Category Archives: Junior 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

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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

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.

Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK SIGN FORWARD TY RONNING TO ATO

WOLF PACK SIGN FORWARD TY RONNING TO ATO

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Nineteen-year-old was seventh-round NY Ranger Pick in 2016

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, March 23, 2017:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack has signed forward Ty Ronning to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement.

Ronning, a 5-9, 170-pound native of Scottsdale, AZ, just completed his fourth Western Hockey League season with the Vancouver Giants, leading team scorers in points and goals with 25-28-53 in 68 games.  The 19-year-old Ronning also topped Giant skaters in points and goals last year, striking for 31-28-59 in 67 contests. Continue reading

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 20

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 20

  1. Tim Gettinger, LW, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) – Gettinger agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Mar. 16. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft also recorded two points (one goal, one assist), in three games last week. Gettinger recorded a point in nine of the final 12 games of the regular season, tallying 14 points (eight goals, six assists) over the span. Gettinger established OHL career-highs in games played (62), goals (31), assists (23), points (54), and plus/minus rating (plus-26) this season. Gettinger ranked third on the Greyhounds in goals and shots on goal (204) and ranked fourth in plus/minus rating in 2016-17. Sault Ste. Marie faces Flint in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.
  2. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp tallied a point in all three games last week, registering four points (three goals, one assist) and a plus-two rating in the three contests. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft finished the 2016-17 regular season with a seven-game point streak (four goals, six assists over the span). In addition, Gropp recorded a point in 27 of the final 29 regular season games, tallying 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists) over the span. Gropp also recorded a point in 32 of the final 35 contests, registering 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in those 35 games. Gropp led Seattle in goals (35) and points (84), ranked second on the team in assists (49), and ranked fifth in plus/minus rating (plus-25) this season. In addition, he established WHL career-highs in goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating in 2016-17. Seattle faces the Tri-City Americans in the first round of the WHL Playoffs.
  3. Tyler Wall, G, UMass-Lowell River Hawks (NCAA) – Wall posted a 2-0 record, along with a 2.00 GAA and a .934 SV% to help UMass-Lowell win the Hockey East Tournament. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft earned a win in each of his final four appearances in the tournament, posting a 1.78 GAA and a .935 SV% in those contests, and he was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team. In the final game of the tournament, Wall stopped 38 of 41 shots he faced to help UMass-Lowell defeat Boston College, 4-3. In 35 appearances this season, Wall has posted a 25-9-1 record, along with a 2.10 GAA, a .917 SV%, and 1 SO. He is tied for second in the NCAA – and leads all freshmen goaltenders – in wins this season.

Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK HEAD TO HERSHEY FOR THE WEEKEND

CANTLON’S CORNER:

Pack Head to Hershey for The Weekend

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTThe Hartford Wolf Pack officially are eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs. They will, however, get to play the role of spoiler for the rest of the regular season.

The Pack will get their first shot at that as they head into the lion’s den this weekend to play the Hershey Bears on both Friday and Saturday nights. The Bears find themselves in a mad dash with both the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Providence Bruins as the three teams battle it out to make it to the post-season.

The AHL affiliates of the Washington Capitals (Hershey), The New York Islanders (Bridgeport) and the Boston Bruins (Providence), respectively, each have 77 points. The Sound Tigers (37-21-2-1) and Bruins (34-18-5-4) both have a .631 winning percentage while the Bears (33-18-83) trail with at .621.

With fifteen games remaining on the schedule, the Wolf Pack, sadly, are nestled dead last among 30 teams with a 21-35-3-2 record (47 points), a hugely disappointing .385 winning percentage. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: ADAM CHAPIE HAS BIG MICHIGAN TIES

Chapie Has Big Michigan Ties

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT It there’s one thing the Hartford Wolf Pack have plenty of on their current roster this season, it’s a strong tie to Michigan hockey.

From the University of Michigan alumni section, there’s Chris Summers, Chris Brown, Steve Kampfer and Boo Nieves. Rookie Adam Chapie is a Michigan boy as well.

The pride of Oxford, MI, Chapie is a product of the Michigan hockey system that is among the top-prize states where recruiting of players occurs in the US.

Chapie has started, as many first-year players in Hartford do, by skating on fourth line duty. His hard work and dedication have earned him some first line duty. Chapie was playing exceptionally well just before missing 18 games with a lower body injury. Once returning to the lineup and given a chance he has played with Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen. Continue reading