CANTLON’S CORNER: TRAINING CAMP AROUND THE CORNER

CANTLON’S CORNER:

Training Camp Around the Corner

By: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT  We are a just a few days away from the 21st Hartford Wolf Pack training camp which will begin at the XL Center on a brand new ice surface.

Pack general manager, Chris Drury, announced the schedule for the team’s 2017 training camp.

The training camp begins with on-ice testing on Sunday, September 24 at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT,  Practice sessions begin the next day (September 25) at the XL Center. The team will follow that same schedule daily through Wednesday when they will have their first preseason action.

That lone home game is closed to the general public. It will take place at noon next Thursday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a game that was originally set to be played at Trinity College.

The Rangers reassigned five players, three to the Wolf Pack in Robin Kovacs, Adam Chapie, Brendan Kotyk. Ty Ronning and Tim Gettinger were sent back to their junior teams.

Kovacs spent all last season with the Wolf Pack. In 72 games, Kovacs tallied just two goals and 21 points and a minus-27. Chapie spent 24 games with Hartford and put only four assists in his ledger before heading back to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for 24 games. While in the ECHL, Chapie registered four goals and 12 points. Ronning played 12 strong games with two goals and five points at the end of last season.

Gettinger (62-21-23-54) and Ronning (68-25-28-53) each have a year of junior eligibility left, Gettinger with Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) and Ronning with Vancouver Giants (WHL). Ronning had a hat-trick in a pre-season game already with the Giants to his credit and will be one of the assistant captains. Kotyk at 6’6 was signed to a deal in the offseason out of the University Minnesota-Duluth (WCHA) where he had in 97 college games seven goals and 16 assists for one of the Frozen Four semi-finalists.

To his credit, Ronning already has a hat-trick in a pre-season game with the Giants and will be one of the team’s assistant captains.

Kotyk at 6’6 was signed to a deal in the offseason out of the University Minnesota-Duluth (WCHA) where he had in 97 college games seven goals and 16 assists for one of the Frozen Four semi-finalists.

PLAYER MOVEMENT

Training camp rosters are starting to get announced and of course, a few ex-Wolf Pack and CT based players are sprinkled throughout the AHL.

In Hershey, Matt Carey, 21 goals and a minus-25 with the Wolf Pack last season, and former Quinnipiac University (ECACHL) player, Jeremy Langlois, have signed training camp PTO’s with the Bears. While at QU in Hamden, Langlois had current Bears assistant coach Reid Cashman behind him on the bench.

Carey was a target of fan abuse in Hershey last season as a video of a missed Carey hit last year eating a lot of glass was played on the Giant Center scoreboard. It angered Wolf Pack players and fueled some late-in-the-game fisticuffs.

In Providence, former Gunnery Prep player Nick Lukko is in camp with the Bruins. His brother, Max, skates with the Sacred Heart University Pioneers (AHA). Their father is Peter Lukko, the CEO of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

In Lehigh Valley camp, skating with the Phantoms are Ryan Segalla (Salisbury Prep/UCONN) and Mark Naclerio (Milford/AOF).

Former Sound Tiger goalie Stephon Williams was assigned by the San Jose Sharks across the hallway to the San Jose Barracuda.

Ex-Pack Brodie Dupont signs an ECHL deal with Norfolk coached by an ex-Nighthawk player and coach, Robbie Ftorek. Their GM also a former Nighthawk in Assistant GM, Miker Santos. He started the season there last year and was signed to a PTO deal with Bakersfield. He had his ECHL rights traded at the trade deadline to Greenville, the Wolf Pack’s Double AA affiliate.

Three more collegians have signed pro deals. Steven Iacobellis from UMASS-Amherst (HE), signs with Wichita (ECHL). Eric Frsschi from Cornell (ECACHL) hooks up with Kansas City (ECHL) while Alexander Dahl of St. Lawrence (ECACHL) goes with Idaho (ECHL).

Two more AHL players singing in Europe just before camp opens. Chris Rumble of the former Binghamton Senators heads to Fischtown (Germany-DEL). Rumble is the son of former New Haven Senator, Darren Rumble. Peter Mueller of Providence signs with EC Salzburg (Austria-AEHL).

Martin Vitolins, the son of former New Haven Senator, Harijs Vtolins, after setting a national US Tier II junior scoring record with 110 assists and 163 points signs with the Long Beach Sharks (WSHL). The Latvian 21-year-old heads back to Europe and signed with Hokki (Finland Division-2).

