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, 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
2019–20 AHL season
CityWilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
ConferenceEastern
DivisionAtlantic
Founded1981
Home arenaMohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
ColorsBlack, gold, white, red
                   
Owner(s)Ron Burkle
Mario Lemieux
Head coachMike Vellucci
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)

History

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. The team is affectionately referred to as "The Baby Penguins" by fans. Their mascot is Tux the penguin, who wears number #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 Baby Pens 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 best finish in the regular season in 2011 with 117 points. Goaltender Brad Thiessen was also 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 their best regular season finish in team history, the WBS Penguins would be 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 2018–19 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 2013, the Adirondack Phantoms relocated back to eastern Pennsylvania as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Season-by-season results

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
1999–008023439560.3752363065th, Empire State Div.2000Did not qualify
2000–018036339283.5192522482nd, Mid-Atlantic Div.2001W, 3–2, SYRW, 4–2, PHIW, 4–0, HERL, 2–4, SJF
2001–0280204413356.3502012744th, South Div.2002Did not qualify
2002–038036327584.5252452483rd, South Div.2003W, 2–0, UTAL, 1–3, GR
2003–0480342810886.5381971973rd, East Div.2004BYEW, 4–3, BRPW, 4–2, PHIW, 4–3, HFDL, 0–4, MIL
2004–058039277792.5752272194th, East Div.2005W, 4–2, BNGL, 1–4, PHI
2005–0680511856113.7062491781st, East Div.2006W, 4–3, BRPL, 0–4, HER
2006–0780512324108.6752762212nd, East Div.2007W, 4–2, NORL, 1–4, HER
2007–0880472634101.6312231871st, East Div.2008W, 4–1, HERW, 4–1, PHIW, 4–3 PORL, 2–4, CHI
2008–0980492533104.6502742123rd, East Div.2009W, 4–1, BRPL,3–4 HER
2009–108041342387.5442392293rd, East Div.2010L, 0–4, ALB
2010–1180582101117.7312611831st, East Div.2011W, 4–2, NORL, 2–4, CHA
2011–127644252595.6252352152nd, East Div.2012W, 3–2, HERL, 3–4, STJ
2012–137642302288.5791851783rd, East Div.2013W, 3–0, BNGW, 4–3, PROL, 1–4, SYR
2013–147642263592.6052061856th, Eastern Conf.2014W, 3–1, BNGW, 4–3, PROL, 2–4, STJ
2014–157645243497.6382121634th, Eastern Conf.2015W, 3–0, SYRL, 1–4, MCH
2015–167643274292.6052302033rd, Atlantic Div.2016W, 3–0, PROL, 3–4, HER
2016–1776512032107.7042471701st, Atlantic Div.2017L, 2–3, PRO
2017–187645226399.6512522232nd, Atlantic Div.2018L, 0–3, CHA
2018–197636307382.5392322286th, Atlantic Div.2019Did not qualify

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

Players

Current roster

Updated November 30, 2019.[4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
42 Matt Abt D L 26 2018 Leduc, Alberta W-B/Scranton
26 Andrew Agozzino LW L 28 2019 Kleinburg, Ontario Pittsburgh
17 Anthony Angello RW R 23 2018 Manlius, New York Pittsburgh
15 Jordy Bellerive C L 20 2019 North Vancouver, British Columbia Pittsburgh
34 Chase Berger C L 25 2019 St. Louis, Missouri W-B/Scranton
20 Kasper Bjorkqvist RW R 22 2019 Espoo, Finland Pittsburgh
7 Kevin Czuczman (A) D L 28 2017 Port Elgin, Ontario Pittsburgh
1 Casey DeSmith G L 28 2015 Rochester, New Hampshire Pittsburgh
23 Jamie Devane LW L 28 2019 Mississauga, Ontario W-B/Scranton
16 Thomas Di Pauli C L 25 2016 Caldaro, Italy Pittsburgh
24 Macoy Erkamps D R 24 2018 Delta, British Columbia W-B/Scranton
39 Ryan Haggerty RW R 26 2016 Stamford, Connecticut Pittsburgh
47 Adam Johnson C/LW L 25 2017 Hibbing, Minnesota Pittsburgh
57 Pierre-Olivier Joseph D L 20 2019 Laval, Quebec Pittsburgh
48 Michael Kim D L 24 2019 Toronto, Ontario W-B/Scranton
58 Graham Knott LW L 22 2019 Etobicoke, Ontario Pittsburgh
60 Emil Larmi G L 23 2019 Lahti, Finland Pittsburgh
9 Jake Lucchini LW L 24 2019 Trail, British Columbia Pittsburgh
55 Jon Lizotte D L 25 2019 Grand Forks, North Dakota W-B/Scranton
38 Andreas Martinsen LW L 29 2019 Baerum, Norway Pittsburgh
37 Sam Miletic LW L 22 2017 Broomfield Township, Michigan Pittsburgh
19 Stefan Noesen RW R 26 2019 Plano, Texas W-B/Scranton
11 Oula Palve C L 27 2019 Keuruu, Finland Pittsburgh
12 Ben Sexton C R 28 2018 Kanata, Ontario W-B/Scranton
40 Dustin Tokarski G L 30 2019 Humboldt, Saskatchewan W-B/Scranton
5 David Warsofsky (C) D L 29 2019 Marshfield, Massachusetts 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

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 records

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

Team

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)

Player

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 trophies

Per the AHL Hall of Fame:[6]

See also

References

  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 January 18, 2014.
  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.
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