JUMP TO THE PROS WAS AN ADJUSTMENT FOR JOHNSON

By Katherine McVeagh

Shifting from the life of a collegiate athlete to that of professional can be quite an adjustment, both on and off the ice. Those coming out of the college ranks, where all players are in relatively the same age group and experience level, have quite an adjustment when it come to playing against older, more experienced and, sometimes, more skilled opponents.

Adam Johnson went through this trial first-hand during the 2017-18 season, his first professional campaign after competing at the collegiate level for two years. It didn’t take him long to recognize the difference amongst opponents and teammates.

“The biggest thing was it just seemed like the guys are a lot stronger [at the pro level],” Johnson said. “It’s obviously a little bit faster and it’s a tougher league. I think college gets you well-prepared, but it’s still a big jump here.” 

Before he even knew there were professional pastures ahead of him, the undrafted forward wasted no time establishing himself against collegiate competition. Johnson experienced great success in his time at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Across 81 collegiate games, he notched 55 points (24+31). As a member of the Bulldogs, Johnson played in two NCAA tournaments, making it to the national championship game in his sophomore season.

Johnson’s impressive résumé earned him a two-year entry level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he passed up his final two years of NCAA eligibility. And after falling short in the 2017 championship, Johnson was able to cheer on his former team as they won the 2018 NCAA men’s title this past April.

“I was pretty happy for them,” Johnson said. “Actually, I still have a lot of good buddies on the team so I was pretty pumped for them.

“Obviously it would have been nice to win one with them, but we had a good season here and I was having fun here. Overall it was great to see those guys do it.” 

In his first professional season, Johnson registered 11 goals and 20 assists in 70 games for the Penguins. Looking back on his first year of with the team, Johnson referenced his confidence as something he seeks to develop.  

“I think it was a little up and down, but overall I’m trying to improve on that category,” he said. “I think toward the end it got a little better. So I’ve just got to keep that going and improve it for next year and just play with confidence.”

As he worked to find consistency in his on-ice self-esteem during the season, Johnson found he had a lot more time to stew in his thoughts than he had before. He noted the amount of free time players have as another big difference when adjusting from college to the pros. 

“There’s a lot more down time,” Johnson said. “You don’t have school to take care of, and you’re not around your buddies all of the time when you’re away from the rink, so it’s a little bit different. You’ve got to find something to do with your time.”

Even though he’s made the jump from college to the pros on the ice, he still has some work to do to finish his collegiate schooling.  This offseason, Johnson has the opportunity to wrap up some classes he still has on the docket to complete his finance degree from UMD.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

THOMAS TAKING TIME TO LOOK BACK ON BUSY SEASON


The hockey season can be a grind.  Training camps start in mid-September, the regular season runs through the middle of April, and if your team is lucky enough to experience the playoffs, you could be playing up through June.

Because so much happens over the course of the marathon, it’s difficult for even the most passionate supporter or studious player to recall everything that happened during a season.

How did they score on the power play in game 21? What was the rush that followed the hit post on a breakaway back in the first home game of the year? How many saves did the goalie make in Game 45? It all becomes a blur with so much going on over such an extended period.

It takes something truly remarkable to stand out when the season is all said and done. 

And even though he was the busiest member of the team this season, there’s no chance Christian Thomas will be forgetting the year he had in 2017-18.

Thomas signed on with the Penguins in mid-September, moving him only a short trip north from Hershey to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Little did he know that he would soon become a world traveler after being named to Canada’s men’s national team in December.

His international tour started with Canada’s participation in the Karjala Cup. He played in Switzerland and Finland during the event, which Hockey Canada used as sort of an evaluation tryout for future tournaments. Despite not logging big minutes, Thomas impressed Canadian coaches which earned him the invite to play for his country once again in the historic Spengler Cup Tournament over the December holiday period.

Not to be forgotten is that in between those events, Thomas did pretty well while lacing up for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Thomas ultimately recorded 18 goals for the Penguins, 15 of which came at five-on-five. Only Daniel Sprong scored more goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while the team was skating at five-on-five (19).

