Dropping the first two contests of a best-of-five playoff series isn’t the ideal situation for any team.

But it’s not the end of the world, either.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are no strangers to playoff comebacks, including those times when their backs have been firmly against the wall.

But two series stand out above the other 36 they’ve participated in entering the 2018 postseason.


Back in 2004, the Penguins dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven East Division Semifinal against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with both losses coming in overtime, before winning a Game Three in the extra frame.

But a 4-2 loss in Game Four had the Penguins fighting for their playoff lives.

Jeff Hamilton gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead 6:17 into the second period, before Tom Kostopoulos beat Dieter Kochan to even the score before the end of the middle frame to complete the regulation scoring.

The teams traded shots in the extra frame before TK set up Tomas Surovy for the winning goal to extend the series.

Game Six saw the series shift back to Wilkes-Barre, and the home cooking paid off for the Pens, who posted a 5-0 win. Matt Hussey opened the scoring midway through the first period and added another goal in the third, while Konstantin Koltsov, Shane Endicott and Kris Beech also tallied. Kostopoulos had two helpers in the win, and Andy Chiodo made 23 saves for the shutout.

Game Seven goes down as one of the most memorable road games in team history, as busloads of the Wilkes-Barre faithful made the trip to Bridgeport, where they saw Koltsov tally the decisive goal in overtime, giving the Penguins a 3-2 win to cap a remarkable series comeback.


Five years ago, the Penguins and the Providence Bruins faced off for the first time in the AHL playoffs, with the clubs meeting in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. And the early results were not good for the Pens.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dropped an 8-5 decision in the opening game, which included a four-point effort (1+3) from noted Penguin killer, Chris Bourque.

Game Two saw the Penguins jump out to a 1-0 lead 4:40 into the contest, thanks to Warren Peters’ shorthanded goal. But the Bruins rattled off four goals in fewer than 14 minutes to close out the opening frame, and the Bruins held on for a 4-2 victory.

Game Three, held back in Wilkes-Barre, was a much tighter contest, with Jared Knight and Trevor Smith trading goals in the second period. Brad Thiessen stopped 20 of 21 shots in regulation, but couldn’t stop Carter Camper’s attempt just 31 seconds into OT, giving the Bruins a 2-1 win and a seemingly unsurmountable 3-0 lead in the series.

But things were about to get interesting.

Camper gave the visiting Bruins a 1-0 lead just seven and a half minutes into the game, but that was the only goal Thiessen would surrender, as Peters, Riley Holzopfel and Chad Kolarik scored for the Penguins to give them their first win of the round.

Game Five, also in NEPA, saw Brian Dumoulin’s power play goal give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 10:55 of the first. Tempers began to flare a short time later, as Bobby Robbins and Adam Payerl dropped the gloves at 14:29. But it was a scuffle behind the play between Christian Hanson and Joey Mormina that gave the Penguins another chance on the man advantage at 16:20. It took Smith just 27 seconds to double the Wilkes-Barre lead with his second goal of the series.

Payerl picked up a goal of his own in the second period, and the game degenerated into a slugfest in the third, with 72 penalty minutes being assessed in the final 5:23. Paul Thompson also added a goal during that time, making the final score 4-0.

Back in Providence, the Bruins poured on the offensive onslaught in Game Six. But Thiessen proved to be too much for the home squad, stopping 46 of 47 shots to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 overtime victory. Dumoulin scored for the second straight game on the power play, while Smith netted the winner 3:26 into OT.

That performance seemed to suck the wind out of the Bruins’ sails, as the Penguins scored four times in the second period of Game Seven, en route to a 5-0 win and an astounding comeback to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

So sitting in a 2-0 hole isn’t the best place to be for the Penguins. But it’s also not an impossible hole to climb out of.

Game Three of the series with the Charlotte Checkers is this Thursday night at 7:05pm.  Games Four and Five, if necessary, will be held on Saturday at 7:05pm and Sunday at 3:05pm.

Individual game tickets and ticket packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367, or fill in the form below to be contacted by a ticket representative.

Penguins Playoff T-Shirts are available now at the Penguins Team Store on Coal Street, via the Penguins online store, and at the Igloo Store inside the Mohegan Sun Arena during Thursday night’s game.


Konstantin Koltsov represented Belarus at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

When Team Canada hits the ice against Switzerland on Thursday morning, Christian Thomas will become the first active member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to take part in the Winter Olympic Games.

But he’s far from the first player with ties to the team to represent his country at the tournament.

One-time Penguins have suited up for their national teams in each of the past three Olympics. Here’s a quick look at those past Pens and their performances.


Tomas Surovy – Slovakia
A member of the Penguins from 2001-2006, Surovy made his first (but not his last) Olympic appearance for Slovakia at the 2006 Games. He chipped in with one assist during group play, helping his country to a perfect 5-0 mark. The Slovaks’ quarterfinal meeting with the Czech Republic resulted in a 3-1 loss, leading to a fifth place finish for Surovy and his countrymen.


Marc-Andre Fleury – Canada
Fleury spent the entire 2004-05 campaign with Wilkes-Barre, as well as parts of two other regular seasons (2005-06, 2007-08). He didn’t see any action in the tournament, serving as Team Canada’s emergency netminder behind Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, but still laid claim to a gold medal.

Ryan Whitney won a silve medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Ryan Malone , Brooks Orpik, Ryan Whitney – United States
Malone made his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, outing up in three games at the end of the 2002-03 season. He appeared in all six games with the Silver Medal squad in Vancouver, posting three goals and two assists.

Orpik appeared in 152 regular season games with the Pens in parts of three seasons, and was a solid defensive presence for the Americans in 2010. He went scoreless in the six games, but finished plus-1 for the tournament.

