Tuesday, June 3, 2014

NEWS and NOTES - June 3

A few nuggets for you to digest as we head into Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final tonight against the St. John's IceCaps.

The Penguins have an all-time record of 10-6 in Game Six of the playoffs, and are 4-3 on the road.

The Penguins are 1-0 in Game Sixes against the IceCaps, having won in St. John's, 4-2, on May 11, 2012.

Tonight will be the 13th postseason game between the Pens and IceCaps all-time.  The only teams the Pens have faced more in the playoffs are the Hershey Bears (30), Philadelphia Phantoms (22), Binghamton Senators (19) and Providence Bruins (14).

This will be the Penguins' 90th all-time road playoff contest.  They have a record of 40-49 away from home.

The Penguins have a record of 23-12 in games when they can be eliminated from the playoffs, including a 2-0 record this postseason.

John Hynes has coached the Penguins in 10 different playoff series (55 games total).  He has won more series (6) and games (29) than any other coach in Penguins history.

Peter Mannino has nine playoff wins with the Penguins, good for fifth on the team's all-time list.  John Curry and Brad Thiessen have 18 apiece, Andy Chiodo is third with 14 and Rich Parent fourth with 13.

Anton Zlobin has three game-winning goals this postaseason, good for first in the AHL and tied for third on the Penguins all-time list one behind both Toby Petersen and Chris Minard)

June 3rd is the latest in a season the Penguins have played a game since they advanced to the Calder Cup Final against the Chicago Wolves in 2008.  That year the team played until June 10.  This is the fourth postseason that the Penguins have played into June (2014, 2013, 2008, 2004).

Monday, June 2, 2014


Fans in Northeast Pennsylvania will be able to see the Penguins in action live when they take on the St. John's IceCaps in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday evening.

The game, which takes place at the Mile One Centre at 6:00pm Eastern Time, will be carried live locally on The CW, WSWB, channel 38.

Penguins broadcaster Mike O'Brien will call the action, as the Penguins look to force a decisive Game Seven against the IceCaps, who currently lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two.

This is the second straight season the Penguins have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final.  The winner of the series will play either the Toronto Marlies or the Texas Stars in the Calder Cup Final.

Fans who can't be in front of a television set can watch the game onlie via AHLLive.com, or can tune in on the radio on WILK News Radio 103.1.  Fans can also listen online through wbspenguins.com, or via our iPhone and Android apps.


Saturday, May 31, 2014


Zach Sill’s goal with 15.8 seconds left in regulation will allow the Penguins to fight for at least one more game, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton posted a 4-2 win over the St. John’s IceCaps in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.  The victory forces a Game Six on Tuesday night in St. John’s, with the IceCaps holding a 3-2 series lead.

With time winding down and the game knotted at 2-2, Tom Kostopoulos threw a shot on net from the near boards, and the rebound found Harry Zolnierczyk’s stick.  Zolnierczyk then hit a sprinting Sill with a backhand feed, and the Penguins assistant captain wristed his first of the playoffs past a sprawling Michael Hutchinson to give Wilkes-Barre its first lead of the series on home ice.

Chuck Kobasew returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games due to injury, and left his mark on the contest as well.

The Penguins got an offensive zone faceoff and kept the puck moving around the St. John’s defense for approximately one minute and twenty seconds before Kobasew and Andrew Ebbett played a little give-and-go, moving Hutchinson to the far post and leaving the right side of the goal empty for Kobasew.

Kobasew also picked up an empty net goal nine seconds after Sill’s game-winner was put away, giving the veteran forward a team-high eight goals in 13 playoff games.

The IceCaps opened the evening’s scoring 12:27 into the game when Will O’Neill wristed a shot home from the point during a five-on-three power play.  That was the lone goal of the first frame.

Former IceCap Spencer Machacek evened the score at 1-1 early in the second, waiting out Hutchinson picking the upper right hand corner during a three-on-one break for the Penguins.

Patrice Cormier put St. John’s back in front with a deflection in front of the net with Scott Harrington in the penalty box at 14:05 of the second period.

Peter Mannino made 19 saves for the Penguins, while Hutchinson turned aside 30 of 33 shots he faced in defeat.

The teams will now travel back to St. John’s where they will face off in Game Six this Tuesday night at 7:30pm Newfoundland Time (6:00pm Eastern Time).  Game Seven, if necessary, will take place on Wednesday night at the Mile One Centre.

NOTES:  Andrew Ebbett returned to the Penguins lineup after missing the previous 11 playoff games, and picked up two assists on the night…With the win, the Penguins are now 23-12 all-time in games when they can be eliminated from the playoffs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


ECF Game Three FinalMichael Hutchinson made 30 saves and saw five different teammates score goals, as the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 5-0, in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night in Wilkes-Barre.  With the win the IceCaps took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game Four scheduled for Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena. 

