Baby Penguins Banter: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Regular Season Wrap-Up

Alison MyersCorrespondent IApril 11, 2011

The Penguins accepted several American Hockey League awards at their annual awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon (Photo: AFC Media Photography)
The Penguins accepted several American Hockey League awards at their annual awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon (Photo: AFC Media Photography)

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.

Here is the schedule for the East Division Semifinals. All games can be heard on the Penguins' flagship radio station, 102.3 FM, or purchased on AHL Live for $7.


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.