Then came the big one: The Winter Olympic Games. Thomas was named to Canada’s men’s hockey team, went to South Korea, and came back with a bronze medal, capturing his country its fourth medal in the men’s event in the last five Olympics.

“This will probably be one of the most memorable years of my life,” Thomas said. “I haven’t won a championship in a long time, so winning the Spengler Cup was cool. Then winning bronze at the Olympics is something that I’ll never forget. Never.”

All the travel and important games made a long season even longer for the 25-year-old forward. Although that lengthy campaign yielded a lot of success, he’s ready for a break.

“There was a lot going on,” Thomas said with an affirming smile. “I’ll definitely take a couple weeks off. I’ll head home, unwind, but then get right back into the workouts.”

He’s getting some much deserved time off, and maybe that will give him some time to reflect on everything he was able to accomplish. Not only should he feel his pride throughout this summer, but 20, 30, even 50 years down the line when his playing career is long over, Thomas will always have the fond memories of an unforgettable 2017-18 season.

“I got to win a Spengler Cup. I got to win a bronze medal at the Olympics. I can always say that.”

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

LONGEST GAMES IN WBS PENGUINS HISTORY

It’s finals week at many colleges throughout the area, and kids are pulling all-nighters to get ready for their finals.

Well, there was an all-nighter in the American Hockey League last night as well.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Charlotte Checkers battled in the longest game in AHL history last night/this morning, with Alex Krushelnyski scoring at 6:48 of the fifth overtime to give the visiting Phantoms a 2-1 victory. That goal came at 1:09am.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have played seven games that have gone to multiple overtimes in the playoff history. Here’s a quick look back at those contests, from longest to shortest.

APRIL 25, 2005 – Colby Armstrong scores at 12:26 of the third overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators in Game Three of the East Division Semifinals. The Penguins, who had dropped the first two games to the Pens, went on to win the next three games and advance to the East Division Final.

MAY 6, 2015 – Zach O’Brien’s goals at 4:13 of the third overtime gave the Manchester Monarchs a 4-3 win in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Monarchs advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in five games, and went on to capture the Calder Cup that season.

MAY 7, 2001 – Alexendre Mathieu’s goal at 15:43 of the second overtime gave the Penguins a 2-1 win in Game Two of the Western Conference Final against the Hershey Bears. The Penguins swept the Bears in four games as they advanced to the Calder Cup Final for the first time in team history.

APRIL 23, 2016 – Jake Guentzel’s goal at 13:52 of the second overtime gave the Penguins a 5-4 win over the Providence Bruins, and a sweep of their best-of-five Atlantic Division Semifinal, with all three victories coming in overtimes.

MAY 8, 2012 – Simon Despres scored at 12:08 of the second overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the St. John’s Ice Caps in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. The victory staved off elimination for the Penguins, who went on ti win Game Six in St. John’s three days later. However, the Ice Caps posted a 3-2 victory in game Seven to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

MAY 14, 2014 – It was Simon Despres once again playing the hero, scoring at 6:32 of the second overtime to give the Penguins a 5-4 win over the Providence Bruins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won the series in seven games, and advanced to face St. John’s in the Eastern Conference Final.

MAY 4, 2007 – Alexander Giroux’s goal at 5:57 of the second overtime gave the Hershey Bears a 4-3 win in Game Two of the East Division Final. Hershey went on to win that series in five games.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

QUIET LEADER WILSON LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT SEASON


It was easy to see that Garrett Wilson wasn’t in a great mood at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins exit interviews. One day after being bounced from the Calder Cup playoffs, he stood in front of the local media with his head slightly tilted downward. With the sting of being bounced from the postseason still tingling, Wilson opened his mouth.

He spoke softly, but his words packed a punch.

“We couldn’t get the job done,” he said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow… I’m kind of [ticked] off we couldn’t do more for T.K.”

There’s nothing that can be done to change what happened this April, but Wilson has made it very clear that this year’s loss will only motivate him moving forward. The U.S.S. Wilson’s course for the summer is full speed ahead for the 2018-19 season, where he’s taking no prisoners.

