STANLEY CUP CONNECTIONS

They did it again.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship on Sunday, June 11, defeating the Nashville Predators, 2-0, to keep the treasured trophy in the Steel City for another year.

In a few weeks, the Cup will see the names of more than four dozen Penguins players, coaches and support staffers etched onto its base.  And, as in both the 2009 and 2016 championship seasons, there will be no shortage of connections to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins there.

Twelve Pittsburgh Penguins players who qualify to have their names on the chalice have played at least one game with the AHL Penguins.  Kris Letting and Marc-Andre Fleury become the first three-time champions to pass through Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Matt Murray, Tom Kuhnhackl, Brian Dumoulin and Olli Maatta have been members of both of the Pens back-to-back teams.

Joining that group of repeat winners are newbies Carter Rowney, Jake Guentzel, Josh Archibald and Scott Wilson.  Wilson was a member of Pittsburgh’s Cup run last spring, but due to injuries and a lack of games played, did not qualify to have his name on the trophy.  Rowney, Guentzel and Archibald all spent parts of this season in NEPA.

Head coach Mike Sullivan spent part of the 2015-16 season guiding Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before being promoted to Pittsburgh, and is now the first head coach since the great Toe Blake in 1956 and 1957 to guide a team to Stanley Cups in his first two years behind an NHL bench.

Three other former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staffers figure to see their names written in hockey immortality for a second straight season as well.  Patrick Steidle spent more than a decade with his hometown team before joining Pittsburgh’s athletic training staff in 2013.  Jim Britt worked his way up from intern in Wilkes-Barre to his current position as the Pens team services manager.  And Andy Saucier parlayed two seasons as the AHL team’s video coach into the same position with Pittsburgh.

Players and coaches with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ties have been featured on the Stanley Cup in seven of the past nine seasons.  Here’s a year-by-year view of some names you probably know.

2017 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Josh Archibald, Brian Dumoulin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Matt Murray, Carter Rowney, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson, Mike Sullivan

2016 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Brian Dumoulin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kris Letang, Ben Lovejoy, Olli Maatta, Matt Murray, Kevin Porter, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Jeff Zatkoff, Mike Sullivan

2015 (Chicago Blackhawks):  Daniel Carcillo, Michal Rozsival

2013 (Chicago Blackhawks):  Daniel Carcillo, Michal Rozsival

2012 (Los Angeles Kings):  Rob Scuderi

2011 (Boston Bruins):  Andrew Ference

2009 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Marc-Andre Fleury, Alex Goligoski, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Miroslav Satan, Rob Scuderi, Max Talbot, Dan Bylsma, Mike Yeo

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

GUENTZEL JOINS SPECIAL GROUP OF WBS GRADS


Jake Guentzel joined a distinguished list of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins alumni with his performance in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The Pittsburgh Penguins forward beat Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation for what proved to be the game-winning goal in the Pens 5-3 victory at the PPG Paints Arena. In the process, he became the fifth player to skate with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to tally the deciding goal in a Stanley Cup Final game.

Tyler Kennedy became the first WBS graduate to score the winner in the NHL’s championship round when he potted the second goal in a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six on June 9, 2009. Three days later, Maxime Talbot netted both Pittsburgh goals in a 2-1 Game Seven victory, securing the Penguins third championship in the process.

Conor Sheary joined the group when he scored 2:35 into overtime of Game Two against the San Jose Sharks, leading Pittsburgh to a 2-1 win on June 1, 2016.

Kris Letang became the second Wilkes-Barre/Scranton product to record the championship clinching goal when he notched the second score in a 3-1 win over San Jose in Game Six on June 12 last season.

Guentzel’s game-winner on Monday night was his 10th goal in his first go around in the NHL postseason, a mark which leads all players. His 17 points (10+7) in 20 games ranks sixth among all skaters this spring.



SPECIAL SAUCE

Another influential individual with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ties in Monday night’s win was Pittsburgh video coach Andy Saucier.

Predators defenseman P.K. Subban appeared to give the visitors a 1-0 lead early in the game, but Saucier spotted an uncalled offside infraction on Filip Forsberg on the play leading up to the goal. Saucier informed the Penguins bench, who challenged the play. The resulting review negated the tally and kept the game scoreless.

Pittsburgh went on to score the next three goals, and never trailed in the game as a result.

Saucier spent two seasons (2010-2012) serving as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s video coach.


FINALS DEBUTS

Guentzel and Carter Rowney became the most recent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton products to make their Stanley Cup Final debuts by appearing in Monday night’s win. In all, nine players who suited up for Pittsburgh on Monday (Guentzel, Rowney, Sheary, Wilson, Dumoulin, Murray, Fleury, Rust, Maatta) have previously appeared in at least one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


UPCOMING SCHEDULE

DATE ROAD TEAM HOME TEAM TIME/RESULT
Monday, May 29 Nashville Predators Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 Win
Wednesday, May 31 Nashville Predators Pittsburgh Penguins 8:00pm
Saturday, June 3 Pittsburgh Penguins Nashville Predators 8:00pm
Monday, June 5 Pittsburgh Penguins Nashville Predators 8:00pm
*Thursday, June 8 Nashville Predators Pittsburgh Penguins 8:00pm
*Sunday, June 11 Pittsburgh Penguins Nashville Predators 8:00pm
*Wednesday, June 14 Nashville Predators Pittsburgh Penguins 8:00pm

* = if necessary


Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season are on sale now.  Call the Penguins directly at 570-208-7367 to get yours, or fill in the form below, and a Penguins account executive will reach out to you.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information