WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – It was an emotional night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday. Tom Kostopoulos was playing in his final regular season home game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the emotion fueled the team to a 7-4 victory over the Binghamton Devils.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (42-22-6-2) also clinched a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs with Saturday’s results. This will be the Penguins’ 16th postseason appearance in a row, the American Hockey League’s active record.

Clearly running on adrenaline after pre-game ceremonies honoring Kostopoulos, the home team took a 4-0 lead in the first period starting with a power play goal 3:45 into the contest. Jean-Sébastien Dea pulled off a spinning move at the front of the net and tucked the puck around goaltender Cam Johnson, who was making the first start of his pro career. Nineteen seconds later, Tom Sestito beat Johnson down low to put the Penguins up, 2-0.

Jarrett Burton tacked on a goal by batting in his own rebound that came off the crossbar midway through the opening frame, and Zach Trotman unloaded a slap shot that navigated under Johnson with 3:24 left in the period.

Binghamton’s Jake Walman got the visitors on the board midway through the second period with a wicked wrist shot that whizzed past the blocker of Michael Leighton. Walman proceeded to set up the Devils’ next goal, too, tossing a shot towards the net that was tipped in by Blake Pietila at 18:05 of the middle frame.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wasted no time in re-establishing their four-goal lead, using goals from Daniel Sprong and Christian Thomas in the first 5:44 of the third period. Sprong’s 30th goal of the season arrived 35 seconds into the final frame of regulation, and Thomas notched his third point of the night with the tally that made it 6-2.

However, the Devils stormed back in the second half of the third period, as tucks by Jacob MacDonald and Jan Mandát reduced the deficit to two goals once again.

Binghamton elected the pull the goalie for an extra attacker with over three minutes left in regulation. Thomas put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal to close out the scoring at 7-4, his fourth point of the game.

Leighton denied 26 Devils shots as he improved to 5-0-0 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Johnson made 29 saves in his pro debut.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 8, when they travel to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers for the final time this season.

Ticket packages for the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are now on sale. With the purchase of a postseason ticket package, fans will receive a $6 food/merchandise voucher for every game played in the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans can secure their seats for every game on the Cup run by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Individual game tickets for the postseason will go on sale on Monday, Apr. 9 at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office,, or also by calling the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-7367.


Penguins maintain strong record against rival Bears, now contend with league-leading Marlies

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-4-2) travels to Toronto, then has three-in-three weekend


Weekly Rewind

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – Penguins 5 at Charlotte 2
Though the Checkers struck first, the Penguins used two rounds of scoring bunches to defeat the Checkers. Zach Trotman scored in his first game back from injury.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – Penguins 1 at Charlotte 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second showdown with the Checkers in two days was less successful than the first. Tom Sestito notched the Penguins’ only goal of the game.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS 1 vs. Hartford 4
The Penguins struggled to solve Wolf Pack goalie Chris Nell, who stood tall through an 18-shot barrage in the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also held Hartford to three shots in the middle frame, tied for fewest allowed by the team this season.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS 6 vs. Hershey 4
Étienne Marcoux earned his first AHL victory as the Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit after one period to defeat the Bears. Thomas Di Pauli’s two goals helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improve to 8-0-1-1 against Hershey this season.


The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 20 – PENGUINS at Toronto
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes on Toronto for the second time this season after winning, 4-2, in the clubs’ pervious meeting. However, the Marlies own the league’s best record, 44-17-1-1, and have allowed the fewest goals in the AHL (135).

Friday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS at Utica
The Penguins travel to Utica for the first and only time this year, looking to avenge their pervious 5-4 overtime loss to the Comets. Utica has only won two of its last 11 games, but forward Cameron Darcy has five points (3G-2A) in his last five contests.

Saturday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS at Binghamton
The Penguins look to go a perfect 5-0 against the Devils this season when they face-off on Saturday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s last three games against Binghamton have gone to OT.

Sunday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS vs. Bridgeport
Kids Get In Free Sunday showcases a Bridgeport team scratching and clawing to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Penguins are 2-0-1-0 against the Sound Tigers this season.


Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong is tied for second among AHL rookies in goals (22)

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger had his first three-point night of the season and second of his career on Sunday, scoring a goal and two assists.