“That’s two years in a row that we’ve been bounced in the first round since I’ve been here,” Wilson said. “That’s definitely going to be my feel for the offseason. It’s sticking with me. I’m going to be ready to go next year, for sure.”

The 2017-18 campaign was a difficult one for the 27-year old winger away from the rink, as he lost his mother to a long battle with cancer in late November. And despite setting career highs in assists (25) and points (47), Wilson admits his mother’s passing made last season a difficult one for him to get through.

The good news is that he believes this season has steeled him for any potential bumps in the road he may come across in the future.

“I went through some adversity and think I handled it well,” Wilson said. “When I face some obstacles again in my career, I can look back on this year and use what I learned and go from there.”

Wilson also credits his teammates for propping him up during one of the most difficult times in his life. One man in the locker room that has been referred to as the ultimate teammate, won’t be back for next season, though. That’s 19-year veteran Tom Kostopoulos, who retired at the end of the season.

Wilson was one of the Penguins’ most outspoken supporters of what the captain meant to the team. That’s also another reason why this year’s playoff exit hit Wilson so hard.

With Kostopoulos ready to write the next chapter of his life, Wilson seems like a prime candidate to assume a leadership position in the room.

But Wilson believes Kostopoulos’ contributions as a captain were so great, that one person trying to bear that burden of captaincy might be difficult. Regardless of who’s wearing what letter on their chests, it will require a group effort to fill the void left by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s longtime leader.

“Losing T.K. is big shoes to fill,” Wilson said. “I don’t think one person can come and fill that leadership role all on their own. It’s going to take a good group to step up. I’m sure [WBS General Manager] Billy [Guerin] and them will get the right pieces in free agency, and we’ll all lead this together as a team.”

If the plan is to lead as a team, fans can still expect Wilson to be at the forefront of the squad, playing with a determination to get that bad taste out of his mouth.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

DESPITE INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS, SPRONG STILL HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE


Name an American Hockey League player who was more electrifying than Daniel Sprong during the 2017-18 regular season.

Go on.

We’ll wait.

Can’t do it, can you?

Sprong was sensational during his first full pro season, scoring at a point-per-game clip (65 in 65), leading all AHL rookies with 32 goals, and finishing one-point behind Manitoba’s Mason Appleton for the freshman point lead.

His 32 goals were also the most by any rookie to ever don a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton sweater, and tied him for second-most in team history. He also became the first Penguin in eight years to eclipse the 60-point mark.

Sprong expressed his disappointment with his team’s playoff exit when the Penguins held their exit meetings and locker clear-out day, but when prodded about his individual success, he lightened up a bit.

“Personally, I thought I had a really good year,” Sprong said. “I’m happy with my season. There were a lot of guys in this room that helped me this season, too. We created a lot of good memories together. I’m proud of the way my season went.”

The Netherlands native’s scoring prowess earned him several nicknames in his first full season as a pro; the Dutch Dangler, the Flying Dutchman, the King of Sprong Style.

There was never a question about Sprong’s offensive ability as he entered the season. The youngster was, however, tasked with improving his defensive play by the Penguins staff. It was a challenge he gladly accepted.

“Coming into the year, I was still cheating,” Sprong said. “I was looking for breaks. As the year went on, I started to play inside the game a little bit more. That in turn created more offense for me. That contributed to a lot of my success.”

This season, Penguins assistant coach Tim Army spent a lot of time in front of a computer screen reviewing game film with Sprong sitting right beside him. Engaged in the learning process, the rookie slowly but surely started to comprehend the benefits of not “cheating”, as he put it, and remaining an active participant in the play, even when he wasn’t carrying the puck on his stick.

This evolving play was a big reason why he was able to etch his way into Wilkes-Barre/Scranton record books, thanks in large part to his outburst of 11 goals and 19 points in his final 15 games of the regular season.

Despite the rousing success in year one, Sprong isn’t taking anything for granted this summer; he’s approaching the next campaign like someone who still has something to prove.

