PENGUINS PLAYOFF NOTEBOOK – APRIL 26


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins got a bit of a boost prior to Game One of their Calder Cup playoff series against the Providence Bruins, when Josh Archibald, Tom Sestito and Cameron Gaunce were reassigned to the AHL club by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Archibald tallied a pair of goals (including the equalizer to force OT) in the Game Two win; Sestito picked up his first of the playoffs in the same contest; and Gaunce logged considerable time on the blue line, as the Penguins split the weekend series in Providence.

“It feels really good to be back with everybody here.  We had a special season, so hopefully we can do something special here in the postseason,” said Archibald, who spent the previous three weeks in Pittsburgh.

The speedy forward didn’t make an appearance in Pittsburgh’s first round Stanley Cup series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but said the experience of just being around a team in the hunt for the trophy was a positive.

“It’s just more of being in that environment, being around those guys.  Look what they did last year.  They’re winners up there,” he said.  “So to be able to take away from what they do and learn from them, it’s definitely a huge experience.  It’s a good experience for me.”

Sestito had been with the NHL club since March 8, but sat out considerable time due to an upper body injury.  He dressed for Pittsburgh’s final two regular season games, before rejoining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for their playoff run.

He’s taking the AHL team’s playoff run just as seriously as he would a chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

“You battle hard for these guys every day throughout the year, and you just want to keep it going as long as you can, because you see the end is near,” said Sestito, who is participating in his fourth postseason in 10 years as a pro.  “As an older guy, you don’t know how many years you have left.

“This team’s got a lot of fire power and we’re excited to keep going.”

This is the fifth consecutive spring that Gaunce has seen postseason action, but he doesn’t take the opportunity to pursue a trophy for granted.

“It’s pretty big.  It’s something that I take pride in.  I’ve only missed the playoffs one season, junior and pro,” he said.

Gaunce also knows what it takes to claim the AHL’s ultimate prize, having been a member of the Texas Stars club that won the Calder Cup in 2014.

“I don’t think there’s an exact formula to winning a championship, because if there was every team would try to replicate that.  But I don think there are certain things that carry over,” he stated.  “I think the most important thing is consistency at this time of the year, who can play their best game, game in and game out.”


ARCHIE ON THE ATTACK

Archibald entered the 2017 postseason with two goals in 15 previous games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  He doubled that total in Game Two on Sunday.

“I’ve worked on doing a lot of the little things right, and I think that’s transformed my game a lot and helped me out in the long run,” said Archibald, who set new personal bests across the board with 16 goals, 13 assists and 29 points with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.  He also led the AHL with four shorthanded goals, and netted three goals in 10 games with Pittsburgh.

Archibald was on the ice with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton needing a goal to tie game in the final two minutes of play on Sunday.

“[Garrett Wilson] got in on the forecheck hard, forced the defenseman to turn it over.  [Dominik Simon] came in and picked the puck up, made a great play to [David Warsofsky], who was coming in from the blue line to take a one-timer,” Archibald recalled. [Kevin Porter] and I were standing right in front to pick up any garbage.  He slid it over to me and I pretty much had a wide open net in front.”

That goal with just 63 seconds left in regulation gave the team a much needed lift headed into the extra frame.

“We just had to calm down in the locker room,” he said.  “We knew we could win it, it was just a matter of going out and doing the right things.  Luckily enough we came out on top in that game.”


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

PITTSBURGH ASSIGNS THREE TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON


The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned forwards Josh Archibald and Tom Sestito, and defenseman Cameron Gaunce, to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Gaunce must clear waivers before he can be returned to WBS.

Archibald set career highs in goals (16), assists (13) and points (29) while appearing in 61 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.  Sestito led the AHL club with 121 penalty minutes while recording 16 points (6+10) in 33 games.  Gaunce  contributed 13 points (3+10) and was a plus-15 in 49 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins and Bruins begin their best-of-five Atlantic Division Semifinal series this Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, and the teams face off in Game Two in Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon.

The series switches to Wilkes-Barre for Game Three on Thursday, April 27 at 7:05pm.  Individual tickets for Game Three are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, by calling 570-208-7367, or online at TicketMaster.com.

For information on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins playoff packages, which include a $6 food voucher for every game, just fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.

