PENGUINS BEAT BEARS WITH DOMINIK SIMON’S OVERTIME WINNER


HERSHEY, Pa. – Dominik Simon returned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night, and paid immediate dividends.  Just hours after being reassigned to the team from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Simon scored the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory against the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center.

Simon was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (18-10-2-1) at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday and notched the overtime game-winner at 9:20 p.m. to send the Penguins into the New Year on a two-game winning streak.

BOXSCORE

The Penguins came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, but couldn’t solve Bears goalie Vítek Vaněček despite out-shooting their opponent, 15-6, in the first period. Simon accounted for four of the Penguins’ shots in that opening period.

Stellar goaltending carried over into the second stanza, as well, with Vaněček and Anthony Peters trading jaw-dropping saves. It required a perfect shot to beat either netminder, and that’s exactly what Zach  Aston-Reese delivered at 7:26 of the middle frame. After Jean-Sébastien Dea and Ryan Haggerty combined to win a battle along the boards in the Bears’ zone, Aston-Reese ripped a beautiful, bar-down wrister from the slot past Vaněček for the game’s first goal.

Hershey finally got a puck across Peters’ goal line when Tyler Graovac tucked a shot inside the far post, tying the game, 1-1, at 3:10 of the third period.

The game was nearly decided twice in the final seconds of regulation with the two teams skating four-on-four. Hershey barreled down the ice on a four-on-one odd man rush with 15 seconds remaining in the third period only to be denied the go-ahead goal and watch Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Chris Summers break loose for a clean breakaway immediately afterwards. Vaněček shut the door on Summers right before the sound of the buzzer, signaling the end of regulation.

Simon rocketed a wrist shot behind his fellow countryman 3:10 into the extra period, improving the Penguins to 4-0-1-1 against the Bears this season.

Peters finished the game having made 20 saves, while Vaněček turned in a 36-stop performance in the overtime loss.

The Penguins’ next game will be in the New Year, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visit Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers 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.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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PREVIEW: PENGUINS AT BEARS, DECEMBER 30, 2017


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hit the road again, as they make a quick trip down I-81 to play their in-state rival, the Hershey Bear,s at Giant Center at 7 p.m. tonight.

The Penguins (17-10-2-1, 37 pts, .617%) currently sit in fourth place in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Bears (14-16-0-3, 31 pts, .470%) rank two slots behind the Penguins in sixth place.

Tonight’s game is the sixth of twelve meetings between the clubs this season.


TIME:  7:00 p.m.
PLACE:  Giant Center
WATCH:  AHLLive.com
LISTEN:  WILK News Radio


SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Friday, October 27 WBS  Hershey >3-2 WIN
Sunday, November 5 WBS  Hershey  > 3-2 SOL
Sunday, November 12  Hershey  WBS  > 5-1 WIN
Sunday, December 3  Hershey  WBS  > 4-3 OTL
Sunday, December 10  Hershey  WBS  > 4-1 WIN
Saturday, December 30  Hershey  WBS   7:00pm
Wednesday, January 24  Hershey  WBS   7:00pm
Friday, February 2  WBS  Hershey   7:05pm
Sunday, February 25  WBS  Hershey   7:05pm
Sunday, March 18  WBS  Hershey   3:05pm
Tuesday, April 3  WBS  Hershey   7:05pm
Sunday, April 15  Hershey  WBS   5:00pm

RECENT ACTION
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins took on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and posted a 5-1 victory. Daniel Sprong’s second hat trick of the season and second four-point performance (3G-1A) of the year helped to secure the victory for the Penguins, while Anthony Peters posted his first win in a Penguins uniform, stopping 27 shots.


The  Hershey Bears  scored a 4-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. Mathias Bau’s second period goal at 16:16 stood as the game-winner, and Chris Bourque notched three assists in the winning effort. The Bears power play went 1-for-3 on the evening along with a perfect 3-for-3 penalty kill. Pheonix Copley got his first win in goal since December 3, stopping 26 shots.


PENGUINS NOTES

The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled Daniel Sprong from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday morning, and returned forward Dominik Simon to the club.  Simon has 16 points (3+13) in 20 games with the AHL Pens this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also summoned Cody Wydo and Reid Gardiner from the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday morning.

Teddy Blueger now has points in each of his last four games (3+3=6)

Colin Smith has five points (1+4) in the season series with Hershey to lead both teams.

The Penguins lead the season series three games to two, with two of their victories coming at Giant Center.


BEARS NOTES

Chris Bourque leads the Bears in all major offensive categories, with 11 goals, 28 assists, 39 points and five power play goals.

Dustin Gazley is three points from 100 while wearing a Hershey jersey.

Nathan Walker made his 2017-18 AHL debut last night, after starting the season with the Washington Capitals.  Walker posted one goal and four penalty minutes in the NHL, and notched an assist in his first game back with the Bears.


