 1:41 left in the middle frame.

Both clubs’ goaltenders shined in the third, with Michael Leighton and Läck both making 14 saves on 14 shots faced in the final frame of regulation. Leighton, who was making his first start since Dec. 22, 2017, showed no signs of rust while facing the pressure-packed situation of a tie game in the third period.

The strong performance of Leighton and Läck sent the game to overtime, where Blueger worked his magic once again. Dea danced around a defending player in the corner of the Devils zone and powered his way to the front of the net. He had the puck poked off his stick, but the loose biscuit went right to Blueger who buried it to give the Penguins the win four minutes into the extra frame.

Leighton made 27 saves total in his return to the lineup, while Läck turned aside 29 of the shots he faced.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 10, against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since 2009 also serves as the Penguins’ Star Wars Night. Puck drop between the Penguins and Griffins on Star Wars Night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

KEVIN SPINOZZI REASSIGNED TO WHEELING

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have reassigned defenseman Kevin Spinozzi to their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

Spinozzi officially joined the Penguins on a professional tryout agreement after he made the team out of training camp. The first-year pro was inked to a standard American Hockey League contract on Dec. 16, 2017, one day after recording his first pro point with an assist at Hartford. Spinozzi has appeared in 16 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, putting up two points (0G-2A) in that time.

Prior to turning pro, the Granby, Québec native played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Sarnia Sting. Last year, Spinozzi set career highs in goals (13) and points (41) while serving as captain of the Sting. He wrapped up his OHL career with 28 goals and 85 assists for 113 points in 275 games played.

The Penguins’ next game is tonight, Friday, Mar. 9, when they take the bus up I-81 to face-off with the Binghamton Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is tomorrow against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, Mar. 10. The Griffins’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since 2009 also serves as the Penguins’ Star Wars Night.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Griffins on Star Wars Night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SIGN SAM LAFFERTY TO ATO

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Sam Lafferty to an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

Lafferty, 23, just wrapped up a four-year career at Brown University, during which he earned 29 goals and 50 assists for 79 points in 124 games. Lafferty led the Bears in points the past two seasons, with 22 points (8G-14A) in his senior season and 35 points (13G-22A) in his junior year.

The forward from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania was selected in the fourth round (113th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft after he posted 21 goals and 34 assists for 55 points at Deerfield Academy.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Mar. 9, when they take the bus up I-81 to face-off with the Binghamton Devils. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, Mar. 10. The Griffins’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since 2009 also serves as the Penguins’ Star Wars Night.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Griffins on Star Wars Night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling  800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.