1. Lehigh Valley 66 42 16 3 5 92 .697
2. PENGUINS 62 37 19 4 2 80 .645
3. Providence 64 38 21 3 2 81 .633
4. Charlotte 66 37 26 0 3 77 .583
5. Bridgeport 64 31 25 5 3 70 .547
6. Hartford 66 29 29 5 3 66 .500
7. Hershey 66 27 30 4 5 63 .477
8. Springfield 65 28 31 5 1 62 .477



Daniel Sprong* 51 22 25 47
Jean-Sébastien Dea 57 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 57 17 20 37
Ryan Haggerty 35 16 15 31
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 22 10-7-3 2.78 .902 1

* = rookie
^ = on recall to Pittsburgh


DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                               TIME        

Tue, Mar. 20     Toronto            Ricoh Coliseum                       7:00 p.m.

Fri, Mar. 23        Utica                 Utica Memorial                       7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 24      Binghamton    Veterans Memorial Arena    7:00 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 25     Bridgeport       Mohegan Sun Arena             3:05 p.m.



Tue, Mar. 20     (G) Étienne Marcoux             Released from PTO

Mon, Mar. 19     (G) Tristan Jarry                    Reassigned from PIT

Sun, Mar. 18      (RW) Josh Jooris                                Recalled by PIT



WILKES-BARRE. Pa. – Even though they found themselves down early, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins erupted with offense in the second half of the game to beat the Hershey Bears, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-4-2) notched five goals in the final two periods of play, including two from Thomas Di Pauli, to emerge victorious and remain unbeaten in regulation against its bitter rival this season (8-0-1-1).

Hershey wasted little time scoring when Liam O’Brien jammed a puck past Anthony 62 seconds into the contest. Shortly thereafter, the Bears struck again as a centering pass took a favorable bounce right to a wide-open Joe Whitney to extend the lead to 2-0.

Étienne Marcoux then came in to relieve Peters, giving the home team a well-needed energy boost. Joseph Cramarossa put the Penguins on the board at 11:49. Jarrett Burton sped down the right side of the ice and fired the biscuit at Hershey’s net. Cramarossa was right there to knock in the rebound and pull his squad within one.

However, Hershey re-established its two-goal advantage when Jonas Siegenthaler stepped up from the point, shot the puck through a crowd and rifled it over Marcoux’s glove with 4:07 left in the opening frame.

The game turned on its head midway through the second period when Bears defenseman Madison Bowey handed Penguins forward Gage Quinney the puck at the Hershey blue line, springing Quinney loose on a breakaway. Quinney hit the post, but regained the puck and on the same offensive zone possession, fed Tom Sestito atop the crease for a goal that made it 3-2 at 11:58 of the second stanza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton proceeded to out-possess Hershey throughout the second period, peppering Pheonix Copley with grade-A scoring chances. The team’s hard work culminated in Di Pauli burying a buzzer-beater goal at the end of the second period. After being reviewed by the officials, it was determined that the puck crossed the goal line with one second before the second intermission.

The Penguins took a 4-3 lead 2:38 into the third period thanks to Christian Thomas collecting his own rebound and shoving the puck underneath Copley’s equipment. Five minutes later, Di Pauli added another goal, shooting a one-timer on the rush set up by Tom Kostopoulos. The tally that made it 5-3, Penguins, marked Kostopoulos’ third assist of the game.

Siegenthaler notched his second goal of the night while the two teams were skating at four-on-four to make things interesting, but Cramarossa and Teddy Blueger combined on a two-on-one race up ice to put the Penguins back in a 6-4 lead with 4:41 left in regulation.

Marcoux denied 17 of 19 shots he faced to earn his first win in the AHL. Peters left the game having made one save on three shots against. Copley made 26 saves in the loss for Hershey.

The Penguins’ next game is on Tuesday, Mar. 20 when they visit the Toronto Marlies. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday, Mar. 25. Puck drop between the Penguins and Sound Tigers is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.




CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Charlotte Checkers faced one another for the second night in a row at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but this time, the Penguins were on the losing end of a 3-1 final on Wednesday.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (36-18-4-2) pressed hard in the third period, but couldn’t muster the comeback to suffer its first loss in Charlotte in franchise history (5-1-0-0).