CONNECTIONS
Penguins forward Christian Thomas spent the 2016-17 season with the Bears, and led the team in goals (24) and power play goals (12).  His goals, assists (25) and points (49) totals were all career highs.

Bears center Zach Sill spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time list with 277 games played. Sill recorded 73 points (33+40) and 315 penalty minutes with the Penguins betweenez 2009 and 2014.


FAN FRIDAY INFO

Would you like more info on tickets for any of our upcoming FAN FRIDAY games? Simply fill in your contact info below, and a Penguins ticket representative will contact you within 48 hours.

PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs BEARS – DECEMBER 10, 2017


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins return to Hershey for the second consecutive Sunday to face the Bears at 5:00pm.

The Penguins (13-7-1-1, 28 pts, .636%) sit in third place in the extremely tight Atlantic Division standings, while the Bears (12-11-0-3, 27 points, .519%) place sixth in the eight team division.

Sunday’s contest is the fifth of 12 meetings between the teams this year.  The Penguins have a 2-0-1-1 record so far, while the Bears are 2-2-0-0 in the first four matchups.

TIME: 5:00 p.m.

PLACE: Giant Center

WATCH: AHLLive.com

LISTEN: WILK News Radio


SEASON SERIES

 DATE  ROAD  HOME  TIME/RESULT
 Friday, October 7  Hershey  WBS  3-2, Win
 Sunday, November 5  Hershey  WBS  3-2 SOL
 Sunday, November 12  WBS  Heshey  5-1 Win
 Sunday, December 3  WBS  Hershey  4-3 OTL
 Sunday, December 10  WBS  Hershey  5:00pm
 Saturday, December 30  WBS  Hershey  7:00pm
 Wednesday, January 24  WBS  Hershey  7:00pm
 Friday, February 2  Hershey  WBS  7:05pm
 Sunday, February 25  Hershey  WBS  3:05pm
 Sunday, March 18  Hershey  WBS  3:05pm
 Tuesday, April 3  Hershey  WBS  7:05pm
 Sunday, April 15  WBS  Hershe  3:05pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins dropped a tough 2-1 decision to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night in Wilkes-Barre.  Daniel Sprong netted his team-leading 11th goal of the season, and Sean Maguire stopped 28 shots in his first AHL start this season.

The Bears defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by a score of 4-2 last night in Hershey.  Lucas Johansen, Chris Bourque, Garrett Mitchell and Tyler Graovac tallied for the home side, and Vitek Vanecek stopped 24 shots between the pipes.


PENGUINS NOTES

Daniel Sprong is tied for third among rookie skaters with 11 goals this season, and ranks second among first year players with six power play goals.  His 11 goals are tied for 10th among all AHL scorers, and his six power play goals are tied for third overall.

Thomas Di Pauli is tied for 13th among rookies with seven goals.


BEARS NOTES

Chris Bourque leads all AHL skaters with 32 points, is tied for second with 21 assists, tied for 10th with 11 goals and tied for fifth with five power play tallies.

Travis Boyd is tied for sixth with 17 assists.

Mathias Bau is tied for eighth among rookies with eight goals.


CONNECTIONS

Penguins forward Christian Thomas spent the 2016-17 season with the Bears, and led the team in goals (24) and power play goals (12).  His goals, assists (25) and points (49) totals were all career highs.

Bears center Zach Sill spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time list with 277 games played. Sill recorded 73 points (33+40) and 315 penalty minutes with the Penguins betweenez 2009 and 2014.

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

PENGUINS DROP OVERTIME DECISION AT HERSHEY, 4-3

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell in overtime to the Hershey Bears, 4-3, on Sunday at Giant Center.

Daniel Sprong and Gage Quinney led the way offensively for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-5-1-1) with two-point efforts, but Chris Bourque got the last laugh for Hershey by scoring the overtime game-winner.

The Penguins took off early when Quinney fished a puck from a net-front scramble and poked it into the Bears’ net 2:12 into the game. Quinney later set up Daniel Sprong midway through the first period

for his 10th tally of the season, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-0 lead.

Liam O’Brien cut the Bears’ deficit in half with 6:33 left in the second period, opening up the skies at Giant Center for thousands of teddy bears and stuffed animals to rain down onto the ice as part of Hershey’s teddy bear toss game.

O’Brien struck again at 8:49 of the third, pulling Hershey into a 2-2 tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With a delayed penalty upcoming to the Penguins, the Bears pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Following a pitch and catch give-and-go rush through the neutral zone, O’Brien fired his second goal of the night past Anthony Peters.

Hershey assumed a brief 3-2 lead when a point shot by Jonas Siegenthaler slipped in with 6:10 left in regulation, but Tom Sestito brought the game back to an even score less than a minute later.

