SESTITO’S THREE POINTS HELP PENGUINS DEFEAT BEARS, 5-1

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Tom Sestito led the way for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the latest chapter of their rivalry with the Hershey Bears, tallying three points to lead the Pens to a 5-1 victory on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Sestito scored two goals and added an assist on Teddy Blueger’s game-winning goal as part of his first three-point outing since Oct. 11, 2008.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (23-7-3-0) maintained its league-best record with the team’s second straight win to start 2017.

It didn’t take too long for Sestito to get on the scoresheet, as he and Blueger set one another up for goals just nineteen seconds apart at 6:48 and 6:57 of the first period.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton struck for a third time to start the second frame, as Garrett Wilson grabbed a loose puck in the slot on a botched breakout attempt. Wilson’s goal – his eighth of the campaign – was his 20th point on the year, and also led to Hershey replacing starting goalie Vítek Vaněček with Joe Cannata three minutes into the second period.

Sestito soon struck again by popping a puck in the crease into the right side of Hershey’s net at 6:21 of the middle frame, making it 4-0.

The Penguins’ point run kept rolling when Jake Guentzel grabbed his league-leading 19th goal of the season as he tipped in a shot from the blue line from David Warsofsky.

With 11 minutes left to play, Hershey nixed Casey DeSmith’s chance at the shutout with a goal by Darren Dietz. Dietz’s tally may have foiled the rookie goalie’s bid for a clean sheet, but was all the offense the visitors could muster.

By the end of the contest, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had four players put up multi-point performances, including Sestito (2G-1A), Blueger (1G-1A), Wilson (1G-1A) and David Warsofsky (0G-2A).

The Penguins’ penalty kill was perfect throughout the contest, killing all five power plays it faced to maintain their Eastern Conference-leading penalty kill.

DeSmith finished the game having made 26 saves for his ninth win of the season. Vaněček made eight stops on 11 shots faced, and Cannata recorded 17 saves on 19 bids thrown his way.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 7, against the Binghamton Senators. Saturday’s contest is also Star Wars Night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will wear specialty Star Wars-themed jerseys during the game that will be auctioned off to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of NEPA.

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.

NOTE:  Prior to the game, the Penguins announced that they and Reid Gardiner had mutually agreed to release the rookie forward.  He will report to the Western Hockey League for the second half of the season.

GUENTZEL GRABS A HAT TRICK IN PENGUINS’ 5-3 WIN

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Jake Guentzel show was on full display on Tuesday night, as the rookie struck three times in the contest for his first career hat trick, leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to their seventh-straight win with a 5-3 triumph over the Springfield Thunderbirds at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Guentzel not only helped the Penguins (21-5-3-0) maintain the top spot in the entire American Hockey League, but also moved into the league lead in goal-scoring with his 15th, 16th and 17th tallies on the season.

Springfield got out to an early lead thanks to a power play goal from Mackenzie Weegar, who returned to the Thunderbirds’ lineup after a 10-game absence.

Guentzel had the response for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, soaring past the Springfield defense for the breakaway and five-hole finish at 5:43 of the first period.

The Thunderbirds struck again on the man advantage, this time with Tim Bozon doing the honors for a 2-1 lead at 9:18 of the opening frame.

With time dwindling down in the first, Tom Kostopoulos threw a seemingly harmless puck at the Thunderbirds’ crease that took a hop into Springfield goalie Mike McKenna’s chest. McKenna appeared ready to cradle the puck before Guentzel swatted it out of mid-air, knocking it free for a subsequent rebound conversion and 2-2 game with 30.5 seconds remaining in the period.

Guentzel completed the hat trick 1:17 into the second period by redirecting a pass from David Warsofsky during a five-on-three power play, bringing the game to 3-2. And in the blink of an eye, it was 4-2, as Garrett Wilson scored for the third-straight contest 1:04 later.

