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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Calder Cup Playoff History Beginning In 2000-2001

2000-2001 WBS Penguins took on Saint John Flames in the Calder Cup Finals

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — In their 2nd season as a franchise the 2000-2001 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team coached by Glenn Patrick thrilled the fans in Luzerne County with a run to the Calder Cup Finals that included series wins over Syracuse, Philly and Hershey then eventually losing to the Saint John Flames in 6 games. Chris Kelleher was a defensemen on that team.

"It was definitely one of the most memorable stretches of my hockey career for sure with the guys that I played with. But the thing that I remember the most is how the city kind of reacted to it," said Chris.

Credit: WNEP-TV 16

The one thing that Chris remembers the most through the Penguins playoff trip through and into the Calder Cup Finals was the fan support. Fans showing up some 2 hours before the games.

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"I remember the warm-ups we're sold out. I would come into the rink 2 hours before the game and the parking lot would be full. And just coming back on a bus trip when we beat Philly down in Philly or Hershey down in Hershey like just people waiting for us at the airport whatever it was it was great," added Chris.

Three short season later the 2003-2004 squad competed for another Calder Cup. Milwaukee the 4-0 sweep got the upper hand, but memories remain to this day for guys like Eric Meloche and Kris Beech 9 goals each in the playoff run series wins over Bridgeport, Philly and Hartford. And goalkeeper Andy Chiodo establishing himself as an all-time great Pen.

Credit: WNEP-TV 16

"It's a team thing out there and they give energy to our whole entire team. Whether they are cheering for one guy or all 20 guys the fact remains the energy is exciting," said Andy.

Credit: WNEP-TV 16

Todd Richards and Dan Bylsma then grabbed the reigns in 2007-2008 behind goalkeeper John Curry's 24 wins. Tim Brent and Chris Minard would lead all scorers with playoff wins over Hershey, Philly and Portland. The Chicago Wolves won the cup in 6 games, and the Pens haven't been back but continue to provide Pittsburgh with players and coaches. 

RELATED: Penguins Pleased With Fan Support During Playoff Push

Credit: WNEP-TV 16

Steve Lloyd Newswatch 16 sports Luzerne County.

Credit: WNEP-TV 16