PENGUINS ANNOUNCE FOUR PRESEASON GAMES

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today their exhibition schedule for the 2017 preseason. The Penguins will play four contests (two home / two away) split between the Hershey Bears and new Binghamton Devils.

The Penguins’ 2017 preseason dates and game times are as follows:

• Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 – Hershey @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 – Binghamton @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 – W-B/Scranton @ Hershey, 7:00 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 – W-B/Scranton @ Binghamton, 5:05 p.m.

The Devils are one of three new franchises joining the American Hockey League for the 2017-18 regular season.

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.

PENGUINS REVEAL REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE FOR 2017-18

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The full 2017-18 American Hockey League regular season schedule was announced this afternoon, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will officially begin their 19th season on Saturday, Oct. 7, when they face off with the Charlotte Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

SYNC SCHEDULE | COLOR PDF | B&W PDF | TEXT LIST PDF

The Penguins will play a 76-game regular season schedule (38 home/38 road) featuring games against every team in the Eastern Conference and an additional three opponents from the Western Conference. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton remains a member of the now eight-team Atlantic Division, along with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Charlotte Checkers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Providence Bruins and Springfield Thunderbirds. The Penguins will meet division foes 50 times (25 home/25 road) with their remaining 26 games coming against clubs in the North Division (10 home/10 road) and Central Division (three home/three road).

The puck will drop on weekend evenings or afternoons for 30 of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 38 home games. The Penguins will be bringing back promotions such as $14 Fan Fridays and Kids Get In Free Sundays for the 2017-18 season. Starting in December, lower level tickets for Friday night home games are just $14 while supplies last in addition to $2 select beers available from 6:00-7:30 p.m. For the Penguins’ five Sunday home games, children age 14 and under can attend free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket, and four of those games will feature a postgame skate with select players. Information on other promotions for the season will be announced at a later date.

The Penguins begin the season with nine of their first 12 games taking place on home ice, but their longest homestand of the season lasts only four games. The Penguins will play four-consecutive home games on three separate occasions this season, once in October, December, and another split between March and April. Likewise, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has four different four-game road trips on the schedule, their longest of the season. Those stretches of road games are slated to take place in January, February, March and April.

The Penguins will play seven teams during this upcoming season that did not appear on the team’s 2016-17 schedule: the Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford IceHogs, Grand Rapids Griffins, Laval Rocket, Belleville Senators, Binghamton Devils and Charlotte.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has never played a regular season game against Rockford, Laval or Belleville. Grand Rapids last visited Northeastern Pennsylvania during the 2008-09 season, and Milwaukee hasn’t played a regular season game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since 2001-02. The Penguins last took on the Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza during the 2010-11 campaign. Binghamton is playing its first season under a new NHL affiliation.

The Penguins’ full 2017-18 schedule is listed below.

GAMES BY DAY OF THE WEEK   GAMES BY MONTH
Home Road Total Home Road Total
Monday 0 0 0 October 6 2 8
Tuesday 1 2 3 November 5 4 9
Wednesday 7 4 11 December 8 6 14
Thursday 0 0 0 January 5 6 11
Friday 11 14 25 February 5 6 11
Saturday 14 9 23 March 6 10 16
Sunday 5 9 14 April 3 4 7

 

GAMES vs. OPPONENTS (Home/Road)  
Atlantic Division North Division Central Division
Bridgeport (3/3) Belleville (1/1) Grand Rapids (1/1)
Charlotte (2/2) Binghamton (3/3) Milwaukee (1/1)
Hartford (3/3) Laval (1/1) Rockford (1/1)
Hershey (6/6) Rochester (1/1)
Lehigh Valley (6/6) Syracuse (2/2)
Providence (3/3) Toronto (1/1)
Springfield (3/3) Utica (1/1)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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

SECOND TIME AROUND SIMILAR FOR DESMITH

Casey DeSmith’s rise from ECHL backup to AHL postseason starter last year was somewhat unexpected.  After all, the rookie out of Rochester, New Hampshire, didn’t even crack the Wheeling Nailers lineup until December of 2015.

