PENGUINS DROP FOUR GOALS ON BEARS IN SUNDAY VICTORY

BOXSCORE

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins made a triumphant return to the win column on Sunday evening by beating the Hershey Bears, 4-1, at Giant Center.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (14-7-1-1) came out firing on all cylinders from the drop of the first puck and never looked back as they defeated their I-81 rival for the third time this season.

The Penguins erupted for three goals in the first period by taking advantage of the Bears’ errors and burying them into the back of the net. First, Christian Thomas collected a turnover in the slot and turned it into a slap shot goal at 7:15 of the first period. Daniel Sprong annihilated a one-timer to the top corner during a two man advantage at 10:10 of the opening frame, and then Thomas Di Pauli grabbed another Hershey turnover less than two minutes later and put it behind Pheonix Copley for a 3-0 Penguins lead.

Hershey got on the board before first intermission though with Tyler Graovac completing a tic-tac-toe passing sequence by the Bears when only 17.4 seconds remained in the opening frame.

Both teams were held off the scoresheet in the second period, mostly due to the strong play of Penguins goaltender Sean Maguire. Maguire turned aside 10 shots in the middle frame, and ultimately recorded 18 saves when the game was over for his first win of the season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored another two-man advantage marker at 9:48 of the third period, extending its lead to 4-1. Defenseman Zach Trotman unleashed a potent slap shot from the top of the slot, scoring his first AHL goal since Feb. 14, 2015.

The Penguins’ power play finished the night going two-for-eight, while their penalty kill staved off three of the Bears’ four man advantages.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Dec. 13 against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and T-Birds is 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 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 12/5/17

First-place Penguins prepare for another busy week

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-5-1-1) still holds the top spot in the Atlantic Division

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Dec. 1 – PENGUINS 5 vs. Milwaukee 4 (OT)
In the Admirals’ first face-off with the Penguins since the 2004 Calder Cup Final, both teams put on a show with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulling out the win in overtime. Garrett Wilson scored his first career hat trick in the first period, but Milwaukee stormed back to force OT. J.S. Dea notched the game-winner, helping goalie Colin Stevens earn his first AHL win in his first AHL start.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Rochester 5
Teddy Blueger posted the first multi-goal game of his career, accounting for all of the Pens’ scoring in a loss on Teddy Bear Toss night. Goalie Anthony Peters made his Penguins debut.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – PENGUINS 3 at Hershey 4 (OT)
Daniel Sprong and Gage Quinney set one another up for first period goals, but Hershey scored three-straight to take a 3-2 lead. Tom Sestito sent the game to overtime, but Chris Bourque put the Bears over the top with an OT power play goal.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Dec. 6 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton heads to PPL Center to face Lehigh Valley, which has dropped five of its last nine games. The Penguins are 14-4-1-1 all-time at PPL Center.

Friday, Dec. 8 – PENGUINS vs. Charlotte
The Penguins look for revenge on the Checkers, who spoiled Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season opener on Oct. 7. Charlotte recently regained playoff positioning, and now sit in third place in the Atlantic.

Sunday, Dec. 10 – PENGUINS at Hershey
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has yet to lose to Hershey in regulation this season, going 2-0-1-1 in four contests against its bitter rival.

 

Ice Chips

– Dominik Simon’s six-game point streak (Nov. 12 – Dec. 1) tied a career high he set in March of last year.

– Friday and Saturday’s games marked the first time the Penguins scored shorthanded goals in back-to-back contests since Oct. 13 and Oct. 18, 2013.

– Saturday’s overtime goal pulled Jean-Sébastien Dea into a tie with Tomáš Surový and Scott Wilson for the second-most game-winning goals in franchise history (14).

– Christian Thomas played in his 300th AHL game on Sunday.

– Garrett Wilson achieved his 200th point as a pro with an assist on Sunday.

– Lukas Bengtsson is three points shy of his 100th point as a pro.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 20 13 5 1 1 28 .700
2. Lehigh Valley 21 13 6 2 0 28 .667
3. Providence 23 14 8 0 1 29 .630
4. Charlotte 23 13 7 1 2 29 .630
5. Bridgeport 22 12 8 1 1 26 .591
6. Hershey 24 11 10 0 3 25 .521
7. Hartford 24 8 12 3 1 20 .417
8. Springfield 25 9 15 1 0 19 .380

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 19 10 6 16
Dominik Simon 19 3 13 16
Kevin Czuczman 20 1 13 14
Ryan Haggerty 12 9 4 13
Jean-Sébastien Dea 20 6 7 13

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 12 9-2-1 2.29 .924 1
Tristan Jarry^ 5 3-2-0 3.18 .897 0

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Wed, Dec. 6     Lehigh Valley   PPL Center                                  7:05 p.m.

Fri, Dec. 8        Charlotte          Mohegan Sun Arena              7:05 p.m.