McKenna kept the Thunderbirds within striking distance as the Penguins continued to storm his crease and throw shot after shot his way. McKenna’s efforts were not in vain, as Weegar wired a shot off both posts and across the goal line to bring Springfield within one of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the middle frame.

The two teams traded power play opportunities and scoring chances in the third period, but the final 20 minutes of regulation were scoreless until Cameron Gaunce sealed the victory with an empty net goal as only 17 seconds were left on the clock.

Tristan Jarry made 20 saves to earn his 13th win of the season, tying him for the most in the AHL. McKenna stopped 35 shots faced in the loss.

Individual game tickets for Friday 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.

 

PENS DEFEAT SENS, 5-4, IN OFFENSIVE SHOWCASE

BOXSCORE

 

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 5-4 victory against the Binghamton Senators on Monday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Penguins (20-5-3-0) became the second team this season to reach the 20-win threshold and maintained the No. 1 overall spot in the American Hockey League with the win.

Jake Guentzel not only capped off a three-point (2G-1A) night on his behalf with the game-winning goal in the third period, but also rounded out the scoring in what was an all-around wild, offensively-charged match-up.

Binghamton struck first with a power play goal from Mike Kostka just over five minutes into the game.

Tom Kostopoulos answered for the Penguins, knocking a puck past a fallen Matt O’Connor after being set up beautifully at the side of the Senators’ cage by Guentzel. Kostopoulos’ ninth tally of the season came at 13:07 of the first period.

The Penguins came out strong in the second period, testing O’Connor with multiple shots early in the frame. However, the Senators’ Mike Blunden reestablished a one-goal lead for Binghamton on his team’s first shot of the period 6:07 into the middle frame.

Madness reigned supreme after Blunden’s goal, as the teams combined for two goals each in a mere 3:37 span. Chris Carlisle scored for Binghamton only to see Guentzel respond for the Penguins 24 seconds later. A fortuitous bounce ended up behind Casey DeSmith, resulting in a goal for Jack Rodewald, but Oskar Sundqvist answered back for the Penguins less than a minute after that.

When the dust settled from the four-goal outburst, the Senators held a tender 4-3 lead.

The third period began with a flash reminiscent of the offensive eruption of the second, as Garrett Wilson wired a wrist shot into the top corner to tie the game, 4-4, just 11 seconds into the final frame of regulation.

Guentzel scored his second of the game and team-leading 14th of the season giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton its first lead of the night and a 5-4 advantage on a power play marker at 3:35 of the third.

The Penguins weathered a late storm by the Senators and held on for the victory.

DeSmith recorded 28 saves in his eighth win of the season, while O’Connor ended up with 39 stops to his name.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 27, as they’ll face-off against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got the better of Springfield in the last meeting, 4-2, in both squads’ final contest Puck drop between the Penguins and T-Birds is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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 WEEKLY – 11/8/16

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Penguins hold first place in the AHL after perfect three-in-three weekend

 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-1-1-0) has points in eight-straight games

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Nov. 4 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Binghamton 1

The Penguins started slowly, but ultimately scored four unanswered against the Senators to win their first of six season meetings. Tom Kostopoulos recorded an assist and a goal to reach his 400th point with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – PENGUINS 7 at Bridgeport 1

The Penguins scored in the first two minutes of all three periods and stunned the Sound Tigers, 7-1. Jake Guentzel racked up four points (2G-2A) for the second time this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton allowed one goal in regulation for the eighth-straight game.

Sunday, Nov. 6 – PENGUINS 5 at Providence 4  (SO)

It wouldn’t be a Pens vs. Bruins game without overtime, and this game needed even more to find a winner. Tristan Jarry made 38 saves in regulation and overtime, then four more in the shootout, before Garrett Wilson won it for the Pens.

The Week Ahead

Friday, Nov. 11 – PENGUINS vs. Toronto

The Toronto Marlies visit Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for the first and only time this season, and it comes at a time when they and the Pens hold the top two spots in the AHL.

