Category Archives: Hockey

CANTLON: PACK WIN WITH LOTS OF GOALS ON TIGERS

hartford-wolf-pack-logo-150x133      VERSUS      Bridgeport

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT - “Offense,” was on display at the XL Center Friday night as the Hartford Wolf Pack scored a season high eight goals in game played more like a pond hockey special as the New York Rangers’ top minor league affiliate defeated the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 8-6 before a boisterous crowd of 6,671.

“This wasn’t according to plan,” Pack head coach Ken Gernander said. “Moving forward a lot of things need to be corrected in short order.”

The team’s top line of Chris Bourque, Joey Crabb and Oscar Lindberg combined for nine points and a plus-eight for the game.

“Offensively we did things that are a part of our game plan. Whenever we seem to have some breathing room, we deviated from that and we can’t do that.” Gernander said.

The Wolf Pack record improves to 25-13-3-2 (55 points) as the team inched to within one point of the Springfield Falcons who were defeated handily by the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, 5-0. Second place in the Northeast Division will be on the line when the Falcons and Wolf Pack hook up Saturday night at the XL Center at 7. The Pack have defeated the Falcons the last two times the teams met.

After the loss, the Sound Tigers remain in fifth place in the Northeast Division with a 19-19-5-1 record and head back home to play the Portland Pirates Saturday night.

The Wolf Pack watched a three goal lead they had built shrink down to one nearly midway through the third period. The game’s First Star, Joey Crabb, gave his teammates back the breathing room they needed when he took a short pass from Marek Hrivik, skated to dead center and deked Jessie Graham to the ice. Crabb then put a backhanded pass to Danny Kristo who deposited his second of the night and eleventh of the season into the net at 9:18.

It was the seventh goal that turned out to be the game winner for the Pack.

“It was nice to see him over there and bury it,” Crabb said of Kristo’s goal. “Sometimes you make those plays and it doesn’t work out, so it was good to see (Kristo) over there and finish it off.” Crabb had four points in the game with two goals and two assists.

The Sound Tigers didn’t quit however as Kael Moullierat, who, throughout his career has excelled when playing in the XL Center, was left alone on the left wing. A pass from Cory Conacher to Moullierat led to a shot that banked in off the post for his second of the period and fifth of the period at 15:44 to make it 7-5.

Scooter Vaughan nearly tied the game with almost two and half to go from down on one knee as his shot went through the crease.

Hrivik picked up his second point and squelched a comeback with an empty net goal at 18:51.

The game was made close on a bad play deep in his own zone by Dallas Jackson. The defenseman fired a pass across his own zone that actually became a shot on his own net as Yann Danis stopped Vaughan who’d gotten to the rebound and put it into the net for his eighth of the season at 3:45.

The Wolf Pack penchant for taking bad penalties, especially in the second period, took all of the team’s rhythm away.

“Five-on-five we’re a very good team. We just have to stop takings stupid penalties,” Lindberg said.

On their own powerplay led to the Pack getting burned.

“We obviously didn’t do everything we should have,” Crabb said. “They were making good plays too when (Pack defenseman Matt) Bodie was lying in front of him and putting it into the far corner.” Crabb refers to Moullierat’s shorthanded goal off a two-on-one at 8:01, his first goal of the period that made it 6-5.

The Sound Tigers reduced the lead to one early in the second period on the powerplay.

Griffin Reinhart came in off the left point, took a pass from his defensive partner, Jessie Graham, and beat Danis to the short-side high, over his right shoulder, at 1:40.

The penalty was a double minor held over from the end of the first period after Conor Allen was slapped with an unsportsmanlike call for arguing the hooking call he was assessed with the game’s solo referee, Tim Mayer.

“You can ask Conor what he was thinking. I sure would like to know.” said Gernander.

The Pack regained their two goal lead back on their powerplay scoring 21 seconds into the man advantage. Michael Kostka’s shot found its way through a maze of players including Justin Vaive who was screening in front at 5:06.

The Pack grew that to a three goal advantage once again on the man advantage when Jackson, a former Sound Tiger, hit a sharp diagonal pass that set Kristo free. Kristo then sent a snapshot to the far side for his tenth of the season at 8:50. It was also only Kristo’s second goal in 16 games.

