Category Archives: College Hockey

CANTLON: WOLF PACK WRAP UP DAY

Wolf Pack Wrap Up Day

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The XL Center arena was dark. The ice is gone. Almost no equipment remains in the locker room as the picture was that of a 2016-17  AHL season Hartford Wolf Pack clearly over. While it may be over for the players, for the off ice staff was still at work with their season-ending multiple tasks.

The only news of the day was that the New York Rangers will not be recalling as many players for the playoffs as there have in the past to be a part of the Black Aces squad. The Rangers are ready for a crucial Game 4 in their Best-of-Seven series with the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers find themselves down two games to none. Magnus Hellberg, who was recalled earlier in the week was on the bench in the place on Antti Raanta. Hellberg may remain the only recall, but that remains undetermined.

“The list is truly not finalized as of yet. There are several contractual and other matters that need to be ironed out, but I can say there will be very few players going to New York,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PEDRIE ENJOYING THE LEARNING CURVE


Photo by Joshua Warnock

CANTLON’S CORNER: Pedrie Enjoying the Learning Curve

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT It’s been a baptism of fire for Vince Pedrie in his ascension from the college to the professional hockey world.

Pedrie signed as a free agent out of Penn State University after their elimination by the eventual National Champion Denver University Pioneers and has been adjusting to the professional game since becoming a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack.

“It’s has been a quick adjustment to learn the systems, the team, the pace of play and everything here. The staff and my teammates have been phenomenal in helping in that regard. It’s a lot thrown at you,” Pedrie said.

One thing abundantly evident is that since his arrival, Pedrie demonstrates a lot of confidence in his ability to handle the puck and does it very well. He has been and is getting time on the power play as a result. Right off the bat, Pedrie plunked two assists, his first pro points, when the Pack beat the Springfield Thunderbirds and then against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers saw Matt Carey deflect his shot for a goal. Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FORWARD GABRIEL FONTAINE

NYR AGREE TO TERMS WITH FORWARD GABRIEL FONTAINE

Rangers’ sixth-round pick in 2016 NHL Entry Draft signs entry-level contract

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, April 10, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward, Gabriel Fontaine on an entry-level contract.

Fontaine, 19, skated in 59 regular season games with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this season, registering 23 goals and 29 assists for 52 points, along with a plus-31 rating and 37 penalty minutes. He established QMJHL career-highs in several categories this season, including goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. Fontaine ranked third on the Huskies in goals, ranked fourth in points, and ranked fifth in plus/minus rating. He established single-game QMJHL career-highs with three goals and four points on Mar. 12 vs. Val-d’Or.

The 6-1, 191-pounder has skated in eight playoff games thus far with the Huskies this year, registering five goals and four assists for nine points, along with a plus-four rating and four penalty minutes. Fontaine leads the QMJHL in game-winning goals (three) and overtime goals (two) in the playoffs this year. He has tallied a point in each of the last five games, including a goal in each of the last four contests.

Fontaine has played four seasons in the QMJHL with Sherbrooke and Rouyn-Noranda (2013-14 – 2016-17), and he has recorded 117 points (47 goals, 70 assists) in 194 games. In 2015-16, Fontaine recorded 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 20 playoff games to help the Huskies win the QMJHL Championship and advance to the Memorial Cup.

The Montreal, Quebec, native was a sixth-round (171st overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers.  

CANTLON’S CORNER: WEEKEND PREVIEW, PACK CLOSE OUT HOME SCHEDULE

CANTLON’S CORNER: WEEKEND PREVIEW, Pack Close Out Home Schedule

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT –  The two final two home games of the season for the Hartford Wolf Pack highlight this three-in-three weekend. Friday night it’s the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:15 pm and the dreaded Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL’s best team, closes out the hockey season at the XL Center on Saturday night.

The Pack’s home record, like so many other stats in this highly forgettable season, is the worst in the AHL.  This weekend, the Pack home record is 12-22-2 at the XL Center. They hope to give their fans something to cheer for heading into the six months of hockey hibernation.

“We’re very disappointed that we didn’t make the playoffs. The least we can do is give our fans a couple of wins this weekend and down the stretch to give them reasons to cheer for us,” goaltender Magnus Hellberg said.

The final four games of the regular season are all on the road. Two of them are in the area. Sunday afternoon the team travels downstate to Bridgeport to challenge the Sound Tigers and next Saturday they head up I-91 to play in Springfield. Another rallying point is for the Wolf Pack in its 20

If the team is looking for another cause to rally around in this 20th anniversary season, is not to finish dead last in the AHL. They’ll need to find wins and on Fan Appreciation Night Saturday, they will have their hands full with the Penguins in town. Continue reading

CANTLON: (FRI) PACK TURN UP HEAT TO MELT HERSHEY BEARS’ PLAYOFF RUN

      VERSUS      

PACK TURN UP HEAT TO MELT HERSHEY BEARS’ PLAYOFF RUN

BY: Gerry Canton, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Magnus Hellberg’s 20 saves, and a total team defensive effort coupled with a complete sixty minutes of hockey by the Hartford Wolf Pack helped them earn their first shutout in over a year and a 3-0 win over the visiting Hershey Bears before 4,493 at the XL Center.

