Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins. They play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania, just outside the city of Wilkes-Barre. 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.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
2020–21 AHL season
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins logo.svg
CityWilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
DivisionNorth
Founded1981
Home arenaMohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
ColorsBlack, gold, white, red
       
Owner(s)Ron Burkle
Mario Lemieux
General managerErik Heasley (interim)
Head coachJ.D. Forrest
MediaWilkes-Barre Times Leader
Scranton Times-Tribune
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
WILK Newsradio 103.1
AHL.TV (Internet)
AffiliatesPittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
Franchise history
1981–1988Fredericton Express
1988–1993Halifax Citadels
1993–1996Cornwall Aces
1999–presentWilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Championships
Regular season titles2: (2010–11, 2016–17)
Division Championships4: (2005–06, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2016–17)
Conference Championships3: (2001, 2004, 2008)

HistoryEdit

The Pittsburgh Penguins' top minor league affiliate throughout the 1990s was the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL. However, in the mid-1990s, the IHL began moving away from being a developmental league and more towards being an 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,[1][2] but left the team inactive until the 1999–2000 season due to construction delays at their intended home–a new arena in Wilkes-Barre Township. The team is affectionately referred to as the "Baby Penguins" by fans. Their mascot is Tux the penguin, who wears number No. 99 in reference to the team's first season, in 1999.

The Penguins have gone to the Calder Cup final three times but have never won the championship. The team went all the way to the finals in their second season, losing to the Saint John Flames in six games. The Penguins returned to the finals in their fifth season, but were swept by the Milwaukee Admirals. They most recently made it to the finals in 2008 by way of beating the Portland Pirates in a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference finals. They went on to play the Chicago Wolves in the final, but lost the series 4–2.

The WBS Penguins won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best finish in the regular season, in 2011, with 117 points. Goaltender Brad Thiessen was named the recipient of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award, an award given to the AHL's most outstanding goaltender for each season. He posted a record of 35–8–1 in 46 appearances, along with a 1.94 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage. Head coach John Hynes won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award, awarded to the most outstanding AHL coach of the season. Despite the best regular season finish in team history, the WBS Penguins were eliminated in the second round of the 2011 playoffs by the Charlotte Checkers in six games.

The Penguins have made the playoffs in all but three seasons of their existence. As of the end of the 2019–20 season, the WBS Penguins held a playoff streak of 16 seasons from the 2002–03 season to the 2017–18 season.

Prior to the 2009–10 season, they held the inaugural Penguins Black and Gold Game, 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 and tickets never reached the general public. The Penguins organization held its second Black and Gold Game prior to the 2010–11 season on September 19, 2010.

In 2009, they also spawned an affiliated youth level organization, the Wilkes-Barre Junior Pens. The team is based out of the Ice Rink at Coal Street Park, which also serves as a practice facility for the Penguins.[3]

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, (as the Adirondack Phantoms) 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). In 2014, the Adirondack Phantoms relocated back to eastern Pennsylvania as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SOL Points PCT Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing Year Prelims 1st
round
2nd
round
3rd
round
Finals
1999–00 80 23 43 9 5 60 .375 236 306 5th, Empire State Div. 2000 Did not qualify
2000–01 80 36 33 9 2 83 .519 252 248 2nd, Mid-Atlantic Div. 2001 W, 3–2, SYR W, 4–2, PHI W, 4–0, HER L, 2–4, SJF
2001–02 80 20 44 13 3 56 .350 201 274 4th, South Div. 2002 Did not qualify
2002–03 80 36 32 7 5 84 .525 245 248 3rd, South Div. 2003 W, 2–0, UTA L, 1–3, GR
2003–04 80 34 28 10 8 86 .538 197 197 3rd, East Div. 2004 BYE W, 4–3, BRP W, 4–2, PHI W, 4–3, HFD L, 0–4, MIL
2004–05 80 39 27 7 7 92 .575 227 219 4th, East Div. 2005 W, 4–2, BNG L, 1–4, PHI
2005–06 80 51 18 5 6 113 .706 249 178 1st, East Div. 2006 W, 4–3, BRP L, 0–4, HER
2006–07 80 51 23 2 4 108 .675 276 221 2nd, East Div. 2007 W, 4–2, NOR L, 1–4, HER
2007–08 80 47 26 3 4 101 .631 223 187 1st, East Div. 2008 W, 4–1, HER W, 4–1, PHI W, 4–3 POR L, 2–4, CHI
2008–09 80 49 25 3 3 104 .650 274 212 3rd, East Div. 2009 W, 4–1, BRP L,3–4 HER
2009–10 80 41 34 2 3 87 .544 239 229 3rd, East Div. 2010 L, 0–4, ALB
2010–11 80 58 21 0 1 117 .731 261 183 1st, East Div. 2011 W, 4–2, NOR L, 2–4, CHA
2011–12 76 44 25 2 5 95 .625 235 215 2nd, East Div. 2012 W, 3–2, HER L, 3–4, STJ
2012–13 76 42 30 2 2 88 .579 185 178 3rd, East Div. 2013 W, 3–0, BNG W, 4–3, PRO L, 1–4, SYR
2013–14 76 42 26 3 5 92 .605 206 185 6th, Eastern Conf. 2014 W, 3–1, BNG W, 4–3, PRO L, 2–4, STJ
2014–15 76 45 24 3 4 97 .638 212 163 4th, Eastern Conf. 2015 W, 3–0, SYR L, 1–4, MCH
2015–16 76 43 27 4 2 92 .605 230 203 3rd, Atlantic Div. 2016 W, 3–0, PRO L, 3–4, HER
2016–17 76 51 20 3 2 107 .704 247 170 1st, Atlantic Div. 2017 L, 2–3, PRO
2017–18 76 45 22 6 3 99 .651 252 223 2nd, Atlantic Div. 2018 L, 0–3, CHA
2018–19 76 36 30 7 3 82 .539 232 228 6th, Atlantic Div. 2019 Did not qualify
2019–20 63 29 26 3 5 66 .524 164 193 5th, Atlantic Div. 2020 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  Won Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best record in the regular season
  Round not held

