A TALE OF TWO STAYS FOR KOSTOPOULOS

Tom Kostopoulos spent the first five seasons of his professional hockey player pulling on a Penguins sweater.  When he left the organization following the 2003-04 campaign, Kostopoulos had appeared in a team-record 318 games as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Rob Scuderi got close to the mark in 2005-06, when he appeared in his 305th game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Tim Wallace crept up on the record during his five-year stay with the Pens (2006-11), suiting up for 304 regular season games with the club.

When Kostopoulos returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the 2012-2013 season and embarked on his second stint with the AHL Penguins, his games played record remained intact.

But, for a minute, let’s imagine Kostopoulos never played for the Penguins during the team’s early years.  Assume that his first game with the club came on January 25, 2013, against the Rochester Americans.  Any guesses as to where he would rank on the team’s all-time games played list?

First place.

When he suited up against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night, Kostopoulos appeared in the 306th regular season game of his second stint with the team.  If you were to look at his two stays with the Pens as separate careers, he would hold the top two spots on the club’s games register.

As a matter of fact, splitting his Penguins stays in two gives Kostopoulos the top two spots in assists (149/119) and points (246/203) as well.  His goals totals would put him in first (97) and third (84) places, with Tomas Surovy holding down the two spot with 89 tallies.

But let’s get back to the real numbers now.  At 38-years old, Kostopoulos holds every significant offensive record in Penguins history, with 625 games played, 181 goals, 268 assists and 449 points.  He also paces the Pens with 69 power play goals and 22 game-winners, while ranking tied for second with six career short-handed scores.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Apr. 12, and its opponent will once again be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Apr. 12’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 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

JARRY, PENGUINS SHUT-OUT PHANTOMS, 4-0

 

BOXSCORE

 

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their lead atop the Atlantic Division and inched closer to a playoff berth by defeating the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-0 at PPL Center on Saturday night.

The Penguins (45-18-3-0) rode the coat tails of Tristan Jarry and their league-best penalty kill to victory. Jarry stopped all 35 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season, while the P.K. went a perfect nine-for-nine on the night.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened the scoring at 12:58 of the first period. Video review confirmed Teddy Blueger snuck a puck past Lehigh Valley goalie Alex Lyon’s short-side, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Penguins’ fourth-line provided the team with a pair of goals in the middle frame. Adam Krause deflected in a shot from the point for his first goal of the season 5:07 into the second period. Jarrett Burton put his stick on a pass from Troy Josephs that beat Lyon through the legs, extending the Penguins lead to 3-0 at 12:18 of the middle frame.

The penalty killing clinic by the Penguins took over from there, neutralizing five-straight man advantages for the Phantoms before Tom Kostopoulos netted a power play goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a mere 1:14 remaining in regulation.

Kostopoulos’ two point night (1G-1A) allowed him reach the 50-point plateau for the seventh time in his career. Zach Aston-Reese notched two assists to extend his career-opening point streak to three games.

Lyon turned aside 26 shots in the loss for the Phantoms.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Mar. 26, when it takes on the Utica Comets at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in a Sunday matinée. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Sunday’s game is also one of three Kids Get In Free games this season.

Individual tickets for 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 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

ASTON-REESE SHAKES OFF NERVES IN PRO DEBUT

You could forgive Zach Aston-Reese for having a few butterflies fluttering around before Tuesday night’s game against the Hartford Wolf Pack.  After all, the 22-year old was about to make his professional hockey debut while suiting up on the top line for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“I was a little nervous in warm ups.  I think I whiffed on half of my shots,” he laughed following the Pens’ 5-2 win.  “But halfway through the first I got my confidence a little bit.”

And by the end of the period, any semblance of nervousness was gone.

The leading scorer in the NCAA this season, Aston-Reese netted his first pro goal with just 17.3 seconds left in the opening frame, giving the Penguins a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes of play.

The goal came off of a goal line feed from team captain Tom Kostopoulos, who found Aston-Reese in the slot.

“TK made a really nice play to me.  I didn’t hesitate, I just put it on net,” said Aston-Reese.  “It was fortunate enough to go in.”

The Northeastern product was being a bit modest saying he was fortunate to score.  Goals have come at a prodigious pace for the recently signed free agent this season, as he scored 31 times in 38 games with the Huskies during his senior year.

Head coach Clark Donatelli was impressed with what he saw out of the rookie forward.

“Quick release.  For his first game, he’s pretty poised with the puck,” said Donatelli.  “You can tell he’s a goal scorer.”