Sestito’s goal earned the Penguins a point in the standings by forcing overtime, but Bourque found the game-winner on a power play 1:15 into the extra period.

Anthony Peters started in net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second night in a row, making 25 saves in the OT loss. Pheonix Copley turned aside 22 Penguins shots to earn the win for the Bears.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Dec. 6, when they travel to PPL Center to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 8 against the Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers’ visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza is also a WBRE/WYOU Eyewitness News Fan Friday. All tickets for Dec. 8’s contest are $14, and select draught beers are $2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Checkers 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 STRETCH POINT STREAK TO 10 GAMES WITH WIN OVER BEARS

Photo courtesy Just Sport Photography

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their point streak to 10 games (9-0-0-1) with a 5-1 win over the Hershey Bears on Sunday evening at the Giant Center.

The Penguins (10-2-0-1, 21 points, first place in Atlantic Division) saw 10 different players pick up points, as they downed the Bears (6-7-0-2, 14 points, fifth place in Atlantic Division) for the second time in three tries this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s impressive offensive performance came despite the team mustering just 13 shots on the afternoon, its lowest total on the season.

Jarred Tinordi opened the scoring for the visitors, potting his second goal in as many games just 2:39 into the first period.

Zach Aston-Reese extended the lead to 2-0 five minutes later, tucking a puck between the pads of Vítek Vaněček during the Penguins first power play of the afternoon.



The 2-0 advantage lasted until the 11:58 mark of the second frame, when Dustin Gazley capitalized on a strange bounce to beat Casey DeSmith for his first goal of the 2017-18 campaign.

The Penguins answered back quickly, with Thomas Di Pauli picking the upper right corner 58 seconds after Gazley’s goal to make it a 3-1 game.  And Daniel Sprong followed suit exactly one minute later, notching his team-leading ninth goal of the season from a seemingly impossible angle to make it 4-1.



Colin Smith iced the game with an empty net goal – his first tally in a Penguins uniform – with 3:07 to play in regulation.

DeSmith made 31 saves, upping his record to 7-0-1 on the season, while Vaněček stopped just eight attempts in his season debut.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has now won three straight games after dropping a shootout decision to the Bears on November 5, and has picked up 19 of a possible 20 points in its past 10 games.

The Penguins next game takes place on Friday, November 17 when they travel to face the Binghamton Devils at 7:05 p.m.  The team returns him for a Thanksgiving eve contest with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, November 22.

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.

NOTES:  Thomas Di Pauli now has goals in three consecutive games…Daniel Sprong’s nine goals are tops among AHL rookies, and his 14 points are second among first-year players…Jarred Tinordi has three points (2+1) in four games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season…Pat McGrath made his season debut in the contest…Zach Trotman and two assists in the contest.

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

PENGUINS EDGED BY BEARS IN SHOOTOUT, 3-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – In this season’s second chapter of the I-81 Rivalry, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell to the Hershey Bears in a shootout, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-2-0-1) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end, but the team was still able to secure a point in the standings and remain tied for first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Penguins got the scoring started just 1:18 into the game when Daniel Sprong tallied his team-leading eighth goal of the season with a backdoor deflection on a shot-pass by Kevin Czuczman.

Hershey evened things up as Wayne Simpson fired a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net past Casey DeSmith with 2:09 left in the opening frame.

The Bears used a power play goal to take a 2-1 lead at 9:26 in the middle frame. Travis Boyd fought off the outstretched stick of a Penguins penalty killer and released a wrist shot into the back of the net.

Zach Aston-Reese pulled the Penguins back even with the Bears with his first goal of the season. Colin Smith, playing in his first game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, pried a puck loose from a battle behind the Bears’ net and Aston-Reese pulled off the slam sunk wrap-around at 11:39 of the third period.

Three periods wasn’t enough in this rivalry game, and the teams headed to 3-on-3 overtime.

DeSmith stood tall in the overtime, stopping all five shots he faced in the extra frame and went post-to-post to absolutely rob Hershey’s Chris Bourque of a game-winning goal.

Simpson notched the lone goal of the shootout, giving the Bears the win.

DeSmith turned aside 29 of the 31 shots and allowed one shootout goal on two attempts. Copley stopped 25 shots in regulation and overtime and denied all three Penguins’ bids during the shootout.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Wednesday, Nov. 8, when it takes on the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop between the Penguins and Marlies 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.

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 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.

CORRADO GIVES PENGUINS 3-2 OVERTIME VICTORY IN HERSHEY

BOXSCORE

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins walked away from a tight-knit match-up with a 3-2 win against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center on Saturday night thanks to an overtime game-winner by defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado’s goal at 2:29 of the extra period allowed the Penguins to exact revenge on the Bears, who defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the two teams’ preseason opener three days earlier.