The two clubs played to a scoreless tie in the first 20 minutes of play, despite the Penguins forcing plenty of turnovers and generating several odd-man rushes.

Charlotte finally found the game’s first goal at 7:30 of the middle frame when Julien Gauthier muscled his way from the corner to the hashmarks and overpowered Anthony Peters with a heavy snap shot. The Checkers expanded their lead to 2-0 six minutes later on a power play goal generated on a tic-tac-toe setup finished by Greg McKegg.

As the Penguins entered the third period, they wasted no time peppering Alex Nedeljkovic with shots. The Checkers’ goalie continually stifled their efforts until Tom Sestito pitchforked a rebound through Nedeljkovic’s five-hole at 8:11 of the final frame. Daniel Sprong raced past Charlotte’s defense for a breakaway, was stopped by Nedeljkovic, but kept his feet moving to gather the loose puck and put it back on goal, creating the rebound opportunity for Sestito.

With the comeback in sights, McKegg dashed his former team’s hopes by notching an insurance marker for Charlotte with 5:23 left in regulation.

Peters recorded 27 saves, while the opposing Nedeljkovic posted 17 stops.

The Penguins’ next game is at home on Saturday, Mar. 17 against the Hartford Wolf Pack and serves as the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. 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, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.


HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell in overtime to the Hershey Bears, 4-3, on Sunday at Giant Center.

Daniel Sprong and Gage Quinney led the way offensively for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-5-1-1) with two-point efforts, but Chris Bourque got the last laugh for Hershey by scoring the overtime game-winner.

The Penguins took off early when Quinney fished a puck from a net-front scramble and poked it into the Bears’ net 2:12 into the game. Quinney later set up Daniel Sprong midway through the first period

for his 10th tally of the season, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 2-0 lead.

Liam O’Brien cut the Bears’ deficit in half with 6:33 left in the second period, opening up the skies at Giant Center for thousands of teddy bears and stuffed animals to rain down onto the ice as part of Hershey’s teddy bear toss game.

O’Brien struck again at 8:49 of the third, pulling Hershey into a 2-2 tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With a delayed penalty upcoming to the Penguins, the Bears pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Following a pitch and catch give-and-go rush through the neutral zone, O’Brien fired his second goal of the night past Anthony Peters.

Hershey assumed a brief 3-2 lead when a point shot by Jonas Siegenthaler slipped in with 6:10 left in regulation, but Tom Sestito brought the game back to an even score less than a minute later.

Sestito’s goal earned the Penguins a point in the standings by forcing overtime, but Bourque found the game-winner on a power play 1:15 into the extra period.

Anthony Peters started in net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second night in a row, making 25 saves in the OT loss. Pheonix Copley turned aside 22 Penguins shots to earn the win for the Bears.

The Penguins’ next game is Wednesday, Dec. 6, when they travel to PPL Center to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 8 against the Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers’ visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza is also a WBRE/WYOU Eyewitness News Fan Friday. All tickets for Dec. 8’s contest are $14, and select draught beers are $2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Puck drop between the Penguins and Checkers is 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, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.


Penguins use offensive outburst for first two wins of the season

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2-2-0-0) outscores opponents 11-1 in its two victories


Weekly Rewind

Friday, Oct. 13 – PENGUINS 5 vs. Lehigh Valley 0
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earned its first win of the 2017-18 campaign on the back of a 33-save shutout by Casey DeSmith. Tom Sestito tallied the eventual game-winner at 6:21 of the first period, while Daniel Sprong went on to score his second goal of the season with a power play goal.

Saturday, Oct. 14 – PENGUINS 2 at Lehigh Valley 3
The Penguins scored twice in the final period of play, but their comeback fell short against the Phantoms at PPL Center. Sprong kick-started Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s comeback by scoring for the third game in a row. Garrett Wilson later notched his first of the season to pull the Penguins within one, but they never found the late-game equalizer.

Sunday, Oct. 15 – PENGUINS 6 vs. Syracuse 1
Six different Penguins scored in their bounce-back victory during a Sunday matinée with the defending Eastern Conference champions. Gage Quinney scored a goal and had two assists in his AHL debut, and Sprong found the back of the net for the fourth-straight game. Christian Thomas scored his first goal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as well.


