PENGUINS WEEKLY – 11/21/17

Penguins carry 11-game point streak into Thanksgiving week

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (11-2-0-1) will host division rival Lehigh Valley before back to back against Syracuse

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Nov. 17 – PENGUINS 4 at Binghamton 3
In the first-ever meeting between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Binghamton Devils, the Penguins came out on top, 4-3. Ryan Haggerty scored 12 seconds into the game and Thomas Di Pauli later tallied a goal for the fourth straight game. Binghamton’s power play accounted for all of its scoring, but a stellar, 31-save showing by Casey DeSmith otherwise held the Devils at bay.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Nov. 22 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
Much like most of last season, lurking behind the first place Penguins in the Atlantic Division are the second place Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holds the advantage in the season series thus far, at 2-1-0-0. Lehigh Valley suffered a 3-0 shutout loss in its last visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Daniel Sprong has registered a point in all three meetings with the Phantoms so far this season (2G-1A).

Friday, Nov. 24 – PENGUINS at Syracuse
The first game of a home-and-home weekend between the Penguins and Crunch begins when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton treks to Oncenter War Memorial Arena for the first time this season. The last matchup against Syracuse resulted in a decisive 6-1 win for the Penguins at home in which six different Pens found the back of the net. Dominik Simon has recorded at least one point in each of his visits to Syracuse in his career (5GP; 2G-4A).

Saturday, Nov. 25 – PENGUINS vs. Syracuse
The Penguins return home to host the second game of the back-to-back set against the Crunch. Daniel Sprong recorded a three-point night (1G-2A) the last time Syracuse came to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, and the Pens are undefeated in their last four games at home against the Crunch.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong tops all AHL rookies in goals (9), power play goals (5) and shots (50).

– A rookie has scored in all but one of the Penguins’ 14 games this season, the lone exception coming on Oct. 27 vs. Hershey.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has gone eight periods without allowing a goal at even strength.

– Casey DeSmith is one of only two qualified goalies in the league who remains undefeated in regulation (8-0-1).

– Chris Summers is three games away from his 400th AHL game.

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

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 14 11 2 0 1 23 .821
2. Lehigh Valley 17 10 5 0 2 22 .647
3. Providence 15 8 5 2 0 18 .600
4. Charlotte 17 10 7 0 0 20 .588
5. Bridgeport 16 9 7 0 0 18 .563
6. Hershey 18 8 8 0 2 18 .500
7. Hartford 18 7 8 2 1 17 .472
8. Springfield 19 6 12 1 0 13 .342

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 14 9 5 14
Dominik Simon 14 2 10 12
Kevin Czuczman 14 1 9 10
Ryan Haggerty 7 7 2 9
Thomas Di Pauli* 13 7 2 9
Jean-Sébastien Dea 14 4 5 9

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith 9 8-0-1 2.06 .933 1
Tristan Jarry^ 5 3-2-0 3.18 .897 0

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                  OPPONENT     LOCATION                              TIME    

Wed, Nov. 22    Lehigh Valley   Mohegan Sun Arena              7:05 p.m.

Fri, Nov. 24        Syracuse           Onondaga County Arena      7:00 p.m.

Sat, Nov. 25       Syracuse           Mohegan Sun Arena              7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Nov. 20     (D)   Frank Corrado                 Reassigned by PIT

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 11/14/17

Penguins sweep through week and extend points streak to 10 games

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (10-2-0-1) faces the Binghamton Devils for the first time ever Friday

 

Weekly Rewind

Wednesday, Nov. 8 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Toronto 2
In a mid-week clash of Eastern Conference’s top two teams and division leaders, the Penguins’ offense mustered four goals against the Marlies’ league-leading defense. Andrey Pedan netted his first goal of the season while Thomas Di Pauli scored twice for the first time in his career in the final period to secure the victory. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton recorded a season-best 17 shots in the second period against Toronto.

Saturday, Nov. 11 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Providence 3 (OT)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fell behind 2-0 to the team that bounced them from last year’s Calder Cup Playoffs, but the Penguins rallied for three-straight goals to take the lead.  Jarred Tinordi and Kevin Czuczman both netted their first goal of the season as part of the comeback. Providence tied the game late to force overtime, but Ryan Haggerty scored the game-winning goal a mere 20 seconds into the extra period.

