PENGUINS ROAR BACK AGAINST SOUND TIGERS, WIN 3-2


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in overtime, 3-2, on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (19-10-2-1) tallied three unanswered goals to post its third win in a row. Teddy Blueger continued his hot streak from December into the New Year by netting the overtime game-winner.

BOXSCORE

Bridgeport struck first while on the power play just 3:41 into the opening frame. The Sound Tigers set up Travis St. Denis for a one-timer that blasted past Penguins goalie Anthony Peters. The Sound Tigers took a 2-0 lead off of a rebound that bounced right to the stick of Michael Dal Colle, who put it into an open net 3:45 after St. Denis’ opening tally.

The Penguins thought they had earned their first goal of the game when Thomas Di Pauli beat

Christopher Gibson through the five-hole with 13:11 left in regulation, but the referee waived it off immediately due to a Penguins player being in the goal crease. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did cash in 1:29 later as Zach Aston-Reese scored off of a face-off win by Jean-Sébastien Dea, pulling the Penguins back within one.

The Penguins pulled Peters for an extra attacker while on late-game power play, giving them a six-on-four advantage with 1:20 left in regulation. A series of passes set up the tying goal from Greg McKegg at 19:36 of the third period. McKegg’s equalizer not only forced overtime, but also ended Bridgeport’s streak of 33 straight penalty kills without surrendering a goal.

Just as overtime got started, Blueger broke in one-on-one against the Sound Tigers’ Josh Ho-Sang, juked to his right and thrust a backhander past Gibson. Blueger’s third overtime game-winner of the season came just 26 seconds into the extra frame.

Peters stopped 28 of the 30 shots Bridgeport threw his way, while Gibson made 22 saves before the decisive overtime winner.

The Penguins’ next game will be on Friday, Jan. 5 against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop between the Penguins and Thunderbirds is scheduled for 7:05 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 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs SOUND TIGERS, JANUARY 3, 2018


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will kick off 2018 against their divisional foe, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (18-10-2-1, 39 pts, .629%) maintain fourth place in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Sound Tigers (16-12-2-1, 35 pts, .565%) sit in fifth in the same division.

Wednesday night’s game is the third of six meetings between the clubs this season.


TIME:          7:05 p.m.
PLACE:       Mohegan Sun Arena
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, October 28  Bridgeport  WBS > 2-5 WIN
 Saturday, December 16  Bridgeport  WBS  > 3-2 OT Loss
 Wednesday, January 3  WBS  Bridgeport   7:05pm
 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 closed out 2017 with a 2-1 overtime win against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center on Saturday. Zach Aston-Reese scored in regulation to give the Pens a 1-0 lead, before Dominik Simon scored in the extra frame to cap the victory. With his goal. Anthony Peters recorded his second win in as many nights, stopping 20 of 21 shots on Saturday night.

The Sound Tigers welcomed the Binghamton Devils to Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night, and closed out 2017 by recording a 5-0 victory. Bridgeport received second period goals from Josh Ho-Sang, Kyle Schempp and Ryan Bourque, with additional markers by Tanner Fritz and Travis St. Denis in the third. The Sound Tigers held the Devils to only 19 shots on goal, as Christopher Gibson recorded his second shutout of the season.



PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins come into Wednesday’s action on a two-game win streak, having swept the final weekend of 2017 with victories over Hartford and Hershey.

Three Penguins lead the season series against the Sound Tigers with three points: Ryan Haggerty (2+1), Zach Aston-Reese (1+2), and Christian Thomas (1+2)

Since singing his second PTO with the Penguins, Anthony Peters has posted a 2-0-0 record with a .959 save percentage.

The Penguins lead the season series over the past five years with a 12-6-2-0 record against the Sound Tigers.

Aston-Reese now has three points (2+1) in his last four games.


SOUND TIGERS NOTES
Tanner Fritz recorded a goal and two assists on Saturday to add to his team lead of assists (25) and points (35).