The Week Ahead

Friday, Oct. 20 – PENGUINS vs. Laval
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will try and string together a winning streak when it welcomes the Laval Rocket to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for the first time ever. The Rocket have scored the most goals in the AHL this season (19).

Saturday, Oct. 21 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
Hartford finished last in the AHL last season, but they’re off to a hot start in 2017-18 and tied for the best record in the Atlantic Division (3-1-0-0). The Penguins swept their season series with the Wolf Pack last season, going 6-0-0-0.


Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 7-1-0-1 in the third game of its three-in-three weekends last season and is already 1-0-0-0 at the back-end of three-in-threes this season.

– The Penguins received offense from five and six different goal scorers in its two wins this past weekend.

– Casey DeSmith still has not allowed a goal at even strength this season.

– Including the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, five of Daniel Sprong’s nine AHL goals have come on the power play.

– Tom Sestito is one game away from playing his 500th professional game.



1. Charlotte 4 3 1 0 0 6 .750
2. Hartford 4 3 1 0 0 6 .750
3. Lehigh Valley 5 3 1 0 1 7 .700
4. Providence 3 2 1 0 0 4 .667
5. PENGUINS 4 2 2 0 0 4 .500
6. Bridgeport 3 1 2 0 0 2 .333
7. Hershey 3 0 2 0 1 1 .167
8. Springfield 4 0 4 0 0 0 .000


Daniel Sprong* 4 4 2 6
Thomas Di Pauli* 4 2 1 3
Gage Quinney* 1 1 2 3
Dominik Simon 4 1 2 3
Lukas Bengtsson* 4 0 3 3
Kevin Czuczman 4 0 3 3
Casey DeSmith 2 2-0-0 0.50 .983 1
Tristan Jarry 2 0-2-0 3.53 .900 0

* = rookie


DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Fri, Oct. 20         Laval                      Mohegan Sun Arena               7:05 p.m.

Sat, Oct. 21         Hartford                Mohegan Sun Arena               7:05 p.m.



Wed, Oct. 5        (D)     Chris Summers                   Recalled by PIT



WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earned their first win of the 2017-18 season in convincing fashion as Casey DeSmith’s 33-save shutout led the team to a 5-0 triumph over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1-1-0-0) had five different players account for its five goals, while DeSmith recorded the second clean sheet of his career.

After outlasting an early blitzkrieg by the Phantoms, the Penguins’ first goal of the game came from Tom Sestito on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s very first shot of the contest. Thomas Di Pauli outraced Lehigh Valley defenseman Samuel Morin on an impending icing call, then whipped around the net and set-up Sestito for the opening tally at 6:21 of the first period.

Shortly thereafter, Daniel Sprong notched his second power play goal of the season, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

The third Penguins goal came at 7:52 of the second period as Frank Corrado’s fluttering shot from the point fooled Alex Lyon. Jean-Sébastien Dea made it 4-0 at 15:19 of the middle frame with the help of tic-tac-toe passing from Tom Kostopoulos and Adam Johnson. Lyon was pulled from the Phantoms net following Dea’s goal and replaced by Dustin Tokarski.

Tokarski was perfect in relief of Lyon for over 20 minutes of action until the Penguins found another man advantage marker, this time coming from Dominik Simon. Simon closed out the scoring in the 5-0 contest with 2:51 left in regulation.

Johnson (2A), Kevin Czuczman (2A), Zach Trotman (1A) and Dylan Zink (1) all earned their first points as Penguins throughout the course of the evening, as well.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penalty kill was a perfect seven-for-seven on the night, and its power play unit converted on two of its six opportunities.

Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon finished with 11 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by Tokarski, who posted eight saves on nine shots.

The Penguins and Phantoms face-off again tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, when the two clubs drop the puck at Lehigh Valley’s PPL Center. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game Sunday, Oct. 15 against the Syracuse Crunch at 3:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th 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 preparing for their first three-in-three weekend

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (0-1-0-0) searches for its first win of 2017-18 against Lehigh Valley, Syracuse


Weekly Rewind

Saturday, Oct. 7 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Charlotte 5
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened its 19th season of play and quickly saw one of its young stars, Daniel Sprong, light the lamp early in the first period. Thomas Di Pauli also notched a shorthanded goal for the Penguins, but their new Atlantic Division foe, the Charlotte Checkers, had two shorties of its own in store to counter. Charlotte used its special teams attack of one power play goal and two shorthanded goals to defeat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on its home opener.