RANGERS AND ISLANDERS TO LOCK UP IN BRIDGEPORT

NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Webster Bank Arena – Bridgeport, CT
Rangers: 2-0-0 (4 pts)
Islanders: 2-0-2 (6 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their third game of the 2017 preseason tomorrow, Sept. 22, against the New York Islanders at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut (7:30 p.m. – TV: MSG Network). Tomorrow’s game is the third of six preseason contests for the Blueshirts, as the team plays two preseason games each against the Islanders, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. In addition, tomorrow’s contest is the first game of a stretch when the Rangers play four games in five days to conclude the preseason. Continue reading

RANGERS PULL OUT ANOTHER OT WINNER

  Game Summary                            NJD: C. Schneider (ND) M. Blackwood (OT)          Event Summary                            NYR: H. Lundqvist (ND) A. Georgiev (W)

–       HOME COOKING – The Rangers have won 14 of their last 16 preseason games at Madison Square Garden, dating back to Sept. 21, 2009 (14-2-0 record over the span). The Blueshirts have won both of their preseason games at MSG this year.

–       WORKING OVERTIME Both of the Rangers’ two preseason games thus far this year have been decided in overtime.

–       POWER SURGE – The Rangers were 2-for-9 (15:36) on the power play in tonight’s contest and registered a power play goal in overtime. The Blueshirts were tied for 10th in the NHL in power play efficiency in 2016-17 (20.2%; 47-for-233). New York recorded at least one power play goal in 34 games last season, and the Blueshirts posted a 21-9-4 in those contests. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

*           *           *           *

Camp Skates Start Monday at XL Center

 

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 19, 2017:  Wolf Pack general manager Chris Drury today announced the schedule for the Wolf Pack’s 2017 training camp.

The training camp begins with on-ice testing this Sunday, September 24 at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, starting at 1:00 PM.  Practice sessions start this Monday, September 25 at the XL Center, with ice time at 10:30 AM and an off-ice workout at 12:00.  The team will follow that same schedule daily through Wednesday, September 27, prior to the Wolf Pack’s first preseason action.

For the Wolf Pack’s full training camp schedule, which is subject to change, click here

The Wolf Pack open their 2017-18 regular season Friday, October 6, with their home-ice opener vs. the Charlotte Checkers.  Faceoff is 7:15 PM.  Tickets for that and all 2017-18 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, online at hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL campaign can be found online at hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS ADD GOALTENDER ERIC LEVINE

Swamp Rabbits Add Goaltender Eric Levine

Netminder enters fifth professional season after manning the crease with Indy Fuel in 2016-17.

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that goaltender Eric Levine has signed with the team for the upcoming season. Levine is the 15th player signed by the Swamp Rabbits as the team heads down the final stretch of the offseason toward Opening Weekend on October 13th.

Levine, 29, finished his fourth professional season in 2016-17 having spent the year with the Indy Fuel. The netminder played 29 games for the Fuel and made over 900 saves. Levine faced over 40 shots in 12 different outings last year and made 40+ saves in seven of those contests. He also made a career-best 52 saves in a 6-2 win over the Tulsa Oilers on Feb. 18.

“Eric is a big, hard-working goaltender who will give us some depth in net. He’s had some big games in his career and has proven he can play at this level,” said Swamp Rabbits Head Coach Brian Gratz. “We’re excited to have Eric join us and can’t wait to see him here in October.”

Levine has played one game in Greenville in his career. The Wheeling, Illinois native saw 41 shots in the contest and earned a 4-1 win for Indy in the outing. In four ECHL seasons, Levine has played for the Fuel, Colorado Eagles, Fort Wayne Komets, and Utah Grizzlies. The goaltender has also amassed 37 games in the SPHL with the Peoria Rivermen, Pensacola Ice Flyers, and Louisiana IceGators, in addition to five CHL contests with the Allen Americans.

The 6-foot-3 goalie has suited up for 58 ECHL games and made over 1,500 saves. His 19-29-2-1 career record includes four shutouts, 3.30 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. Levine enjoyed a career-best year in 2015-16 with the Colorado Eagles, with a 10-7-0-0 record, 2.30 goals against average, and .915 save percentage.

“There’s going to be competition this season to earn a position on this team. There is nothing else on my mind other than coming into camp and being the best goalie I can be. You’re going to get a hard-working guy, who is going to compete right from day one and do anything he can to help the team succeed,” said Levine. “Guys I know who played under Coach Gratz have had nothing but good things to say about him, the organization and the city. All of that made me really excited to be in Greenville, so it was a no-brainer for me.”