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated April 11, 2021.[4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
16   Matt Alfaro C L 24 2021 Calgary, Alberta W-B/Scranton
14   Justin Almeida C L 22 2019 Kitimat, British Columbia Pittsburgh
15   Jordy Bellerive C L 21 2019 North Vancouver, British Columbia Pittsburgh
34   Chase Berger C L 26 2019 St. Louis, Missouri W-B/Scranton
30   Brett Brochu G L 18 2021 Windsor, Ontario W-B/Scranton
7   Kevin Czuczman (A) D L 30 2017 Port Elgin, Ontario Pittsburgh
33   Alex D'Orio G R 21 2019 Sherbrooke, Quebec Pittsburgh
13   Jan Drozg RW R 22 2019 Maribor, Slovenia Pittsburgh
44   Jonathan Gruden LW L 20 2021 Rochester, Michigan Pittsburgh
57   Pierre-Olivier Joseph D L 21 2019 Laval, Quebec Pittsburgh
31   Maxime Lagace G L 28 2021 Longueuil, Quebec Pittsburgh
28   Cam Lee D L 24 2021 Ferguson's Cove, Nova Scotia Pittsburgh
12   Jesper Lindgren D R 23 2021 Umea, Sweden Pittsburgh
55   Jon Lizotte (A) D L 26 2019 Grand Forks, North Dakota W-B/Scranton
24   Josh Maniscalco D R 22 2021 Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh
37   Sam Miletic LW L 23 2017 Broomfield Township, Michigan Pittsburgh
38   Tommy Nappier G L 22 2021 St. Louis, Missouri W-B/Scranton
26   Zach Nastasiuk RW R 26 2020 Barrie, Ontario W-B/Scranton
10   Drew O'Connor LW L 22 2021 Chatham, New Jersey Pittsburgh
39   Kyle Olson RW R 22 2020 Calgary, Alberta W-B/Scranton
8   Will Reilly D R 23 2021 Toronto, Ontario Pittsburgh
36   Felix Robert C L 21 2020 Lac-Megantic, Quebec W-B/Scranton
59   Tim Schaller C L 30 2021 Merrimack, New Hampshire W-B/Scranton
47   Nick Schilkey RW R 26 2020 Marysville, Michigan W-B/Scranton
21   Luke Stevens LW L 24 2020 Duxbury, Massachusetts W-B/Scranton
6   Bill Sweezey D R 25 2021 Hanson, Massachusetts W-B/Scranton
4   Zach Trotman (A) D R 30 2017 Carmel, Indiana Pittsburgh

Team captainsEdit

Notable alumniEdit

Players listed have played at least 100 games with the Penguins and 100 games in the NHL.

Team recordsEdit

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
Career goals: Tom Kostopoulos, 181
Career assists: Tom Kostopoulos, 269
Career points: Tom Kostopoulos, 450
Career penalty minutes: Dennis Bonvie, 1081
Career goaltending wins: John Curry, 103
Career shutouts: Brad Thiessen, 17
Career games: Tom Kostopoulos, 627

AHL recordsEdit

As of the 2009–10 AHL Season. Data from the AHL Hall of Fame Website.[5]

TeamEdit

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)

PlayerEdit

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
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 trophiesEdit

Per the AHL Hall of Fame:[6]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Marrapese, Nancy L. (May 19, 1996). "Mighty Casey a pinch hit". The Boston Globe. p. 52. The [Pittsburgh] Penguins will move and rename the AHL’s Cornwall Aces after buying the franchise from the Avalanche.
  2. ^ Mayer, Sean (July 2, 1996). "Pirates plundered". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Binghamton, NY. p. 3D. [Godfrey] Wood will be responsible for finding a home for the [Pittsburgh] Penguins’ incoming AHL team, the defunct Cornwall Aces franchise Pittsburgh bought from the Colorado Avalanche.
  3. ^ "Wilkes-Barre Jr. Penguins Youth Ice Hockey Club". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Roster". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  5. ^ "AHL Record Book". AHL Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "AHL Hall of Fame Trophy List". AHL Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2017.

External linksEdit