Category Archives: College Hockey

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 6

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 6

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Never a dull moment in hockey. Plenty to review as news still pours in from the Hartford Wolf Pack and the rest of the hockey world.

WOLF PACK SIGN ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN

The first signing under the Chris Drury regime as Wolf Pack GM has been made.

The Rangers signed defenseman Brenden Kotyk, 25, from the NCAA Frozen Four runner-up University Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (NCHC) who fell 3-2 to Denver University.

Kotyk, who stands 6-6 and weighs 240 pounds, spent three seasons with the Bulldogs.  He is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan.   Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK SIGN DEFENSEMAN BRENDEN KOTYK

WOLF PACK SIGN DEFENSEMAN BRENDEN KOTYK

*           *           *           *

Six-foot-six, 240-pounder Played three Years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, June 8, 2017:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Chris Drury announced today that the Wolf Pack has signed defenseman Brenden Kotyk to an AHL contract.

Kotyk, who stands 6-6 and weighs 240 pounds, comes to the Wolf Pack after three seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCHC).  The 25-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan helped lead the Bulldogs to an NCHC championship this past season, and all the way to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game, in which they fell 3-2 to Denver University.

Kotyk skated in 41 games with UMD in 2016-17, notching three goals and ten assists for 13 points and serving 57 minutes in penalties, the second-highest total on the squad.  He also was a +20 on the season, which was second-best among Bulldog defensemen and fourth-best overall on the team.

In 97 career games in a UMD uniform, Kotyk totaled seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points, along with 85 PIM and a +25.  Prior to transferring to UMD, he played one season with the St. Scholastica College, who play in Division III.

BRENDEN KOTYK’S AMATEUR RECORD

                                    Regular Season               Playoffs

Year     Team              Lge.  GP    G     A   PTS  PIM    GP      G     A     Pts.   PIM

2012-13  St. Scholastica   NCHA  25    7     12  19   37     —     —   —    —    —

2014-15  U. Minn.-Duluth   NCHC  34    1     5   6    16     —     —   —    —    —

2015-16  U. Minn.-Duluth   NCHC  22    3     1   4    12     —     —   —    —    —

2016-17  U. Minn.-Duluth   NCHC  41    3     10  13   57     —     —   —    —    —

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line 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.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 5

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 5

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Five weeks out from the end of the Hartford Wolf Pack season and there are still plenty of things going on.

CALDER CUP FINALS

The Calder Cup finals started Friday night and came to a thrilling conclusion. In Game One, the Grand Rapids Griffins got a goal from Tomas Nosek with 13.9 seconds remaining to break a 2-2 deadlock with the Syracuse Crunch.

The series is in a 2-3-2 format.

Games 2 will also be in Grand Rapids with the next three in Syracuse.

During the regular season, both teams were hit hard when injuries became a factor for their parent clubs, the Tampa Bay Lightning (Syracuse) and the Detroit Red Wings (Grand Rapids) respectively. As time heals all wounds, as both teams got healthy and didn’t make the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, they were able to return players to both their farm teams which benefitted greatly.

Each team won Game 5 of the conference final series to advance to Calder Cup final. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 4 PART 2

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 4 Part 2

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – So much going on right now that one story wasn’t enough to cover it all.

PLAYER AND COACHING MOVEMENT

Magnus Hellberg is getting as far away from Hartford as he possibly can. The now ex-Pack netminder signed a one-year contract with the Kunlun Red Star in Beijing, China for the KHL team that is entering its second season. Hopefully, Hellberg got his yuans up front. Below is a story from the AP on the financial problems of the KHL.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kontinental Hockey League has cut a Russian team as it tries to fix worsening financial problems, including debts to league players of over $17 million.

KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday that the league is removing the Metallurg Novokuznetsk team, which had a 14-46 record and small crowds this season, as it bids to become leaner and more commercially successful.

Croatian team Medvescak Zagreb said in March it would withdraw to join the Austrian-based EBEL league.

Chernyshenko says the KHL — widely considered the world’s strongest league outside the NHL — has been hit by “unprecedented” wage delays to players totaling over 1 billion rubles ($17.7 million).

Seven of the KHL’s 29 teams are “regularly” late with salaries and some players have been waiting over six months for payment.

“The KHL will not stand for this,” Chernyshenko said.

From 27 teams next season, the KHL will cut three more for the 2018-19 season, Chernyshenko said. A statistical rating system measuring teams’ on-ice ability, their finances and crowd appeal will be used to determine who quits the league.

The league also plans to lower the salary cap and close some loopholes which help big spenders. That could make the league more competitive and reduce the dominance of wealthy teams like CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg, which are funded by state-owned oil and gas companies.