Before turning pro, Levine played four seasons for the Robert Morris University Colonials. In 72 games, he earned a 30-22-11 record, 2.69 goals against average, and .925 save percentage. Levine played in all but seven games during his senior season.

Levine joins the rest of the Swamp Rabbits offseason signings. The names include, forwards Branden Troock, Bretton Cameron, Nick Betz, Ricky DeRosa, Austin McKay, Evan Jasper, Carter Sandlak, Jack Nevins, Allan McPherson, Joe Basaraba, and Caleb Herbert. The team has also inked, as well as defensemen Sean Flanagan, Chad Duchesne, and Joe Houk.

OPENING WEEKEND: Greenville begins the season on Oct. 13, 2017, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena against the Wheeling Nailers. Tickets are at a special price of just $10 for this game. Purchase tickets by clicking here. The puck drops for the Swamp Rabbits’ Opening Weekend at 7 p.m. Join the pregame Fan Fest at 5:30 p.m. for the Dew Street Hockey Zone, inflatables, concessions, music, and more! The Bon Secours Family Fun Pack is also available for this game and includes tickets, food, beverages and a souvenir for just $60! For more information, head to SwampRabbits.com.

NEW HOP SHOP INVENTORY: Head to the Hop Shop to check out the Swamp Rabbits new apparel and merchandise! The Hop Shop is open Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Hours are  at SwampRabbits.com.

RANGERS & DEVILS MIX IT UP TONIGHT AT MSG

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
Devils: 1-0-0 (2 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TODAY’S GAME

The Rangers play their second game of the 2017 preseason today, Sept. 20, against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. – TV: MSG Network). Today’s game is the second of six preseason contests for the Blueshirts, as the team plays two preseason games each against the Islanders, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Entering today’s game, the Rangers have won 13 of their last 15 preseason games at MSG (13-2-0 record), dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.

RANGERS PROJECTED LINEUP

The following players are expected to play in tomorrow’s game against the Devils:

GOALTENDERS

30 Henrik Lundqvist
90 Alexandar Georgiev

SKATERS

12 Matt Puempel
13 Kevin Hayes
18 Marc Staal
20 Chris Kreider
22 Kevin Shattenkirk
25 Andrew Desjardins
26 Jimmy Vesey
36 Mats Zuccarello
42 Brendan Smith
43 Daniel Catenacci
50 Lias Andersson
51 David Desharnais
58 John Gilmour
72 Filip Chytil
74 Vince Pedrie
76 Brady Skjei
78 Ryan Gropp
82 Adam Tambellini Continue reading

RANGERS TRIM TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BY FIVE

RANGERS TRIM TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BY FIVE

49 Players Remain in Training Camp

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, September 19, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has trimmed its Training Camp roster by five players.

Robin Kovacs and Adam Chapie were assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). Brenden Kotyk was released from his NHL Professional Tryout (PTO) and assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Kovacs, Chapie, and Kotyk will all report to the Wolf Pack’s Training Camp.

In addition, Tim Gettinger and Ty Ronning were assigned to their respective junior teams (Gettinger – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League; Ronning – Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League).

The Rangers have 49 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:

Forwards (28): Lias Andersson, Pavel Buchnevich, Paul Carey, Daniel Catenacci, Filip Chytil, David Desharnais, Andrew Desjardins, Bobby Farnham, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Michael Grabner, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Scott Kosmachuk, Chris Kreider, Dawson Leedahl, Vinni Lettieri, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Boo Nieves, Matt Puempel, Cole Schneider, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (16): Alexei Bereglazov, Brandon Crawley, Sean Day, Tony DeAngelo, John Gilmour, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Steven Kampfer, Ryan McDonagh, Vince Pedrie, Neal Pionk, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal, Sergey Zborovskiy

Goaltenders (5): Alexandar Georgiev, Brandon Halverson, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Nell, Ondrej Pavelec

RANGERS’ PIONK PLUNKS OT WINNER OVER ISLES IN PRESEASON OPENER

                        Game Summary                                                        NYI: J. Halak (ND) E. McAdam    Event Summary                                                        (OTNYR: O. Pavelec (ND) B.                                                                                            Halverson (W)

–       HOME COOKING – The Rangers have won 13 of their last 15 preseason games at Madison Square Garden, dating back to Sept. 21, 2009 (13-2-0 record over the span).