Bridgeport comes in with the division’s best penalty kill percentage (87.1%), having not given up a power play goal since Dec. 1 against Utica. They’ve killed each of their past 46 attempts.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers enter Wednesday with a winning streak of their own having won three straight games and have points in five of their last six.


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 defenseman Andrey Pedan also spent time in Bridgeport from 2012-15, totaling 15 points (5+10) in 42 games.


FAN FRIDAY INFO

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PENGUINS FORCE OVERTIME, BUT LOSE TO SOUND TIGERS, 3-2

BOXSCORE

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers enjoyed a back-and-forth contest full of scoring chances and great goaltending on both sides at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night. The game was so evenly matched, that it required overtime, with Bridgeport emerging as the victor, 3-2.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15-8-2-1) earned a crucial point in the standings by forcing overtime with a late goal from rookie forward Zach Aston-Reese, but couldn’t stave off the Sound Tigers during a man advantage in OT.

Greg McKegg got the Penguins on the board first, scoring on a wrap-around try 6:56 into the game.

Early in the second period, Bridgeport goalie Kristers Gudļevskis removed himself from the game with what was later announced as a lower body injury, and Christopher Gibson had to take his place in the Sound Tigers’ crease. Gibson performed well in his sudden relief appearance, denying the Penguins on all nine shots they threw his way in the second period.

While Gibson held Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at bay for the majority of the middle frame, Devon Toews brought Bridgeport even with its opponent by scoring 1:14 prior to the second intermission.

The third period was spent with the two clubs trading power play opportunities, and Scott Eansor gave Bridgeport a 2-1 lead with a man advantage marker at 13:46 of the final frame. Zach Aston-Reese answered for the Penguins 1:54 later, sending the game to overtime.

Sebastian Aho earned Bridgeport the extra point by scoring on the backdoor during a carryover power play that spanned the third period and into overtime. Aho’s goal, the defenseman’s fourth game-winner this season, game the Sound Tigers the 3-2 win just 26 second into the extra period.

Casey DeSmith made 30 saves in the loss. Gudļevskis recorded seven saves before being replaced by Gibson, who turned aside 14 of 15 shots faced to earn the win.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Dec. 22 against the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:05 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 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH SIGNS CZUCZMAN TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

Defenseman Kevin Czuczman has appeared in 200 AHL games with he Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Manitoba Moose (photo courtesy of Manitoba Moose).

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The contract is a two-way deal and it has an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level.

Czuczman (CHUHRCH-muhn), 26, broke into the NHL with the New York Islanders as an undrafted free agent following a three-year collegiate career at Lake Superior State. He jumped into the NHL immediately upon signing in 2013-14, collecting two assists in 13 games with the Islanders.

Last year, the Port Elgin, Ontario native spent the season with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, where he served as an alternate captain. Czuczman posted the best offensive numbers of his pro career, leading all Manitoba blueliners with 32 points (9G-23A) in 76 games.

A 6-foot-2, 206-pound defender, Czuczman played the majority of the ’14-15 and ’15-16 seasons with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In three-plus professional seasons, Czuczman 54 points (14G-40A) in 200 career AHL regular-season games, plus AHL playoff appearances, split between Manitoba and Bridgeport.

As a junior in his final year at Lake Superior State in ’13-14, Czuczman was named to the All-WCHA Second Team after setting collegiate career highs in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21) in 36 games played. His 10 goals that year were tied for second-most among all NCAA defensemen. Czuczman was Lake Superior State’s “Most Valuable Defenseman” as a sophomore and its “Most Outstanding Freshman” in his debut campaign.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

APRIL 25 A SPECIAL DATE IN PENGUINS HISTORY

April 25th is a special date for any old school Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fan.  That’s because two of the most famous goals in the team’s history came on that date just one year apart.

APRIL 25, 2004

The Penguins opened the 2004 postseason facing off with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and it wasn’t a good start.  The Sound Tigers held a commanding 3-1 lead in the East Division Semifinal round, with Game Five taking place on their home ice on April 22.

