Category Archives: UConn 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

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: SCHONEY SPEAKS AND OTHER NEWS

CANTLON’S CORNER:

SHONEY SPEAKS AND OTHER NEWS

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

BRIDGEPORT, CT – It’s been a tough season for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Its long-time GM, Jim Schoenfeld, readily admitted it.

“We don’t have the depth that we have had in the past because our drafting position hasn’t been as good. Right now in New York, we only have two first (round) picks in Brady Skej and J.T. (Miller) in our lineup. For the greater good (of the Rangers) we have traded first and second round picks, so it has the left the shelf a bit bare.”

The Pack was always one of the more sought after locations in the AHL for veteran free agents, but that has changed too.

“Many of those guys now look at the Rangers lineup and say, ‘I’m not going to get a shot in New York, so I’ll go elsewhere, (to a place) where I think I can get a potential NHL shot or I’ll go overseas.’”

It is abundantly apparent that the team has been underwhelming in 2016-17 and the goaltending, an area where problems have persisted all season.  Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK HIT THE ROAD THIS WEEKEND

CANTLON’S CORNER:

WOLF Pack Hit the Road This Weekend

By: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack will be on the road this weekend, in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to take on the Penguins and then in Springfield against the Thunderbirds on Saturday and Sunday in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers.

At the end of practice, the sounds emanating throughout the rink were the players themselves. It was like Section 105 at the XL Center going crazy banging on the boards and hollering as they were simulating a wild late game finish. Despite their last place position in the division and their 29th spot in the overall standing in the AHL, there is still a lot of pride and passion left in the locker room for the 20th Anniversary edition of the team. Continue reading

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 6

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: MAR. 6

  • 1) Tim Gettinger, LW, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) – Gettinger tallied a point in all three games he played in last week (one goal, four assists), and he tied a single-game OHL career-high with three assists on Mar. 3 at Guelph. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in five of the last six games, tallying nine points (five goals, four assists) over the span. Gettinger has established OHL career-highs in goals (28) and points (49) this season, and he is one assist away from tying his OHL career-high. In addition, he ranks third on the Greyhounds in goals and ranks fourth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-21) in 2016-17.
  • 2) Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp registered four points (two goals, two assists) and a plus-three rating in three games last week, including three points (two goals, one assist) on Mar. 1 at Kamloops. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in 21 of the last 23 games, tallying 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) over the span. In addition, Gropp has recorded a point in 26 of the last 29 contests, registering 51 points (22 goals, 29 assists) in those 29 games. Gropp leads Seattle in goals (31) and ranks second on the team in assists (44) and points (75) this season. In addition, he has established WHL career-highs in assists and points in 2016-17, and he has registered at least 30 goals for the third consecutive season.
  • 3) Gabriel Fontaine, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) – Fontaine tallied two assists/points and posted a plus-four rating in three games last week. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has established QMJHL career-highs in assists (28) and points (48) this season, and his 20 goals are tied for his QMJHL career-high. Fontaine has recorded an assist/point in four of the last five games (four assists over the span). In addition, he has tallied a point in 11 of the last 17 games (two goals, nine assists), as well as in 17 of the last 24 games (11 goals, 12 assists). He is tied for fourth on the Huskies in points and ranks fifth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-27) this season.

Continue reading

CANTLON: HUSKIES OF NORTHEASTERN ELIMINATE HUSKIES OF UCONN

      VERSUS      

Northeastern Power Play Propels Them Past UCONN 6-2

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

BOSTON, MANortheastern University scored three powerplay goals late in the game to pull away from the UConn Huskies 6-2 on Saturday night. The loss eliminated UConn in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs dropping the Best-Of-Three series with Northeastern, two games to none.

UConn’s season ends with a 13-16-8 record. Northeastern advances on to the next round and saw their record improve on the year to 18-13-5.

In a one-goal game, a call midway through the third period on one of the smallest players on the ice, UConn senior, Evan Richardson, by the referee at center ice about the action in the corner located more than 100 feet away, was a bit perplexing.

“(The ref’s) a real pro. He wouldn’t make the call if he didn’t feel it was earned.” Huskies’ head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “(The hit that caused the call) was behind the play and I haven’t looked at it yet. It was a good game until we took a five-minute major.”   Continue reading

CANTLON: ALBANY ACADEMY ELIMINATES TAFT

      VERSUS      

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

WATERTOWN, CT Despite putting up a furious comeback attempt, it wasn’t enough for Taft School (15-8-1) to overcome the speed and defensive prowess of the Albany Academy (21-8-5) who beat them 3-1 Thursday. The loss eliminated Taft from the NEPSAC Boys Large Division prep school playoff tournament.

The loss eliminated Taft from the NEPSAC Boys Large Division prep school playoff tournament.

Taft started off quickly scoring at 2:19 as Shea Courtemanche (Madison, CT) tallied a set up by Azan Dorsett (McKinney, TX) and Ryan Colwell (Levittown, NY).

Albany Academy launched 18 shots in the second period allowing them to gain control of the game. The 18 shots resulted in two goals within a 44-second span. Continue reading

CANTLON: UCONN KNOCKS OFF UNH

      VERSUS     

Huskies Look To Secure Hockey East Home Playoff Series

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – On a special Senior Night, the UConn Huskies (12-14-8 overall, 8-10-4 HEA) ended their topsy-turvy Hockey East season with a 4-2  win over the University of New Hampshire. The Huskies finished the regular season with their best record in the three years they’ve played in Hockey East.

Despite the win, the Huskies could not secure a first round Hockey East home playoff series. The hosting opportunity evaporated when Merrimack College knocked off the University of Vermont allowing the Warriors to claim the eighth seed. The Huskies will now travel to Northeastern next weekend.

“From start-to-finish, this was the best weekend we had all season long,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We came out and played really well in the first period, and we were fantastic in the second period, and then we played a lock down third-period. We were happy with the effort.” Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: XL CENTER RENOVATION OFFICIALLY IN STATE BUDGET

The XL Center Renovation Plan Officially in State Budget

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT The State of Connecticut is facing serious money issues with a $1.7 billion deficit. Governor Dannel Malloy has officially put a proposal to add $250 million for the renovation/upgrade of the XL Center in the budget.

“Obviously, it’s not the best time to ask for money, but the time is now. We have put forth a multi-year plan and the costs and the needs involved as part of a true long-term revitalization plan- this is the best option,” the Executive Director of the CRDA (Capital Regional Development Authority), Mike Freimuth, said. ” No question, this is an uphill struggle with serious budgetary constraints, but we have come to a point to put all the pieces we have worked on for the last four years and coalesce them around this plan and move forward. This is a critical threshold that we have approached. We have about exhausted the amount of patching we can do.” Continue reading