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.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/14/17

 

Penguins eclipse 40 wins with back-to-back division victories

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (41-17-3-0) turns its attention to a home and home with Lehigh Valley

 

Weekly Rewind

Wednesday, Mar. 8 – PENGUINS 0 vs. Lehigh Valley 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was shut-out for the sixth time this season while Lehigh Valley evened the season series at three wins apiece. Alex Lyon and Tristan Jarry both made 31 saves.

 

Friday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS 8 vs. Hartford 1
The Penguins bounced back from their shutout loss in a big way by racking up eight goals against the Wolf Pack. Kevin Porter and Barry Goers had three-point nights, while Derrick Pouliot posted a career high four points (1G-3A). The win improved Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s record against Hartford to 6-0-0-0.

 

Saturday, Mar. 11 – PENGUINS 3 vs. Providence 2
An explosive start to the game gave the Penguins all they needed to down the P-Bruins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton struck three times in the first period, including a goal 31 seconds into the contest by Dominik Simon. It was the quickest goal the Pens had scored all season.

 

The Week Ahead

Friday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton begins a home and home set against Lehigh Valley with the first half taking place in Allentown. The Pens defeated the Phantoms in their last trip to PPL Center, a thrilling 4-3 overtime triumph.

 

Saturday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
The Penguins and Phantoms play for the second night in a row, this time on the Pens’ home ice. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 1-0-0-0 in the second game of a home and home series this season.

 

Tuesday, Mar. 21 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
The Pens look to make it a perfect seven-for-seven against the Wolf Pack on their last Tuesday game of the year. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton averages 5.5 goals per game against Hartford.

 

Ice Chips

– With Saturday night’s win, the Penguins improved to 24-3-1-0 in games when they had played the night before.

– The last time the Penguins scored eight goals in a game was in a 9-2 win against the Albany River Rats on Feb. 17, 2010.

– Barry Goers’ three-point game (2G-1A) on Friday was not only the first of his AHL career, but also his first two-goal outing as a pro.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts the best penalty kill in the league (86.5%).

– David Warsofsky leads all AHL defensemen with 13 multi-point games this season and a plus-28 rating.

– Tristan Jarry is tied for the second-most wins in the AHL (24).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 61 41 17 3 0 85 .697
2. Lehigh Valley 60 39 18 3 0 81 .675
3. Bridgeport 61 37 21 2 1 77 .631
4. Providence 61 34 18 5 4 77 .631
5. Hershey 62 33 18 8 3 77 .621
6. Springfield 61 25 26 8 2 60 .492
7. Hartford 61 21 35 3 2 47 .385

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 61 21 24 45
David Warsofsky 46 14 29 43
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
Kevin Porter 57 10 30 40
Oskar Sundqvist^ 53 16 23 39

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 38 24-13-1 2.28 .921 1
Casey DeSmith* 22 16-4-2 2.29 .912 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT      LOCATION                            TIME      

Fri, Mar. 17        Lehigh Valley     PPL Center                            7:05 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 18      Lehigh Valley     Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

Tue, Mar. 21      Hartford              Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Mar. 13  (RW)   Josh Archibald                      Recalled by PIT

Sat, Mar. 11     (LW)   Christian Hilbrich          Reassigned to WHL

Sat, Mar. 11     (D)       Brett Stern                     Released from PTO

Fri, Mar. 10     (C)       Adam Krause                Recalled from WHL

PENGUINS OUTLASTED BY BRUINS, 3-2

BOXSCORE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins suffered a 3-2 loss against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Penguins (37-14-3-0) converted twice on the power play, but surrendered a late deciding goal to the Bruins (30-14-5-4).

The Bruins opened up the scoring at the 12:21 mark of the first period. Ben Marshall’s wrist shot from the blue line traveled through a sea of bodies and ricocheted off of Danton Heinen, putting Providence up 1-0. But less than two minutes later the Penguins responded with a man advantage marker from Dominik Simon, tying the game up at 1-1.

Providence jumped back on top, 2-1, 7:47 into the middle frame. After David Warsofsky’s stick snapped on a routine breakout play, Heinen set up Sean Kuraly for a one-timer that blew past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied the game again in the third period, this time with a tally coming on a five-on-three power play. Shortly after calling a timeout to draw up the perfect play, Derrick Pouliot blasted a slap shot into the Bruins’ net at 1:49 of the final stanza.

Jordan Szwarz delivered the game-winning goal for Providence with 4:04 remaining in regulation.

Jarry stopped 32 shots in the loss for the Penguins. Zane McIntyre remained undefeated in regulation on the season (13-0-1) as he turned aside 37 shots in the win for the Bruins.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Feb. 24, when it travels to upstate New York to take on the Utica Comets. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’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 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 DROP 5-2 DECISION TO PROVIDENCE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins couldn’t break through the Providence Bruins’ top-ranked road penalty kill in a 5-2 loss Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (21-6-3-0, first in Atlantic Division) broke through for one power play goal, but left seven other man advantage opportunities on the table and saw their season-best seven-game with streak come to an end.

Providence opened the scoring at the 5:41 mark of the first period with a rebound goal from Justin Hickman. The Bruins struck again with a power play from Colby Cave at 7:11 of the opening frame, making it 2-0.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered with a sharp-angle snipe by Josh Archibald off a beautiful feed from Oskar Sundqvist at 11:45 of the opening frame. The goal was Archibald’s sixth goal of the season, and made it 2-1.