“There’s still a lot of months, a lot of steps between now and [the start of the season],” Sprong said. “I’m going to work hard in the summer, come back in shape and get ready to earn my spot.”

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

COMEBACK KIDS? THE PENS HAVE A HISTORY

Dropping the first two contests of a best-of-five playoff series isn’t the ideal situation for any team.

But it’s not the end of the world, either.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are no strangers to playoff comebacks, including those times when their backs have been firmly against the wall.

But two series stand out above the other 36 they’ve participated in entering the 2018 postseason.


2004

Back in 2004, the Penguins dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven East Division Semifinal against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with both losses coming in overtime, before winning a Game Three in the extra frame.

But a 4-2 loss in Game Four had the Penguins fighting for their playoff lives.

Jeff Hamilton gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead 6:17 into the second period, before Tom Kostopoulos beat Dieter Kochan to even the score before the end of the middle frame to complete the regulation scoring.

The teams traded shots in the extra frame before TK set up Tomas Surovy for the winning goal to extend the series.

Game Six saw the series shift back to Wilkes-Barre, and the home cooking paid off for the Pens, who posted a 5-0 win. Matt Hussey opened the scoring midway through the first period and added another goal in the third, while Konstantin Koltsov, Shane Endicott and Kris Beech also tallied. Kostopoulos had two helpers in the win, and Andy Chiodo made 23 saves for the shutout.

Game Seven goes down as one of the most memorable road games in team history, as busloads of the Wilkes-Barre faithful made the trip to Bridgeport, where they saw Koltsov tally the decisive goal in overtime, giving the Penguins a 3-2 win to cap a remarkable series comeback.


2013

Five years ago, the Penguins and the Providence Bruins faced off for the first time in the AHL playoffs, with the clubs meeting in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. And the early results were not good for the Pens.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dropped an 8-5 decision in the opening game, which included a four-point effort (1+3) from noted Penguin killer, Chris Bourque.

Game Two saw the Penguins jump out to a 1-0 lead 4:40 into the contest, thanks to Warren Peters’ shorthanded goal. But the Bruins rattled off four goals in fewer than 14 minutes to close out the opening frame, and the Bruins held on for a 4-2 victory.

Game Three, held back in Wilkes-Barre, was a much tighter contest, with Jared Knight and Trevor Smith trading goals in the second period. Brad Thiessen stopped 20 of 21 shots in regulation, but couldn’t stop Carter Camper’s attempt just 31 seconds into OT, giving the Bruins a 2-1 win and a seemingly unsurmountable 3-0 lead in the series.

But things were about to get interesting.

Camper gave the visiting Bruins a 1-0 lead just seven and a half minutes into the game, but that was the only goal Thiessen would surrender, as Peters, Riley Holzopfel and Chad Kolarik scored for the Penguins to give them their first win of the round.

Game Five, also in NEPA, saw Brian Dumoulin’s power play goal give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 10:55 of the first. Tempers began to flare a short time later, as Bobby Robbins and Adam Payerl dropped the gloves at 14:29. But it was a scuffle behind the play between Christian Hanson and Joey Mormina that gave the Penguins another chance on the man advantage at 16:20. It took Smith just 27 seconds to double the Wilkes-Barre lead with his second goal of the series.

Payerl picked up a goal of his own in the second period, and the game degenerated into a slugfest in the third, with 72 penalty minutes being assessed in the final 5:23. Paul Thompson also added a goal during that time, making the final score 4-0.

Back in Providence, the Bruins poured on the offensive onslaught in Game Six. But Thiessen proved to be too much for the home squad, stopping 46 of 47 shots to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 overtime victory. Dumoulin scored for the second straight game on the power play, while Smith netted the winner 3:26 into OT.

That performance seemed to suck the wind out of the Bruins’ sails, as the Penguins scored four times in the second period of Game Seven, en route to a 5-0 win and an astounding comeback to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.


So sitting in a 2-0 hole isn’t the best place to be for the Penguins. But it’s also not an impossible hole to climb out of.

Game Three of the series with the Charlotte Checkers is this Thursday night at 7:05pm.  Games Four and Five, if necessary, will be held on Saturday at 7:05pm and Sunday at 3:05pm.

