The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins concluded their regular season this weekend with games against division rivals the Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms.
The Penguins split a home-and-home series with Hershey, dropping Friday’s game by a score of 2-1. However, they got revenge at the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, defeating the Bears 4-2 and surviving two goals by Hershey in the final minute.
Yesterday, in their final home game and regular season finale, the Penguins dropped the Phantoms by a 4-2 score.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished the regular season with a record of 58-21-1 for 117 points. They finished first in the East Division, Eastern Conference and American Hockey League.
John Hynes Named AHL Coach of the Year
Last Wednesday, the AHL named Penguins coach John Hynes the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, given to the AHL’s outstanding coach each year.
Hynes guided the Penguins to their best record in franchise history and the team’s first regular season championship. Despite losing 11 players to call-ups at various points of the year, he helped the team keep up their winning ways and finish with a win percentage of .731.
He is in his second year with the Penguins organization. He joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year as an assistant coach under Todd Reirden and was promoted this season when Reirden accepted an assistant coaching job with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Prior to joining the Baby Penguins, Hynes worked as a head coach with the U.S. National Development Program. He coached three under-18 teams to medals in IIHF championships.
Penguins Give Out Team Awards
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Penguins held their annual team awards ceremony.
In addition to Hynes being presented with his Coach of the Year plaque, the team also received AHL trophies for their regular season championship and East Division title. Brad Thiessen also received the Baz Bastien Award for the league’s outstanding goaltender.
Other awards, presented by local sponsors and those affiliated with the team, included:
Media Award and Community Service Award: Chris Collins
Herb Brooks Memorial Award and Penguin Award: Ryan Craig
AHL Specialty Man of the Year: Ryan Craig
Most Valuable Defenseman: Corey Potter
Fan Favorite: Zach Sill
Leading Scorer: Brett Sterling
Rookie of the Year: Ben Street
Three Stars Award and MVP: Brad Thiessen
Most Improved: Keven Veilleux
East Division Semifinals Schedule, Opponent Set
After Sunday’s games, it was announced that the Penguins would take on the Norfolk Admirals in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
The Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They finished as the fourth seed in the East Division.
Friday, April 15: at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 16: at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, April 19: at Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 20: at Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.
X-Friday, April 22: at Norfolk, 7:30 p.m.
X-Saturday, April 23: at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
X-Monday, April 25: at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
X: If necessary
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for a full preview and predictions of the matchup with the Admirals.