The Wolf Pack’s top line got the team on the scoreboard first in a wild six goal first period.

Lindberg led a break-in and sent a nice short pass to leading scorer Chris Bourque, who slid to the deep part of the right wing circle and stopped on a dime drawing two players o him. Bourque then found Crabb who’d slid to the middle of the slot and got him the puck. Crabb fired his seventh of the season five hole past David Leggio at 4:41.

The Sound Tigers answered back as Jessie Graham fired it from the right point. The shot was stopped by Yann Danis, but Justin Courtnall was able to outwork Kostka and Jackson and backhanded his fourth just 39 seconds later.

The top line factored in the second goal as Crabb returned the favor to freeing Chris Bourque. The elder of the Pack’s two Bourque brothers, came  alone down the left wing where he snapped his eighteenth over the glaringly wide open short-side going top shelf at 7:48.

Then they were heavily involved again on the third goal as Lindberg sent Crabb in alone on the left wing shorthanded with a great flip pass. Crabb. a right-handed shot, snapped his second of the period burying it to the far side on Leggio at 10:19.

“What a pass by Lindberg,” Crabb said. “It was a good player making a real creative play and being able to execute that play. Both of my goals came off of great passes from my linemates.”

It was the Wolf Pack’s sixth shorthanded goal of the season.

The Sound Tigers crawled back to within one at 3-2 on a very odd sequence.

Graham, at the left point, found Reinhart alone on the right side. He then fired a shot/pass to a hard charging John Persson. The puck ricocheted off Persson’s skate and into the corner and Persson took out Danis with Allen on his tail.

CJ Stretch picked up the puck in the left wing corner and fired it into an open net for his sixth of the season.

The goal counted as no call was made on Persson, but Allen was hit with a phantom hooking call at 10:40.

The Pack got that one back as Allen, on the powerplay, snapped one from 50 feet out that beat Leggio cleanly to the stick-side at 14:26. It was his second powerplay goal in as many games.

The play made possible with Ryan Malone winning a one-on-one battle along the left wing with Bridgeport. Malone backhandled the puck to Danny Kristo who fed Allen.

Danis came up big late stopping Colton Gillies on a breakaway with 24.6 seconds left.

NOTES:

  • The 6,671 in attendance marked the second straight sell-out of the lower bowl for the Pack.
  • Tommy Hughes (lower body) is out for another two weeks for the Wolf Pack was the sole injury scratch. Ryan Potulny and Nick Tarnasky were the veteran scratches and Chad Nehring was the healthy scratch.
  • Sound Tigers lost team leading goal scorer Colin McDonald (14 goals) to an emergency recall in Long Island and their top goalie Kevin Poulin (lower body injury) who has third best minutes played (1,699:51) and in appearances (29) in the AHL.
  • Great National Anthem performed by East Hartford police officer Kevin McCarthy as was the rendition of, “God Bless America” from their Middle School.

FUEHRING: ROADIES GET FLATTENED IN FLORIDA

greenville-road-warriors_thumb16       VERSUS      florida-everblades1

YORK LEADS FLORIDA TO 4-0 SHUTOUT OF WARRIORS

Everblades’ netminder makes 33 saves for league-leading fourth shutout this season

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Road Warriors 

FORT MYERS, FLFlorida goaltender Allen York stopped all 33 shots he faced on Friday as the Greenville Road Warriors (25-15-3), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, fell to the Everblades 4-0 at Germain Arena. The loss snapped Greenville’s eight-game unbeaten in regulation streak on the road and dropped the club to 11-9-3 away from the Bon Secours Wellness Arena this season.

York (16-4-3) now leads the league with four shutouts in 24 appearances this season.

BOX SCORE  Continue reading

BELL: PACK WIN WILD ONE AT XL CENTER OVER TIGERS

Hartford Wolf PackBy George Bell, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, January 30, 2015 – Joey Crabb had the Hartford Wolf Pack’s first four-point game of the season, with two goals and two assists, Friday night at the XL Center, and Danny Kristo also scored twice, to lead the Wolf Pack to a wild 8-6 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in front of a crowd of 6,671, the Wolf Pack’s second consecutive lower-bowl sellout.