But as the 2015-16 regular season ran down, DeSmith found himself firmly planted in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton crease.

Injuries and circumstances led to DeSmith’s initial rise up the organizational depth chart.

First, Matt Murray received a permanent promotion to Pittsburgh in early March, freeing up a space in Wilkes-Barre’s goaltending corps.  Tristan Jarry subsequently assumed the regular starter role for the AHL club, with veteran Brian Foster serving as the backup.

But Foster faltered, and DeSmith leap-frogged Wheeling regular Frank Palazzese to move into the second position on the Penguins roster.

Jarry experienced a bit of a late-season slump, and DeSmith stepped in to hold down the goaltending duties during the final week of the campaign.

He kept the crease as the Penguins moved into the postseason, helping the team to a pair of wins on home ice to start the best-of-five series against the Providence Bruins.

But the contest that seemingly cemented DeSmith’s standing in the organization was Game Three, which took place in Providence on April 23.  DeSmith turned aside an astounding 59 shots – a new team record – as the Penguins posted a 5-4, double overtime victory to sweep the Bruins from the postseason.

“It’s a game I’ll never forget, that’s for sure,” said DeSmith.  “Double overtime and winning in the fashion that we did to sweep the series, was really special, one of the most exciting times of last year.”

The Penguins were ousted by the Hershey Bears in overtime of Game Seven in the Atlantic Division Final, but by that time DeSmith had solidified his stature as a regular in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lineup.  He went from playing on a tryout contract in the playoffs to inking an AHL deal in early July, essentially guaranteeing himself a spot in northeast PA for the 2016-17 season.

Despite the late-season success he enjoyed, DeSmith was tabbed to hold down the backup role in Wilkes-Barre, with Jarry figuring to receive the bulk of the playing time.  During most of the season, DeSmith saw one start for every two that Jarry played.

But as the season wound down, DeSmith once again found himself thrust into the limelight as the team’s regular starter.

With their playoff seeding already set in stone, the Pittsburgh Penguins recalled Jarry on April 9, giving him his first NHL start that night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.  And when Matt Murray came up injured prior to the Pens first playoff game, Jarry moved into the backup role for Pittsburgh.

With a week left in the regular season, DeSmith found himself back in familiar territory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“It’s kind of funny how that worked out again,” said DeSmith. “You never want to see Murray or anyone go down.  But I’m really happy to have this kind of opportunity to take over like I did last year.  Playoffs is a really fun time, and to be involved in it, to be able to play playoff games is a privilege for anybody.”

And just like last year, DeSmith is peeking at a good time. Since March 5, he’s gone 7-1-1 while allowing just 12 goals in that span.  His 2.01 goals against average during the regular season was the best in the AHL, and his .925 save percentage put him in a tie for second place.

“I felt like I was playing my best hockey of the season at the end [of 2015-16],” DeSmith said.  I think this year’s kind of the same thing. The past three or four weekends, I felt like I played my best hockey of the season.  It’s kind of coming at the perfect time here.”

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

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

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

PENGUINS LOSE TO BEARS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa – In their final meeting of a 12-game season series, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell, 2-1, to the Hershey Bears on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Casey DeSmith made 19 saves while manning the crease for the Penguins (50-20-3-2) and was handed his first regulation loss since Feb. 18.

After a quiet first period, Hershey broke the scoreless tie at 3:31 of the middle frame with a tally from Jakub Vrána. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded to the go-ahead goal with mounds of pressure, outshooting Hershey in the period by a 12-6 margin at one point. However, the Penguins still went into the second intermission facing a 1-0 deficit.

Tim Erixon scored a power play goal on the Penguins’ lone man advantage opportunity of the contest to tie the game. Erixon took a one-timer on a swift pass from Teddy Blueger, and his rocket snuck through Pheonix Copley’s pads at 10:33 of the third period.