Sun, Dec. 10    Hershey            Giant Center                       5:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Dec. 5        (LW) Freddie Tiffels     Reassigned by PIT from WHL

Fri, Dec. 1          (G) Anthony Peters                                   Signed to PTO

Fri, Dec. 1          (LW) Freddie Tiffels         Reassigned by PIT to WHL

Fri, Dec. 1          (RW) Josh Archibald           Conditioning loan by PIT

PENGUINS DOWN DEVILS IN BINGHAMTON, 4-3

BOXSCORE

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their point streak to 11 games with a 4-3 victory over the Binghamton Devils on Friday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (11-2-0-1) allowed three power play goals to Binghamton, but hung onto the victory thanks in large part to a 31-save performance by goalie Casey DeSmith.

The Penguins wasted little time finding the back of the net, as Ryan Haggerty tallied his seventh goal of the season just 12 seconds into the game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton continued to doggedly pursue the Binghamton defense and force a bevy of turnovers throughout the opening frame, but a mid-period power play afforded the Devils the chance to pull even. Brandon Gignac took full advantage of that opportunity, scooping up his own rebound and lifting it underneath the crossbar.

Thomas Di Pauli put the Penguins back on top, 2-1, scoring with 17.2 seconds remaining in the first period.

Binghamton tied the game once again with a man advantage marker at 17:43 of the middle stanza. A shot fired by Joseph Blandisi redirected off of Bracken Kearns at the front of the net and trickled across the goal line.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton popped on top once again with a one-timer snipe by Adam Johnson at 9:55 of the third period. Christian Thomas scored on a breakaway a little over two minutes later, granting the Penguins a 4-2 lead.

Jacob MacDonald rallied the Devils to another power play goal, cutting the deficit down to one. However, DeSmith slammed the door shut on Binghamton’s comeback bid and improved his personal record to 8-0-1 on the season.

Ken Appleby recorded 14 saves while manning the crease for the Devils.

The Penguins’ next game takes place on Wednesday, November 22 when the team returns home for a Thanksgiving eve contest with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 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 full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS PODCAST W/ CHRISTIAN THOMAS

Fresh back from his trip to the Karjala Tournament in Finland, a tired and jet-lagged Christian Thomas gutted out a podcast appearance with Obie and Nick. They get in depth on alien abduction, top 3 arena appearances and skating on either side of the WBS/Hershey rivalry.

Nick and Obie also take stock of the Penguins as the team extends its point streak to 10 games.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 11/7/17

Penguins post points in seven-straight games

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-2-0-1) welcomes Toronto on Wednesday, clash of division leaders

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Nov. 3 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Lehigh Valley put on an electrifying show at PPL Center, combining for 10 goals in regulation. At the end of a three-round shootout, the Penguins emerged victorious, 6-5. Ryan Haggerty scored twice for the second consecutive game, while Christian Thomas potted a power play goal and the shootout-deciding tally.

Sunday, Nov. 5 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
Zach Aston-Reese’s first goal of the season helped the Penguins force overtime, but a shootout loss to the Bears ended Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s six-game winning streak. Daniel Sprong snapped a four-game goalless drought 1:18 into the contest.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Nov. 8 – PENGUINS vs. Toronto
For the third year in a row, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Toronto’s first meeting of the season will serve as a clash between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. The Marlies have allowed the fewest goals per game this season (2.08) and have triumphed in their last three visits to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Saturday, Nov. 11 – PENGUINS vs. Providence
The Penguins face-off against the Bruins for the first time since the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. After starting the season 6-1-0-0, Providence has dropped three of its last four decisions, including two shutout losses.

Sunday, Nov. 12 – PENGUINS at Hershey
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton makes its first visit of the season to Giant Center for Chocolatetown’s Sunday 5:00 p.m. start time treat. The teams are even with one win apiece in 2017-18, but the Penguins went 4-2-0-0 at Hershey last year.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong leads the AHL in power play goals (5) and also tops all league rookies in goals (8), points (12) and shots (43).

– Including the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, seven of Sprong’s 13 AHL goals have come on the power play.

– Christian Thomas is on a four-game point streak with the Penguins (2G-3A). Thomas departed for Switzerland on Sunday to join Team Canada for the 2017 Karjala Tournament and Olympic evaluation process.

– Friday marked the first time Ryan Haggerty posted two consecutive multi-goal games in his career.

– Garrett Wilson is four points shy of his 200th pro point.

– Jean-Sébastien Dea is four points shy of 100 AHL points.