The Penguins staved off elimination in that contest when Tomas Surovy scored in overtime to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-1 victory.  That forced Game Six back in Wilkes-Barre the following night, where the Penguins blew out the Sound Tigers, 5-0, behind a 23-save performance from Andy Chiodo.

Game Seven took place back in Bridgeport on April 25, and saw the Penguins take a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to goals from Tom Kostopoulos and Konstantin Koltsov.  But Rob Collins tallied just 64 seconds into the final frame of regulation, forcing overtime.

A little over midway through the OT, Matt Hussey picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, carried it over the blue line and fed Koltsov at the far face-off circle.  His low writer beat goaltender Dieter Kochan far side, and the Penguins capped an epic comeback in the series.

The Penguins went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phantoms and the Hartford Wolf Pack (again in overtime of Game Seven) before falling to the Milwaukee Admirals in the Calder Cup Final.

APRIL 25, 2005

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished the 2004-05 season in fourth place int he East Division, earning them a first round meeting with the Binghamton Senators.  The B-Sens led the entire AHL with 276 goals, thanks to firepower from Ottawa regulars Jason Spezza (32 goals) and Denis Hamel (39 goals), who spent the season in Bingo as the NHL lockout dragged on.

That offensive prowess was showcased in the opening two games of the series, as the Sens took 5-2 and 4-2 wins on home ice.

Game Three took place in Wilkes-Barre on April 25, with Binghamton jumping out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period thanks to a Christoph Schubert goal.

The Pens took their first lead of the series when Shane Endicott and Kris Beech scored power play goals seven minutes apart in the second, before Schubert notched his second man-advantage goal of the night to even things up, 2-2, at 15:11.

That was the last goal scored for the next 77 minutes of game time.

A scoreless third period led to two overtime frames which yielded no goals.  But, as the clock approached midnight, Ryan Whitney blocked an Anton Volchenkov shot in the Wilkes-Barre zone.  The shot off of Whitney’s skate found Beech in the neutral zone, and led to a three-on-one for the Pens.  Defenseman Pat Kavanagh struggled to get back in the play, which allowed Colby Armstrong to sneak past on the far side.  Beech found Armstrong at the far post, who redirected the shot behind Emery at 12:26 of the third OT, ending the longest game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins history at 11:58pm.

That win turned the tide in the series, as the Penguins posted three more wins in a row to oust the heavily-favored Senators from the playoffs.


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins are currently tied, 1-1, in the best-of-five Atlantic Division Semifinals.

The series moves to Wilkes-Barre where the Penguins will play host to the Bruins in Games Three (Thursday night) and Four (Friday night) at 7:05pm.

Individual tickets for both games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 570-208-7367.

Penguins postseason ticket packages, which include tickets to every home contest during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are on sale now.  With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every home game in the playoffs, as well as their same seat guaranteed throughout the team’s playoff run. Fans can secure their seats for every home game by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

To have a Penguins representative contact you with more information, please fill in the form below.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

PENGUINS COME BACK, DEFEAT SOUND TIGERS IN SEASON FINALE, 5-4

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins concluded their regular season in dramatic fashion by pulling off a 5-4 comeback victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (51-20-3-2) erased a two-goal deficit in the third period by scoring three unanswered goals. Adam Krause factored in on all three of those goals, including the shorthanded game-winner with only 3:25 left in regulation.

The Sound Tigers opened the scoring on the first power play of the game for either side. Ryan Pulock blasted a heavy slap shot off the post and at 13:08 of the first period.

Bridgeport’s lead disappeared less than three minutes later when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered with a man advantage marker of its own. Teddy Blueger’s shot snuck through a screen set by Garrett Wilson and past Eamon McAdam 4:10 left to play in the opening frame. But the Sound Tigers came right back with another power play goal, this time with Carter Verhaeghe doing the honors as 49 seconds were left in the first period.

Bridgeport extended their lead to 3-1 midway through the second period when Travis St. Denis tapped one in on the back door.