The Bears came roaring back and jumped back on top just 27 seconds later when defenseman Christian Djoos wristed a shot past DeSmith for his 13th goal of the year.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got DeSmith to the bench in exchange for an extra attacker with 90 seconds left in regulation, but couldn’t solve Copley again. The Hershey netminder turned away 22 shots on the night for the win.

The Penguins’ special teams were perfect on limited opportunities, as their power play went one-for-one, and the penalty kill snuffed a pair of Bears opportunities.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completes its regular season tomorrow night, Saturday, Apr. 15, when the Penguins host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual game tickets for Saturday’s game 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.

DESMITH’S JOURNEY LEADS TO ALL-ROOKIE TEAM AWARD

Casey DeSmith wasn’t expecting to be named to the American Hockey League’s All-Rookie Team on Wednesday morning.

That’s because he didn’t even know the honor existed.

But the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender was more than happy to accept the recognition when he was told about his inclusion prior to yesterday’s practice at the Toyota Sportsplex.

“It was exciting.  Obviously I had no idea going into [Wednesday],” DeSmith said.  “And then Clarkie announced it on the ice in front of the whole team, and everybody was pretty excited for me.”

It’s hard to argue against DeSmith’s spot on the team, which also includeds current Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guetnzel.  As of April 6, DeSmith led all rookies and ranked fourth overall with a 2.14 goals against average, and had posted 19 wins in 25 appearances.  He and teammate Tristan Jarry have helped the Penguins to the league’s lowest goals against total as the season enters its final two weeks.

DeSmith got his first taste of pro hockey least year with the Wheeling Nailers, but found it difficult to crack the lineup in the team’s three-goalie rotation.  He saw some midseason action with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, winning his first AHL start on January 3 against the Hartford Wolf Pack.  But still found himself the odd man out when he was returned to the Nailers.

Through a series of injuries in Pittsburgh and circumstances in Wilkes-Barre, DeSmith was signed to a PTO in late April and wrestled the number one goalie spot away as the Pens headed to the playoffs.

DeSmith backstopped the Pens to three straight overtime wins against the Providence Bruins, including a 59-save, double OT victory in the series deciding third game, and followed that up with a 33-save shutout win against the Hershey Bears in Game One of the Division Final.  He appeared in nine of the Penguins’ 10 postseason contests, going 5-4 with a 2.44 goals against average.

That performance helped earned DeSmith an AHL contract for the 2016-17 season, where he’s continued to shine in his first full season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“I guess going into this year I didn’t feel quite as much as a rookie as other people did maybe, just because I did have that time in the playoffs last year, getting thrown into the fire there.  Really it helped me feel even more part of the team,” he said.

JARRY STELLAR IN 2-1 LOSS TO BEARS

HERSHEY, PA – Goaltender Tristan Jarry turned in a stellar performance, stopping 14 shots in the third period alone, but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a 2-1 decision to the Hershey Bears at Giant Center on Saturday night. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak against the Bears this season.

Jarry stopped 25 of 27 shots overall on the night, but was at his best in the final frame, when the Penguins were shorthanded four times.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened the scoring 9:53 into the game when Josh Archibald redirected an Oskar Sundqvist backhander past Pheonix Copley for his 12th goal of the season.

The lead held for less than four minutes however, as Colby Williams grabbed a loose puck in the Penguins crease and deposited it for his fourth tally of the season.

The 1-1 score held until late in the second period, when Stanislav Galiev led an end-to-end rush and beat Jarry for his 18th goal of the season.

Copley was superb in his second start for the Bears since being reacquired by the team earlier this week, stopping 36 of 37 shots in the victory.

The Penguins failed to score on their lone power play attempt, while the Bears were held off the scoresheet on all six of their opportunities on the man advantage.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will return to action on Sunday afternoon, when they face the Hartford Wolf Pack at 3:00 p.m. at XL Center.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

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

PENGUINS HISTORY – AHL OUTDOOR CLASSIC

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be headed outdoors this Saturday night when they face off against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Coors Light Stadium Series contest at Heinz Field in the Steel City.