Individual game tickets and ticket packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367, or fill in the form below to be contacted by a ticket representative.

Penguins Playoff T-Shirts are available now at the Penguins Team Store on Coal Street, via the Penguins online store, and at the Igloo Store inside the Mohegan Sun Arena during Thursday night’s game.

CATCHING UP WITH CHRIS SUMMERS


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Chris Summers is one of the most experienced players on the team, with 450 American Hockey League games on his resume, as well as 70 games in the National Hockey League.

But despite playing in more than 500 regular season pro games combined, he has just three postseason contests to his credit, those coming with the Portland Pirates back in 2013.

We caught up with Summer following practice on Friday morning to get his quick thoughts heading into Game One tonight against the Charlotte Checkers.

WBS:  How does it feel to be back in the postseason?

SUMMERS:  I’m excited.  I’m excited.  Ready to go.  We’ve got a really good group of guys here, a very talented group of guys.   We expect a lot from this group, and I think the fans should, the coaches should as well.  We’re excited to step on the ice and get this thing going.

WBS:  The Penguins had a sneaky good end to the season, winning seven of 10 games.  It seems like the team started to really come together at the end of March.  What did you see with the team late in the season?

SUMMERS:  I think we’ve tightened a few bolts.  There are some things we’ve been working on a little bit, and we’ve seen it unfold in games, especially the last few games at the end of the season.  And we’re a deep team, so I think that plays a big role in it too.  We’ve got guys that, if something should happen, those guys can step in.  And I think the biggest thing for us is we’re just excited to play.

WBS:  The Checkers won three of four against the Penguins this season, and have the highest scoring offense in the AHL this past regular season.  How do you contend with that?

SUMMERS:  I think the biggest thing for us is going to be implementing our style of hockey.  I think we’re a kind of rough and tumble team.  We can be at times.  But making sure that we establish our presence on the ice will be a big thing for us….It should be a good matchup.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins begin their opening-round best-of-five series against the Charlotte Checkers tonight at 7:00 PM at Bojangles’ Coliseum in North Carolina. Game Two is slated for tomorrow, April 21 at 6:00 PM. The series will shift back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for Game Three on April 26 at 7:00 PM.

Calder Cup Playoff ticket packages (which include a $6 voucher good for food or merchandise for each game), as well as individual game playoff tickets, are on sale now through the Penguins front office.  Get yours by calling 570-208-7367, or fill in the form before to request more info from a Penguins representative.

THE TK FILE

Tom Kostopoulos appeared in the final regular season game of his American Hockey League career this past Saturday, when the Penguins faced off with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown.  

And while we are very hopeful that TK still has about two months worth of games ahead of him, we thought the end of the regular season would be a good time to take a look back at some of the names and numbers from his time in the AHL.

So sit back and enjoy these statistical oddities and fun facts that we put together about TK as we get ready for the postseason.


Tom Kostopoulos’ first AHL game on October 12, 1999, against the St. John’s Maple Leafs, and his final game on April 14, 2018 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, were 6,760 days apart.

First Goal:  October 13, 1999 at St. John’s Maple Leafs, a 2-2 tie.  Assisted by Martin Sonnenberg.  Goaltender was Jimmy Waite.  Even strength.

First Assist:  October 15, 1999 at Saint John Flames, a 4-4 tie.  Goal scorer was Tyler Wright. Additional assist to Martin Sonnenberg.

Final AHL Goal:  April 6, 2018 vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 4-3 loss.  Assists to Daniel Sprong and Kevin Czuczman.  Christopher Gibson in goal.  A power play goal.

Final AHL Assist:  April 8, 2018 at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 5-2 win.  Goal scorer was Christian Thomas.  Additional assist to Jarrett Burton.

Kostopoulos played parts of 12 season in the AHL (1999-2005; 2012-18), appearing in 722 total games (658 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; 64 with the Manchester Monarchs).

Kostopoulos’ first stint with the Penguins ran from 1999-2004, and he appeared in 318 games during that time, recording 97 goals, 149 assists, 246 points and 527 penalty minutes.

