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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins facts for kids

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins logo.svg
City Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Atlantic
Founded 1981
Home arena Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Colors Black, gold, white, red
                   
Owner(s) Ronald Burkle
Mario Lemieux
General manager Erik Heasley
Head coach J. D. Forrest
Captain Taylor Fedun
Media Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Scranton Times-Tribune
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
WILK Newsradio
AHL.TV (Internet)
Affiliate(s) 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
Championships
Regular season titles 2: (2010–11, 2016–17)
Division Championships 4: (2005–06, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2016–17)
Conference Championships 3: (2001, 2004, 2008)
Calder Cups 0
Current season

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (sometimes known as the WBS Penguins) are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League, and are the AHL 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 have won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy twice for having the best record in the regular season.

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, 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 in six games.

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 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 four seasons of their existence. The 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.

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 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 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
1999–00 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
2020–21 32 13 13 4 2 32 .500 92 107 5th, North Div. 2021 No playoffs were held
2021–22 76 35 33 4 4 78 .513 209 225 4th, Atlantic Div. 2022 W, 2–1, HER L, 0–3, SPR
2022–23 72 26 32 8 6 66 .458 191 224 8th, Atlantic Div. 2023 Did not qualify

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

Players

Current roster

Updated March 5, 2024.

Team roster
No. Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
34 Canada Abbandonato, PeterPeter Abbandonato C L 26 2023 Laval, Quebec W-B/Scranton
86 France Addamo, JustinJustin Addamo C L 25 2023 Clermont-Ferrand, France W-B/Scranton
12 Canada Andonovski, CoreyCorey Andonovski RW R 25 2022 Uxbridge, Ontario Pittsburgh
80 Latvia Ansons, RaivisRaivis Ansons LW L 22 2022 Riga, Latvia Pittsburgh
30 Finland Blomqvist, JoelJoel Blomqvist G L 22 2023 Nykarleby, Finland Pittsburgh
4 Canada Fedun, TaylorTaylor Fedun (C) D R 35 2021 Edmonton, Alberta Pittsburgh
37 United States Filipe, MattMatt Filipe LW L 26 2023 Newton, Massachusetts W-B/Scranton
70 Canada Hamaliuk, DillonDillon Hamaliuk LW L 23 2023 Leduc, Alberta Pittsburgh
85 United States Hayes, AveryAvery Hayes RW R 21 2023 Westland, Michigan W-B/Scranton
79 Canada Headrick, OwenOwen Headrick D R 26 2023 Garden River, Ontario W-B/Scranton
13 United States Hinostroza, VinnieVinnie Hinostroza (A) C L 30 2023 Melrose Park, Illinois Pittsburgh
47 Canada Houde, SamSam Houde C L 24 2021 Blainville, Quebec W-B/Scranton
9 United States Johnstone, MarcMarc Johnstone RW R 27 2023 Cranford, New Jersey Pittsburgh
23 United States Joshua, JaggerJagger Joshua LW L 25 2023 Dearborn, Michigan W-B/Scranton
61 Canada Ouellet, XavierXavier Ouellet (A) D L 30 2022 Bayonne, France Pittsburgh
22 Canada Poulin, SamSam Poulin C L 23 2021 Laval, Quebec Pittsburgh
51 United States Rathbone, JackJack Rathbone D L 25 2023 Boston, Massachusetts Pittsburgh
26 United States Rueschhoff, AustinAustin Rueschhoff RW R 26 2023 Wentzville, Missouri W-B/Scranton
3 United States St. Ivany, JackJack St. Ivany D R 24 2022 Manhattan Beach, California Pittsburgh
53 Russia Samorukov, DmitriDmitri Samorukov D L 24 2023 Volgograd, Russia Pittsburgh
5 United States Shea, RyanRyan Shea D L 27 2023 Milton, Massachusetts Pittsburgh
24 Canada Smith, TyTy Smith D L 24 2022 Lloydminster, Alberta Carolina
72 United States Svejkovsky, LukasLukas Svejkovsky C/RW R 22 2022 Tampa, Florida Pittsburgh
45 Switzerland Waeber, LudovicLudovic Waeber G L 27 2024 Fribourg, Switzerland Pittsburgh
63 Czech Republic Zohorna, RadimRadim Zohorna (A) C L 28 2023 Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic Pittsburgh

Team captains

  • John Slaney, Stephen Leach & Tyler Wright, 1999–00
  • Sven Butenschon & John Slaney, 2000–01
  • Jason MacDonald, 2001–02
  • Tom Kostopoulos, 2002–03
  • Patrick Boileau, Kris Beech & Tom Kostopoulos, 2003–04
  • Rob Scuderi, 2004–05
  • Alain Nasreddine, 2004–06
  • Micki DuPont, 2006–07
  • Nathan Smith, 2007–08
  • David Gove, 2008–09
  • Wyatt Smith, 2009–10
  • Ryan Craig, 2010–12
  • Joey Mormina, 2012–13
  • Tom Kostopoulos, 2013–18
  • Garrett Wilson, 2018–19
  • David Warsofsky, 2019–20
  • Josh Currie, 2021
  • Taylor Fedun, 2021–present

Notable alumni

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

  • Josh Archibald
  • Colby Armstrong
  • Kris Beech
  • Paul Bissonnette
  • Teddy Blueger
  • Dennis Bonvie
  • Robert Bortuzzo
  • Jesse Boulerice
  • Wade Brookbank
  • Sven Butenschon
  • Daniel Carcillo
  • Sebastien Caron
  • Erik Christensen
  • Ryan Craig
  • Simon Despres
  • Brian Dumoulin
  • Deryk Engelland
  • Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Brian Gibbons
  • Alex Goligoski
  • Scott Harrington
  • Tristan Jarry
  • Dustin Jeffrey
  • Nick Johnson
  • David Koci
  • Tom Kostopoulos
  • Tom Kuhnhackl
  • Mark Letestu
  • Ben Lovejoy
  • Jayson Megna
  • Josef Melichar
  • Matt Murray
  • Brooks Orpik
  • Michel Ouellet
  • Toby Petersen
  • Derrick Pouliot
  • Carter Rowney
  • Rob Scuderi
  • Dominik Simon
  • Brian Strait
  • Oskar Sundqvist
  • Tomas Surovy
  • Jeff Taffe
  • Maxime Talbot
  • Eric Tangradi
  • Zach Trotman
  • Joe Vitale
  • Ryan Whitney
  • Tim Wallace

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.

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:

See also

  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
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