The Pens are no strangers to outdoor contests, having taken part in three previous contests.  Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Colby Armstrong scored in regulation, before Kris Letting and Sidney Crosby tallied in the shootout to score a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on January 1, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first Winter Classic;  the Penguins welcomed the Washington Capitals to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on January 1, 2001, but dropped a 3-1 decision; and Soldier Field served as the backdrop for the Pen’s most recent game in the elements, a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 1, 2014.

Dominik Uher and Steve Oleksy drop the gloves in the cold

But the NHL Penguins aren’t the only antarctic birds to take to the ice outside.

Back on January 20, 2013, the Hershey Bears hosted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL Outdoor Classic at Hersheypark Stadium.

Dominik Uher dropped the gloves with his future Penguins teammate, Steve Oleksy, six minutes into the second period, before Hershey’s Tomas Kundratek beat goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to make it a 1-0 contest at 15:40 of the middle frame.

That score carried into the third period, when Zach Sill stole a puck on the near boards and fed Riley Holzapfel, who put home his 11th goal of the season to knot the score with 12:!3 left in regulation.

The game went to overtime, where Joey Mormina’s breakout pass hit a streaking Paul Thompson.  The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton sniper beat Dany Sabourin low on the glove side to give the Penguins a 2-1 win in front of a crowd of 17,311 fans.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 2/15/17

 

Penguins look ahead to busy weekend still holding first place

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-11-3-0) end of season-long six-game homestand and hit the road

 

Weekly Rewind

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – PENGUINS 0 vs. St. John’s 4
The IceCaps used a four-goal second period to shut-out the Pens and earn the win in their final visit to Mohegan Sun Arena.

Friday, Feb. 10 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Hershey 3 (OT)
The Penguins and Bears delivered another thrilling contest, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made it a perfect four-for-four in overtime this season against their rival. Kevin Porter had a four-point night (1G-4A), including the OT game-winner.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Binghamton 2
Sahir Gill earned the first two-goal game of his AHL career as the Penguins held off the Senators to win the season series, 5-1-0-0. Jarrett Burton posted his first AHL assist, too.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 – PENGUINS 5 vs. Lehigh Valley 1
The Penguins earned another big win over their division rival, evening the season series at 2-2-0-0. Oskar Sundqvist scored twice while Dominik Simon, J.S. Dea, Teddy Blueger and Gill also put forth two-point performances.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Feb. 17 – PENGUINS at Albany
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton travels to upstate New York to take on Albany for first and only time at Times Union Center. The Pens won the two clubs’ first meeting in October, 3-1.

Saturday, Feb. 18 – PENGUINS at Springfield
The Thunderbirds have sunk to sixth place in the Atlantic, but has split the season series with the Pens. Both teams have won twice in four head-to-head clashes in 2016-17.

Sunday, Feb. 19 – PENGUINS at Providence
The Penguins and P-Bruins drop the puck for the fourth of six meetings. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 2-1-0-0 against Providence.

 

Ice Chips

– The Penguins are 11-2-1-0 when coming off of a loss this season.

– The Penguins are 16-1-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs.

– Team captain Tom Kostopoulos earned his 200th AHL goal with the tying tally in Friday’s contest with Hershey.

– Kevin Porter’s four-point game on Friday was his first since Oct. 9, 2009 when he was a member of the San Antonio Rampage.

– Friday’s game was Garrett Wilson’s 400th professional game.

– Porter has 12 points (2G-10A) in his last nine games.

– Rookie Teddy Blueger has 13 points (2G-11A) in his last 12 games.

– David Warsofsky leads the entire AHL with a plus-32 rating.