The Bears’ (38-20-8-3) playoff hopes took a big hit with the loss as the Providence Bruins defeated the Albany Devils 4-1. The Bruins now hold a two-point edge (89-87) as well as a lead in winning percentage (.657 to .630) over Hershey.

The Pack record improves to 23-39-4-2 (52 points), and they now have a .382 winning percentage. The Pack won the first two meetings this season against Hershey. However, the Bears won the next five games of this series by a combined total score of 25-14. In their final meeting of the season, it was time for some Wolf Pack redemption.

“We’re a team that doesn’t have the playoffs to play for, but it’s always fun to destroy other teams’ playoff run,” Hellberg said. “I don’t want anybody to come in here, in our barn, and think it’s gonna be an easy two points. We played a really good game tonight against a very good team.”

The Pack’s last shutout came on March 20, 2016, in a 3-0 win over the Springfield Falcons by Pack netminder Jeff Malcolm. If you recall, Malcolm stepped off a plane at the last minute to do so. The last shutout at the XL Center by the Pack came on October 17, 2015. It too was a 3-0 score coming against the Utica Comets with Hellberg in net.

Hellberg rarely had to face bang-bang plays except late as he stopped Jakub Vrana first followed by Riley Barber with 2:50 to go. His defense, led by Chris Summers and Mike Paliotta, were blocking shots and taking Bears out of scoring positions all over the ice.

“Compared to last weekend when I faced about 100 shots combined, it was a much better effort all around. I would rather take this than (what happened) last weekend,” Hellberg said. “We played a lot more as a team today. It was nice not see a lot of action for awhile, and I was ready at the end because the guys did a great job in front of me. The guys were throwing themselves in front of the pucks, eating them and for a goalie, when guys are doing that for you, it’s a good feeling.”

Head coach Ken Gernander was pleased with all the aspects of his team’s performance. “I was impressed with a lot of the effort. I was VERY pleased down the stretch with the efforts with all the blocked shots by Palsy (Paliotta ), (Matt) Carey play off a draw. Brownie (Chris Brown) coming around the net (on the goal) passing it out to Jenner (Nicholas Jensen). It’s a pretty unselfish play when he could have stuffed it in himself. There was lots of good stuff tonight.” Continue reading

CANTLON: WOLF PACK BEGIN ROSTER RECONSTRUCTION

Wolf Pack Begin Roster Reconstruction

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The reconstruction of the Hartford Wolf Pack roster for the 2017-18 season has begun.

After another sub-par effort in losing two of their three games last weekend, the team’s GM, Jim Schoenfeld, unloaded on them in the locker room following Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Providence Bruins.

This was not just about a tongue-lashing either. The Rangers’ organization took their first rebuilding steps on Tuesday.

Schoenfeld shipped three players to their ECHL affiliates, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits while bringing one player back. he then went and signed three collegiate free agents to ATO contracts to fill their roster spots. They will play this weekend.

Heading to South Carolina are forward Adam Chapie, defenseman Garrett Noonan, and goaltender Mackenzie Skapski. Brought up to Hartford was goalie Brandon Halverson after he spent two weeks with the Swamp Rabbits.

Coming in will be two players from the Big 10  conference. Head coach Ken Gernander receives a player from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, in forward, Vince Letterri. Joining the team’s defense is Vince Pedrie from Penn State. Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN VINCE PEDRIE

Photo by Mark Selders

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN VINCE PEDRIE

BY: The New York Times

NEW YORK, March 28, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Vince Pedrie.

Pedrie, 23, skated in 39 games with the Penn State University Nittany Lions this season, registering eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points, along with a plus-27 rating and 24 penalty minutes. He was selected to the Big Ten First All-Star Team and the Big Ten All-Tournament Team, as he helped Penn State win the Big Ten Championship. Pedrie’s 30 points in 2016-17 were the most a defenseman recorded in one season in Penn State’s history. Pedrie ranked third in the NCAA in shots on goal (167) and tied for fifth in the NCAA in plus/minus rating in 2016-17. In addition, he led NCAA defensemen in shots on goal, ranked third in plus/minus rating, tied for fourth in game-winning goals (three), tied for 12th in points, and tied for 13th in assists this season.