His second stay in Wilkes-Barre (2012-18) saw him suit up in 341 games, while he netted 89 goals, 134 assists, 223 points and 364 penalty minutes.

Kostopoulos appeared in more games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton than the next two closest players on the team’s all-time list combined (Rob Scuderi – 305; Tim Wallace 304).

His 186 goals with the Penguins are also more than the next two players combined (Tomas Surovy – 89; Tim Wallace – 75).

Kostopoulos’ 469 points for the Pens are nearly 300 more than the two players tied for second place on the team’s all-time list (Toby Petersen and Tomas Surovy – 177 each).

TK’s 211 AHL goals came against 109 different net minders.  He recorded the most goals against his current teammate – Michael Leighton – putting seven behind his goal line (five while TK was with the Penguins, two while a member of the Manchester Monarchs).  Second on the list was Neil Little, who surrendered six goals to Kostopoulos.  Six others were tied at five goals against (Peter Budaj, Anthony Stolarz, Kristers Gudlevskis, Jason LaBarbera, Matt O’Connor and Mike Minard).

Kostopoulos recorded just one empty net goal in his AHL career, that one coming on February 26, 2003 against the Norfolk Admirals.  It was the third goal in his only AHL hat trick.

No Penguin teamed up with Kostopoulos more when it came to goal scoring than Martin Sonnenberg.  Sonny assisted on 23 of TK’s goals, and was the recipient of 18 helpers from Kostopoulos.

There were 107 different skaters who assisted on Kostopoulos goals, and the Penguins captain dished out helpers to 95 different players during his time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Manchester.

PLAYER  ASSISTS ON TK GOALS  PLAYER  TK ASSISTED GOALS 
 Martin Sonnenberg  23 Martin Sonnenberg  18
 Shane Endicott 15  Tomas Surovy 17
 Carter Rowney 12  Toby Petersen 15
 Tomas Surovy 11  Carter Rowney 13
 Rob Scuderi 10  Yanick Lehoux 11
 John Slaney 9  Shane Endicott 11
 Nick Drazonevic 9  Noah Clarke 11
 Conor Sheary 9  Jake Guentzel 9
 Tyler Wright 8  Sven Butenschon 8
Toby Petersen 8 Nick Drazenovic 8
Andrew Ebbett 8 Conor Sheary 8
Yanick Lehoux 8
Mike Cammalleri 8

Eight of Kostopoulos’ 211 goals were unassisted.

Kostopoulos played against 43 different teams during his AHL career (including same franchise in a different city, and name change in same city).

Adirondack Phantoms Albany Devils Albany River Rats
Binghamton Devils Binghamton Senators Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Charlotte Checkers Chicago Wolves Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Cleveland Barons Connecticut Whale Grand Rapids Griffins
Hamilton Bulldogs Hartford Wolf Pack Hershey Bears
Houston Aeros Kentucky Thoroughblades Laval Rocket
Lehigh Valley Phantoms Louisville Panthers Lowell Lock Monsters
Manchester Monarchs Milwaukee Admirals Norfolk Admirals
Philadelphia Phantoms Portland Pirates Providence Bruins
Quebec Citadelles Rochester Americans Rockford Ice Hogs
Saint John Flames San Antonio Rampage Springfield Falcons
Springfield Thunderbirds St. John’s Ice Caps St. John’s Maple Leafs
Syracuse Crunch Toronto Marlies Utah Grizzlies
Utica Comets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Worcester Ice Cats
Worcester Sharks

Kostopoulos appeared in more games against the Hershey Bears, netted more goals against the intra-state rival, and posted more points versus the chocolate and white, than against any other team – unless you combine his stat line against the Philadelphia/Adirondack/Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  In that case, his goal total against the Phantoms is more than against any other team.