Patrice Cormier opened his account for the postseason by tipping home a shot from Josh Morrissey at the Penguins crease during the IceCaps’ first power play of the night at 11:24 of the first period.

Jason Jaffray, who played five games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the 2003-04 season, made it a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later.  Jaffray’s puck pursuit forced a Pens player to rim the puck behind the Wilkes-Barre net where Andrew Gordon intercepted the pass.  The former Hershey Bear wheeled around the cage and found Jaffray in the slot for his third goal of the playoffs.

Another failed clear behind the Penguins net allowed Eric O’Dell to find the back of the net just 1:35 into the second period to make it a 3-0 game.

St. John’s took advantage of two minutes of five-on-three time to make it a 4-0 contest when Kael Mouillierat waited for Peter Mannino to go to the ice, then whipped a wrister into the upper reaches of the goal for his third of the campaign.

A late faceoff in the Penguins zone allowed Zach Redmond to get a shot off from the slot that Mannino couldn’t handle, and the puck trickled over the goal line with 0.1 seconds left in the frame to finish off the scoring.

Rookie Matt Murray relieved Mannino to start the third period, and made eight saves in his Calder Cup playoff debut.

Tickets for Game Four (Thursday) and Game Five (Saturday) at the Mohegan Sun Arena are on sale now and available at the arena box office or by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7637.  Once again, the first 500 kids ages 14 and under can get into either game for free with a paid adult admission to that same game.

NOTES:  Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Tom Kuhnhackl made their 2014 Calder Cup debuts in the game….the Penguins have now lost back-to-back games in the postseason for the first time this playoff year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


A quick look at photos, well wishes and other assorted musings from the Twitterverse on an off day. #DigDeep

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Anton Zlobin's sixth goal of the playoffs was all the offense the Penguins could muster, as the St. John's IceCaps squeaked to a 2-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game Two of the AHL's Eastern Conference Final on Sunday night in St. John's.

The best-of-seven series heads to Wilkes-Barre all knotted at one game apiece, with games three, four and five scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday night.

Zlobin's goal came with just 64 seconds left in the game, and with netminder Peter Mannino pulled for the extra attacker.  The Penguins threatened to tie the game in the waining seconds with the IceCaps' Josh Morrissey in the box for kneeing, but were unable to bat a second puck past Michael Hutchnson, who made 34 saves for the win.

St. John's took a 1-0 lead about 14 minutes into the game.  Kyle MacKinnon took a cross ice feed from Blair Riley during an odd man rush, and snapped a shot past Mannino for his second goal of the postseason.

Carl Klingberg made it a 2-0 game 6:24 into the second period with a tip home goal off of a Will O'Neill point shot.

Tickets for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday night are on sale now, and the Pens have two fantastic deals for the third round. Once again, the first 500 kids ages 14 and under can get into any home game for FREE with a paid adult ticket to the same game.  Plus, the Pens have a three-game center ice package, which features tickets to the club seat section for just $75.  These are the best seats in the house, and YOU could be sitting in them.

Penguins ticket reps will be in the office on Monday starting at 9am.  Give them a call at 570-208-7367 to get your seats and join the Gold Rush!



Our current trip to St. John's isn't a vacation by any means (the Penguins mean business!).  However, we did take a quick trip around downtown St. John's this morning to get a little more of the flavor of the area (and to find a Tim Horton's).

St. John's is the largest city in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the 20th largest city in Canada.  It's also considered to be one of the oldest cities in North America, with permanent residents inhabiting the town since the 1630s.

Aside from being old, it's also the most easterly city in North America, sitting right on the Atlantic Ocean.  

Right outside of the Mile One Centre is a marker noting 'Mile Zero' - the start of the Trans-Canada Highway.  The route spans all of Canada, starting in St. John's (or ending, depending on your vantage point) and ending in Victoria, British Columbia.

St. John's has a distinctive Celtic flair to it, with numerous pubs that would fit in downtown Dublin dotting the bustling George and Water Streets and the surrounding roads and alleys.  You can hear the Irish influence in speech when talking to St. John's residents, who have a dialect you won't hear anywhere else.

The Mile One Centre sits just a few blocks St. John's Harbour, which is packed with cargo and fishing ships.  

You can also hop a boat for an iceberg cruise, and appaarently this spring is bringing a big influx of floating ice to the area.

The Atlantic Puffin is the official bird of the province, and can be seen in artwork and community projects around the city (as well as in the stands at IceCaps home games).  We have yet to see a live one in person though.

The island of Newfoundland is sometimes called 'The Rock,' and it's easy to see why when you step outside the Mile One Centre.

There's much more to see in the area, including Signal Hill.  Home to Cabot Tower, the hill was a key fortification and the site of the final battle of the Seven Years' War.  Today it is a national historic site and offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline.  Signal Hill was also the spot where Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission in 1901.

We're hoping to be able to take a trip up to the hill sometime in the future, possibly next week before Game Six.  However we'd delay that trip until next season in favor of a quick series victory against the IceCaps!