Saturday, Nov. 12 – PENGUINS vs. Providence

Providence scored more against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton than any other team has this season, but still couldn’t prevent a Penguins victory in their last meeting. Including playoffs, the past four games between the two clubs have gone to OT.

Sunday, Nov. 13 – PENGUINS at Hartford

In the season opener, the Pens downed the Wolf Pack, 6-2. Today, Hartford sits in last place of the Atlantic Division and has surrendered more goals than any other AHL team (44).

Ice Chips

– The Penguins’ 15 goals against is the lowest total in the league and tied for the second-fewest goals allowed through the first 10 games of a season this decade.

– The Penguins hold the league’s top penalty kill at 92.7%.

– Jake Guentzel leads all AHL rookies with 12 points (5G-7A).

– Casey DeSmith’s .962 save percentage ranks first among AHL rookie goaltenders and second in the league overall.

– With tallies in four-straight games, Tom Kostopoulos is enjoying the third-longest goal streak of his 18-year career.

– Carter Rowney and Garrett Wilson both earned their 100th career AHL points on Sunday at Providence.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM                       GP       W         L        OTL     SOL     PTS         Pt%

1. PENGUINS          10        8          1           1          0          17           .850

2. Hershey                10       6          2           2          0         14           .700

3. Lehigh Valley         9       5          3           1          0          11            .611

4. Bridgeport           10        6          4          0          0         12          .600

5. Springfield          10        5          4           1          0          11           .550

6. Providence          11        3          5           2          1            9            .409

7. Hartford              10        3          6           1          0            7           .350

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS                    GP        G         A        PTS

Jake Guentzel*           10         5          7         12

Carter Rowney           10         3          6          9

Kevin Porter                 9          2          3          8

Oskar Sundqvist          9          4          3          7

Tom Kostopoulos       10         4          3          7

Chad Ruhwedel^        10         2          5          7

 

GOALIES                  GP     W-L-OT      GAA        Sv%     Shutouts

Casey DeSmith*      3        3-0-0        1.00        0.962          0

Tristan Jarry                7         5-1-1         1.69         0.936          0

 

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT      LOCATION                         TIME      

Fri, Nov. 11        Toronto               Mohegan Sun Arena        7:05 p.m.

Sat, Nov. 12      Providence          Mohegan Sun Arena      7:00 p.m.

Sun, Nov. 13     Hartford              XL Center                          5:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Nov. 7    DEL     (RW) Adam Krause             Assigned to WHL

Mon, Nov. 7    ADD   (D) David Warsofsky         Reassigned by PIT

Tue, Nov. 8      ADD   (RW) Tom Sestito                  Assigned by PIT

Tue, Nov. 8      DEL     (D) Steve Oleksy                    Recalled by PIT

Tue, Nov. 8      DEL     (D) Chad Ruhwedel               Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS DEFEAT P-BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT, 5-4

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BOXSCORE

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins went the distance in a Sunday afternoon showdown, but the Penguins emerged victorious with 5-4 shootout victory at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Garrett Wilson scored the lone goal for either team in the fourth round of the shootout, granting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-1-1-0, first in the Atlantic Division) its fourth-straight win and six-of-six possible points in its three-in-three weekend.

After both teams’ goaltenders stonewalled their opponents in the first, second and third rounds of the shootout, Tristan Jarry came up with one extra stop before Wilson ended the game with a wicked wrister to the blocker-side of Dan Vladař.

After an early onslaught of shots thrown at Providence goaltender Vladař, Reid Gardiner put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the board with the Penguins’ 10th shot of the game at 6:32 of the first period.

The Bruins responded with a sharp-angle goal by Jordan Szwarz at 13:43, tying the game, 1-1.