CAMERON GAUNCE NAMED PENGUINS’ IOA/AMERICAN SPECIALTY MAN OF THE YEAR

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are proud to announce that Cameron Gaunce has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Northeast Pennsylvania community during the 2016-17 season.

Ever since Gaunce joined the Penguins in October of 2016, he showed an instant initiative in supporting the community in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Gaunce introduced the “Tickets for Teachers” program, which supplied free tickets to local educators who go above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs. The 27-year-old defenseman also made a point to travel to the selected teachers’ classrooms and deliver tickets to the winners in person.

This is Gaunce’s first selection as IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year in his seven-year pro career.

Gaunce is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2016-17 Yanick Dupré Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League at a later date.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Mar. 31 when it travels to Mass Mutual Center for the team’s last match-up of the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, Apr. 1, and their opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms 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.

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

SESTITO, GAUNCE TO PITTSBURGH; POULIOT TO WBS

Derrick Pouliot has 14 points in 32 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Tom Sestito and defenseman Cameron Gaunce from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot has been re-assigned to WBS.

Sestito, 29, has skated in 33 games this year for WBS, totaling 16 points (6G-10A) and 121 penalty minutes. He has already improved his AHL offensive totals from last season in eight less games played.

Earlier this season, Sestito notched one assist and 24 penalty minutes in eight NHL games with Pittsburgh. Over the past two seasons, Sestito has two assists and 43 penalty minutes in 12 games with Pittsburgh.

Gaunce, 26, has two assists and is plus-one in six NHL games with Pittsburgh this year. At the AHL level with WBS, he has 13 points (2G-11A) and is plus-15 in 49 contests.

Pouliot has 14 points (5+9) in 32 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton begins a three-game homestand tonight against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

DEADLINE DEALS, HEALTHY PLAYERS COULD HELP WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

Frank Corrado was acquired from Toronto on March 1.

The National Hockey League trade deadline has come and gone, and a handful of moves made by the Pittsburgh Penguins could pay dividends in Wilkes-Barre.

Pittsburgh made a pair of trades on Wednesday afternoon, acquiring Mark Street from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fourth round draft pick in 2018, and sending Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and 2017 fourth round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Fran Corrado.

Corrado, a 23-year old puck-moving blueliner, was immediately assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, giving the AHL Penguins another offensive threat.

Pittsburgh also reassigned defenseman Cameron Gaunce to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, who has 13 points and a plus-15 rating in 47 games with the AHL club this season.

Additionally, Pittsburgh made a series of ‘paper transactions’ at the deadline, reassigning Carter Rowney, Jake Guentzel, and Derrick Pouliot to Wilkes-Barre and quickly recalling them.  Those moves make that trio eligible to suit up for the AHL Penguins during the remainder of the regular season and the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Those reinforcements could prove significant in the long run, as could the imminent returns of a pair of Penguins skaters.

Forward Thomas Di Pauli appeared in just eight games at the start of the season before suffering a long-term injury on November 26.  the highly-touted scorer out of Notre Dame has been practicing with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week, and could return to game action as soon as this weekend.

And Garrett Wilson was in the midst of a career-year when he suffered an upper body injury against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Valentine’s Day.  His return seems to be a little further away, but add his double-digit goal scoring into an already formidable lineup, and the Penguins could receive a late-season infusion of offense.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Saturday, Mar. 4, and it will take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’s game and 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS PRACTICE REPORT – FEBRUARY 21, 2017

For the first time this season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins experienced what might be considered a setback of sorts, as the team dropped three consecutive games during a three-in-three road trip over weekend.  It was just the second time all year the Penguins (37-14-3-0, 77 points, first place in the Atlantic Division) dropped consecutive games.

But head coach Clark Donatelli isn’t losing any sleep over the subpar record on the road.

“No reason to hit the panic button,” said Donatelli following Tuesday’s practice at the Toyota SportsPlex.

The Pens dropped decisions in Albany (4-0 on Friday), Springfield (2-1 on Saturday) and Providence (3-2 on Sunday afternoon).  Still, Donatelli continued to show faith in his club, which has been at the top of the American Hockey League standings all season.

“It was a tough road trip for us.  We didn’t get the results that we wanted.  The first game against Albany (on Friday night), I didn’t think we played that well.

“I thought the next two games…I thought we played really well, some of our best hockey.  We just came up short.  That’s going to happen some of the time.”