–       SHOOTING GALLERY – The Rangers recorded 42 shots on goal in tonight’s contest while only allowing 17 shots on goal against, and 17 of the Blueshirts’ 18 skaters registered at least one shot on goal.

–       KILL ZONE – New York was 7-for-7 (13:05) on the penalty kill in tonight’s contest, and the Rangers only allowed six shots on goal while shorthanded.

–       HOT AT THE DOT – The Rangers won 33 of 53 faceoffs in tonight’s game (62.3%), and seven of the eight Blueshirts who took at least one faceoff in tonight’s game posted a faceoff win percentage of 50.0% or better. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK GET ICE PROBLEM SOLVED

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK GET ICE PROBLEM SOLVED

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTOn Monday, the XL Center dodged a major deflected puck yet again.

A secondary attempt to make ice on Wednesday proved successful and averted what could have been a major problem with kicking off the 2017-18 hockey season at the aging XL Center for both the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack and the UConn Huskies of Hockey East.

With two weeks to go before the Wolf Pack open their training camp, and just three weeks before their first home game, there was genuine concern that there would have been a disruption in the first month of Hartford’s regular season schedule.

Had the inability to make ice continued, the team would have had to find other venues to play their games. Places that would have received serious consideration to host the Wolf Pack and UConn would likely have included Quinnipiac University or the Ingalls Rink at Yale University. Had that occurred, it would have tested the relationship of the CRDA and Spectra in terms of the responsibility to pay for a rink rental in that situation. Thankfully though, they were successful making ice and none of that came to pass.

The Wolf Pack added to the drama with a stunning, and unexpected announcement on Monday. The team’s lone pre-season game at Trinity College, the annual Ryan Gordon Foundation game at Koeppel Community Center Rink, played to aid the Wolf Pack scholarship fund, was moved to the XL Center. The game will be played at noon and is closed to the public.

***LATE BREAKING ARENA NEWS***

The state budget crisis, with more twists and turns than a pro wrestling show, may have finally produced a budget and a big winner will be the XL Center.

Reports surfaced that an approval of $115 million toward the re-boot of the arena has been made. In a rare move, the agreement disregarded a finance committee recommendation made back in March.

The city’s run-down XL Center arena would get the money over two years as part of a budget plan that was debated Thursday night and early Friday morning by the state House and Senate.

Sen. John W. Fonfara, (D) – Hartford, and co-chairman of the legislature’s finance revenue and bonding committee said the capital plan includes $40 million for the current fiscal year and $75 million for 2019.

The allocation is just shy of the $125 million sought by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy but is higher than the $75 million approved earlier this year by the finance and bond committee.

The amount included in the budget plan is close to half of the $250 million needed for a recommended, top-to-bottom makeover proposed for the arena. The project envisioned as being spread out over three or four years. Excluded are the demolition costs as well as the cost of acquiring the title to the atrium, a major linchpin to the re-boot plan.

CRDA Executive Director Mike Freimuth did not return calls for comment.

Late Friday, the budget process was tossed into a blender as three Democrats broke party ranks to vote in favor of the Senate Republican budget proposal. The House also received support from enough Democrats to pass the budget which did not include funds for the XL Center. Governor Malloy has already gone public saying he is going to veto the budget. How this will be resolved and what the XL Center future is, remains nebulous.

(AP News story was included in this segment)

PLAYER AND COACHING MOVEMENT

Ex-Wolf Pack/CT Whale, Brandon Mashinter, signed an AHL deal with the San Jose Barracuda. For Mashinter it returns him to his first pro organization. and ex-Pack John Mitchell signs an NHL training camp PTO with Chicago.

Ex-Pack, John Mitchell, signs an NHL training camp PTO with Chicago.

Former CT Whale, Christian Thomas, signs an AHL free agent deal with Wilkes Barre/Scranton.

Enfield’s Robbie Baillargeon is in the Washington Capitals camp. He signed an ECHL deal with their affiliate South Carolina in the summer. He will also likely be in Hershey Bears (AHL) camp at some point.

Mark Kastelic, son of former Whaler, Ed Kastelic, who has one year of junior eligibility left with Calgary (WHL) is in San Jose training camp as an undrafted invitee.

Mathieu Sevigny, son of ex-Pack Pierre Sevigny, and who was born in Hartford and went undrafted with a year of junior eligibility left with Sherbrooke (QMJHL), is in the Winnipeg Jets rookie camp as an invitee.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced four players signed to AHL contracts in advance of their opening training camp next week.