A pivotal point in the game came shortly thereafter, when Penguins goalie Sean Maguire stoned Josh Ho-Sang on a penalty shot, preventing the Sound Tigers from taking a three-goal lead. Thirty-eight seconds before the conclusion of the middle stanza, Jean-Sébastien Dea delivered another power play goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to cut Bridgeport’s lead down to 3-2.

Verhaeghe struck again 6:40 into the third period, extending Bridgeport’s advantage on the scoreboard back to two goals.

From there, it was all Penguins.

Less than two minutes after Bridgeport scored, Jarrett Burton cashed in some loose change amidst a net-front scramble, making it 4-3. Krause tied the game just 1:16 later using his speed to go end-to-end and beat McAdam on a slick move.

Krause scored his second on the night after breaking away from Bridgeport defenders while on the penalty kill and netting a shorthanded goal with 3:25 left in regulation.

Maguire turned aside 22 shots in his first AHL start to earn his first AHL win. McAdam stopped 25 shots in the loss for the Sound Tigers.

The Penguins kick off the Calder Cup Playoffs next Friday, Apr. 21, at Dunkin’ Donuts Center against the Providence Bruins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will return for its first home game of the postseason on Thursday, Apr. 27.

Individual game tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home playoff games go on sale this coming Monday, Apr. 17 at 10:00 a.m. and can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Penguins postseason ticket packages, which include tickets to every home contest during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are on sale now.  With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every home game in the playoffs, as well as their same seat guaranteed. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every home game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS FOUR-GOAL GAMES

Oskar Sundqvist joined some elite company on Saturday night, becoming just the third Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player to record four goals in a game.  But Sundqvist’s hat trick plus one came under different circumstances than the first two times the feat was accomplished.
OCTOBER 5, 2005 – Erik Christensen wasted no time in opening his scoring account, picking up four goals and leading the Penguins to an 8-1 win in the season opener against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

This outcome of the game was never in doubt, as Matt Hussey opened the scoring at 2:58 of the first frame, before Christensen got on a roll.  The second-year pro recorded the next two Pens goals, and completed the hat trick before the game was halfway over.  He topped things off with his fourth of the night at 13:36 of the third period to finish off the night’s scoring.

Christensen’s first three tallies came against Wade Dubielewicz, who was eventually chased from the game following Tomas Surovy’s second goal of the game – the Penguins’ sixth of the night – at 8:11 of the second period.  Chris Madden was victimized for Christensen’s record-setting goal.

Christensen went on to record 20 more goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the season, and finished second on the team with 46 points (24+22) in just 48 regular season games.  He also saw significant playing time with the Pittsburgh Penguins that season, recording 13 points (6+7) in 33 games with the NHL club.

A dangerous force in shootouts (he’s tied for first on the team’s all-time list with 11 successful attempts), Christensen recorded 50 goals and 97 points in 141 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during parts of three seasons.  He appeared in 387 NHL games with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Anaheim, the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild, posting 163 points (68+95).  He has spent the past five seasons playing in Europe, and is currently tied for the team lead with 10 goals for HV71 Jonkoping in Sweden (as of December 12, 2016).

FEBRUARY 16, 2007 – Jean-Francois Jacques didn’t need to score four goals against the Binghamton Senators to secure a win.  His tally 1:58 into the game provided all the offense the team would need thanks to a 17-save performance by Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.  But the Edmonton Oilers prospect tacked on three more goals en route to a 7-0 shutout of the I-81 rivals.

Jacques spaced out his first two goals, scoring his second with just 18 ticks left in the second period to put the Penguins up 3-0 (Rob Schremp had a goal sandwiched between the two scores).  He completed his hat trick 23 seconds into the third period, then finished off his four-goal performance with 6:14 to play in the game.

Dan Carcillo and Jonathan Filewich also netted goals in the game against Jeff Glass, who stopped 31 of 38 shots he saw.

