NAILERS NEWS – NOVEMBER 13, 2017

NAILERS NOTES

The Wheeling Nailers are off to a solid start in ECHL action, posting a 7-2-2-0 mark through 11 games, good for the fourth-best points percentage in the league.  The Nailers took two of three contests this past weekend, and currently sit in second place in the North Division standings.


RECENT ACTION

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 VS. TOLEDO (4-3 OT WIN)

Reid Gardiner netted his league-leading fourth game-winning goal – this one coming in overtime – to lead the Nailers to a 4-3 win against the Walleye at WesBanco Arena.  Wheeling took a 2-0 lead into the third frame thanks to goals by Hunter Fejes and Gardiner before Toldeo got on the board.  Cody Wydo reestablished the two-goal cushion before the visitors scored twice in a 1:06 span late in the game to force OT.  Sean Maguire made 30 saves in net.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 AT TOLEDO (5-3 LOSS)

Derek Army had a goal and an assist, while Gardiner posted a pair of helpers in the second game of the home-and-home series.  Freddie Tiffels, reassigned to Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier in the week, recorded his first pro goal in the defeat.  Cody Wydo netted his fourth goal of the season.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 VS. NORFOLK (5-3 WIN)

Cody Wydo extended his goal streak to three games, picking up the game-winning goal, in the home win over the Admirals.  Garrett Meurs recorded his third multiple-goal game of the season, Cam Brown had three points (1+2) in the win, and Tiffels chipped in with two assists.  Goaltender Will King stopped 39 shots for his first professional win.


LEAGUE LEADERS

REID GARDINER is tied for second in the ECHL with 10 goals and 17 points, is tied for fourth with three power play goals, and leads the league with four game-winning goals.  He had his 10-game point streak snapped on Sunday against Norfolk.

CODY WYDO is tied for second in the ECHL with 17 points and 12 assists.

CAM BROWN is tied for second in the ECHL with 12 assists.

HUNTER FEJES is tied for second in the ECHL with four power play goals.


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ next game takes place on Friday, November 17 when they travel to face the Binghamton Devils at 7:05 p.m.  The team returns him for a Thanksgiving eve contest with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, November 22.

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.

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.

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

TIFFELS, TAYLOR AND ZINK REASSIGNED TO WHEELING

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) have reassigned forward Freddie Tiffels and defenseman Jeff Taylor to the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL). Furthermore, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has reassigned defenseman Dylan Zink to Wheeling, as well.

The three rookies have been on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s roster since the conclusion of training camp in October.

Tiffels, from Cologne, Germany, has appeared in three games for the Penguins this season. He made his pro debut on Oct. 15, 2017 against the Syracuse Crunch, a 6-1 victory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Prior to turning pro, the 22-year-old skated for three seasons at Western Michigan University, posting 27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points in 105 games. Tiffels was drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Zink joined the Penguins late last season on an amateur tryout contract after wrapping up his senior season with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. This year, the 25-year-old blueliner has played in five games, earning one assist in that time. The Madison, Wisconsin native’s first pro point came in his season debut on Oct. 13, 2017 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Taylor also signed an ATO with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late last season and skated in six games for the Penguins in 2016-17. After sustaining a pre-season injury, the defenseman from Clifton Park, New York has been rehabbing with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and was cleared for full contact earlier this week. Taylor was selected by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (203rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 8, against the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop for the first meeting of the season between the East’s two division leaders 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.

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.

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

SEAN MAGUIRE REASSIGNED TO WHEELING

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that goaltender Sean Maguire has been removed from the team’s training camp roster and will report to the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

Maguire appeared in 35 games for Wheeling last season, posting a 14-16-4 record with two shutouts, a .897 save percentage and 3.20 goals against average. The native of Powell River, British Columbia was named ECHL CCM Goaltender of the Month for January after putting forth a 6-1-1 record and both of his season’s   shutouts in 9 games. Maguire also played in one game for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year and earned the win for the Penguins in their Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy-clinching victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Apr. 15, 2017

The 24-year-old netminder was selected in the fourth round (113th overall) by Pittsburgh at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens up the 2017-18 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Charlotte Checkers. 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.

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 TRIM TRAINING CAMP ROSTER AGAIN

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have reduced their training camp roster with five players being released from their tryout agreements with the team.

Forward Hunter Fejes as well as defensemen Dan Milan and Kevin Schulze will all report to the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. Defenseman Matt Petgrave will report to the Brampton Beast (ECHL). Forward Justin Parizek is effectively a free agent.