The 6-0, 195-pounder skated in 71 career games in two seasons with Penn State (2015-16 and 2016-17), registering 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points, along with a plus-30 rating and 56 penalty minutes. Pedrie registered eight goals in each of his two seasons with Penn State, and he also recorded at least 20 points in each season. He was selected to the Big Ten All-Rookie Team and the Big Ten Second All-Star Team during his freshman year in 2015-16.

Prior to beginning his collegiate career, the Rochester, Minnesota, native played four seasons in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Omaha Lancers, Indiana Ice, Bloomington Thunder, and Tri-City Storm. In 194 career USHL games, Pedrie registered 21 goals and 45 assists for 66 points, along with 197 penalty minutes.

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 27

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 27

  1. Gabriel Fontaine, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) – Fontaine registered the game-winning goal in overtime to help Rouyn-Noranda win Game 2 of its first-round series against Halifax on Mar. 25. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) and a plus-11 rating in 28 career QMJHL playoff contests.
  2. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in two games last week, helping the Thunderbirds win the first two games of their playoff series against Tri-City. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft registered a power play goal in the first period of Game 1 of the series on Mar. 24, and he has now recorded 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 28 career WHL playoff games. Dating back to the regular season, Gropp has tallied a point in each of the last nine games (five goals, seven assists), in 29 of the last 31 games (25 goals, 31 assists), and 34 of the last 37 contests (27 goals, 25 assists).
  3. Tyler Wall, G, UMass-Lowell River Hawks (NCAA) – Wall posted a 1-1 record, along with a 1.47 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 1 SO last week, but his season ended as UMass-Lowell was defeated by Notre Dame, 3-2, in overtime on Mar. 26. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft posted a 12-2-0 record, along with a 1.94 GAA, a .918 SV%, and 1 SO in his final 14 appearances of the season. In 37 appearances this season, Wall posted a 26-10-1 record, along with a 2.06 GAA, a .918 SV%, and 2 SO. As of the conclusion of his season, Wall is tied for second in the NCAA in wins and ranks seventh in the NCAA in GAA this season.

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RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD VINNI LETTIERI

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD VINNI LETTIERI

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, March 27, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Vinni Lettieri.

Lettieri, 22, skated in 38 games with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers this season, registering 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points, along with a plus-seven rating and 36 penalty minutes. He established collegiate career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including games played, goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. Lettieri was named as an honorable mention to the All-Big Ten Team, and he was also University of Minnesota’s selection for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. He led the Gophers in faceoff win percentage (55.1%; 268-for-486), ranked second on the team in goals, tied for second in shots on goal (132), ranked third in points, and tied for fifth in assists this season, and he helped the University of Minnesota win the Big Ten Regular Season Championship.

The 5-11, 195-pounder skated in 149 career collegiate games over four seasons with the University of Minnesota (2013-14 – 2016-17), registering 37 goals and 46 assists for 83 points, along with a plus-14 rating and 76 penalty minutes. Lettieri helped the Gophers win the Big Ten Regular Season Championship in each of his four seasons, and he played alongside current Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei for two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15). In addition, the Excelsior, Minnesota, native helped the university of Minnesota win the Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2014-15. Over his final two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17), Lettieri registered 63 points (26 goals, 37 assists) in 75 games, averaging 0.84 points per game over the span

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 13

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 13

BY: The New York Rangers

  1. Sean Day, D, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) – Day agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Mar. 8. In three games last week, the Rangers’ third-round pick (81st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft tallied four points (one goal, three assists). Day notched three points (one goal, two assists), including an assist on the game-winning goal in overtime, on Mar. 12 vs. Flint. He has registered 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) and a plus-16 rating in 60 OHL games this season, and he is tied for sixth among OHL defensemen in goals in 2016-17.2.
  2. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp tallied a point in all three games last week, registered five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-four rating in the three contests. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in 24 of the last 26 games, tallying 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists) over the span. In addition, Gropp has recorded a point in 29 of the last 32 contests, registering 56 points (23 goals, 33 assists) in those 32 games. Gropp leads Seattle in goals (32) and points (80) and ranks second on the team in assists (48) this season. In addition, he has established WHL career-highs in assists and points in 2016-17, and he is two goals away from tying his career-high.
  3. Gabriel Fontaine, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) – Fontaine registered his first career QMJHL hat trick, established a single-game QMJHL career-high with four points (three goals, one assist), and posted a plus-three rating on Mar. 12 vs. Val-d’Or. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has established QMJHL career-highs in goals (23), assists (29), and points (52) this season, and his plus-32 rating is also currently a QMJHL career-high. Fontaine has recorded an assist/point in five of the last eight games (three goals, five assists over the span). In addition, he has tallied a point in 12 of the last 20 games (five goals, 10 assists), as well as in 18 of the last 27 games (14 goals, 13 assists). He ranks fourth on the Huskies in points and ranks fifth on the team in plus/minus rating this season.

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