Sunday, Nov. 12 – PENGUINS 5 at Hershey 1
Playing on less than 24 hours rest, the Penguins unleashed an offensive onslaught on their I-81 rival despite only recording 13 shots on goal. Five different Penguins scored and 10 different players recorded a point, including Di Pauli who scored for the third-straight game.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Nov. 17 – PENGUINS at Binghamton
This will be the first time the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins face the Binghamton Devils and first of six season meetings between the two clubs. The Penguins are 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 visits to Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The Devils have dropped five out of their seven home games so far this season. The Penguins have won their last three road games and are riding their longest point streak since their 11-game win streak spanning Oct. 17 – Nov. 15, 2015.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong is tied for the AHL lead in power play goals (5) and also tops all league rookies in goals (9) and shots (49).

– Including the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, seven of Sprong’s 14 AHL goals have come on the power play.

– All five of Zach Aston-Reese’s points this season have come in his last six games.

– A rookie has scored in all but one of the Penguins’ 13 games this season, the lone exception coming on Oct. 27 vs. Hershey.

– Sunday was Dominik Simon’s 300th professional game.

– With an assist on Ryan Haggerty’s overtime goal on Saturday, Jean-Sébastien Dea achieved his 100th AHL point.

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

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 13 10 2 0 1 21 .808
2. Charlotte 14 10 4 0 0 20 .714
3. Lehigh Valley 15 9 4 0 2 20 .667
4. Providence 13 7 4 2 0 16 .615
5. Hershey 15 6 7 0 2 14 .467
6. Hartford 15 6 7 1 1 14 .467
7. Bridgeport 13 6 7 0 0 12 .462
8. Springfield 16 4 11 1 0 9 .281

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 13 9 5 14
Dominik Simon 13 2 8 10
Jean-Sébastien Dea 13 4 5 9
Kevin Czuczman 13 1 8 9
Ryan Haggerty 6 6 2 8

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith 8 7-0-1 1.94 .936 1
Tristan Jarry^ 5 3-2-0 3.18 .897 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                                 TIME    

Fri, Nov. 17        Binghamton     Veterans Memorial Arena           7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Nov. 7         (D)     Zach Trotman                   Reassigned by PIT

Wed, Nov. 8       (D)     Dylan Zink                      Reassigned to WHL

Wed, Nov. 8       (LW)  Freddie Tiffels   Reassigned by PIT to WHL

Wed, Nov. 8       (D)     Jeff Taylor          Reassigned by PIT to WHL

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 10/31/17

Penguins carry five-game win streak into rivalry weekend

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (6-2-0-0) set for state supremacy skirmish

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Oct. 27 – PENGUINS 3 vs. Hershey 2
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton saw its I-81 rival erase a 2-0 deficit, but Dominik Simon’s third period power play goal gave the Penguins their fourth-straight win. Tristan Jarry turned aside 30 shots and stood tall amidst a late-game barrage from the Bears. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also scored its first extra attacker goal of the season when Jean-Sébastien Dea found the back of the net during a delayed penalty in the first period.

Saturday, Oct. 28 – PENGUINS 5 at Bridgeport 2
The Penguins saw multi-point nights from a handful of players, but perhaps no performance was more key than that of Ryan Haggerty, who notched two tallies in his first game of 2017-18. Adam Johnson also scored his first goal as a pro while Jarry earned the “W” in back-to-back starts for the team’s fifth in a row.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Nov. 3 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fell in its last visit to PPL Center, but still owns a daunting 13-4-1-1 all-time record in Allentown. The Phantoms recently saw a six-game winning streak come to an end, but their high-flying forward Danick Martel leads the league with 10 goals. Through two contests this season, the Penguins and Phantoms are deadlocked at 1-1-0-0 records.

Sunday, Nov. 5 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
The Penguins return to home ice for a Sunday matinée with the Bears. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 13-6-0-0 in its last 19 games against Hershey, but 11 of those games were decided by a one-goal margin. This match-up will take place during the Penguins’ first-ever Harry Potter Day and is also a Kids Get In Free Sunday. Children aged 14 and under receive free admission to the game with the paid purchase of an adult ticket.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong leads the AHL in power play goals (5) and is tied for the rookie lead in goals (7) and points (10).