– Tom Kostopoulos is two games away from his 700th AHL game.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 10 7 2 0 1 15 .750
2. Charlotte 11 8 2 0 0 16 .727
3. Lehigh Valley 13 8 2 0 2 18 .692
4. Providence 11 7 4 0 0 14 .636
5. Bridgeport 11 6 5 0 0 12 .545
6. Hartford 13 5 7 0 1 11 .423
7. Hershey 12 4 6 0 2 10 .417
8. Springfield 13 2 10 1 0 5 .192

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 10 8 4 12
Dominik Simon 10 2 8 10
Jean-Sébastien Dea 10 4 3 7
Christian Thomas 9 3 4 7
Kevin Czuczman 10 0 7 7

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith 5 4-0-1 1.91 .936 1
Tristan Jarry^ 5 3-2-0 3.18 .897 0

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT      LOCATION                           TIME    

Wed, Nov. 8     Toronto              Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

Sat, Nov. 11       Providence        Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

Sun, Nov. 12     Hershey             Giant Center                         5:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Oct. 30      (G)     Casey DeSmith               Reassigned by PIT

Mon, Oct. 30      (G)     Tristan Jarry                        Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS WIN SIXTH-STRAIGHT IN 6-5 BARNBURNER WITH PHANTOMS

BOXSCORE

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms put forth an electrifying contest at PPL Center on Friday night with the Penguins emerging on top, 6-5, in the shootout.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-2-0-0) traded back-and-forth offense with the Phantoms all night, including a wild second period in which the two clubs combined for seven goals in those 20 minutes.

The Phantoms got on the board first when Tyrell Goulbourne tapped one in on the backdoor at 13:52 of the opening frame.

The zaniness in the second stanza started 1:43 into the period, when Gage Quinney gutted out a 1-1 tying goal amidst a net-front scramble. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went up 3-1 with power play and shorthanded goals separated by only 2:16 of game time. Christian Thomas gave the Penguins their first lead of the game with the man advantage marker, while Jean-Sébastien Dea was responsible for the shorthanded tally.

On the same power play that Dea notched his first career shorty, Danick Martel pulled the Phantoms back within one. T.J. Brennan tied the game, 3-3, five minutes later. A mere 86 seconds after that, Mikhail Vorobyev put Lehigh Valley back on top, 4-3.

The Phantoms were seemingly poised to take their 4-3 lead into the second intermission until Dea forced a turnover and Ryan Haggerty deposited a bar-down snipe, tying the game again with only 10.4 seconds left in the middle frame.

Haggerty scored once more, giving the Penguins a brief 5-4 advantage before Chris Conner potted another equalizer at 11:26 of the third period.

After a heart-stopping overtime, the game went to the shootout. Thomas scored the only goal of the best-of-three series, granting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the 6-5 victory and its sixth win in a row.

Casey DeSmith improved to 4-0-0 on the season by making 35 saves and denying all three Phantoms attempts in the shootout. Dustin Tokarski turned aside 28 shots for Lehigh Valley.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Sunday, Nov. 5, when it takes on its other in-state rival, the Hershey Bears. Puck drop for 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 full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

THOMAS SHOOTING FOR OLYMPIC DREAM

Christian Thomas is off to a solid start to the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, posting six points (2+4) through the team’s first eight games.

But the speedy left wing won’t be in the team’s lineup for it’s upcoming three-game home stand.

No, Thomas isn’t being benched or disciplined.  He’ll actually be overseas shooting for a spot with the Canadian Olympic team.

Thomas is among the players who will be skating for his home country in the Karjala Cup, an annual tournament being held in Sweden, Switzerland and Finland starting on November 8.  This year’s competition is being used as a proving ground for potential Olympians from six countries.

“I never would have thought I would have a chance to play U-17, U-18 as a young hockey player,” said Thomas, who has previously represented his country while a junior player.  “This tournament here, as a good evaluation for the Olympics, is three games.  Just play your best and maybe you can wear that Canada jersey in the Olympics.”

The Winter Olympics have featured National Hockey League players suiting up for their home countries since 1998.  But when the NHL and International Olympic Committee could not come to an agreement for the upcoming Games, which are being held in South Korea, a door was opened for a new group of skaters to take part.

Players participating in European leagues are eligible to participate in the Olympics, as are North American collegiate skaters, and those signed to American Hockey League only contracts.  Thomas is the lone player currently suiting up in the AHL on Canada’s roster.

“I was talking to my agent about it, that I would have a chance  [to make the Olympics] this summer, signing an AHL deal,” said Thomas.  “I got a call from Sean Burke [Team Canada General Manager], and he asked if I would like to join the tournament.  He just needed the go ahead from Pittsburgh to allow me to miss some games here.  I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

Now, just three months from the start of the Pyeongchang Games, Thomas has a chance to live out a dream.

“To represent your country is pretty special,” said Thomas.  “This year having that rule with the NHL players not being allowed to participate really helps out.  But just to be able to put on the Canada jersey is pretty cool.”