Whitney spent the entire 2004-05 season, and shorts stints in two others, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, before representing his country at the Olympics. He went scoreless during the tournament.

Miroslav Satan – Slovakia
Satan spent 10 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the 2008-09 season, posting nine points (3+6) for the club. He posted a goal and an assist in five games during the 2010 tournament – his fourth Olympics appearance – as Slovakia finished fourth overall.

Konstantin Koltsov – Belarus
Koltsov had three stints with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06), posting 46 points (16+30) in 86 games. He picked up two assists in Belarus’ opening game, a 5-3 win over Germany, but went scoreless in the three ensuing match, as his country finished ninth out of 12 teams.  This was Koltsov’s second trip to the Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City).

Patrick Thoresen – Norway
Thoresen appeared in five games with the Penguins during the 2006-07 season, recording six points (1+5) on assignment from the Edmonton Oilers. He picked up three assists in a 5-4 OT loss to the Swiss, and notched another two helpers in a 4-3 loss to Slovakia in the qualification round.

Sven Butenschon – Germany
Butenschon spent two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1999-01) posting 75 points (26+49) from the team’s blueline. The Germans dropped all four games they played in the tournament, and Butenschon recorded two penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.


Olli Maatta – Finland
Maatta made his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, suiting up in three postseason games in 2013. The second-youngest member of Team Finland posted five points (3+2) in six games, including a goal in the bronze medal game against the United States.

Brooks Orpik – United States
Orpik helped the US to a perfect record (3-0-0) in group play, and advanced to the medal round with a 5-2 win over the Czechs. The Americans fell in a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Canada in the semifinals, then dropped a 5-0 decision to the Finns.

Michal Rozsival – Czech Republic
Rozsival appeared in 29 games with the Penguins in 2000-01, posting 16 points (8+8). He went scoreless in four games with the Czechs in 2014, who placed sixth out of 12 teams.

Tomas Surovy – Slovakia
Slovakia suffered through group play, posting an 0-2-1 mark before falling to the Czech Republic, 5-3, in qualification play. Surovy netted his lone Olympic goal in that game.

Patrick Thoresen – Norway
Thoresen picked up the lone goal for his country in a 3-1 loss to Canada, and notched an assist in a 3-1 loss to Austria. The Norwegians finished 12th overall in the tournament.

* = former Penguins coaches Dan Bylsma and Todd Richards were behind the bench for Team USA (Bylsma – head coach; Richards – assistant coach)


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April 25th is a special date for any old school Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fan.  That’s because two of the most famous goals in the team’s history came on that date just one year apart.

APRIL 25, 2004

The Penguins opened the 2004 postseason facing off with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and it wasn’t a good start.  The Sound Tigers held a commanding 3-1 lead in the East Division Semifinal round, with Game Five taking place on their home ice on April 22.

The Penguins staved off elimination in that contest when Tomas Surovy scored in overtime to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-1 victory.  That forced Game Six back in Wilkes-Barre the following night, where the Penguins blew out the Sound Tigers, 5-0, behind a 23-save performance from Andy Chiodo.

Game Seven took place back in Bridgeport on April 25, and saw the Penguins take a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to goals from Tom Kostopoulos and Konstantin Koltsov.  But Rob Collins tallied just 64 seconds into the final frame of regulation, forcing overtime.

A little over midway through the OT, Matt Hussey picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, carried it over the blue line and fed Koltsov at the far face-off circle.  His low writer beat goaltender Dieter Kochan far side, and the Penguins capped an epic comeback in the series.

The Penguins went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phantoms and the Hartford Wolf Pack (again in overtime of Game Seven) before falling to the Milwaukee Admirals in the Calder Cup Final.

APRIL 25, 2005

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished the 2004-05 season in fourth place int he East Division, earning them a first round meeting with the Binghamton Senators.  The B-Sens led the entire AHL with 276 goals, thanks to firepower from Ottawa regulars Jason Spezza (32 goals) and Denis Hamel (39 goals), who spent the season in Bingo as the NHL lockout dragged on.

That offensive prowess was showcased in the opening two games of the series, as the Sens took 5-2 and 4-2 wins on home ice.

Game Three took place in Wilkes-Barre on April 25, with Binghamton jumping out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period thanks to a Christoph Schubert goal.

The Pens took their first lead of the series when Shane Endicott and Kris Beech scored power play goals seven minutes apart in the second, before Schubert notched his second man-advantage goal of the night to even things up, 2-2, at 15:11.

That was the last goal scored for the next 77 minutes of game time.

A scoreless third period led to two overtime frames which yielded no goals.  But, as the clock approached midnight, Ryan Whitney blocked an Anton Volchenkov shot in the Wilkes-Barre zone.  The shot off of Whitney’s skate found Beech in the neutral zone, and led to a three-on-one for the Pens.  Defenseman Pat Kavanagh struggled to get back in the play, which allowed Colby Armstrong to sneak past on the far side.  Beech found Armstrong at the far post, who redirected the shot behind Emery at 12:26 of the third OT, ending the longest game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins history at 11:58pm.

That win turned the tide in the series, as the Penguins posted three more wins in a row to oust the heavily-favored Senators from the playoffs.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins are currently tied, 1-1, in the best-of-five Atlantic Division Semifinals.

The series moves to Wilkes-Barre where the Penguins will play host to the Bruins in Games Three (Thursday night) and Four (Friday night) at 7:05pm.

Individual tickets for both games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at, 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 throughout the team’s playoff run. Fans can secure their seats for every home game by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

To have a Penguins representative contact you with more information, please fill in the form below.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information