Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
2015–16 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season
City Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Atlantic Division
Founded 1981
Home arena Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Colors Black, Las Vegas Gold, Red, White
Owner(s) Ron Burkle
Mario Lemieux
General manager Jason Botterill
Head coach Clark Donatelli
Captain Tom Kostopoulos
Media Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Scranton Times-Tribune
WILK Newsradio 103.1 WILK-FM
Affiliates Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
Franchise history
1981–1988 Fredericton Express
1988–1993 Halifax Citadels
1993–1996 Cornwall Aces
1999–present Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Regular season titles 1 (2010–11)
Division Championships 3 (2005–06, 2007–08, 2010–11)
Conference Championships 3 (2000–01, 2003–04, 2007–08)

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins. They play in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. They were the 2011 winners of the East Division and the Eastern Conference (in terms of regular season titles), winning their first Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy. The Penguins serve as a professional hockey team to the people of Scranton, Pennsylvania and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The Penguins are located in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area.


Logo used on alternate uniforms during team's 15th season in AHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins' top minor league affiliate throughout the 1990s was the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL (in sharp contrast to the rivalry between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL). However, in the mid-1990s, the IHL began moving away from being a developmental league and more towards being a top independent minor league. For this reason, the Penguins wanted their top minor league affiliate in the AHL. The Penguins purchased the dormant Cornwall Aces AHL franchise from the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, but left the team inactive until the 1999–2000 season when it was placed in Wilkes-Barre. The team is affectionately referred to as "The Baby Penguins" by fans. The WBS Pens have gone to the Calder Cup Final three times in their twelve-year existence, most recently in 2008 by way of beating the Portland Pirates in a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference finals; the Penguins took game seven by a score of 3-2 after being down in the series three games to two. They went on to play the Chicago Wolves in the final, but lost the series 4-2.

Their mascot is Tux the penguin, who wears number #99 in reference to the team's first season in 1999. The team celebrated their 10th Anniversary Season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2008–09 with the catch phrase of "Making Memories". The team qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2009 for the seventh year in a row and attempted to make the Calder Cup Final for the third time in six years to try and win the franchise's first Cup. The Pens fourth drive to the Calder Cup Final came to end against the Hershey Bears in the conference semifinals. The series went to seven games with Hershey taking the final two at home by identical scores of 3-0 after the Pens won three in a row in Wilkes-Barre.

The prelude to the 2009–10 season was the inaugural Penguins Black and Gold Game held on September 17, an intra-squad game which featured members of the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and was the first ever head-to-head meeting between Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The game was a complete sellout, where tickets never reached the general public. The Penguins organization will hold its second Black and Gold Game prior to the 2010–11 season. The Penguins BLACK AND GOLD GAME II, featuring members of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Monday, September 19, 2011. [1]

They began their 11th season of play on October 3, 2009. Their slogan for this season was "Where Champions are Born", a reference to their parent Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the 2009 Stanley Cup. In 2009, they also spawned an affiliated junior team, the Wilkes-Barre Junior Pens. The team is based out of the Ice Rink at Coal Street Park, which will also serve as a practice facility for the Penguins.[1]

The Penguins qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs for an eighth consecutive year in 2009–10, but bowed out early, swept in 4 games by the Albany River Rats. It was the first time in club history that the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs. It was only the third time that the team got swept in a playoff series, first in 2004 against the Milwaukee Admirals in the Calder Cup Final and in 2006 against the Hershey Bears in the conference semifinals. The team is 15-10 in 25 playoff series all time in 12 seasons. They are also 69-66 in 135 playoff games in 12 seasons and 20-14 in Calder Cup playoff OT games.

They began their 12th season of AHL play at home on October 9, 2010 with a shootout win against their biggest rivals, the Hershey Bears. On November 5, 2010, the Pens matched the 2005–2006 team with 9 wins to start a season with a win against the Rochester Americans. The streak came to an end the following night at home with a 4-3 loss to the Syracuse Crunch.

At the start of the day of the All-Star Game, January 31, 2011, the Penguins had the most points in the AHL with 72, which have all come from wins (36-12-0-0). They also registered the most points in the American Hockey League. They had the 2nd best Goals Scored/Goals Against rating of +46 (163-117), only behind their rival the Hershey Bears, who, at the time, had a +51 rating (158-107). The Penguins remained the only AHL team unbeaten in overtime and shootouts until March 12, 2011, with a shootout loss against the Abbotsford Heat on the road. Their record after that was 46-18-0-1.

The club qualified for its ninth consecutive playoff berth on March 19, 2011 in a sold-out home game against the Worcester Sharks by a score of 5-3. The Penguins won their third straight game and improved their league-leading record to 49-18-0-1 at the time.