Jean-Sébastien Dea opened the scoring when he picked the top corner of the Bears’ net with a snipe from the left slot 7:52 into the first period.

The Penguins went up 2-0 thanks to Reid Gardiner’s tally off of a face-off win by Jarrett Burton at 1:25 of the middle frame. Hershey cut Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead in half with a goal by Dustin Gazley roughly nine minutes later.

With a late-game power play and the goalie pulled in favor of an extra attacker, the Bears’ Chris Bourque notched the equalizer at 18:22 of the third period.

Hershey appeared to be poised to take off on a three-on-none rush in overtime when Dea picked the pocket of one of the Bears before dishing the puck to a wide-open Corrado, who fired home for the sudden death game-winner.

Casey DeSmith manned the crease for the Penguins for all three periods of regulation and overtime, making 21 saves in the process. Parker Milner stopped 14 of 16 shots faced before being replaced mid-game by Adam Carlson. Carlson recorded 20 stops while being given the loss.

The Penguins’ next preseason game is tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 1, when they take on the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 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.

PENGUINS OPEN PRESEASON WITH 5-1 LOSS TO BEARS

BOXSCORE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ introduction to the exhibition schedule ended in a 5-1 loss to the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday night.

Tom Mele scored Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lone goal of the contest late in regulation, spoiling a shutout bid by Bears goaltender Parker Milner.

Hershey cashed in on an early power play to go up 1-0 with a Dustin Gazley goal at the 2:50 mark of the first period.

The Bears extended their lead to 2-0 after Andrew Cherniwchan threw the puck at the Penguins’ net and Hampus Gustafsson knocked in the rebound. Gustafsson’s tally came at 7:18 of the middle frame.

Jeremy Langlois was left unattended atop the Penguins’ crease and slammed a one-timer across the goal line, making it 3-0 Bears at with 3:20 left in the second period. Gazley’s second of the night expanded the scored to 4-0 shortly thereafter.

The Bears went up 5-0 in the third period on another power play goal from Stephen Collins before Mele finally solved Milner with 3:16 remaining in regulation. Mele’s may have put the Penguins on the board, but they never pulled any closer to the Bears.

Milner may not have earned the clean sheet, but he registered 17 saves in the win. Colin Stevens stopped 18 of the 22 shots he faced in net for the Penguins during the first and second periods. Will King denied the Bears on eight of their nine bids in the third.

The Penguins next preseason game is at home on Friday, Sept. 29 when they take on the newly minted Binghamton Devils. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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

WBS TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hit the Toyota Sportsplex ice for the start of training camp on Sunday morning, and stayed until the afternoon.

Coach Clark Donatelli and his staff ran the 28 players on the team’s initial roster through a more than two hour practice, that finally came to a conclusion just after 12:30pm.

For Donatelli, it was a chance to get an extended look at several fresh faces.

“A lot of the guys are new.  The guys are coming out here, trying to make an impression,” he said.  “Every practice we rank all of the players and then we go over it as a staff…I thought some guys here made some good first impressions.”

About half of the players in camp are free agents or inked to ECHL contracts.  And, with a considerable number of players still in camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins, these early practices, as well as this week’s exhibition games, present opportunities for unknown youngsters to leave their marks.

“We’ve got two games here (Wednesday versus Hershey; Friday versus Binghamton) that we’re going to play, and we’re going to a lot of looks at some of the guys we don’t know,” Donatelli said.  “Then we’re going to settle in and see what happens with Pitt with guys coming down for games three and four (Saturday at Hershey; Sunday at Binghamton).”

While it’s likely many of the players currently in Wilkes-Barre won’t be here to start the season, performances in these preseason contests could help in decision on call ups later in the year.

“If some of the guys have to go down to Wheeling, obviously then we’re going to have a good read on what they are,” Donatelli stated.

SHORT SUMMER

While Sunday morning saw hockey return to NEPA for the first time since late April, Donatelli hasn’t been away from the sport very much over the past few months.

After Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season came to an unexpected early end, Donatelli and assistants J.D. Forrest and Chris Taylor (now with the Rochester Americans), worked with Pittsburgh’s practice squad as they advanced to their second straight Stanley Cup championship through late June.

Donatelli and Forrest then stepped behind the bench to lead the American entry at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in early August; traveled to Buffalo for the 2017 Prospects Challenge a month later; and spent a week with the NHL club as the Pens opened training camp.

“We had a short break, but it was great,” he said.  “Anytime you’re winning Stanley Cups, you’re playing a long time.  So that experience was great and our guys loved it.

“Short summer, but I’m excited to be back.”

SCHEDULE

The Pens will practice at the Toyota Sportsplex again on Monday and Tuesday mornings at 10:30am, before the action moves to the Mohegan Sun Arena for Wednesday’s opening exhibition contest.  All practices at the Toyota Sportsplex are free and open to the public.

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