The four include defenseman Mike Cornell, who played with the Sound Tigers in 2013-14, returns from EHC Straubing (Germany-DEL). The others are Matt Lane (Elmira-ECHL/Rochester), Kellen Jones, the Quinnipiac grad and grandson of former New Haven Blade Terry Jones, and who played in Bridgeport last season, and Pat Cullity, who played three games last year in Missouri (ECHL) (nee Kansas City) and 36 games with the Sound Tigers.

Ben Holstrom, the Sound Tigers captain the last two years and who played in every regular season game both seasons, is attending the parent New York Islanders’ training camp on a PTO deal. Goalie Stephon Williams signs with San Jose (AHL) and defenseman Loic Leduc who split the last two years between the Sound Tigers and Missouri (nee Kansas City) of the ECHL signs with Reading (ECHL).

Goalie Stephon Williams signs with San Jose (AHL).

Defenseman Loic Leduc, who split the last two years between the Sound Tigers and Missouri (nee Kansas City) of the ECHL, signs with the Reading Royals (ECHL).

Former Quinnipiac player, Zach Tolkinen, moves from Kansas City (ECHL) to Wheeling (ECHL) this season.

Ryan Segalla (Salisbury Prep/UCONN) signs with Reading (ECHL).

Mike McKee, a former Kent Prep player, signs a minor league deal with the St. Louis Blues. Should he not make the NHL roster, McKee will be placed on an unaffiliated AHL team since the Blues do not have an AHL affiliate this season. ANother option could be sending McKee to the team’s ECHL affiliate in Indianapolis. McKee is presently on St. Louis’ Traverse City tourney team.

Another AHL’er has signed in Europe. Marc Hagel leaves the former Binghamton Senators and signs with Lorenskog IK (Norway-NEL). That makes 83 AHL’ers who have signed for Europe for this season.

Ex-Sound Tiger, Kirill Kabanov, who first signed with IK Oskarshamn (Sweden-Allsvenskan) this summer, canceled that contract to sign with the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark-DHL).

Former Sound Tiger, Victor Bartley, signed a two-year deal with Orebro HK (Sweden-SHL).

Stephen Seeger (Stamford/Brunswick Prep/CT Oilers), who played junior hockey last year with the Merritt Centennials (BCHL), signs a deal with Lowen Frankfurt (Germany DEL-2).

Jordan Ciccarello (New Hartford/South Kent Prep/Sacred Heart University) re-signs with SG Cortina (Italy-AlpsHL).

Ryan Cole of Trinity College (NESEAC) in Hartford signs with Kongsvinger (Norway-NEL).

A few more US collegians signed deals. Nolan De Jong of the University of Michigan (Big 10) signs with Colorado/San Antonio (AHL) while Davis Jones University Alaska-Fairbanks (WCHA) signs with Cincinnati (ECHL).

Steve Collins of SUNY-Geneseo (SUNYAC) is in Washington Capitals training camp. Collins signed an AHL/ECHL two-way deal with Hershey/South Carolina (ECHL). Collins was the SUNYAC Herb Hammond MVP of the conference and its top goal scorer. He was among the top Division III players in the nation last year. The late Herb Hammond was a long time amateur scout for the New York Rangers.

These signings now make 189 Division I players signing North American pro deals. If you include the 25 players from Division III, that number is 214. 46 signed in Europe making 260 college players from last year transitioning to professionals.

Ex-Sound Tiger, Jordan Hill, retired from playing due to injury. He immediately hooked up as the second assistant coach for the Owen Sound Attack (OHL) for this season. He joins another ex-Sound Tiger, Alan Letang, as an assistant coach.

Former Wolf Pack, Danny Syvret, has retired from playing ending his career. The previous two years, Syvret spent in the German DEL, last year with Nuremburg. He is taking the next step in his professional life in the financial services industry where he hopes to better help players with managing their money.

Syvret does leave open the possibility that he might play again if a contract comes along to his liking. It would most likely be in a Euro league or as an AHL injury cover for a team shorthanded.

Syvret’s younger brother, Cory, played in the AHL and ECHL. He has also announced his retirement and is training to be a referee. He will likely end up in the OHL this year.

The comeback attempt by 42-year-old ex-Pack, Anders Myrvold, was short lived. Myrvold retired at the conclusion of training camp with Valerenga (Norway-NEL).