Aston-Reese didn’t look out of place skating with Kostopoulos and Kevin Porter, two vets who had combined to play more than 1,900 professional games headed into last night’s action.  But he did notice a bit of a difference in one area compared to the college game.

“I said on the bench to TK actually that guys are a lot stronger and it’s tougher to get to the net,” he remarked.

Tuesday was just a taste of the AHL for Aston-Reese.  The Penguins will play three games in three days this weekend, something which is a rarity in the college ranks.  Still, the Staten Island native is looking forward to the challenge of the late season schedule.

“It’s not going to get any easier.  I just have to keep my mind right, keep my body going here.”

NOTES:  Aston-Reese became the first Penguins player to score in his pro debut sine Kasperi Kapanen tallied against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on April 8, 2015…Aston-Reese became the 77th Penguins player to receive an assist from Tom Kostopoulos.

PENGUINS’ COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN 3-2 LOSS TO PHANTOMS

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Despite a valiant third period comeback attempt, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were unable to win the second game of their weekend home and home with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, falling 3-2 on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Penguins (42-18-3-0) trailed by three goals after the first 40 minutes, but used their special teams to climb back into the game with a pair of third period tallies.

For the second game in a row, Lehigh Valley struck first. Tyrell Goulbourne sniped one past Tristan Jarry 6:01 into the contest for his first goal of the season, giving the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.

Lehigh Valley extended their lead to 3-0 after scoring two goals just 15 seconds apart early on in the second period. Jarry was knocked down by a teammate and couldn’t get back in position for a Reese Wilcox shot that found the back of the net at 4:07. Then, on the very next shift, Danick Martel tipped the puck past Jarry for what proved to be the game-winner.

Shortly after having a goal overturned, the Penguins capitalized on the man advantage with Tom Kostopoulos roofing a shot from in tight 4:49 into the third period.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled within one by scoring while shorthanded for the second game in a row against Lehigh Valley. On a two-on-none rush, Oskar Sundqvist opted for the shot instead of the pass and rifled it over the glove of Anthony Stolarz with just under five minutes to play.

The Penguins were unable to capitalize on a later power play, and saw the Phantoms even their season series at four wins each.

Jarry stopped 26 shots in the loss for the Penguins. Stolarz turned 37 aside shots in the win for the Phantoms.

The Penguins’ penalty kill was a perfect six-for-six on the night, including two successful kills while the Phantoms had a five-on-three man advantage. The Penguins’ power play converted once on four opportunities.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Tuesday, Mar. 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for 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 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

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 WEEKLY – 3/7/17

 

Penguins get ready for busy week of division foes

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (39-16-3-0) returns home for first time since Feb. 14

 

Weekly Rewind

Saturday, Mar. 4 – PENGUINS 1 at Hershey 2
A goaltending duel at Giant Center saw the Bears narrowly escape the Penguins and halt Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s six-game winning streak against Hershey. Tristan Jarry was stellar in net for the Pens, making 25 saves (including 14 in the third period). Bears netminder Pheonix Copley posted 36 stops in the win.

 

Sunday, Mar. 5 – PENGUINS 6 at Hartford 3
The Penguins earned their 39th win thanks in large part to big afternoons from David Warsofsky and Jean-Sébastien Dea. Both Warsofsky and Dea put up two-goal, one-assist performances. Casey DeSmith made 24 saves while manning the crease for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the rookie goalie’s 15th victory of the season.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Mar. 8 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first home game since Feb. 14 will be against its same opponent from Valentine’s Day, Lehigh Valley. The Penguins hold a narrow 3-2-0-0 season series lead on the Phantoms, but have outscored Lehigh Valley 12-2 at home so far this season.

 

Friday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
The Penguins look to make it a perfect six-for-six against the Wolf Pack on an Eyewitness News Fan Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s offense has been out in full force in games against Hartford, averaging five goals per game in their five meetings against the Wolf Pack this season.

 

Saturday, Mar. 11 – PENGUINS vs. Providence
The top two teams in the Atlantic Division square off in a match up that could decide who sits in first place at the end of the weekend. Both teams have earned two wins against one another this season.

 

Ice Chips

– With Sunday afternoon’s win, the Penguins improved to 23-3-1-0 in games when they had played the night before.

– Tom Kostopoulos is the only member of the Penguins to skate in all 58 of the team’s games this season.

– Jean-Sébastien Dea’s two-goal outing on Sunday was the first multi-goal game of his AHL career.

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

– David Warsofsky leads the entire AHL with a plus-29 rating.

– Warsofsky now has 12 multi-point games this season, tying him with Jake Guentzel for the team lead.

