GOALS JUST PART OF GARDINER’S GAME

Scoring goals was Reid Gardiner’s forte during his time with the Prince Albert Raiders.  The Humboldt, Saskatchewan native potted 106 of them during his four seasons with the junior club, including 43 last year, good for fourth overall in the Western Hockey League.

And after going scoreless in his first six games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Gardiner is starting to show that scorer’s touch in the American Hockey League as well.

The 20-year old right wing picked up his first pro tally – the game-winning goal – in the Penguins 7-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on November 5.  And his more experienced teammates made sure to let their young compatriot know they were award of his first tally.

“It was pretty cool,” Gardiner said of his first goal.  “Guys were giving me a hard time on the bench, so it was good.  I got lots of texts from my family and friends.  It’s something I won’t forget for a long time.”

Since that time, Gardiner has suited up in three more games for the Penguins, and put home two more goals.  But even when he’s not scoring goals, Gardiner knows there are other ways he can contribute to the team’s success.

“You want to play as much as you can and contribute in any way possible, he said.  “I think the key for me is when I’m not scoring to be productive in other ways, which is making good passes or making good plays in the D zone.

“Where the team needs me to play, hopefully I can then fill that role and fill it well.”

PENGUINS WEEKLY 11/15/16

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Penguins still atop the AHL, first team to 10 wins

 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (10-2-1-0) proves its mettle with bounce-back performances

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Nov. 11 – PENGUINS 0 vs. Toronto 3

In a showdown of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams, Toronto shut-out Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for just its second regulation loss of the season. Thomas Di Pauli made his pro debut for the Penguins.

Saturday, Nov. 12 – PENGUINS 3 vs. Providence 1

The Penguins bounced back from their Friday night loss with a gritty victory over the Bruins in which they spread their scoring over all three periods. Casey DeSmith made 28 saves between the pipes, improving his personal record to 4-0-0.

Sunday, Nov. 13 – PENGUINS 4 at Hartford 1

An excellent start stunned the Wolf Pack, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored three times in the first period. Dominik Simon and David Warsofsky both scored power play goals for the Pens, and Ryan Haggerty potted his first with the black and gold. Lukas Bengtsson made his AHL debut.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Nov. 16 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley

The Penguins take on their PA rival for the first time this season. The Phantoms come into the contest on a six-game win streak. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won the 2015-16 season series, 7-4-1-1, and is also 9-1-1-1 all-time at PPL Center.

Friday, Nov. 18 – PENGUINS vs. Bridgeport

Bridgeport comes to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for their first visit this season. The Sound Tigers have found back-to-back shootout wins since losing 7-1 to the Pens on Nov. 5.

Saturday, Nov. 19 – PENGUINS at Hershey

Giant Center hosts the Penguins-Bears rivalry for the second time this season. In their previous meeting this season, the Pens triumphed in overtime on a Dominik Simon penalty shot.

Ice Chips– The Penguins hold first place in the AHL and became the first team in the league to earn its 10th win with Sunday’s victory.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s power play ranks as the league’s best, clicking at 90.6%.

– Jake Guentzel is tied for the AHL’s rookie lead in goals (6) and stands atop the entire league in plus-minus (+12).

– Rookie Casey DeSmith’s .962 save percentage and 1.00 goals against average rank first among all AHL goaltenders.

– Rookie Reid Gardiner has goals in three of his last four games.

– Kevin Porter’s next game with be his 300th in the AHL.

– Ryan Haggerty is on a three-game point streak (1G-2A).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM                        GP       W         L        OTL     SOL     PTS         Pt%

1. PENGUINS           13         10         2          1          0         21          .808

2. Lehigh Valley        12         8          3          1          0          17          .708

3. Bridgeport             12         8          4          0         0          16         .667

4. Springfield             13         7          5          1          0          15          .577

5. Hershey                  13         6          4          2          1          15          .577

6. Providence            13         4          6          2          1          11           .423

7. Hartford                 13         3          8          2          0          8           .308

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS                    GP         G         A        PTS

Jake Guentzel*            13          6          7         13

Carter Rowney            13         3          7         10

Oskar Sundqvist          12         5         4          9

Kevin Porter                 11           4          5          9

Tom Kostopoulos        13         4          4          8

Chad Ruhwedel           13         2          6          8

 

GOALIES                  GP     W-L-OT      GAA        Sv%     Shutouts

Casey DeSmith*      4         4-0-0       1.00        0.963          0

Tristan Jarry               9         6-2-1         1.76         0.935          0

 

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                         TIME      

Wed, Nov. 16  Lehigh Valley    PPL Center                        7:05 p.m.

Fri, Nov. 18      Bridgeport         Mohegan Sun Arena       7:05 p.m.

Sat, Nov. 19     Hershey             Giant Center                     7:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Wed, Nov. 9    ADD   (D) Chad Ruhwedel           Reassigned by PIT

Wed, Nov. 9    DEL     (LW) Tom Sestito                   Recalled by PIT

Thu, Nov. 10    ADD   (D) Lukas Bengtsson             Assigned by PIT

Thu, Nov. 10    ADD   (D) Thomas Di Pauli               Assigned by PIT

PENS RIDE THREE-GOAL FIRST TO 4-1 WIN IN HARTFORD

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GAME SHEET

A three-goal first period provided all of the offense the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins needed to record a 4-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday evening at the XL Center.

The win saw the Penguins improve to 10-2-1-0 on the season, making Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the first American Hockey League club to hit double digit wins this year.  Conversely, the loss stretched Hartford’s winless streak to eight games (0-6-2-0) and saw the Wolf Pack fall to 3-8-2-0 for the campaign.

The Penguins hardly looked like a team playing its third game in less than three days, pumping 14 shots on the Magnus Hellberg in the first period, and 40 on the afternoon.

Reid Gardiner wasted little time opening the scoring, blocking a shot in the neutral zone and then taking on Hellberg one-on-one.  His blocker-side shot beat the Hartford net minder 1:39 into the contest for his third goal of the season.

A Chris Summers tripping call gave the Penguins their first power play of the game 7:22 into the game, and Dominik Simon made sure the opportunity wasn’t wasted, scoring on a backhand 40 seconds into the advantage for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Marek Hrivik’s stick caught Lukas Bengtsson in the face and drew blood late in the first, sending the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer to the penalty box for a double minor.  David Warsofsky made the first half of the penalty count by blistering a shot from the point that beat Hellberg to the far corner for the defenseman’s second goal of the season at 19:30.

That score held until Hrivik finally solved Tristan Jerry 5:19 into the third for his team-leading sixth goal of the season.  But Ryan Haggerty, playing against his former club, notched his first goal as a Penguins with 3:10 to play to ice the game for the Penguins.

Jarry stopped 22 shots to raise his record to 6-2-1 on the season, while Hellberg fell to 3-3-2 for the Wolf Pack.  The Penguins finished the game 2-for-7 on the power play, and killed both Hartford chances they faced, raising their league-leading penalty kill rate to 90.6%.

The Penguins return to action Wednesday night, when they travel to Allentown to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05pm.  The Pens are back home next Friday, November 18, when they play host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  Individual game tickets for Friday 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.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket packages, including 22-game, 12-game and 10-voucher flex packs, are available by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

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

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BOXSCORE

 

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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BOXSCORE

 

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.