The Penguins have 44 players remaining in camp following today’s transactions. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s roster can be viewed by clicking here.

The Penguins’ next preseason game is tonight, Saturday, Sept. 30, when they travel to Chocolatetown to take on the Hershey Bears. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Giant Center.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena against the  Charlotte Checkers. 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.

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.

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

PENGUINS REDUCE TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have trimmed their training camp roster with four players being released from their tryout agreements with the team.

Forwards Daniel Leavens, Tom Mele and Kenny Ryan as well as defenseman Danny Fick will all report to the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

The Penguins have 45 players remaining in camp following today’s transactions.

The Penguins’ next preseason game is on Friday, Sept. 29 when they take on the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opens up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Charlotte Checkers. 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.

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.

ARMY, DONATELLI COME FULL CIRCLE


Clark Donatelli got his first taste of coaching hockey at a high level back in 2010, when he was a volunteer assistant for the Providence Friars in the NCAA.

The head coach that took a chance on Donatelli was none other than Tim Army.

Now, seven years later, the roles are reversed.

Army was named an assistant coach on Donatelli’s staff with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last week, and is looking forward to working alongside the coach he formerly mentored.

“We have a great relationship,” said Army, 54, who actually grew up playing against Donatelli as a youngster in Rhode Island.  “He came in and helped me that year at Providence in 2010-11.  The thing that impressed me the most about Clarkie was how instinctive he is, how intuitive he is as a coach.  He has a great sense for the game, for his players.

“He also has a great personality, he’s very engaging.  He has a great relationship with his players, his ability to communicate is outstanding.”

Army is no stranger to coaching in the pros.  After five seasons as an assistant for the Friars (1988-93) he moved to the NHL, serving on Ron Wilson’s staffs with the Anaheim Ducks (1993-97) and the Washington Capitals (1997-2002).

He received his first head coaching job with the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, in 2002, and stayed in Maine for three years. He returned to Providence as the Friars’ head coach in 2005, and spent the past six seasons as a member of the Colorado Avalanche’s coaching staff.

And although Army has spent the past half decade on the other side of the Rockies, he’s kept a close eye on Donatelli’s progress, thanks largely to a family connection.  Army’s son, Derek, spent two seasons playing under Donatelli with the Wheeling Nailers, as well as a short stint with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2015-16.

“I’ve also seen him grow as a coach when Derek was playing for him, both in Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre.  And his game management, his sense for his players, his ability to make adjustments, his read for the game, is tremendous,” said Army.  “To work for someone who has those instincts, it’s very exciting.”

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

PENGUINS SIGN GAGE QUINNEY

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Gage Quinney to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.

Quinney spent his first season as a pro last year playing for the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, where he notched 44 points (18G-26A) in 45 games. He earned his first career point in Wheeling’s second game of the season on Oct. 20 against Reading, and netted his first pro goal two games later on Oct. 28 at Kalamazoo. He scored his first career hat trick on Mar. 15 at Elmira.

Quinney recorded three or more points on five different occasions, tied with Nick Sorkin for the most on the Nailers.

The Las Vegas, Nevada native played three seasons in the Western Hockey League before turning pro. He earned 119 points (53G-66A) in 182 games with the Prince Albert Raiders, Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops Blazers. Quinney was also a member of the 2014-15 Kelowna squad that captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions.

Quinney and the Penguins will open their next season on Oct. 7 against the Charlotte Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SIGN FORWARD CODY WYDO

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Cody Wydo to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.

Wydo comes to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after two full seasons with the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. In his time with Wheeling, he posted 116 points (54G-62A) in 138 games. Last season, the undrafted forward also appeared in three games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, signing a professional tryout agreement on Apr. 8, 2017 after leading the Nailers in goals (30) and points (60). Wydo notched his first AHL goal a day later when the Penguins were visiting the Providence Bruins.

The 26-year-old from Southgate, Mich. was a four-year letterman at Robert Morris University and captained the team his senior season. He had a nearly point-per-game career with the Colonials, with 150 points in 151 games. Wydo was also named a Hobey Baker Award finalist after leading the Colonials to the 2014-15 Atlantic Hockey regular season championship.

Before his collegiate and professional careers, Wydo spent two seasons in the North American Hockey League. In his second season with the Motor City Metal Jackets, he was named the NAHL Forward of the Year while  earning the most goals (40), assists (51) and points (91) in the league.