– Tristan Jarry has the second-most wins in the AHL (23).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 58 39 16 3 0 81 .698
2. Providence 58 34 15 5 4 77 .664
3. Lehigh Valley 57 36 18 3 0 75 .658
4. Bridgeport 57 35 19 2 1 73 .640
5. Hershey 59 31 17 8 3 73 .619
6. Springfield 58 22 26 8 2 54 .466
7. Hartford 58 21 32 3 2 47 .405

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 58 20 24 44
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
David Warsofsky 43 14 27 41
Oskar Sundqvist 52 16 23 39
Kevin Porter 54 9 28 37

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 36 23-12-1 2.27 .921 1
Casey DeSmith* 21 15-4-2 2.36 .911 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                         TIME      

Wed, Mar. 8       Lehigh Valley     Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

Fri, Mar. 10        Hartford              Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 8          Providence        Mohegan Sun Arena           7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Mar. 7     (LW)   Christian Hilbrich          Recalled from WHL

Wed, Mar. 1    (D)       Frank Corrado          Traded by TOR to PIT;

Assigned by PIT

Wed, Mar. 1    (D)       Derrick Pouliot                     Recalled by PIT

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 2/28/17

 

Penguins split weekend thanks to thrilling overtime win

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (38-15-3-0) will conclude seven-game road stretch with games at Hershey, Hartford

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Feb. 24 – PENGUINS 1 at Utica 2
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fell short of a third period comeback and dropped its fourth game in a row. Tom Kostopoulos netted the Penguins’ only goal in the game, a power play goal at 8:50 of the final frame. The Penguins’ penalty kill was a perfect five-for-five on the night.

 

Saturday, Feb. 25 – PENGUINS 4 at Lehigh Valley 3 (OT)
Barry Goers saved his first goal of the season for the perfect moment, burying the overtime game-winner that lifted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to its first victory at PPL Center this season. The Penguins edged ahead to a lead in the season series, as well, 3-2-0-0. Kostopoulos scored again for his 20th tally of the season, securing the sixth 20-goal season of his career. Tristan Jarry finished the game with 34 saves, including three in overtime.

 

The Week Ahead

Saturday, Mar. 4 – PENGUINS at Hershey
After a rare six-day layoff, the Penguins renew their rivalry with the Bears. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won six-straight against Hershey this season, and boasts an 8-2-0-0 record in 10 meetings in 2016-17. However, four of the Penguins’ eight triumphs over the Bears this season have come in overtime. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Tom Sestito has seven points (3G-4A) in six games against Hershey this season.

 

Sunday, Mar. 5 – PENGUINS at Hartford
The Penguins take on the Wolf Pack for the first time since they met in the first game of the calendar year on Jan. 3. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton emerged victorious in that contest, 3-2, staying undefeated in four clashes with Hartford this season. In fact, the Penguins have averaged 4.75 goals per game in their four games against the Wolf Pack.

 

Ice Chips

– With Saturday’s win, the Penguins improved to 22-3-1-0 in games when they had played the night before.

– Tom Kostopoulos became the 10th player in AHL history to have a 20-goal season at the age of 38 or older.

– Kostopoulos is the only member of the Penguins to skate in all 56 of the team’s games this season.

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts the best penalty kill in the league (86.3%).

– David Warsofsky leads the entire AHL with a plus-28 rating.

– Tristan Jarry has the second-most wins in the AHL (23).

– Jarry is one of only six goalies who have faced over 1000 shots this season.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 56 38 15 3 0 79 .705
2. Providence 56 33 14 5 4 75 .670
3. Lehigh Valley 54 34 17 3 0 71 .657
4. Bridgeport 54 34 18 1 1 70 .648
5. Hershey 56 28 17 8 3 67 .598
6. Springfield 55 22 24 7 2 53 .482
7. Hartford 55 20 30 3 2 45 .409

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Tom Kostopoulos 56 20 24 44
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
David Warsofsky 41 12 26 38
Oskar Sundqvist 50 16 21 37
Kevin Porter 52 8 26 34

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 35 23-11-1 2.28 .920 1
Casey DeSmith* 20 14-4-2 2.32 .912 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                         TIME      

Sat, Mar. 4        Hershey            Giant Center                       7:00 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 5       Hartford            XL Center                           3:00 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Thu, Feb. 23    (RW)   Danny Kristo               Traded by PIT to CAR

Sat, Feb. 18      (RW)   Josh Archibald                 Reassigned by PIT

Sat, Feb. 18      (D)       Brett Stern                              Signed to PTO

Fri, Feb. 17        (LW)    Christian Hilbrich         Recalled from WHL

GOERS BURIES OVERTIME WINNER AS PENS BEAT PHANTOMS, 4-3

BOXSCORE

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Barry Goers scored the overtime game-winner with 15 seconds remaining in the extra frame to lift the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center on Saturday night.

