GUENTZEL GRABS A HAT TRICK IN PENGUINS’ 5-3 WIN

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Jake Guentzel show was on full display on Tuesday night, as the rookie struck three times in the contest for his first career hat trick, leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to their seventh-straight win with a 5-3 triumph over the Springfield Thunderbirds at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Guentzel not only helped the Penguins (21-5-3-0) maintain the top spot in the entire American Hockey League, but also moved into the league lead in goal-scoring with his 15th, 16th and 17th tallies on the season.

Springfield got out to an early lead thanks to a power play goal from Mackenzie Weegar, who returned to the Thunderbirds’ lineup after a 10-game absence.

Guentzel had the response for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, soaring past the Springfield defense for the breakaway and five-hole finish at 5:43 of the first period.

The Thunderbirds struck again on the man advantage, this time with Tim Bozon doing the honors for a 2-1 lead at 9:18 of the opening frame.

With time dwindling down in the first, Tom Kostopoulos threw a seemingly harmless puck at the Thunderbirds’ crease that took a hop into Springfield goalie Mike McKenna’s chest. McKenna appeared ready to cradle the puck before Guentzel swatted it out of mid-air, knocking it free for a subsequent rebound conversion and 2-2 game with 30.5 seconds remaining in the period.

Guentzel completed the hat trick 1:17 into the second period by redirecting a pass from David Warsofsky during a five-on-three power play, bringing the game to 3-2. And in the blink of an eye, it was 4-2, as Garrett Wilson scored for the third-straight contest 1:04 later.

McKenna kept the Thunderbirds within striking distance as the Penguins continued to storm his crease and throw shot after shot his way. McKenna’s efforts were not in vain, as Weegar wired a shot off both posts and across the goal line to bring Springfield within one of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the middle frame.

The two teams traded power play opportunities and scoring chances in the third period, but the final 20 minutes of regulation were scoreless until Cameron Gaunce sealed the victory with an empty net goal as only 17 seconds were left on the clock.

Tristan Jarry made 20 saves to earn his 13th win of the season, tying him for the most in the AHL. McKenna stopped 35 shots faced in the loss.

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.

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 WEEKLY – 12/27/16

 

Penguins in the midst of season-best six-game winning streak

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20-5-3-0) still owns AHL’s No. 1 overall spot

 

Weekly Rewind

Wednesday, Dec. 14 – PENGUINS 6 at Hartford 2

Dominik Simon led an offensive onslaught of the Wolf Pack, racking up four assists in the Pens’ win. Simon, Kevin Porter, Tom Sestito and Oskar Sundqvist all had multi-point outings.

Friday, Dec. 16 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Rochester 1

Rochester was downed by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in its first and only visit to Northeastern Pennsylvania this season. Lukas Bengtsson scored his first AHL goal, and Casey DeSmith fell just 1:22 short of his first shutout of the season.

Saturday, Dec. 17 – PENGUINS 4 vs. Springfield 2

The Penguins finally got the best of the Thunderbirds by beating them 4-2 on Teddy Bear Toss night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Tristan Jarry earned his 12th win.

Monday, Dec. 26 – PENGUINS 5 at Binghamton 4

Four combined goals in 3:37 of game time highlighted this showdown, but the Pens pulled off the comeback and sixth-straight win thanks in large part to Jake Guentzel’s three points.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Dec. 27 – PENGUINS vs. Springfield

The T-Birds return to the Penguins’ home ice 10 days after their defeat before the holiday break. Springfield holds the season series edge at 2-1-0-0.

Friday, Dec. 30 – PENGUINS vs. Providence

Providence has only lost once in regulation (11-1-1-3) since falling to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their last meeting on Nov. 12.

Saturday, Dec. 31 – PENGUINS at Binghamton

Before the calendar flips to 2017, the Pens drops the puck with the Sens in a New Year’s Eve clash. The Pens have won both meetings this season.

 

Ice Chips

– The Penguins’ current six-game win streak is the second-longest of Clark Donatelli’s head coaching tenure. Donatelli’s Pens won seven in a row from Jan. 2 – Jan. 13, 2016.