NOTES:  Team Canada’s schedule at the Karjala Cup features games against Switzerland (Wednesday, November 8), Sweden (Friday, November 10) and Finland (Sunday, November 12)…Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Andrew Ebbett, Chris Lee and Simon Despres are also on Team Canada’s roster.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ next home game will be on Sunday, Nov. 5, and once again they’ll take on the Hershey Bears. Puck drop for the Sunday matinée between the two bitter rivals 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 full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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

OBIE’S OBSERVATIONS – PITTSBURGH TRAINING CAMP

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins broadcaster Mike O’Brien is in Western Pennsylvania for Pittsburgh Penguins training camp, and checked in with some of his thoughts from Monday’s practice and tournament game.

Practice

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

•  During the first three days of practice at training camp, the Penguins have split into three teams for a round robin tournament.  Team 3 was not able to make it to the championship game as they were on ice early today for practice.  Their roster read like a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Who’s Who from the 2014-15 season with the likes of Josh Archibald, Matt Murray, Carter Rowney, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson out there.  Seems like forever, but it is less than two years ago that those players were helping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to one of its best starts in team history.

•  It is always fun to see when players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton graduate to full-time residence in Pittsburgh, and obviously it has happened plenty of times over the last 18 years.  Still, it was special to see Carter Rowney skating during training camp today.  Such a good guy off the ice and a hard worker on it.  His trek from the ECHL to the NHL has been written about at length, as were his contributions during the Penguins’ most-recent Stanley Cup run.  Though Rowney has been a participant at Pittsburgh’s training camp before, it’s different this year.  His spot in the NHL this season is deserved and seemingly secure.  It has been a long, hard road for Rowney and it’s not hard to appreciate him officially reaching this point of his journey.

•  Recent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton signee Christian Thomas was also a part of Team 3’s practice.  A couple of times, he flashed the shot that helped him score 24 goals in Hershey last season.  Thomas also showed good ability distributing the puck.  His no-look pass to Garrett Wilson created a good chance in close and he set-up teams on a couple of 2-on-1s. Thomas was signed to bring another scoring element to the Penguins, but it appears he can be a playmaker as well.

Training Camp Championship Game

They won’t be throwing any parades for the winner of this one, but it was a spirited match-up between Team 1 led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin’s Team 2.  Team 1 used two goals in the “second half” of the scrimmage to pull away for the 4-2 win and take home the training camp crown.  Here are a few players that stood out:

•  Gage Quinney – The second-year pro was the MVP early on in the championship game, scoring both of Team’s 1 goals in the first half.  His first came off a quick shot that banged off the post and into the net.  Quinney’s second goal showed good patience, taking a pass from Ryan Reaves and waiting out Antti Niemi before tucking the puck past the skate of the downed goaltender.

•  Casey DeSmith – This isn’t DeSmith’s first training camp in Pittsburgh, but it is his first with an NHL contract.  The 26-year-old looked the part on Monday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.  Taking over net for the second half of the scrimmage and with the score knotted, 2-2, DeSmith pitched a shutout as Team 1 broke the tie and eventually skated to victory.  The netminder was reading the play well and kept his form whenever there was chaos or traffic around his net.  His prettiest save came with the glove, when he robbed Ian Cole on a bang-bang one-timer from the hashmarks.  DeSmith’s most impressive stop came moments before, getting a shoulder a Phil Kessel’s mid-air rebound opportunity on the left post.

•  Dominik Simon – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans remember Simon’s deadly shot that netted 25 goals during his rookie season in 2015-16.  At times last season, that skill took a backseat as he worked to develop other aspects of his game.  Skating on a line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, Simon’s quick release and accuracy were on display once again.  Stationed on the left circle, Simon took a centering feed from Crosby and sniped a wrist shot to the top of the net that turned out to be the game-winner.  With the depth at wing in Pittsburgh, earning a spot with out of camp might prove difficult.  But if Simon continues to light the lamp during the preseason, he could put himself in line to be one of the first call-ups for Jim Rutherford and Mike Sullivan.

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

PENGUINS SIGN CHRISTIAN THOMAS

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Christian Thomas to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.

Thomas is coming off of his best season in the American Hockey League last year, establishing career highs in goals (24), assists (25) and points (49) over the course of 65 games with the Hershey Bears. The 25-year old also established himself as a power play specialist, tallying 12 man advantage markers, good enough for fifth-most in the AHL.

Throughout his AHL career, Thomas has posted 76 goals and 80 assists for 156 points in 284 games with the Bears, Connecticut Whale, Hamilton Bulldogs, St. John’s IceCaps and Springfield Falcons. The Toronto, Ontario native has also logged 27 NHL games in which he’s earned one goal and two assists.

His father, Steve Thomas, played in the AHL from 1984-86 for the St. Catherines Saints. Steve went on to have an NHL career of over 1200 games and 933 points (421G-512A) with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Christian Thomas and the Penguins will open their next season on Oct. 7 against the Charlotte Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.