Category Archives: AHL

CANTLON: PACK WINNING CONTINUES

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Portland

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

PORTLAND, ME – The Hartford Wolf Pack train keeps rolling along.

The first game since the All Star break was their most complete game of the entire season for the Wolf Pack as they shut out the Portland Pirates 5-0 on the road. For the Pack, the win is their tenth in their last eleven.

The New York Rangers’ AHL affiliates put a season high forty shots on net and received stellar goaltending from Magnus Hellberg (35 saves). Hellberg’s performance earned him his third shutout of the season and the game’s First Star honors. Hellberg’s performance was supplemented beautifully by good, sound and timely defensive work.

Adam Tambellini had a goal and an assist while Travis Oleksuk chipped in two assist while Tommy Hughes recorded a, “Gordie Howe Hat Trick.”

The Pack are now 24-20-2-0 (50 points) and move into sixth place in the Atlantic Division, but remain just outside the playoff invitation list sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Hartford travels to Albany Sunday for a 5pm contest against the North Division’s second place team, the Devils.

The Pirates record drops to 26-17-1-0 (53 points) and they sit in the third place in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the conference. They will play host to the Providence Bruins on Saturday night.

The Pack got the only goal of the first period. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: (FRI) SOUND TIGERS END PACK WINNING STREAK

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Bridgeport

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Taylor Beck’s two breakaway goals paced the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 4-1 win Friday night at the XL Center. The loss ended the Hartford Wolf Pack‘s eight game winning streak and extended the Bridgeport win streak to three games.

The Sound Tigers at 22-19-2-1 (47 points) are in fifth place in the Atlantic. The Wolf Pack are 22-19-2-0 (46 points) are sixth place in the Atlantic Division and have dropped to the eleventh spot in the conference.

Everything the Wolf Pack did in their winning streak was not in evidence in the game right from the start.

“It wasn’t very indicative of how we have been playing. I don’t want to go into too much detail. We didn’t play well tonight,” remarked a tense head coach Ken Gernander.

The Sound Tigers sealed off the win in third as Beck got a nice short pass from defenseman Scott Mayfield off a clearing in attempt by Ryan Bourque that was picked off by Bracken Kearns originally. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: PACK ROLLING WITH HUGE 5-0 SHUTOUT

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS     Portland

Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Portland Pirates 0

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Portland, ME, February 5, 2016 – Magnus Hellberg made 35 saves for his third shutout of the season, and Tommy Hughes had a goal and an assist Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena, as the Hartford Wolf Pack won for the tenth time in their last 11 games, beating the Portland Pirates 5-0.

The win was the most decisive of the season for the Wolf Pack, whose previous biggest margin of victory had been three goals.  Hartford also had a season-high 40 shots on goal in the game, their first after the AHL All-Star break.

Adam Tambellini also had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, and Nicklas Jensen, Ryan Bourque and Ryan Graves also scored.  Travis Oleksuk had two assists.

“I think we had a really good team effort,” Hellberg said.  “I think Portland was really good, I don’t think the score tells how the game was.  But we scored on our chances, and I think that tells a lot about our team and our character right after this break, too, coming into their barn and taking two points.”

The Wolf Pack scored the only goal of the first period, with Jensen finding the net at 9:56, 13 seconds after a Hartford power play expired.  Hughes fired from the right point and Jensen deflected the puck past Pirate starting goaltender Mike McKenna on the stick side. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: RAFFI DIAZ – LEADING THE WAY

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

CROMWELL, CT – The first half of the season was not the way that veteran defenseman Raphael Diaz  had planned it out.

Diaz signed a free agent one-way NHL deal ($700K) with the New York Rangers on July 1st. The thought of playing in the AHL wasn’t in the cards.

After being one of last cuts in New York’s training camp Diaz reported to Hartford and it turned into an adventurous first half.

Diaz played the first five games of the season and suffered an injury causing him to miss the next six. Then played the next five before suffering a true freak injury against the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins on November 15. It was an injury that would force him to the sidelines for the next 25 games.

“I fell down in a funny, weird way and the muscle was torn. I just needed time for it to (heal) and grow again and make sure it’s 100 percent. It was longer than I thought it would be,” Diaz said. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK TAKE AIM AT PLAYOFFS

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

CROMWELL, CT – As the Hartford Wolf Pack prepared to board a bus to Portland for a weekend on the road,  this group is ready to go for the stretch run.

“This is what you play for,” veteran defenseman Raphael Diaz said. “We have won nine of ten before the break and we’re looking forward to the future.”

“We have had a good stretch, but its going to get ratcheted up as we move forward with each passing day,” Head Coach Ken Gernander stated.

The team’s health is also steadily improving. Right wing Shawn O’Donnell will be back and available to the team.

“It’s always helpful,” Gernander remarked. “It gives us depth and some good healthy competition and hopefully people are playing well and that creates tough decisions for the coaching staff.”

The increase is attributable in no small part to better puck management and has been one of the elements of the recent surge. Continue reading

HAWK’S EYE: OLEKSUK TYPIFIES PACK DEPTH

Oleksuk Action ShotOleksuk Typifies Wolf Pack’s Depth

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT – Unlike last year’s Hartford Wolf Pack squad, which featured high-end production like Chris Bourque’s 29 goals and Oscar Lindberg’s 28, this year’s Pack offense has been much less top-heavy.

In fact, if there has been one consistent offensive theme for the 2015-16 Wolf Pack, it has been steady production by club’s “bottom six” forwards.  Whether it has been Chad Nehring starting the season on the fourth line and jumping into the team leadership in scoring, Nick Tarnasky hitting double digits in goals, or a guy like fourth-year veteran Travis Oleksuk excelling as a key faceoff man and dependable penalty-killer, the Wolf Pack forward lineup has been one that has featured important contributions from every member.

According to Oleksuk, that is an element that has been a critical part of the Wolf Pack’s recent surge.

“That’s definitely key for our lineup, (lines) one through four has been producing and that’s huge,” the former Worcester Shark said recently.  “I mean, we have Tarnasky on the fourth line who’s putting up ten, 11 goals.  That’s a heck of a year for a half year, never mind for a whole year, what he’s going to end up with.  So it’s important for us, we don’t have the guys who are throwing up huge points like some of the other teams.  So as long as everyone’s contributing and doing their part, that’s where we find success.” Continue reading

RANGERS: BRING ON THE FLYERS

Game PreviewBY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, 1:00 p.m. ET
Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
Rangers:
 28-18-5 (61 pts)
Flyers: 23-18-8 (54 pts)

*See the attached document for additional information on all Rangers players

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 52nd game of the 2015-16 season tomorrow, Feb. 6, against the Philadelphia Flyers in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Wells Fargo Center (1:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts are in second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have earned at least one point in 10 of their last 16 games (9-6-1), including nine of their last 14 games (8-5-1) and eight of their last 12 games (7-4-1). The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 28-18-5 record this season (61 points). Continue reading