 TEAMS GAMES  VS. (WBS/MCH) TEAMS (COMBINED) GAMES COMBINED (WBS/MCH)
 Hershey Bears 92 (90/2) Hershey Bears  92 (90/2)
 Syracuse Crunch 66 (66/-) PHIL/ADK/LV Phantoms  84 (82/2) | 41-37-6
Norfolk Admirals 49 (47/2) Syracuse Crunch 66 (66/-)
Philadelphia Phantoms 43 (41/2) Norfolk Admirals 49 (47/2)
Binghamton Senators 38 (38/-) Binghamton Senators 38 (38/-)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 37 (37/-) Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale 36 (29/7) | 35-1
Hartford Wolf Pack 35 (28/7) Providence Bruins 35 (26/9)
Providence Bruins 35 (26/9) Bridgeport Sound Tigers 30 (26/4)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 30 (26/4) Albany River Rats 25 (24/1)
Albany River Rats 25 (24/1) Rochester Americans 25 (25/0)
Rochester Americans 25 (25/0) Springfield Falcons 25 (16/9)
Springfield Falcons 25 (16/9) Portland Pirates 24 (16/8)

 

 TEAMS GOALS  VS. (WBS/MCH) TEAMS (COMBINED) GOALS COMBINED (WBS/MCH)
Hershey Bears 26 (23/3) PHIL/ADK/LV Phantoms  29 (29/0) | 13-13-3
Syracuse Crunch 18 (18/-) Hershey Bears 26 (23/3)
Norfolk Admirals 18 (15/3) Syracuse Crunch 18 (18-)
Philadelphia Phantoms 13 (13/0) Norfolk Admirals 18 (15/3)
Binghamton Senators 13 (13/-) Binghamton Senators 13 (13/-)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 13 (13/-) Springfield Falcons 9 (5/4)

 

 TEAMS POINTS  VS. (WBS/MCH) TEAMS (COMBINED) POINTS COMBINED (WBS/MCH)
Hershey Bears 79 (76/3) Hershey Bears 79 (76/3)
Syracuse Crunch 39 (39/-) PHIL/ADK/LV Phantoms 65 (65/0) | 32-27-6
Norfolk Admirals 36 (33/3) Syracuse Crunch 39 (39/-)
Philadelphia Phantoms 32 (32/0) Norfolk Admirals 36 (33/3)
Binghamton Senators 30 (30/-) Binghamton Senators 30 (30/-)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 27 (13/-) Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale 22 (16/6) | 22-0
Hartford Wolf Pack 22 (16/6) Albany River Rats 22 (20/2)
Albany River Rats 22 (20/2) Springfield Falcons 22 (13/9)
Springfield Falcons 22 (13/9) Portland Pirates 21 (8/13)

There were two teams Kostopoulos faced in the regular season that he failed to record a point against:  the Connecticut Whale and the Milwaukee Admirals.  He appeared in one game against both of those teams.

Kostopoulos appeared in two games against the Penguins during the 2004-05 season as a member of the Manchester Monarchs.  He recorded a pair of assists in both games (October 16, 2004 – a 7-3 win in Manchester; December 19, 2004 – a 3-1 win in Wilkes-Barre).

TOM KOSTOPOULOS – A CELEBRATION


Tom Kostopoulos’ final regular season home game was successful and exciting (a 7-4 win over the Binghamton Devils on April 7, 2018), as well as emotional and memorable, thanks to some of the events going following the captain’s announcement that this would be his final season.

We’ve collected some of the highlights of the night in photos and videos to share with fans.  Take a look back at TK’s big night, and celebrate the career of this Penguins legend.
First, our pregame tribute video to TK.


Here’s a look at some of the non-game events that occurred during the evening, including all of Tom teammates donning 29 jerseys in warm ups, the pregame awards ceremony, and postgame reaction from the Devils and Penguins.


And here’s a selection of photos from around the arena.  Click on the thumbnail below to reveal a larger look.


If you weren’t at the final regular season home game, you still have a chance to see TK in action, as the Penguins have clinched their 16th straight Calder Cup Playoffs appearance.  Dates and an opponent are still to be determined, but we’ve got playoff packages on sale now, which feature a $6 food/merchandise voucher for each home game.  If you’d like more information, just fill in your contact info in the form below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

 

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.