TRAVERSE CITY CITY TOURNEY RESULTS

The annual tournament didn’t get the results the Rangers had hoped for to start the 2017-18 hockey season

The team finished eighth out of eight teams with a 1-3 record.

The Rangers split their first two games. They got a 3-2 win over Chicago and then were shutout by Carolina 4-0.

In the victory, the Baby Rangers scored the game’s first two goals in a 1:20 span. Malte Stromwall tallied the first goal and Ryan Gropp adding the second at 9:50 of the first period. The eventual game-winner came off the stick of defenseman Sean Day midway through the second period.

The Baby Blackhawks scored twice late in the third period to spoil a shutout bid by goalie Chris Nell. The goals came just 1:32 apart with the second coming on the powerplay.

The Hurricanes pitched a 4-0 shutout spoiling the debut of Russian goalie, Alexander Georgiev, who stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced. The  Rangers had just 19 shots on goal with almost half of them coming from just two players, Ty Ronning and defenseman Neal Pionk. The duo had four each.

The Baby Rangers then dropped their third tourney game 4-1 to the tournament’s host team, the Detroit Red Wings. Gropp scored the lone goal. Nell made 32 saves on 35 shots. Luke Esposito (Greenwich/Brunswick Prep) had an assist and was a plus-two for the Red Wings.

The Rangers closed out the tourney playing in the seventh-place game against Dallas and suffered a 4-1 loss.

Stromwall scored the only Rangers goal, his second of the tournament. Lias Andersson had his best game of the tournament setting up the goal for his first point of the tourney. He had a game-high five shots on net. Georgiev was in goal for the Baby Blueshirts facing 26 shots making 23 saves.

Players of note in the tournament include former UConn Husky, Tage Thompson, the son of ex-Wolf Pack and current Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson. The younger Thompson, now with the St. Louis Blues, had the best performance of the tournament with four goals and nine points leading all scorers.

Thompson closed out his sterling efforts with a three-point (2g, 1a) effort as the Blues dropped Detroit 5-1 in their last game capturing fifth place.

Thompson, had a tough first game going minus-three in a wild 8-5 loss to Minnesota, but had a much better outing in his second game. Thompson picked up a goal and two assists in the third period of a come-from-behind 7-6 overtime victory over Dallas. Thompson scored the game-tying goal with 2:29 left in regulation.

Thompson picked up a goal and an assist including the game-winner, unassisted at 15:32 of the third period of a 3-2 win over Columbus.

The Blues’ Adam Musil, the nephew of ex-Whaler and Ranger, Bobby Holik, also got an assist in the first two games played. He tallied the game’s first goal against Columbus and overall had two goals and four points in four games.

Carolina goalie Callum Booth (Salisbury Prep) helped Carolina to capture third place with a 5-0 shutout of Minnesota. Booth stopped all 29 Wild shots and picked up an assist as well. He also stopped 34 of 36 shots in a 6-2 Carolina win over Detroit. Booth then found himself on the wrong side of a 9-2 shellacking by Chicago where he surrendered eight of the nine goals before getting lifted with just under a minute left in the game.

Booth could be the starting goalie for Charlotte on opening night in Hartford in two weeks at the XL Center.

The aforementioned Luke Esposito picked up an assist in his second game a 4-3 loss to Chicago as did his teammate Dominic Turgeon, the nephew of former Whaler, Sylvain Turgeon.

SEATTLE ARENA UPDATE

The project to renovate the Seattle Key Arena is moving ahead with alacrity and by the end of the year, a deal could be in place with a framework that could see the NHL in the #14 TV market as early as 2020 as an expansion franchise and the 32nd NHL team. Read about it HERE

AND SO THE NEW YORK RANGERS PRESEASON BEGINS

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 48-28-6 (102 pts)*
Islanders: 41-29-12 (94 pts)*

* Records are from the 2016-17 regular season 

BY: The New York Rangers

TODAY’S GAME

The Rangers play their first game of the 2017 preseason today, Sept. 18, against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. – TV: MSG Network). Today’s game is the first of six preseason contests for the Blueshirts, as the team will play two preseason games each against the Islanders, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Entering today’s contest, the Rangers have won 12 of their last 14 preseason games at MSG (12-2-0 record), dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Prior to tomorrow’s game, the Rangers’ Game Group will have a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. at MSG Training Center. The Rangers’ Non-Game Group will practice at 11:30 a.m. at MSG Training Center.  

RANGERS PROJECTED LINEUP

The following players are expected to play in tomorrow’s game against the Islanders: Continue reading