– Jake Guentzel leads all AHL rookies with 29 points (14G-15A) and a plus-16 rating.

– Guentzel’s 14 goals also put him in a four-way tie for the most in the league.

– Defenseman David Warsofsky has 12 points (3G-9A) in his last nine games.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has scored four goals or more in every one of its victories over the course of its six-game win streak.

– Tristan Jarry’s 12 wins is the second-most in the league.

– Tom Kostopoulos is 13 points away from his 500th in the AHL.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM                       GP       W         L        OTL     SOL     PTS         Pt%

1. PENGUINS          28       20         5          3          0        43          .768

2. Lehigh Valley      29        20        8          1          0        41           .707

3. Hershey               29        17          6         4          2        40          .690

4. Providence         30        16          7         4          3        39          .650

5. Bridgeport          28         16         12        0          0        32           .571

6. Springfield          27         11         11          3          2          27         .500

7. Hartford              29          11        14         3          1           26          .448

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS                    GP        G         A        PTS

Jake Guentzel*           23        14        15         29

Oskar Sundqvist         26        13        14         27

Tom Kostopoulos       28         9         11         20

Garrett Wilson            28         6         12         18

David Warsofsky         19         5         13         18

 

GOALIES                 GP     W-L-OT      GAA        Sv%     Shutouts

Casey DeSmith*     10      8-0-2         1.97        0.925         0

Tristan Jarry             18       12-5-1         2.10        0.924           1

* = rookie

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT      LOCATION                                TIME      

Tue, Dec. 27     Springfield         Mohegan Sun Arena               7:00 p.m.

Fri, Dec. 30      Providence         Mohegan Sun Arena               7:05 p.m.

Sat, Dec. 31      Binghamton       Veterans Memorial Arena     6:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Sat, Dec. 17         (D)      Chad Ruhwedel         Recalled from loan by PIT

PENGUINS WIN FIFTH-STRAIGHT WITH 4-2 TRIUMPH OVER T-BIRDS

BOXSCORE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did their part spreading joy this holiday season by sending thousands of fans home happy after downing the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-2, on Teddy Bear Toss night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.

The victory came in the Penguins’ final game before the holiday break, and extended their current winning streak to a season-high five games.

After a scoreless first period, the Thunderbirds and Penguins traded goals by inadvertently putting pucks into their own nets less than five minutes apart.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled ahead with a diving effort by Oskar Sundqvist to push a knuckling puck across the goal line. Sundqvist’s team-leading 12th goal of the season made it 2-1 at 16:06 of the second period. Not even 60 seconds of game time passed before Garrett Wilson netted the Penguins’ second power play goal of the contest.

Jake Guentzel tied Sundqvist for the team-best in goals with his own 12th marker of the year at 5:01 of the third frame when he stick-handled past a sliding Thunderbirds defenseman and rocketed a shot into the back of the net.

In the final minutes of the third period, Anthony Greco tucked a puck past Tristan Jarry and made it 4-2 after a sequence of pin-ball redirections and bounces set Greco up perfectly on the backdoor post.

Jarry posted 29 saves in his league-leading 12th win of the season, while Mike McKenna made 28 saves in the loss for Springfield.

The Penguins enter the holiday break holding first place in the AHL with a 19-5-3-0. Their next game is Monday, Dec. 26 when they travel up I-81 to take on the Binghamton Senators. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the next night, Dec. 27, and they’ll take on the Thunderbirds again. Good seats are still 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.

NOTES:  Rookie defensemen Lukas Bengtsson has recorded a point in three-consecutive games (1G-3A)… Guentzel now has 13 points (6G-7A) in his past seven AHL games dating back to Nov. 18, and has only been held off the scoresheet once in that time frame (Dec. 14 at Hartford)… Warsofsky has 11 points (3G-8A) in his past eight games, and like Guentzel, only failed to register a point in the win at Hartford… Over the course of the Penguins’ five-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 24-8… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has successfully killed off 20-straight opponent power plays.

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH THE PENGUINS

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The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be celebrating the festive season and asking their fans to help spread holiday cheer when they take on the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday, December 17 at 7:05pm.