The Penguins (38-15-3-0) snapped a four-game skid thanks to Goers’ first goal of the season coming while skating in his 300th professional game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netted the night’s first tally when Tom Kostopoulos scored his 20th goal of the season while the two clubs were playing four-on-four at 17:08 of the first period. The goal secured Kostopoulos’ sixth 20-goal season of his career.

Greg Carey tied the game, 1-1, 8:43 into the second period on the man advantage for Lehigh Valley. Later in the frame, Danick Martel snuck one past Tristan Jarry, giving the Phantoms a 2-1 lead.

Less than two minutes after Martel’s goal, the Penguins responded. Oskar Sundqvist’s pass to Jarrett Burton found the back of the net after it bounced off Burton’s skate, sending the game to a 2-2 tie for the third period.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jumped back ahead when Dominik Simon sent a picture perfect pass to Jean-Sébastien Dea who was all alone in the slot and rifled one into Lehigh Valley’s cage. Dea’s goal gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead 2:04 into the third period.

However, another power play goal for the Phantoms equalized the score at 3-3 with 7:57 left in regulation. This time, Corban Knight was the one responsible for Lehigh Valley’s man advantage marker.

At 4:45 of the overtime period, Goers jumped up into the play and batted in a rebound for his first goal since Apr. 18, 2015, clinching the win for the Penguins.

Jarry turned away 34 shots in the victory for the Penguins. Alex Lyon stopped 28 shots in the overtime loss for the Phantoms.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is a week from now, Saturday, Mar. 4, and it will take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Wednesday, Mar. 8, and once again, 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 LOSE TO COMETS, 2-1

BOXSCORE

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell 2-1 to the Utica Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.

The Penguins (37-15-3-0) attempted a third period rally, out-shooting the Comets by a 10-3 margin in the final period of play, but ended up just short of a tying goal.

Utica struck first when defenseman Jordan Subban scored for the third-straight game. Subban flew down the right wing boards on an odd man rush and picked the top corner at 10:25 of the opening frame.

Darren Archibald gave the Comets’ a 2-0 lead by sliding past the Penguins defense and completing a nice deke in tight to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton net 9:43 into the second period.

The Penguins pulled within a goal at 8:50 of the third period thanks to a power play goal by Tom Kostopoulos who was set-up for a tip in the slot by Dominik Simon. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton could not muster an equalizer as Utica clung to its one-goal lead as time expired.

Tristan Jarry turned in 23 saves as part of a shining performance in net for the Penguins. Thatcher Demko posted 27 stops during the win for the Comets.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 25, when it takes on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and Phantoms is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will once again 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.

KOSTOPOULOS TAKES IT OUTSIDE – 2011 HERITAGE CLASSIC


Tom Kostopoulos has appeared in 630 National Hockey League contests during his long and vaunted career, and 629 of those took place in friendly, climate-controlled structures.

But on February 20, 2011, TK and his Calgary Flames teammates hit the ice outdoors in what may be the coldest game ever played.

The 2011 Heritage Classic took place at McMahon Stadium in Calgary between the Flames and Montreal Canadiens.  More than 40,000 fans packed into the venue, despite sub-zero temperates.

There was some fear leading up to the game that the contest would have to be delayed or even canceled because of the weather.

“They kept changing the cut off, the degrees,” recalled Kostopoulos.  “A week before I think was at minus-8 we weren’t going to play.  Then two days before they said minus-10 we won’t play.  That’s degrees celsius.

“And we played at minus-12.  It was freezing, except for the benches.  The benches were heated.”

The wind chill brought the temperature down to -25 celsius, and one of Kostopoulos’ teammates had a unique way to stay warm during play.

“Our goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff, wore a full scuba diving suit underneath his equipment,” recalled TK, who mentioned that many of his friends who visited for the game cam unprepared for the frigid temps.

But the weather didn’t cool the enthusiasm of the those who too part in the game, or who were there to experience the spectacle from he stands.

“It was just cool to see the amount of people in the building, and then the roar when we did something well or scored,” said Kostopoulos. “When you’re used to playing in front of 10 to 12,000 people, 60,000 is a lot different.  So it was pretty amazing, just taking it all in.”