GUENTZEL’S FOUR POINTS POWER PENS PAST BRIDGEPORT, 7-1

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were catapulted to a huge victory on Saturday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers thanks to an explosive first period and four-point performance by rookie Jake Guentzel.

The Penguins (7-1-1-0, first in the Atlantic Division) erupted for four goals in the first period alone, their highest total in one period so far in 2016-17, lifting them to a 7-1 rout of the Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena.

Just 1:02 into the game, Tom Kostopoulos forced a turnover and fed Guentzel in front of the Sound Tigers’ net for the first goal of the contest.

Reid Gardiner scooped up a rebound at 4:40 of the first period and popped it into the top corner for a 2-0 Penguins lead. Gardiner’s tally was also his first professional goal.

Bridgeport responded with Devon Toews burying a rebound goal of his own, cutting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead in half at 7:51 of the opening frame.

Guentzel returned the favor to Kostopoulos by setting the captain up for a one-timer that whizzed past Sound Tigers goalie Stephon Williams at 7:51, making it 3-1.

Before the first period ended, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton added yet another goal on its first power play of the game and took a 4-1 advantage into the first intermission. Carter Rowney ripped a shot through traffic and beat Williams with 58.2 seconds left in the period for the Penguins’ fourth marker of the game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wasted no time adding to its lead, with Guentzel batting in a high-rising shot 1:50 into the second period. Guentzel’s second goal of the game also granted him his second four-point performance this season.

Garrett Wilson converted on a penalty shot at 11:49 of the middle frame, making it 6-1 in favor of the Penguins.

Another power play goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came from Steve Oleksy 1:17 into the third and final period of regulation, giving the Penguins a season-high seven goals.

Casey DeSmith finished the game having made 28 saves. Williams, who tended goal for Bridgeport in the first and third periods, recorded 14 stops on 19 shots faced. Christopher Gibson stepped in to tend the Sound Tigers’ crease for the second period and denied the Penguins on nine of 11 shots.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 5, against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 3:05 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.

PENGUINS SIGN FORWARD REID GARDINER

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Reid Gardiner to an American Hockey League contract for the 2016-17 season.

Gardiner, 20, joins the Penguins after a four-year career with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League. The Humboldt, Sask. native earned 220 points (106G-114A) in 262 career WHL games.

Last season, Gardiner led the Raiders in all major offensive statistical categories with 43 goals, 49 assists and 92 total points. His 43 goals were tied for fourth-most in the WHL, and his 94 points were eighth-best in the league. Gardiner recorded three points or more in 11 games during the 2015-16 campaign, and he ended the regular season with his first career hat trick on Mar. 18, 2016.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is the 2016-17 season opener on Saturday, Oct. 15 against the Hartford Wolf Pack at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Game time for the Penguins’ season opener 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.

PENGUINS BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT BEARS, 4-2

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins mounted a third-period comeback to defeat the Hershey Bears, 4-2, in preseason action at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.

Down 2-1 heading into the final frame of regulation, the Penguins put 17 shots on net and scored twice on the power play in the third period to win their final exhibition game on home ice.

Shavertown native Patrick McGrath opened the scoring at 5:39 of the first period, his first ever goal in a Penguins uniform.

Ten minutes and 30 seconds later, Jakub Vrána fed Dustin Gazley with a cross ice pass and Gazley finished the play, tying the score at 1-1.

Gazley later became the set-up man for Hershey’s second tally when he found Hubert Labrie in the slot on a goal that gave the Bears a 2-1 lead at 10:16 of the second period.

The Penguins then scored two consecutive power play goals to take back the lead. Oskar Sundqvist tied the game at 6:39 of the third period, and Reid Gardiner made it 3-2 for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3:54 later.

Tim Erixon sealed the victory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with an empty-net goal with 1:11 remaining in the third period.

Casey DeSmith was in net for the Penguins for the entirety of the game and stopped 24 of 26 shots faced. Hershey’s Joe Cannata made 32 saves in his effort.

The Penguins take on the Bears again in their final game of the preseason tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 9 at Giant Center at 5:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the 2016-17 season opener next Friday, Oct. 15, 7:05 p.m. against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

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.

PENGUINS HOST DEVILS ON THURSDAY

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GAME DAY SNAPSHOT

The Penguins open their 2016 preseason schedule on home ice against the Devils.  Its the first of three exhibition contests for the Pens, who will also face off with the Hershey Bears this Saturday at home, and Sunday at the Giant Center.

WHOWilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (roster) vs. Albany Devils

WHERE:  Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

WHEN:  Thursday, October 6 at 7:05pm

LISTEN LIVEWILK News Radio

TICKETSTicketMaster.com or at the arena box office

It’s also the first preseason game for the Devils, who will also take on the Hartford WolfPack this Sunday in Connecticut.

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.

OPPORTUNITIES STILL ABOUND AFTER PITTSBURGH CUTS

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Seventeen may not seem like a very big number, especially in certain contexts. Seventeen pieces of popcorn? Must’ve been a short movie. Seventeen minutes? That’s not even enough time to properly cook a DiGiorno pizza.

However, in the case of 17 players set to join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a heap of cuts made by Pittsburgh, that’s a significant amount of bodies joining Clark Donatelli’s training camp.

The list of 17 names joining the Penguins is impressive, but it makes a very crowded roster. In fact, the total number of players at camp has nearly doubled, now at a grand total of 37.

Everyone knows the Penguins will not enter the regular season with that many men, so a significant round of cuts is likely to come at some point. But until then, Donatelli is stressing to the guys that have been at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s training camp from the start that there are still opportunities to earn a spot on the team despite the influx of talent that just came his way.

“Guys are still competing for jobs as long as there’s jobs open,” Donatelli said. “There are still opportunities. There’s still time to make impressions. And even if you don’t make this team right off the bat, you might go play for Wheeling, and the guys here know we use Wheeling quite a bit.”

That’s good news for many of the players who are trying to carve themselves onto the Penguins’ roster for the season, or at the very least grab a contract like Sahir Gill did with his impressive training camp last season.

While there’s no guarantee they’ll see the same good fortunes as Gill come the end of camp, when Donatelli was asked who has stood out practice sessions thus far, he mentioned Nick Sorkin, Reid Gardiner and Gage Quinney.

Sorkin is on an ECHL deal with the Wheeling Nailers. Quinney is an undrafted free agent with one year of junior eligibility remaining, whereas Gardiner is undrafted but has aged out of junior hockey and looking to turn pro.

“Sorkin’s a big kid who played in Montréal and then he went over to Europe last year,” Donatelli said. “He’s a big guy who really moves. He can skate and he has some skill. And Quinney and Gardiner played real well today. Two young kids out of junior… They’ve been working extremely hard out there, for sure.”

Those three eye-openers among all the other players at camp will be on their toes even more now that 17 more players are moving in, but their chances to impress and make the impression necessary to seize a roster spot won’t come to an end with cuts any time soon.

“It won’t be tomorrow, that’s for sure,” Donatelli said. “We still have to make some decisions on players. And for that matter, some guys still have to get through waivers and so forth. So we’re still going to need a few days here anyway. Our camp is going to continue.”

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.