Just 19 seconds into the second period, Rob O’Gara scored on an odd-man break and extended Providence’s lead to 3-1.

The Bruins scored twice more before the middle frame ended with a short-handed breakaway goal from Zac Rinaldo at 12:39 and another man advantage marker from Peter Cehlárik at 16:44.

Oskar Sundqvist ripped a wicked slap shot past Providence’s goaltender on the power play at the 8:51 mark of the third period for his 14th goal of the season. Sundqvist’s brought the game to its eventual final score, 5-2.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Casey DeSmith was replaced by Doug Carr for the entire final frame of the contest. DeSmith made 17 saves on 22 shots. Carr stopped the only two shots he faced in net. Providence’s Zane McIntyre made 29 stops and improved his season record to 10-0-0.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 31, against the Binghamton Senators in a New Year’s Eve clash at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 against the Hartford Wolf Pack, a team the Penguins are 3-0-0-0 against this season.

Individual game tickets for Tuesday 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 DELIVER GUTSY 3-1 WIN OVER PROVIDENCE

800_desmith-2

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins gutted out a 3-1 win over the Providence Bruins on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (9-2-1-0, first in the Atlantic Division) spread their scoring across all three periods and got an excellent performance in net from Casey DeSmith to put them over the top in their second defeat of the Bruins this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored the game’s first goal when a pass from the corner by Sahir Gill pinballed off of Jean-Sébastien Dea and into the Providence net 7:01 into the contest.

At the expiration of a Penguins power play, Oskar Sundqvist knocked in a bounding puck and put his team into a 2-0 lead at 8:01 of the second period.

Late in the middle frame, DeSmith denied Providence’s Peter Mueller on back-to-back point blank chances. DeSmith’s big saves kept the Bruins off the scoresheet for the time being and helped the Penguins carry a 2-0 lead into the third period.

Providence finally got on the board thanks to a power play goal by Danton Heinen, coming at 9:02 of the third period.

From there, both DeSmith and Bruins netminder Malcolm Subban put forth a goaltending display at both sides of the ice, holding the two squads at bay. It wasn’t until Providence pulled Subban in favor of an extra attacker that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton found its insurance goal.

Jake Guentzel used his speed to blow past the Bruins defense and slide the puck into the empty net with 28.6 seconds left on the game clock for a 3-1 final score. Guentzel now leads all AHL rookies with six goals on the season.

DeSmith finished the game having made 28 saves and improved his record to 4-0-0 with a league-best 1.00 goals against average. Subban stopped 25 of 27 shots faces while manning the crease for Providence.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 13, at XL Center against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. in Hartford, Conn.

The Penguins’ next home game is Friday, Nov. 18, when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the second time this season. In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first meeting with Bridgeport, the Penguins skated away with a 7-1 victory thanks to a four-point effort (2G-2A) by Guentzel.

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.

PENS TO SUPPORT RED CROSS’ HOLIDAYS FOR HEROES

The American Red Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are teaming up this Veterans Day to help spread holiday cheer to military members this holiday season.

American Red Cross representatives will be on hand at the Penguins home game on Friday, November 11 against the Toronto Marlies, where they will be inviting fans to participate in the Holidays for Heroes program, which enables Northeastern Pennsylvania residents to “Give Something That Means Something.”  Fans are encourage to stop by the Red Cross table behind Section 101 at the Mohegan Sun Arena to sign special holiday greeting cards, which will then be distributed to service members and veterans in our area during the month of December.

“We can’t think of a better partner than the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for our Holidays for Heroes program. Their commitment to not only the Red Cross, but also to honoring our military heroes ever year, shows how much they care about our community,” said Bill Goldsworthy, Executive Director for the American Red Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Ausa_pensnd since the Penguins have the best fans in the league, we know the fan support will be second-to-none for this project on Veterans Day.”

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins players and club personnel will also be supporting the program by signing cards following the team’s practice on Wednesday, November 9 at the Toyota Sportsplex (40 Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre).

Tickets for the Penguins game against the Marlies are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

For more information on the American Red Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania or the Holidays for Heroes program, call 570- 823-7161.


Additionally, in recognition of Veterans Day, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are teaming up with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Veterans Multicare Alliance (NEPA VMA) to help raise funds for the local non-profit agency.

Fans can purchase a special package for the Penguins game on Saturday, November 12 against the Providence Bruins through a special offer, which includes a ticket to the contest, a hot dog, chips and a soda, all starting at just $19.25.  Plus, for each package sold, the Penguins will donate $4.00 back to the NEPA VMA.

Tickets for this special offer must be purchased through the Penguins ticket offices either in person at 40 Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre, or by phone at 570-208-5415.  This offer is not available at the arena box office.

The NEPA VMA is a non-profit all volunteer service organization of veterans dedicated to helping veterans and their families navigate through government and community based provider systems to obtain information, benefits, and services. They assist clients to develop a unique plan to meet individual and family needs, and work in collaboration with other community based service providers to help meet those objectives.

NEPA VMA provides free consultations to veterans and their family members, which include a comprehensive overview of support, benefits, and assistance in a variety of areas, including health care, education, employment, housing, and day-to-day living.

For more information on this special offer, please contact the Penguins at 570-208-5415, or email Jon Sarka at jsarka@wbspenguins.com

PENGUINS DEFEAT P-BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT, 5-4

800_wilson-3

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.