– Including the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, seven of Sprong’s 12 AHL goals have come on the power play.

– Dominik Simon is currently on a four-game point streak (1G-4A).

– Saturday was Jean-Sébastien Dea’s 200th AHL game and thus his 200th game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He is the 29th player in team history to skate in 200 games with the Penguins.

– Saturday was Ryan Haggerty’s third multi-goal game with the Penguins and the fifth of his pro career.

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

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Providence 8 6 2 0 0 12 .883
2. PENGUINS 8 6 2 0 0 12 .786
3. Lehigh Valley 10 7 2 0 1 15 .714
4. Charlotte 9 6 3 0 0 12 .667
5. Hartford 10 4 5 0 1 9 .500
6. Hershey 9 3 5 0 1 7 .333
7. Bridgeport 8 3 5 0 0 6 .250
8. Springfield 10 1 8 1 0 3 .143

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 8 7 3 10
Dominik Simon 8 2 7 9
Christian Thomas 8 2 4 6
Kevin Czuczman 8 0 5 5
four players tied 5

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith 3 3-0-0 0.98 .965 1
Tristan Jarry^ 5 3-2-0 3.18 .897 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT        LOCATION                           TIME    

Fri, Nov. 3          Lehigh Valley      PPL Center                            7:05 p.m.

Sun, Nov. 5       Hershey               Mohegan Sun Arena           3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Oct. 23      (G)     Casey DeSmith                     Recalled by PIT

Wed, Oct. 25      (G)     Colin Stevens                         Signed to PTO

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

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

PENGUINS BEAT BEARS, 3-2, AND WIN FOURTH-STRAIGHT

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won the first match-up of the season series in the I-81 rivalry as they beat the Hershey Bears, 3-2, on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (5-2-0-0) relied heavily an impressive 30-save performance from goalie Tristan Jarry to capture their fourth-straight victory.

BOXSCORE

After the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty kill unit staved off three consecutive Hershey power plays, Jean-Sébastien Dea notched the game’s first goal on a delayed penalty, extra attacker situation at 13:05 of the first period. Dominik Simon notched his 100th AHL point by earning the secondary assist on Dea’s opening tally.

With 3:46 remaining in the second period, the Penguins doubled their lead when Teddy Blueger’s wrist shot dipped underneath Adam Carlson’s glove and found the back of the net. However, the Bears reduced the deficit back down to one a little over a minute later thanks to a shorthand goal from Jeremy Langlois.

Riley Barber netted a third period equalizer 6:34 into the final frame of regulation.

Simon scored the game-winning goal at 10:52 in the third period off a rebound from a Kevin Czuczman shot attempt. Despite a heavy press by Hershey in the final 10 minutes of regulation, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton never surrendered their 3-2 lead thanks to the stellar, crunch-time effort by Jarry.

The Penguins penalty kill ultimately denied the Bears on all seven of their man advantage opportunities throughout the contest. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s power play, on the other hand, went one-for-three.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 28, when it visits the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The 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.

PENGUINS BLANK PHANTOMS, 5-0, AND EARN FIRST WIN OF 2017-18


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earned their first win of the 2017-18 season in convincing fashion as Casey DeSmith’s 33-save shutout led the team to a 5-0 triumph over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

BOXSCORE

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1-1-0-0) had five different players account for its five goals, while DeSmith recorded the second clean sheet of his career.

After outlasting an early blitzkrieg by the Phantoms, the Penguins’ first goal of the game came from Tom Sestito on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s very first shot of the contest. Thomas Di Pauli outraced Lehigh Valley defenseman Samuel Morin on an impending icing call, then whipped around the net and set-up Sestito for the opening tally at 6:21 of the first period.

Shortly thereafter, Daniel Sprong notched his second power play goal of the season, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

The third Penguins goal came at 7:52 of the second period as Frank Corrado’s fluttering shot from the point fooled Alex Lyon. Jean-Sébastien Dea made it 4-0 at 15:19 of the middle frame with the help of tic-tac-toe passing from Tom Kostopoulos and Adam Johnson. Lyon was pulled from the Phantoms net following Dea’s goal and replaced by Dustin Tokarski.