In recent weeks, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has seen several players summoned by the Pittsburgh Penguins, including the likes of Carter Rowney, Josh Archibald, Steve Oleksy and Cameron Gaunce, just to name the most recent recalls. But Donatelli is quick to downplay the notion that player movement had anything to do with this past weekend’s results.

“We’ve missed players all year,” he said.  “I don’t think we can say ‘we miss Jake anymore’.  He’s not here.  We have to move on from that.  Rowney’s not here, [but Oskar Sundqvist is] playing well.

“It’s not a personnel thing.  Guys are playing different roles, but the nucleus is still here and I don’t think that affected it one way or another.”

Archibald, who recorded his first two NHL goals on February 11 against the Arizona Coyotes, rejoined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the midst of the recent road swing.  He preferred to point to the positives over the weekend than any shortcomings.

“I didn’t think we played terrible as a team,” he said.  “Our power play was clicking (3 for 15 on the weekend), penalty kill was doing good (11 for 12). I think just five-on-five, if we can put a little more pucks on the net, that will help us out a lot.”

Donatelli gave some credit to the opposition as well, especially Springfield’s Reto Berra, who snuffed 37 of 39 shots thrown his way on Saturday, and Providence’s Zane McIntyre, who stopped 34 of 35 on Sunday afternoon to up his nearly unblemished record to 13-0-1 on the season.

“Sunday was just as good of a game as we’ve played all year,” Donatelli said.  “As long as we’re playing the right way, we’ll get the results we want.”

PITTSBURGH RECALLS GAUNCE, OLEKSY

Steve Oleksy returns to Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defensemen Cameron Gaunce and Steve Oleksy from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Gaunce, 26, returns to Pittsburgh for a second stint this year. In earlier action, Gaunce picked up two assists and was plus-3 in three games. He had helpers in each of his first two games in a Pittsburgh uniform.

At the AHL level with WBS, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Gaunce has 13 points (2G-11A) and is plus-15 in 47 games.

Oleksy, 31, has split this year between the NHL and AHL, compiling one assist, a plus-2 and 22 penalty minutes in nine NHL appearances.

With WBS, the 6-foot, 190-pound Oleksy has five points (1G-4A) and a plus-4 in in 16 contests.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tonight, Friday, Feb. 17, when they travel to upstate New York and take on the Albany Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’s game and 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

GAUNCE RETURNS TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned defenseman Cameron Gaunce to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Gaunce, 26, made his Pittsburgh debut on January 18 at Montreal, recording an assist.  In three games with the NHL Penguins, Gaunce produced two assists and a plus-3 rating with four penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Sudbury, Ontario was signed by the Penguins as a free agent this past summer, and has played in 23 career NHL games split between the Penguins, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, scoring three points (1+2).  His lone goal came against Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins on February 16, 2011 when he skated for the Avalanche.

Last season, Gaunce was named to the AHL All-Star Game after posting career highs in assists (35) and points (37) with Portland.  During the 2014 playoffs, he helped the Texas Stars win the Calder Cup championship.

Gaunce was originally chosen by Colorado in the second round (50th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 25, against the Syracuse Crunch at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Crunch is scheduled for   7:05 p.m.

Individual game tickets for tomorrow’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-game, 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS ALUMNI REPORT

Pittsburgh Penguins forward CONOR SHEARY is on quite the hot streak lately, recording nine points over the past four games, and earning the NHL’s First Star of the Week award.

Sheary has picked up six goals and three assists during the Penguins’ current four-game winning streak.  He has three two-goal games and points in every contest, giving him his first four-game point streak at the NHL level.

The former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skater has eight games during the month of January, tied for the most in the league, and currently ranks fourth on the Penguins with 34 points and third with 17 goals.

Sheary spent parts of three seasons playing in NEPA, recording 81 points (27+54) in 90 regular season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  As of Monday, the Winchester, MA native had totaled 44 points (24+20) in 83 games with Pittsburgh.

Here’s a look at WBS alumni currently on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster:

BRYAN RUST:  Currently skating on a line with Sheary and Sidney Crosby, Rust has put up 24 points (12+12) in 43 games with Pittsburgh.  The speedy winger is creeping up on 100 games with the NHL club (he currently sits at 98), and has produce 37 points (17+20) in parts of two seasons in the Burgh.