On Saturday April 2, 2011, the Penguins captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy, which is awarded annually to the AHL team that acquires the most points in the regular season, thus ensuring home-ice advantage throughout the 2010–11 playoffs. They accomplished this by beating the Rochester Americans in overtime by a score of 4-3. Geoff Walker scored the game-winning goal 3:11 into the extra frame. The win mathematically ensured that no team could finish ahead of them in points. On April 4, 2011, goaltender Brad Thiessen was named the recipient of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Award, an annual award given to the AHL's outstanding goaltender for each season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league's 30 cities. He posted a record of 34-7-1 in 44 appearances to date, along with a 1.93 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage.

The club lost in the second round of the 2011 AHL playoffs to the Charlotte Checkers by a series score of 2-4. The last game of the series, played on May 7, was particularly bad for Pens fans, considering that the team was up 3-0 in the third period at home and allowed the Checkers to score 4 unanswered goals to end their season and Calder Cup hopes.

The Penguins' biggest rivals had been the Philadelphia Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of Pennsylvania's other NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers. After that team moved to Glens Falls, New York, the Hershey Bears, also located in Pennsylvania, became the major rivals of the Penguins (they are currently the AHL affiliate of another developing rival of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals). The Adirondack Phantoms will temporarily remain in Glens Falls until 2013, after which the Flyers' AHL affiliate will move to a new arena under construction in Allentown, Pennsylvania, returning the team to Pennsylvania after a four-year absence.

The Pens qualified for the playoffs for the tenth consecutive season, this is currently the longest streak in the AHL.

The Pens finished their 13th season with a record of 44-25-2-5, good for 95 points and a second-place finish in the AHL East Division behind only the eventual Calder Cup champions, the Norfolk Admirals, who finished with 113 points. The Pens dispatched their longtime rivals, the Hershey Bears, in five games in the opening round of the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs before falling to the St. John's IceCaps in seven games in the second round.

The Pens opened their 14th season with four straight losses, but have since won 13 of their previous 16 games to hold a record of 13-7-0-0 on December 2, 2012, good for 26 points and third place in the AHL's East Division behind the division leader Syracuse Crunch (28 points in 20 games) and the Binghamton Senators, who also have 26 points but who have only played in 18 games.

They qualified for the playoffs yet again in 2013, for the eleventh consecutive season, the longest streak in the AHL. They got past the second round for the first time since 2008, but fell in the third round against the Syracuse Crunch.

In 2013-2014, the Penguins started their 15th season of hockey in the AHL and Wilkes-Barre. They once again qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs for a 12th consecutive season, the longest streak in the AHL. In 15 seasons in Wilkes-Barre, the club only missed the post-season twice, in 2000 and 2002.

The opponents for the first two rounds of the playoffs in 2014, were exactly the same ones as in the 2013 playoffs for the Penguins. In the first round of the 2014 playoffs, they dispatched the Binghamton Senators 3 games to 1. They then eliminated the Providence Bruins in a seven-game series 4-3. They went on to meet the St.John's IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Finals, with another chance to advance to the Calder Cup Final, something they haven't done since 2008. The IceCaps would eliminate the Penguins, winning the series 4 games to 2.

The 2014-15 season is the club's 16th season in Northeast PA and uses the term "United by Hockey" as the season's mantra.

The club qualified for the playoffs for a 13th straight season, the longest current streak in the AHL. They swept the Syracuse Crunch in the first round in 3 games, only to fall to the Manchester Monarchs in 5 games in the second round.