Tokarski was perfect in relief of Lyon for over 20 minutes of action until the Penguins found another man advantage marker, this time coming from Dominik Simon. Simon closed out the scoring in the 5-0 contest with 2:51 left in regulation.

Johnson (2A), Kevin Czuczman (2A), Zach Trotman (1A) and Dylan Zink (1) all earned their first points as Penguins throughout the course of the evening, as well.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penalty kill was a perfect seven-for-seven on the night, and its power play unit converted on two of its six opportunities.

Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon finished with 11 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by Tokarski, who posted eight saves on nine shots.

The Penguins and Phantoms face-off again tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, when the two clubs drop the puck at Lehigh Valley’s PPL Center. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game Sunday, Oct. 15 against the Syracuse Crunch at 3:05 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 full season22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS STAND TALL OVER DEVILS, 6-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rode an explosive first period to a 6-2 victory over the Binghamton Devils in preseason action at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton racked up four goals in the first 20 minutes of play and saw multi-point nights from six different players en route to its first win of the exhibition schedule.

Garrett Wilson wasted little time kicking off the Penguins’ scoring onslaught, taking a behind-the-

back, no-look pass from Tom Kostopoulos and depositing it into the Devils’ net at 5:36 of the first period. Kostopoulos earned a goal of his own during a five-on-three power play at 11:53 of the first, and Adam Johnson made it 3-0 just one minute later.

Binghamton responded with a man advantage marker from Jan Mandát at 15:11 of the opening frame, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got back out to a three-goal lead when Zach Trotman’s slapshot snuck through Scott Wedgewood’s goaltending equipment and across the goal line 49 seconds prior to intermission.

The Penguins’ Dominik Simon and the Devils’ Nathan Bastian traded goals during the second period, bringing the score to 5-2.

Kevin Czuczman notched the final goal of the game midway through the third period.

Tristan Jarry denied the Devils on 15 of the 17 shots he faced, while Wedgewood made 24 saves in the loss.

The Penguins’ next preseason game is tomorrow Saturday, Sept. 30, when they take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza against the Charlotte Checkers. 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

SIMON CLOSER TO NHL WITH WELL-ROUNDED SECOND SEASON


In addition to thrilling fans from coast-to-coast with the great game of hockey, the American Hockey League does not keep its other main objective a secret: development.

The Penguins organization knows that side of things well, having seen countless players cut their chops in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before becoming impact players in the Steel City. In fact, Pittsburgh’s two most recent playoff runs have been littered with significant contributions from players who started the year in the AHL.

Dominik Simon was an incredibly impressive talent in his rookie year during the 2015-16 season, but he spent a majority of this past season making gigantic improvements in his overall game. By showing greater attention to detail in the defensive zone, pick-pocketing backchecks and becoming a handful along the walls, Simon is a lot closer to becoming another Wilkes-Barre/Scranton success story making waves in the NHL.

The beginning of the 2016-17 season wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Simon, though. The same confidence he has now wasn’t showing through because of a lack of offensive production. In his first year in North America, he was leaned on heavily to produce and led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 25 goals. Now, he was visibly rounding out his game and becoming a more complete player, but as someone who prides himself on his scoring ability, it was a rough go for Simon.

“For half of the season, I felt bad,” he said. “I was frustrated, because it wasn’t rewarding for how I was working. I worked hard from the very beginning, but it didn’t go in at the start. But in the second half of the season, it was better. Goals started going in and other points, too.”

That’s when the Penguins coaching staff steps in. Finding ways to keep Simon’s confidence from completely deteriorating was an on-going topic of conversation for Chris Taylor and head coach Clark Donatelli during the first three months of the season. They wanted to reaffirm that everything that he was doing in all three zones was a marked improvement from his rookie season, although it was hard to measure as such.

“Dom played exceptionally hard this year, but he just didn’t get rewarded in the boxscores enough for his play,” Donatelli said. “He learned to play a little bit of defense this year and how to win his puck battles. Those 50/50 battles, he was coming off the walls with the puck a lot. Skating through the neutral zone with speed with and without the puck, all of it.”

“He made a big step, even though it might not have shown in the scoring department.”