The Week Ahead

Friday, Oct. 13 – PENGUINS vs. Lehigh Valley
The Penguins look for their first win of the season as they renew their rivalry with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 7-4-0-1 against Lehigh Valley last season, including a franchise record shutout streak that lasted more than three games (268:49). The Phantoms are   1-0-0-1, and most recently lost in a shootout to Hartford.

Saturday, Oct. 14 – PENGUINS at Lehigh Valley
The Penguins and Phantoms face-off once again in the second match-up of their weekend home-and-home. The Penguins have seen much success in the Phantoms’ barn since their relocation to Allentown in 2014. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a 13-3-1-1 all-time record at PPL Center.

Sunday, Oct. 15 – PENGUINS vs. Syracuse
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton closes out its first three-in-three weekend of the season with a Sunday matinée at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza against the reigning Eastern Conference Champions, the Syracuse Crunch. The contest is also the first Kids Get In Free Sunday of the year. Kids age 14 and under enter free of admission with the paid purchase of an adult ticket. Syracuse is off to an 0-1-1-0 start to the season, with its last game being an overtime loss to Rochester.

Ice Chips

– Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is now 10-9-0 in home openers and  9-10-0 overall in its season openers.

– Seven different players made their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins regular season debut on Saturday: Kevin Czuczman, Adam Johnson, Andrey Pedan, Daniel Sprong, Chris Summers, Christian Thomas and Zach Trotman.

– Thomas Di Pauli’s goal on Saturday was the first shorthanded tally of his pro career.

– Saturday night was the first time since Mar. 19, 2013 vs. Worcester (Freddie Hamilton) that the Penguins allowed two shorthanded goals to the same player in one game.

– Tom Sestito is four games away from playing his 500th professional game.



1. Charlotte 2 2 0 0 0 4 1.00
2. Providence 1 1 0 0 0 2 1.00
3. Lehigh Valley 2 1 0 0 1 3 .750
4. Hartford 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
5. Bridgeport 1 0 1 0 0 0 .000
6. Springfield 1 0 1 0 0 0 .000
7. PENGUINS 1 0 1 0 0 0 .000
8. Hershey 1 0 1 0 0 0 .000



Thomas Di Pauli* 1 1 0 1
Daniel Sprong* 1 1 0 1
Teddy Blueger 1 0 1 1
Tristan Jarry 1 0 1 1


Tristan Jarry 1 0-1-0 4.02 .886 0

* = rookie


DATE                  OPPONENT     LOCATION                             TIME    

Fri, Oct. 13          Lehigh Valley     Mohegan Sun Arena               7:05 p.m.

Sat, Oct. 14         Lehigh Valley    PPL Center                                7:05 p.m.

Sun, Oct. 15        Syracuse            Mohegan Sun Arena               3:05 p.m.



Wed, Oct. 4        (D)     Kevin Spinozzi                      Signed to PTO



The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed three players who played key roles in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins finishing with the American Hockey League’s best regular-season record in 2016-17, it was announced Saturday by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Forward Tom Sestito and defenseman Frank Corrado both signed one-year, two-way contracts. Goaltender Casey DeSmith inked a two-year, two-way deal, the first NHL contract of his career.

All three contracts contain an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level.

Sestito, 29, saw the most NHL action of the trio last season, skating in 13 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, where he picked up two assists and collected 48 penalty minutes. At the AHL level with WBS, Sestito had 16 points (6G-10A) and collected 121 penalty minutes in 33 games.

The 6-foot-5, 228-pound Sestito has spent the last two years with the Penguins organization. He has three assists and 67 penalty minutes in 17 NHL games. Sestito has added 30 points (11G-19A) and 225 penalty minutes in 74 AHL regular-season contests with WBS, plus five points (2G-3A) in 12 AHL postseason games.

Corrado, 24, was acquired by the Penguins from the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 1 in a deal that sent Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy, plus a 2017 fourth-round draft pick, to the Leafs. Corrado saw most of his action with WBS after his arrival, but he did suit up for two regular-season games with Pittsburgh in March.

