Category Archives: Hockey

CANTLON: PACK SEASON ENDS

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS     Manchester

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – When the Calder Cup Playoffs started there were sixteen team and for 15 of them, their first game will end with a loss. On Wednesday night, that loss came home and greeted the Wolf Pack after the Manchester Monarch’s completed their sweep of the Eastern Conference Finals series with a 3-1 win to advance to the Calder Cup Finals.

The Monarchs will play the winner of the Western Conference final currently going on between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Utica Comets. That series is tied at one game each.

For the Wolf Pack, this was just the second time in the team’s playoff history that they have been swept. The only other time it happened was in a 1999 series with the Providence Bruins who went on to win the Calder Cup. Continue reading

GRENIER: PACK ELIMINATED BY MONARCHS

rp_hartfordwolfpackpuck_thumb.jpg      VERSUS      Manchester

Manchester Monarchs 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 1

BY: Zack Grenier, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, May 27, 2015 – The Hartford Wolf Pack dropped Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night to the Manchester Monarchs at the XL Center, by a score of 3-1.  The loss knocks Hartford out of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Hartford’s lone goal came from Ryan Haggerty.  The goal was assisted by Oscar Lindberg and Carl Klingberg.  Yann Danis had 28 saves on 31 shots.

Manchester had goals from Nic Dowd, Adrian Kempe, and Brian O’Neill.  J-F Berube stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced. Continue reading

CHAIMOVITCH: MONARCHS ADVANCE PAST WOLF PACK

AHL PlayoffsMANCHESTER MONARCHS WIN AHL’S RICHARD F. CANNING TROPHY

Advance to 2015 Calder Cup Finals as Eastern Conference champions

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL, VP Communications

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Manchester Monarchs have won the Richard F. Canning Trophy as the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference champions for 2014-15, claiming the title with a 3-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday night.

The Monarchs are heading to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time in the franchise’s 14-year history. They will take on the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Utica Comets and Grand Rapids Griffins, currently tied at one game apiece.

The top development affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, the Monarchs – led by head coach Mike Stothers – finished with the best record in the AHL during the regular season (50-17-6-3, 109 points), then defeated the Portland Pirates (3-2) in the conference quarterfinals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (4-1) in the conference semifinals and the Wolf Pack (4-0) in the conference finals to earn the right to play for the Calder Cup.

The best-of-seven 2015 Calder Cup Finals will begin at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., on Sat., June 6 (6 p.m. ET) and Sun., June 7 (5 p.m. ET). The remainder of the schedule will be announced following the completion of the Western Conference Finals.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy honors Richard F. Canning, who served the AHL for more than 50 years during his career, including a term as league president from 1958-61. Mr. Canning is recognized as the author of the AHL’s constitution, by-laws and regulations.

CANTLON: PACK PREVIEW, ECF: GAME FOUR – WIN OR GO HOME

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CT –  The math is simple for the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-1= 5.

The Eastern Conference Final series stands at 3-0. The Pack must make the standings, 3-1 if they are to get to Game Five Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Manchester.

Game Four between the Pack and the Monarchs is at the XL Center with the puck dropping just after 7pm.

“It starts with one, right?” queried Pack head coach Ken Gernander. “Whatever transpired before now we have to chalk up to a learning experience. We have to be smarter and a better team moving forward, but certainly our focus is going to be the task at hand.”

That task is not a simple one. Hartford must dismantle and disrupt the Monarchs machine, that last night, maintained puck possession for most of the game and energized their offense and rendered the Wolf Pack offense inoperable.

The Monarchs balanced offensive attack with five different players scoring is a major threat. They seem not to be worried about line combinations as the AHL’s top regular season team started their second line, which has been incredibly successful, consisting of Sean Backman, Nic Dowd and Zach O’Brien who scored the game-winner Tuesday night.

Though the mountain may seem insurmountable given the circumstances, the Pack is not shying away from the challenge.

“It’s fun,” defenseman Michael Kostka said with a slight smile in an empty, silent hallway. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have gone through a lot of character building, experience and games and seasons with other teams.

“Those are fun to come back from. You could say your back is against the wall, but also it’s a situation when you’ve got nothing to lose. I think that is our mindset–leave it all out there,” Kostka, an eighth-year veteran defenseman on his seventh AHL team and started the season in New York with the Rangers, said.

The Pack must get more shots on the Manchester net. They’ve been held to twenty or less in all three games. They must also not allow Manchester to get off to as fast of a start as they’ve grown accustomed to doing. The Monarchs are 10-0 when scoring first in the post-season.

“They (have) executed really well and they’ve done a good job of getting off to a good start,” Kostka said. “We seem to have been playing from behind every game we’ve been in. I don’t think we have put together a sixty-minute game yet in this series and it has shown.”

Freeing themselves from those defensive chains requires the Pack to have the puck more and when they have it to challenge Jean-Sebastian Berube, the Monarchs’ netminder. Berube has shown that he is a susceptible goalie and make his life more miserable to get that first victory. Getting Chris Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, and Ryan Haggerty using their considerable offensive prowess will be the elixir that allows them to get the one they need…the math to play in Manchester again on Saturday night.

CANTLON: LOSS PUTS PACK ON EDGE OF ELIMINATION

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Manchester

BY: Gerry Cantlon, HOWLINGS

HARTFORD, CT – The Manchester Monarchs used surgical like precision to control the puck to take a 5-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night at the XL Center. The win, the third straight by the Monarchs, pushes the Pack to the brink of elimination with Game Four Wednesday night also in Hartford with game-time at 7pm.

The Wolf Pack handed out white rally towels before the game and at points looked like they would use them to signal surrender. While the margin of victory was a two-goal difference, it doesn’t reflect how much Manchester controlled play throughout large portions of the game.

“Clearly, they were the quicker club,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “Little things that we talked about, plays that weren’t available to us, not putting them in dangerous areas, that’s where we were putting pucks.” Continue reading

RANGERS: ONE MORE HILL TO CLIMB…

AND NOW… ANOTHER

seven

NEW YORK RANGERS -7 at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -3
Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL
Rangers: 11-7 (3-3)*
Lightning: 11-8 (3-3)*

*2015 Playoffs Record (Eastern Conference Final Record)

BY: The New York Rangers

TEAM NOTES:

PICK SIX – The Rangers won Game 6 of a playoff series on the road when facing elimination for the second consecutive playoff series, and for the fourth time in franchise history (1994 Eastern Conference Final against New Jersey; 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa; 2015 Second Round against Washington). New York has won Game 6 of a playoff series on the road eight times in franchise history. The Rangers are the first NHL team that has won Game 6 on the road when facing elimination in two consecutive playoff series since the Capitals did so in 2009. Continue reading

GRENIER: MONARCHS’ FIREPOWER OVERRULES WOLF PACK

Hartford Wolf Pack revised      VERSUS      Manchester

Manchester Monarchs 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 3

BY: Zack Grenier, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, May 26, 2015 – Nick Shore and Zach O’Brien had a goal and an assist each for the Manchester Monarchs Tuesday night at the XL Center, to lead Manchester to a 5-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack in Game Three of the teams’ best-of-seven, Eastern Conference Final series.

Manchester now leads the series three games to none, and the Wolf Pack will have to win Game Four of the series Wednesday night at home to avoid a sweep.

Chad Nehring, Danny Kristo and Joey Crabb scored the Wolf Pack goals, and Mat Bodie had two assists.  Adrian Kempe and Brian O’Neill also scored for the Monarchs, and J-F Berube made 17 saves.  Mackenzie Skapski stopped 29 shots in the Wolf Pack net, in his first pro playoff start. Continue reading