Season-by-season results


Current roster

Updated March 1, 2016.[2]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
38 Sweden Andersen, NiclasNiclas Andersen D L 33 2015 Grums, Sweden Pittsburgh
15 United States Archibald, JoshJosh Archibald RW R 28 2014 Regina, Saskatchewan Pittsburgh
22 United States Biggs, TylerTyler Biggs RW R 28 2015 Binghamton, New York Pittsburgh
9 Canada Dea, Jean-SebastienJean-Sebastien Dea C R 27 2014 Laval, Quebec Pittsburgh
4 United States Erixon, TimTim Erixon D L 30 2015 Port Chester, New York W-B/Scranton
33 United States Foster, BrianBrian Foster G L 34 2015 Pembroke, New Hampshire W-B/Scranton
24 Canada Gill, SahirSahir Gill LW L 29 2016 Terrace, British Columbia W-B/Scranton
41 United States Goers, BarryBarry Goers D R 35 2013 Ivyland, Pennsylvania W-B/Scranton
35 Canada Jarry, TristanTristan Jarry G L 26 2015 Surrey, British Columbia Pittsburgh
16 Canada Jeffrey, DustinDustin Jeffrey C L 33 2016 Sarnia, Ontario Pittsburgh
29 Canada Kostopoulos, TomTom Kostopoulos (C) RW R 42 2013 Mississauga, Ontario W-B/Scranton
20 United States Loney, TyTy Loney RW R 29 2016 Valencia, Pennsylvania W-B/Scranton
10 United States McCarron, JohnJohn McCarron RW R 29 2016 Macomb, Michigan W-B/Scranton
13 United States McGrath, PatrickPatrick McGrath RW R 28 2013 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania W-B/Scranton
3 Canada McNeill, ReidReid McNeill D L 29 2013 London, Ontario Pittsburgh
21 Canada Mouillierat, KaelKael Mouillierat LW L 34 2015 Edmonton, Alberta Pittsburgh
30 Canada Murray, MattMatt Murray G L 27 2014 Thunder Bay, Ontario Pittsburgh
28 United States Oleksy, StevenSteven Oleksy (A) D R 35 2015 Chesterfield, Michigan Pittsburgh
8 United States O'Neill, WillWill O'Neill (A) D L 33 2015 Salem, Massachusetts Pittsburgh
45 Canada Parent, RyanRyan Parent D L 34 2016 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan W-B/Scranton
42 Germany Plachta, MatthiasMatthias Plachta LW L 30 2016 Freiburg, Germany Pittsburgh
17 Canada Rowney, CarterCarter Rowney RW R 32 2013 Grande Prairie, Alberta W-B/Scranton
2 Canada Ruopp, HarrisonHarrison Ruopp D L 28 2013 Zehner, Saskatchewan Pittsburgh
25 United States Sestito, TomTom Sestito LW L 33 2015 Rome, New York Pittsburgh
36 Canada Seymour, ClarkClark Seymour D R 28 2013 Brockville, Ontario W-B/Scranton
43 United States Sheary, ConorConor Sheary LW L 29 2014 Winchester, Massachusetts Pittsburgh
49 Czech Republic Simon, DominikDominik Simon C R 27 2015 Prague, Czech Republic Pittsburgh
40 Sweden Sundqvist, OskarOskar Sundqvist C R 27 2015 Boden, Sweden Pittsburgh
26 Czech Republic Uher, DominikDominik Uher C L 28 2012 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia Pittsburgh
18 Russia Zlobin, AntonAnton Zlobin LW L 28 2013 Moscow, Russia Pittsburgh

Team Captains

Notable Penguins

Team records

Single season

Goals: Chris Minard, 34 (2008–09)
Assists: Jeff Taffe and Janne Pesonen, 50 (2008–09)
Points: Janne Pesonen, 82 (2008–09)
Penalty minutes: Dennis Bonvie, 431 (2005–06)
Goaltending wins: Brad Thiessen, 35 (2010–11)
GAA: Jeff Zatkoff 1.93 (2012–13)
SV%: Rich Parent (2000–01), Dany Sabourin (2005–06) and Brad Thiessen (2010–11), .922


Career goals: Tom Kostopoulos, 121
Career assists: Tom Kostopoulos, 176
Career points: Tom Kostopoulos, 297
Career penalty minutes: Dennis Bonvie, 1081
Career goaltending wins: John Curry, 103
Career shutouts: Brad Thiessen, 17
Career games: Tom Kostopoulos, 400

AHL records

As of the 2009–10 AHL Season. Data from the AHL Hall of Fame Website. [2]


Most Road Wins, 80-Game Season: 28 (2010–2011) (tied)
Longest Road Winning Streak (one season): 13 games (October 9–December 3, 2005) (tied)
Longest Road Winning Streak (overall): 15 games (April 10–December 3, 2005)


Most points by a defenseman, career: John Slaney, 486 (Baltimore, Portland, Cornwall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Philadelphia)
Most goals by a defenseman, career: John Slaney, 157 (Baltimore, Portland, Cornwall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Philadelphia)
Most goals by a defenseman, season: John Slaney, 30 (1999–2000)
Most PIM, career: Dennis Bonvie, 4,104 (Cape Breton, Hamilton, Portland, Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Providence, Binghamton, Hershey)
Most PIM, game: Steve Parsons, 64 (March 17, 2002 vs. Syracuse)

AHL awards and trophies


See also


  1. "Wilkes-Barre Jr. Penguins Youth Ice Hockey Club". Retrieved 28 Dec 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Roster". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved January 18, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links