A 6-foot, 205-pound right-handed defenseman, Corrado appeared in 17 regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, notching four points (1G-3A) and a plus-3. He also played in one postseason game. A 2011 fifth-round (150th overall) draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks, Corrado has suited up for 71 NHL regular-season games with the Canucks, Maple Leafs and Penguins, picking up eight points (3G-5A).

DeSmith, 25, earned his first NHL contract after leading all AHL netminders with a 2.01 goals-against average. DeSmith went 21-5-4 with one shutout and a .926 save percentage in 29 regular-season games. His save percentage tied for second-best in the AHL.  He was one-half of the AHL’s best goaltending duo alongside Tristan Jarry. The two combined to win the Harry ‘Hap’ Holmes Memorial Award, which is awarded to the goaltenders that post the lowest goals-against average in the AHL.

A 6-foot, 180-pound Rochester, New Hampshire native, DeSmith was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team.

An undrafted free agent, DeSmith has appeared in 35 career AHL regular-season contests, compiling an overall record of 23-7-3 to go with his 2.00 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

During the last two AHL playoff runs, DeSmith has assumed the starting role for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with Jarry backing up at the NHL level both years. DeSmith has gone 7-7 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Before joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, DeSmith played three seasons of college hockey at the University of New Hampshire, where he made the Hockey East All-Rookie Team as a freshman. DeSmith also saw action with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League for two seasons before advancing to the collegiate level.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information


The numbers are too daunting to ignore. Tom Kostopoulos, at 38-years old, racked up 24 goals, 54 points and played in 74 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this past season.

All of those figures led the team.

However, when Kostopoulos was contemplating on whether or not to return for the 2017-18 campaign, it wasn’t all about the stats. Kostopoulos’ family weighs in on the decision just as heavily on his mind as his on-ice performance.

Clearly, he has their blessing to play a 19th season of pro hockey,

“I think if it didn’t work for them, I would hang ‘em up,” Kostopoulos said. “But they’re all for it, and that keeps it fun for me.”

Kostopoulos’ wife, Lisa, and children, Lily and Luc, are often seen around Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and the Penguins practice facility at the  Toyota SportsPlex during the season. For the kids, there hasn’t been a time in their lives when dad wasn’t playing hockey. Even though a life around the rink has become status quo for them, he still seeks their opinion and wants to know how they feel about living half their years in Canada and the other half in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“When we’re here, we’re keeping our kids away from their grandparents and a lot of their friends, too,” Kostopoulos said. “I also try and explain to them that this lifestyle gives me time with them most afternoons, although I miss a lot of their sports games and activities on the weekends when [the Penguins] play. I get most weeknights with then, I can pick them up from school and stuff like that, but when hockey ends, that can change.”

All of these factors play into Kostopoulos and his family’s thought process when they sat down to discuss what the next step for him was going to be. A verdict was met, and now Lily and Luc will be seen hanging around with their dad after games for at least one more year.

The family isn’t the only one that grabs Kostopoulos’ attention, either. When he’s not at home, Kostopoulos is spending serious quality time forming bonds with his teammates. Hard practices, long bus rides and grinding through three-in-threes with one another fosters another family atmosphere for the Penguins’ captain.

Tom Sestito said after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s final playoff game that he’d be in Kostopoulos’ ear to try and convince him to come back. Barry Goers claimed that whenever someone presses for an answer on Kostopoulos’ future, the veteran has “one of the best poker faces” around. Those two and many others got a chance to make their pitch to T.K. before everyone dispersed for the summer.

“Once our season was over, we got together a few times as a team. Tom was in my ear a little bit, and some of the other guys were saying why quit now? My teammates’ perspective weighs a lot in my decision.

“If they were looking at me like, ‘Eh, maybe it’s time to go,’ I’d probably give it up. But it’s great to have their support.”

So with the support of his two families, Kostopoulos made it official on Monday morning that he’d be returning for another year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The challenge now becomes waiting for his 19th season to start.

“It’s boring right now, now that hockey’s over,” he lamented. “I like coming to the rink every day, I like being around the guys and being around the sport. I’m happy to be signed to back.”

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season are on sale now, and available by calling the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 570-208-7367.

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2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information