Jacques added just one more goal in nine further games with the club after his big night, and finished the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton portion of his career with 27 points (10+17) in 29 total games.

The Montreal native appeared in 309 AHL games with the six teams between 2005 and 2014, recording 187 points (89+98).  He also suited up in 166 games with Edmonton and Anaheim in the NHL, posting 17 points (9+8).  Like Christensen, Jacques is also currently plying his trade overseas, and has appeared in all 27 of Ingolstadt ERC’s games in Germany this season.

DECEMBER 10, 2016 – While the first two four-goal games came in Penguins blowouts, the third featured the hat trick hero providing a much needed spark.

The Hershey Bears jumped out a 2-0 lead 12:11 into the game.  It looked like the Bears, who posted a 5-2 victory on the same ice the night before, were steering this game in a similar direction.

But that’s when Sundqvist changed things.

The second-year pro picked up a loose puck in the slot and waisted home his eighth goal of the season at 16:59 of the first, tying the team lead for goals in the process.

His second goal came almost midway through the game off of a Josh Archibald rebound, and tied the contest at 2-2.

Jake Guentzel followed that goal up with his ninth of the season 29 seconds later, giving the Penguins their first regular season lead against the Bears in five contests this season.

Sundqvist redirected a Kevin Porter shot for his third of the game just two and a half minutes later, and picked up his fourth goal in style with a breakaway tally early in the third period.

The Swedish sniper may have led the scoring attack but, unlike Christensen and Jacques, Sundqvist did not record the game-winning goal in the 6-2 victory (that was credited to Guentzel).  But it’s safe to say that the Penguins wouldn’t have picked up the win without his record-tying effort.

The Penguins’ next home game is Friday, Dec. 16 as they’ll face-off against the Rochester Americans for the first and only time at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza this season. The contest is also an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with $14 lower bowl tickets, select draft beers for just $2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., and a post-game autograph session with two Penguins players.

Individual game tickets for tomorrow night’s game and all Penguins home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 22-game12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SCORE FOUR UNANSWERED IN 4-1 WIN OVER BRIDGEPORT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins maintained their spot atop the Atlantic Division and the entire American Hockey League thanks to 4-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday evening.

David Warsosfky led the way for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (16-5-3-0), earning a goal and two assists as the Penguins scored four unanswered markers en route to victory.

Bridgeport struck first 6:18 into the game when a point shot from Kane Lafranchise navigated its way through a screen and past Tristan Jarry.

Teddy Blueger tied the game, 1-1, with his first career goal by redirecting a pass from Jake Guentzel into the Sound Tigers’ cage at 2:22 of the second period.

The Penguins’ power play stayed hot when Warsofsky rocketed a shot home at 18:44 of the middle frame, making it 2-1.

In the third period, Stuart Percy scored his first goal as a Penguin and Guentzel added another tally to his recent tear to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 4-1 lead.

Jarry turned aside 26 shots to earn his 10th win of the season. Stephon Williams recorded 32 saves while manning the crease for the Sound Tigers

The Penguins’ next home game is Friday, Dec. 16 as they’ll face-off against the Rochester Americans for the first and only time at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza this season. The contest is also an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with $14 lower bowl tickets, select draft beers for just $2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., and a post-game autograph session with two Penguins players.

Individual game tickets for tomorrow night’s game and all Penguins home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 22-game12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

SUNDQVIST TIES TEAM RECORD FOR GOALS IN A GAME IN PENS WIN

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Oskar Sundqvist tied the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins franchise record for most goals in a single game, tallying four in a 6-2, come-from-behind win over the Hershey Bears at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.

Sundqvist became the third Penguins skater to tally four goals in a game, matching the mark previously set by Erik Christensen (October 5, 2005 vs. Bridgeport) and  Jean-Francois Jacques (February 16, 2007 vs. Binghamton).

Similar to Friday night’s contest, the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Christen Djoos and Chandler Stephenson.