– Tristan Jarry leads the league with 22 wins.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 51 37 11 3 0 77 .755
2. Lehigh Valley 49 32 15 2 0 66 .673
3. Providence 50 28 13 5 4 65 .650
4. Bridgeport 48 30 16 1 1 62 .646
5. Hershey 50 25 14 8 3 61 .610
6. Springfield 49 17 23 7 2 43 .439
7. Hartford 49 18 26 3 2 41 .418

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
Tom Kostopoulos 51 18 22 40
David Warsofsky 36 11 25 36
Oskar Sundqvist 45 16 19 35
Kevin Porter 47 8 25 33

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 31 22-8-1 2.21 .921 1
Casey DeSmith* 19 14-3-2 2.34 .911 0

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                         TIME      

Fri, Feb. 17         Albany              Times Union Center          7:00 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 18      Springfield       MassMutual Center           7:05 p.m.

Sun, Feb. 19     Providence     Dunkin’ Donuts Center     3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Sat, Feb. 11      (C)      Jarrett Burton                Recalled from WHL

Fri, Feb. 10      (RW)  Josh Archibald                       Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS WIN OVERTIME THRILLER WITH BEARS, 4-3

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Kevin Porter scored the overtime game-winner to cap off a four-point night as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Hershey Bears, 4-3, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday night.

The two clubs combined for six power play goals in regulation, but two minutes and 55 seconds into the extra period, Teddy Blueger hit Porter at center ice on a breakaway, leading to the lone even strength goal of the evening against Bears goaltender Vítek Vaněček. The goal lifted the Penguins to their league-leading 35th victory in thrilling fashion.

The Bears opened the scoring, tallying a power play goal at the 7:20 mark in the first period when Paul Carey snuck one past the glove of Tristan Jarry.

Danny Kristo tied the game, 1-1, 8:55 into the second period on the man advantage for the Penguins. Later in the period, the Penguins scored their second power play goal of the game after David Warsofsky blasted one home from the point.

Two more power play goals in the third period allowed Hershey to tie the game and subsequently take a 3-2 lead. Chandler Stephenson found the back of the cage 6:30 into the third stanza, and Christian Thomas notched the go-ahead goal 3:24 later.

With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton desperate to find a tying goal, captain Tom Kostopoulos scored on a two-man advantage for his 200th career AHL goal. Kostopoulos’ milestone marker knotted the score, 3-3, with just under four minutes to play in regulation.

The Penguins had to kill off another Bears power play during the sudden death overtime, and shortly thereafter, Blueger fed Porter for the breakaway that led to the game-winning goal.

Jarry recorded 28 saves for his league-leading 21st win of the season. Vaněček stopped 32 of 36 shots in the net for the Bears.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 11, against the Binghamton Senators. Saturday night’s contest is also the Penguins’ annual Military Appreciation Night.

Individual game tickets for tomorrow’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

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

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN BIG THIS WEEKEND


One lucky fan will walk home with what is almost sure to be the biggest 50-50 pot in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins GOALS Foundation history when we host our first CARRY OVER WEEKEND on Friday and Saturday.

It’s simple to take part.  Just purchase a 50-50 numbers at either or the games this weekend (Friday night vs. Hershey, Saturday night vs Binghamton) like you would on any other night.  You get three numbers for $5, 10 numbers for $10, or 60 numbers for $20.

Here’s the twist…there will be no winner picked during Friday night’s game.  Instead, all numbers purchased and all money collected on Friday will be combined with Saturday night’s drawing.  There’s no need to be in attendance on Saturday night if you purchased your tickets on Friday – you’re still eligible to win.

If you have the winning number, you win half of the pot, just like any other night.

Our past two Saturday night 50-50 totals have been $14,425 and $11,080 on their own, meaning two lucky winners took home more than $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.  Just imagine how big that number might grow this weekend!

Friday night’s game against the Hershey Bears is another EYEWITNESS NEWS FAN FRIDAY, with $14 lower bowl tickets, select draft beers available for just $2 (6-7:30pm), postgame autographs and a free March magnetic schedule for everyone in attendance.

Saturday night is our annual Military Appreciation Night, presented by MetLife.  We’ll be wearing special came jerseys which will be auctioned during the game.  Fewer than 600 tickets remain for this game as of noon on Thursday.

Get your tickets for both games at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367 today!