The rewards hardly stopped for Simon once the second half of the season arrived. He found chemistry skating on a line with Teddy Blueger and Jean-Sébastien Dea that unlocked his scoring potential while maintaining that sharpness in the rest of his game. From the start of January to the end of the playoffs, Simon produced 34 points (11G-13A), 69.4 percent of his total offense.

Of course, a lot of those pucks go in because of Simon’s skill with the puck on his stick, but he and the coaching staff both believe that the avalanche of offense arrived in the second half because he continued to focus on the little details.

Simon’s sophomore season in North America was a big one for him, personally. While the numbers weren’t as daunting as his rookie year, he’s no longer a one-trick pony. There are several ways he can impact a game in a positive fashion now, and they all don’t show up on the scoresheet.

“I’m happy I could improve on a lot of other stuff, hockey-wise, that aren’t scoring,” Simon said. “It’s a good feeling to have to know you’ve improved.”

As far as his quest to the NHL is concerned, he and his mentors are very confident that he’s closer to the show today than he was at this time a year ago.

“Without a doubt,” Donatelli said. “It’s day and night.”


Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season are on sale now.  Call the Penguins directly at 570-208-7367 to get yours, or fill in the form below, and a Penguins account executive will reach out to you.

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

PENGUINS FALL IN GAME FOUR TO BRUINS, 4-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Providence Bruins defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-2, in Game Four of the Atlantic Division Semifinal on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.  The win allowed the Bruins to remain alive in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, and forced a decisive Game Five on Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre.

The Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead that the Penguins eventually cut in half with a third period surge, but the comeback bid by the home team fell short against a Providence squad that was facing elimination.

Wayne Simpson buried his first goal of the playoffs just 1:15 into the game, and Colton Hargrove extended the lead eight minutes later with a power play goal.

Providence tacked on another goal with just 44.4 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Jake DeBrusk uncorked a short-side snipe on a three-on-one rush after taking a feed from Austin Czarnik.

DeBrusk added his second of the game by tipping in a slap shot from Bruins captain Tommy Cross at 14:09 of the second period.

The Penguins got on the board as Dominik Simon picked the pocket of Bruins defenseman Alex Grant and then flipped the puck over to Teddy Blueger, who wired a one-timer to the top corner with under three minutes left before the second intermission.

Simon earned another assist by helping to set up an Ethan Prow goal, making it 4-2 at 9:10 of the third period.

Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith posted 38 saves on the night, including a whopping 20 stops in the second period. Those 20 saves tied Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s franchise playoff record for saves in one period, set five years ago by Brad Thiessen against the St. John’s IceCaps.

Zane McIntyre halted 27 shots for his second win of this postseason.

The final game in the best-of-five series is Sunday, Apr. 30, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop for Game Five of the Atlantic Division Semifinal is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Individual tickets for Sunday afternoon’s game 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. 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 FALL IN SHOOTOUT TO PHANTOMS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The first-place Penguins (50-19-3-2) traversed two scoreless periods before picking up a point in the finale of a 12-game season series with the Phantoms.

The opening frame kicked off with flair when Garrett Wilson and Samuel Morin dropped the gloves just 38 seconds into the contest. That energy from that fight sustained the two teams through the first period, but neither squad could muster a goal before the first intermission. Similarly, the second period drew to a close with the Penguins and Phantoms tied, 0-0.

After 45 minutes of game time, the Penguins were finally able to get one past Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon. Teddy Blueger’s shot bounced off Lyon right to Dominik Simon, who buried it 5:10 into the third period of play for his 15th goal of the season.

The Phantoms answered back with a strike from Taylor Leier at 13:11 of the third. Not only did Leier’s tally tie the game, 1-1, it was the first goal Lehigh Valley scored against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 268:49, dating back to Mar. 18.

The game went to a shootout after a physical three-on-three overtime. Corban Knight scored the shootout’s lone goal and clinched the Phantoms a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

DeSmith stopped 33 shots in the loss for the Penguins. Lyon also turned away 33 shots in the win for the Phantoms after taking over for Anthony Stolarz, who was ushered off the ice just 1:32 into the first period. Stolarz recorded one save on one shot faced.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Apr. 14, when they face-off against the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual game tickets for Wednesday’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 packages for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.