Sundqvist pulled one back for the Pens and tallied his first of the four with three minutes left in the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took advantage of Hershey’s untimely line-change halfway through the second, allowing Sundqvist to net his second of the night tying the contest.

Jake Guentzel followed up Sundqvist’s effort with a goal of his own – his second on the weekend –  just 29 seconds later to give the Penguins the 3-2 lead.

Sundqvist completed his hat trick at the 12:27 mark of the second, deflecting Kevin Porter’s shot from the slot to increase the Penguins lead to 4-2.
His impressive play continued into the start of the final frame, scoring his fourth of the contest at the 3:36 mark.

Tom Kostopoulos added the sixth and final goal late in the third for his seventh goal of the season.

Casey DeSmith had a perfect final two periods, and saved 21 of 23 shots he faced overall.  Joe Cannata stopped 30 of the 36 shots that came his way.

The Penguins’ next game is Sunday afternoon, when they face off with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Connecticut. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, December 16 where they host the Rochester Americans. Puck drop for that contest is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Penguins ticket packages, including 22-game12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

SESTITO SET TO MAKE WBS SEASON DEBUT VERSUS BEARS

The rivalry between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hershey Bears is always intense.

Insert Tom Sestito and Liam O’Brien into the equation, and the intensity level skyrockets.

Sestito, who began the 2016-17 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, figures to make his NEPA debut when the Pens and Bears face off in a two-game tilt at the Mohegan Sun Arena this weekend.

Sestito and O’Brien engaged in a war of words online last spring, as well as a few memorable matchups on the ice in both the regular season and playoffs.

So what can we expect from Tito’s return?

 

“I’m excited to be down here and get playing in some games,” Sestito said.  “I’m looking forward to contributing as much as I can, and hopefully that translates into some wins.”

That’s all well and good.  But what about facing off against your favorite foe, Tom?

“Hershey’s a big rival. It’s not going to be hard to get up for that game,” Sestito said, toeing the line.  “So it will be exciting on Friday, and we’ll see how many fireworks there are.”

Head coach Clark Donatelli knows what an imposing figure Sestito can cut on the ice, and he’s looking forward to getting the gritty forward into the lineup.

“He’s going to help us.  He’s a big guy with great hands, and he’s in really good shape,” said Donatelli.  “He’s a big asset for us.”


Donatelli also received word this morning that forward Jake Guentzel and defenseman Derrick Pouliot would be returning to the team in time for this weekend’s games.  Those two additions make an already formidable lineup even better.

Guentzell hasn’t suited up in the AHL since recording three points (1+2) against the Bears back on November 19.  Since that time, he’s make his NHL debut and tallied three goals (including two in his first game) with Pittsburgh.  Despite being in the show for more than three weeks, Guentzel still leads Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wth 17 points, while sharing the team lead in goals (7) and assists (10).  He also remains tied for second among AHL rookies in points.

Pouliot appeared in three games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning assignment two weeks ago, and has now been declared healthy to play full time.  But a log jam on the Pittsburgh blue line means he’ll be getting in quality minutes in NEPA.

“Obviously they’re very good players, and we’ll inject them into the lineup for sure,” Donatelli stated.


The Penguins currently lay claim to first place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division by virtue of a .738 points percentage (31 of a possible 42).  But the Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms are close on the Penguins’ heels with .705 percentages (31 of a possible 44 points), while the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are just one point behind those two clubs.  That means the 2-5 ranked clubs in the AHL all reside in the division, and the Pens will face a pair of them in their three-in-three stretch this weekend (Friday & Saturday vs. Hershey; Sunday in Bridgeport)

“It’s a tough division, and head-to-head those teams are hard,” said Donatelli.  “We’ve got our hands full, but we’re just going to take it game-by-game.”


The Pens return home on Friday, December 9 when they play the Hershey Bears at 7:00pm.  It’s an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with $14 lower bowl tickets, select draft beers for just $2 from 6-7:30pm, and a post-game autograph session with two Penguins players.

Penguins ticket packages, including 22-game12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling 570-208-7367.