Rust totaled 33 points (16+17) in 63 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over parts of three campaigns.

SCOTT WILSON:  Wilson has 13 points (5+8) in 43 games this season with Pittsburgh, and 19 points (10+9) in 68 career games with the big club.

In parts of three seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wilson recorded 77 points (41+36). His 22 goals last season ranked third in the team, despite his appearing in only 34 games with WBS.

JAKE GUENTZEL:  The rookie forward has shown he’s ready for the bright lights of the NHL with seven points (4+3) in nine games with Pittsburgh.  He made an immediate impression, scoring on his first NHL shot during his debut on November 21 against the Rangers, and following that up with another tally later in the game.

Guentzel joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after his college schedule came to an end last year, and all he did was lead the Pens in playoff scoring (5+9=14 in 10 games).  He currently ranks second in the AHL with 21 goals and 42 points despite an extended stay with Pittsburgh.

TOM KUHNHACKL:  The German-born Kuhnhackl has found it difficult to crack the Pittsburgh lineup recently, appearing in just two games since December 16.  He has five points (2+3) in 25 games this season to go with 20 (7+13) in 67 games last year.

In parts of four seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Kuhnhackl picked up 59 points (29+30) in 154 games.

ON THE BLUELINE

STEVE OLEKSY has one assist in nine games with Pittsburgh this season, and has brought a physical edge to the blue line with 22 penalty minutes.  He has 23 points (3+20) in 73 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and led the club with 123 penalty minutes last year.

CHAD RUHWEDEL tallied his first NHL goal in his second game with Pittsburgh back on December 23, and has added two assists in nine games with the team.  His 16 points (4+12) in 28 games are second most among WBS defenders this season.

CAMERON GAUNCE picked up assists in his first two games after being recalled last week.  He had eight points (2+6) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first 39 games this season.

BETWEEN THE PIPES:

MATT MURRAY:  Since returning from a two week stint on the medical report, Murray has appeared in five of the Penguins past six games, including each of the past four contests.  He’s posted a 4-1-0-0 mark in that time while allowing 14 goals.  Half of those came in an 8-7 OT victory against the Washington Capitals, and he’s only let in one goal in each of his past three appearances.  For the season, Murray has posted a 17-4-0 mark in 22 games with a 2.32 GAA and .923 save percentage.

Murray rewrote the AHL record books while with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 12 shutouts during the 2014-15 season, setting the league record for longest shutout streak (304:11) and earning the league’s top goaltender and rookie awards.  He posted a 45-20-4 mark in two-plus seasons.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY:  The two-time Stanley Cup champion and former first overall draft pick has a 13-7-0 record this season, and holds a 370-213-67 mark with Pittsburgh all-time.

Fleury appeared in 71 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during parts of three seasons, posting a 39-23-4 record and 2.32 goals against average.

ON THE INJURY REPORT:

KRIS LETANG:  One of the NHL’s top puck moving defensemen, Letang had 23 points (4+19) in 30 games before suffering a lower body injury on January 14 against Detroit.   Letting has scored more points for Pittsburgh (375) than any other Wilkes-Barre/Scranton graduate.  He suited up for 10 games with WBS at the start of the 2007-08 season, recording seven points (1+6).

BRIAN DUMOULIN:  A fractured jaw has kept Dumoulin on the sidelines since December 27.  He had seven assists in 35 games prior to that this season.  He appeared in 188 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from 2012-15, posting 78 points (15+53).

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS vs MONTREAL CANADIENS


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ influence continues to be felt by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, on Wednesday night.

Eight players who have previously suited up for the AHL Penguins were in the lineup for Pittsburgh last night, with five of the seven skaters picking up points, and the eighth player – Matt Murray – securing the win in goal.

Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson both picked up assists for the Pittsburgh, while Olli Maatta (who played briefly with Wilkes-Barre in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs) netted his first goal of the season.

But the highlight for NEPA fans may have been seeing Cameron Gaunce ripping a shot that Jake Guentzel redirected home for his fourth goal with Pittsburgh.  The assist from Gaunce, who was appearing in his first game with the NHL Penguins, was his first ever NHL helper.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ next home game is Saturday, January 21, when they host the Hershey Bears at 7:05pm. Fewer than 600 tickets remain for Saturday night’s contest against the Bears.

Individual game tickets for Saturday’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.