The contest, the team’s final game before the Christmas break, will once again feature the Tobyhanna Army Depot Teddy Bear Toss.  Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped stuffed toys to the game, which will be tossed onto the ice following the Penguins’ first goal of the game.  The plush toys will be collected and distributed to children in need through Tobyhanna Army Depot’s “Operation Santa Claus” program.

Additionally, the Penguins will be wearing special ugly Christmas sweaters, featuring a pixelated penguin logo along with a black and yellow holiday design.  The jerseys will be auctioned off on the concourse during the game, and make great gifts for the ultimate Penguins fan on your Christmas list.

If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, we’ll have autographed Penguins Christmas Pucks for sale behind section 108.  Each puck is signed by a Penguins player, then individually wrapped so you don’t know whose autograph you’re getting.   Pucks with special holiday stickers will take home a game-used stick, but every one makes a great present and, at just $10 apiece, you won’t break the bank to finish up your shopping.

Young fans will also be able to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the concourse throughout the game, getting in those last minute holiday wishes while enjoying the Penguins in action.

Ticket for the Penguins holiday celebration are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online through TicketMaster.com, or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

And don’t forget, the Penguins Holiday Hat Trick is the perfect one-size-fits-all gift for any hockey fan.  The special package features four undated ticket vouchers, redeemable for any Penguins regular season home game, as well as a Penguins hat.  Packages start at just $50 and are available through the Penguins front offices (40 Coal Street, Wilkes-Barre), by calling 570-208-7367, or through the Penguins Online Store.

PENGUINS FALL IN OVERTIME TO THUNDERBIRDS, 2-1

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BOXSCORE

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dropped a 2-1 contest in overtime against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday night at MassMutual Center.

Late in the first period, Penguins forward Jean-Sébastien Dea tipped in a shot from Reid McNeill and gave his team a 1-0 lead with 1:47 left in the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton proceeded to throw a barrage of pucks at Springfield goalie Mike McKenna, but its 16-4 shot advantage in the second period wasn’t enough to expand on the 1-0 score.

The Thunderbirds’ Paul Thompson tied the game, 1-1, at 10:25 of the third period on the team’s fourth power play of the night.

Knotted up at one goal apiece, sudden death overtime was necessary to determine a winner. One minute and 30 seconds into the extra frame, Chase Balisy scored on breakaway, giving Springfield the  2-1 win.

Tristan Jarry made 23 saves on 25 shots while manning the crease for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. McKenna stifled the Penguins on 27 of 28 shots faced.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 30, when they take on the Syracuse Crunch at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza with an afternoon 3:05 p.m. start time. Sunday’s contest against Syracuse is also a Kids Get in Free game, during which any child age 14 and under can attend the game free of charge with the paid purchase of an adult ticket.

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 STIFLED BY SPRINGFIELD, LOSE 1-0

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ran into a strong goaltending performance and were handed their first defeat of the season by a score of 1-0 on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Springfield Thunderbirds netminder Reto Berra came up with 23 saves, including a big blocker stop with less than two seconds left in the game, to drop the Penguins to 1-1-0-0 on the season.

The Thunderbirds scored the game’s first goal when Ryan Horvat snuck a shot underneath the leg of Tristan Jarry at 9:25 of the first period.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton countered Horvat’s go-ahead tally with a flurry of attempts thrown towards the Springfield net, but Berra shut the door.

The second and third period were infrequently played at five-on-five, as both squads combined for 26 penalty minutes during that time. The Penguins went to the penalty kill five different times and left unscathed every time, improving the team’s P.K. to a perfect 11-for-11 overall.

With the goalie pulled in favor of an extra attacker in the final 1:19 of the game, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton prevented Springfield from escaping from its defensive zone, but were unable to punch one past Berra. Berra’s biggest save came as time expired on a slap shot by Chad Ruhwedel, who tied with teammate Steve Oleksy for a game-high four shots on goal.

Jarry finished the game having made 22 saves on 23 shots faced.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 22, against the Syracuse Crunch at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Game time 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.