SKA won its second KHL championship in three years last month after posting a 46-14 record in the regular season and then winning all but two of the 18 games it played across four rounds in the playoffs.

Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK OFF-SEASON NOTEBOOK – WEEK TWO

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK OFF-SEASON NOTEBOOK – WEEK TWO

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTWhile the lights may be out in Hartford, there is still plenty of hockey going on still in the ECHL, AHL, and NHL.

AHL PLAYOFFS

The Hershey Bears have a three-games-to-two lead in their playoff series with the Providence Bruins after the weekend’s action. On Thursday night, Hershey won a 2-1 OT thriller with, who else but ex-Hartford Wolf Pack, Chris Bourque scoring both goals. The team got the win despite registering just 15 shots on goal. Bears’ goalie Pheonix Copley stopped 39 of 40 Bruins shots. The series is a 2-3-2 format with Game 4 on Friday going to the Bruins in a reversal of the score from the previous night and their own 2-1 win.  In Game 5 on Sunday in Providence, it took OT to get a result again, and Hershey won again as Madison Bowey scored 1:58 into overtime to give the Bears a 3-2 win.

Meanwhile, back in Thursday’s game, Bourque got his first goal early in the third and then the second, the game winner, the other came at 7:23 in overtime both on the powerplay. The Bears evened up their series with Providence at one with Travis Boyd scoring the overtime game-winner in Game 2. Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE-AGENT FORWARD DAWSON LEEDAHL

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE-AGENT FORWARD DAWSON LEEDAHL

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, May 8, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Dawson Leedahl.

Leedahl, 21, skated in 71 regular season games with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, registering 35 goals and 54 assists for 89 points, along with a plus-45 rating and 121 penalty minutes. He established WHL career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, and penalty minutes. Leedahl was the only WHL player who registered at least 30 goals, 100 penalty minutes, and a plus-40 rating this season. He tied for sixth in the WHL in plus/minus rating and tied for 12th in the league in points in 2016-17. In addition, he ranked third on Regina in points, and he tied for third on the team in goals and assists this season. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: 2017 WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME ONE

CANTLON’S CORNER: 2017 Wolf Pack Off Season Volume One

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – There is LOTS of news going on regarding the New York Rangers and their top affiliates in Hartford and even in Greenville With the Swamp Rabbits. We will give to you a weekly series all summer keeping you up to date on all of it.

Week One has plenty to offer.

PLAYERS SiGNINGS

The Hartford Wolf Pack team makeover for 2017-18 is clearly underway.

The first two off season signings were on defense.

The latest is from the collegiate ranks in right-handed shooting rearguard, Neal Pionk. Continue reading

FOR RANGERS UPCOMING GAME FOUR THURSDAY COULD BE THE TIPPING POINT

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 5-4 (1-2)*
Senators: 6-3 (2-1)*

BY: The New York Rangers

The New York Rangers 2017 Playoff Guide (Second Round Edition) is located at the following link: HERE

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow, May 4, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts trail the best-of-seven series, two games to one, following their 4-1 win in Game 3 of the series at MSG on May 2. Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN NEAL PIONK

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN NEAL PIONK

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, May 1, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Neal Pionk.

Pionk, 21, skated in 42 games with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs this season, registering seven goals and 27 assists for 34 points, along with a plus-24 rating and 25 penalty minutes. He established collegiate career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including games played, goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. Also, Pionk helped Minnesota-Duluth win the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Championship, and he also helped the team advance to the Frozen Four and the National Championship Game. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: FUTURE LOOKING BRIGHT FOR LETTIERI

CANTLON’S CORNER: FUTURE LOOKING BRIGHT FOR LETTIERI

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Hockey and sports have always been a huge part of Vinni Lettieri’s life.

Lettieri took the first steps towards becoming a professional athlete when he signed an Amateur Try-Out (ATO) deal to play for the Hartford Wolf Pack for the last nine games of the regular season after the elimination of his college team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, in the NCAA Regionals.

Lettieri played on several different combinations in Hartford including an extended stay with winger Chris Brown.

“It’s a great experience coming here to start to get a taste of pro hockey,” Lettieri said. “I have gone to several player development camps (two with the Rangers and one with Nashville), but this is my first real action. A guy like Brownie is a big body and gets the puck out of the corner. He has been helpful to remember the full cycle in the offensive zone. Sometimes coming out of college you get to a half cycle. There’s always something to learn.”

Shooting the puck has been his main strength. While he did not get that first pro goal, he did show a knack and fearlessness about putting the puck on net. Continue reading