Wydo and the Penguins will open their next season on Oct. 7 against the Charlotte Checkers at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

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

PENGUINS SIGN FORWARD RILEY BOURBONNAIS

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Riley Bourbonnais to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.

Last year while serving as captain of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute men’s hockey team, Bourbonnais led the team in goals (17), points (31), and power-play goals (10), and tied for second in assists (14). Bourbonnais ended his four years at R.P.I. with 71 points (37G-34A) in 121 games played.

The 23-year-old from Rochester, N.Y. also posted eight points (5G-3A) in 10 games during a brief stint with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) after signing his first professional contract on Mar. 15, 2017.

Before his collegiate career, Bourbonnais played two seasons in the United States Hockey League. In 116 games with Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Lincoln, he recorded 88 points (42G-46A). In 2011, he was selected to the U.S. National Junior Team to compete in the World Junior A Challenge, where he posted one assist in five games.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

A YEAR IN THE LIFE : CARTER ROWNEY


BY ALYSSA HERTEL

The year is just slightly more than half way over, but it’s safe to say that nobody is having a better 2017 than Carter Rowney.

In the span of five months, Rowney appeared in his first NHL game, netted his first NHL goal, saw the birth of his first child, and lifted the Stanley Cup.

But Rowney is no overnight sensation.

An undrafted free agent out of the University of North Dakota, Rowney broke into the pro ranks on a professional tryout contract with the Abbotsford Heat following his 2012-13 senior season.    After splitting the next two seasons between the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Rowney finally found firm footing with the AHL Pens in 2015-16.

And how did he respond? Simply by leading the team in regular season scoring (56 points), finishing second on the club in goals (24), third in assists (32) en route to being named Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s MVP for the year.

That performance also put the Grand Prairie, Alb., native firmly in Pittsburgh’s picture, as the NHL club signed him to a two-year deal in March of that season.

Less than five months after signing his first NHL contract, Rowney married longtime girlfriend, Danielle, in August of 2016. He began the 2016-17 season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but was promoted to Pittsburgh in late January.

He played his first NHL game on Jan. 31 against Nashville. At the time, that one game after grinding his way up from the ECHL as an undrafted free agent out of college seemed like the  fairy tale ending.

But Rowney’s remarkable story continued as he recorded his first NHL point on February 4, and netted his first goal a little over a month later on March 17.

With each game, Rowney continued to carve out a niche for himself. Despite not being a big goal-scorer, his reliable physical player and penalty killing prowess earned praise and, by the time the playoffs rolled around, he was a staple of the Penguins formidable attack.

“That’s something I take pride in,” said Rowney. “Find a role that I could be on the team, accept that role and try to do my best in that role.”

That he did, and his best performances came during the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators, an exciting time both on and off the ice for Rowney.

Between Games One and Two in Pittsburgh, his first child, a son named Anders, was born. With the due date actually being later that week, when Rowney would’ve been playing Games Three and Four in Canada’s capital, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Following Anders’ arrival, Rowney played some of his best playoff hockey. In Game Four, his ice time was more than any forward, aside from captain Sidney Crosby, and even then he was only 21 seconds short. But it was Game Five where he really showcased what he was capable of. Rowney notched three assists and a plus-four rating, besting superstars like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel to earn the number one star of the game.

After years of shuffling through minor league contracts to get his foot in the door of pro hockey, Rowney’s season of firsts culminated in hockey’s ultimate prize, with the Penguins standing triumphant, the Stanley Cup hoisted over their heads.

“Every time I would suit up in that Penguins uniform and get on the bench, I would just take a second and look in the crowd and realize where I was,” said Rowney, reflecting on his first NHL playoff experience. “It was just a fun time to play. And to cap it all off, to lift Lord Stanley, that was just unbelievable.”

In just half a season, Rowney became an inexpensive, but crucial part of the team. There’s even talk that he could be the perfect long-term replacement for Matt Cullen, should the wily veteran decide to retire. With his average of 15 minutes of ice time per game and his 21 draws at center being the most of the team behind the four regular centers, Rowney has certainly proved his worth. If the comparison bothers Cullen, he hasn’t shown it.

“It’s easy to get behind a kid like that who’s had to work for everything he’s earned,” said Cullen, following the Penguins shut out of the Senators in game five.

For now, at least, Carter Rowney can focus on his new, growing family as he’s had to delegate most daddy duties to his wife for nearly a month while helping the Penguins win their second Stanley Cup in as many years. He’ll spend the time off trying to figure out, much like everyone else, how the undrafted kid from the prairies now has his name etched alongside the greats.

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