The Wolf Pack, whose previous season high for goals-scored in a game was five, also got a goal and two assists from Chris Bourque and a goal and an assist each from Michael Kostka and Marek Hrivik.  Kael Mouillierat scored a pair of goals for Bridgeport, and Griffin Reinhart and C.J. Stretch added a goal and an assist apiece.

The Wolf Pack opened the scoring with a goal from Joey Crabb at 4:41 of the first period. Bourque was credited with the primary assist, faking a slap shot from out wide before zipping a pass to Crabb in the slot.  Continue reading

RANGERS: POST GAME “NOT-SO-HAPPY” REPORT

new-york-rangers_thumb13-150x150      VERSUS      montreal1-150x100

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Canadiens: 31-13-3 (65 pts)
Rangers: 27-15-4 (58 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TEAM NOTES:

  • As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in goals against per game (2.33) this season. New York is also tied for first in the NHL in goals against (107) in 2014-15.
  • The Blueshirts have allowed one goal or fewer in five of the last 11 games, seven of the last 16 games and in nine of the last 20 contests. The Rangers lead the NHL in games with one goal or fewer allowed (47) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of the last 20 games and in 19 of the last 28 games (53 goals allowed over the last 28 games; 1.89 goals against per game over the span). The Rangers have allowed two team goals or fewer in 24 of 46 contests this season.
  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on the penalty kill in the contest. The Blueshirts are 53-for-62 (85.5%) on the penalty kill over the last 22 games and are 63-for-74 (85.1%) over the last 25 games.

BLUESHIRT BREAKDOWN:

  • Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in the contest. He has posted a 7-3-0 record, along with a 1.86 GAA and a .940 SV% in his last 10 appearances. Lundqvist has registered a 14-4-0 record, along with a 1.80 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 18 appearances. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. In his last 34 appearances, Lundqvist has posted a 22-9-3 record, along with a 2.02 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 5 SO.
  • Dan Girardi led all skaters with seven hits, was credited with three blocked shots, and recorded two shots on goal while skating in a team-high 24:53 of ice time. The Rangers’ alternate captain leads the team in average ice time (23:24), hits (133), and blocked shots (100) this season.
  • Ryan McDonagh led all skaters with four blocked shots, recorded one shot on goal, and registered one takeaway in 24:38 of ice time. The Rangers’ captain leads the team in blocked shots (55) in the 25 games he has played since returning to the lineup on Nov. 28.

BOXSCORE

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK UPCOMING WEEKEND REPORT

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

CROMWELL, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack are ready to rumble.

The Wolf Pack, holders of a 24-13-3-2  record (53 points) have regrouped in the Connecticut capitol after a few days of rest and relaxation resulting from the AHL All-Star break, begin the stretch run to the playoffs this coming weekend at the XL Center with two key divisional match-ups. Friday night they’ll dance with their intrastate neighbor Bridgeport Sound Tigers and then Saturday will mix it up with their I-91 rival Springfield Falcons . The Pack begin the second half of the season three points behind second place Springfield and four behind first place Syracuse in the Northeast Division.

The Springfield Falcons were beaten by the Pack in each of their last two meetings in overtime, one at home and one on the road.

Both contests are at 7pm. Continue reading

CHAIMOVITCH: AHL REALIGNMENT ANNOUNCED (HOWLINGS TOLD YOU SO!)

ahl-logo_thumb

AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE APPROVES FORMATION OF PACIFIC DIVISION FOR 2015-16 SEASON 

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, American Hockey League

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has formally and unanimously approved the steps necessary to create a Pacific Division within the AHL beginning with the 2015-16 season. Continue reading

RANGERS: LES HABS AT LES MSG TO END LES LOSING

Henrik      VERSUS    carey-price

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Canadiens: 30-13-3 (63 pts)
Rangers: 27-14-4 (58 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers begin a four-game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG 2; Radio: WOR 710 AM). The Blueshirts have won 20 of their last 27 games (20-7-0), including 18 of their last 24 games (18-6-0) and 16 of their last 20 contests (16-4-0). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 30 of their last 41 games (26-11-4), including 23 of their last 31 games (21-8-2). New York has posted a 27-14-4 record this season (58 pts), following a 4-1 loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at Nassau Coliseum. The Canadiens enter the contest with a 30-13-3 record this season (63 pts), following a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, Jan. 27 in Montreal. Continue reading