Momentum swung back in the Penguins’ favor following another outburst of opportunities, culminating in an Oskar Sundqvist redirect at the crease that put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton back up, 2-1, at 16:03 of the opening frame. However, Providence answered again with a tally by Danton Heinen 2:02 after Sundqvist’s goal.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton struck twice in the second period with goals from Tom Kostopoulos and Jean-Sébastien Dea. Kostopoulos’ marker at 10:24 of the middle frame was his third goal of the weekend and gave him goals on four-straight contests.

Peter Cehlárik tipped in a point shot from Alex Grant with less than two minutes left in the period, cutting the Penguins’ lead in half and taking a 4-3 score into the second intermission.

Providence tied the game, 4-4, with a man advantage marker by Wayne Simpson 3:50 into the third period.

Neither squad found a go-ahead goal in regulation or sudden death overtime, so onto the shootout it went during which Wilson secured the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jarry ended up with 38 saves in regulation and overtime and went four-for-four on stops in the shootout. Vladař recorded 25 saves during the game and denied the Penguins on three-of-four shootout attempts.

The Penguins’ next game is Friday, Nov. 11 when they take on the Toronto Marlies at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in a clash of the top two teams in the AHL. Puck drop for the Penguins’ lone home game against the Marlies is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 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.

KOSTOPOULOS NETS HIS 400TH AS PENS BEAT SENS, 4-1

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had plenty of reasons to celebrate following their 4-1 victory over the Binghamton Senators on Friday night, but the moment that stole the show came when their captain reached yet another milestone in his decorated career.

Scoring a power play goal at 17:56 of the second period in front of a home crowd, Tom Kostopoulos recorded his 400th career point as a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin. Kostopoulos, the Penguins’ all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points is the first player in franchise history to reach that mark.

The game did not begin on as cheery of a note, though. Binghamton opened up the scoring with the lone goal of the first period when Mike Blunden found the back of the net with a wrap-around at 13:36 of the opening frame.

The Penguins responded with a strong second period, outshooting the Senators 15-6. Jake Guentzel put the Penguins on the board, tying the game the contest with a deflection at 15:56 of the second. Kostopoulos had an assist on Guentzel’s equalizer, point No. 399 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The 18-year pro and Penguin captain’s 400th point with the club broke the deadlock just two minutes later, bringing the score to 2-1.

Garret Wilson and Oskar Sundqvist each added to the Penguins’ lead in the third. Wilson’s first in a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton uniform came 5:23 into the third with a wrist shot that beat Binghamton goalie Matt O’Connor high blocker-side.  Sundqvist blasted a one-timer from the slot past O’Connor at 13:02 of the third, bringing the game to its 4-1 final.

Tristan Jarry finished the game with 20 saves on 21 shots while his counterpart, O’Connor stopped 26 of the 30 shots faced.

Friday night’s victory not only brought the Penguins to 6-1-1-0 (13 points, first in the Atlantic Division), but it was also the seventh-straight game in which they held their opponent to just one goal in regulation.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 4, against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The Penguins’ next home game is Friday, Nov. 11, when they take on the Toronto Marlies at home for the only time this season.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 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.

PITTSBURGH ASSIGNS 17 TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

Steve Oleksy
Defenseman Steve Oleksy is among the 17 players assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned 17 players to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Players assigned to WBS include: goaltenders Casey DeSmith and Leland Irving; defensemen Tim Erixon, Ethan Prow, Stuart Percy, Cameron Gaunce, Reid McNeill, Steve Oleksy and Chad Ruhwedel; and forwards Oskar Sundqvist, Adam Krause, Ryan Haggerty, Sahir Gill, Josh Archibald, Dominik Simon, Garrett Wilson and Jean-Sebastien Dea.

Erixon, Percy, Gaunce, McNeill, Oleksy, Ruhwedel and Wilson all have to clear waivers on Tuesday at noon before they can join WBS.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their first preseason game when they host the Albany Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:05 p.m. The Penguins will also battle the Hershey Bears in exhibition action at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:05 p.m. before wrapping up their preseason schedule at Giant Center against the Bears on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.