Category Archives: UConn Hockey

CANTLON: HARTFORD WOLF PACK WEEKEND PREVIEW 

CANTLON: HARTFORD WOLF PACK WEEKEND PREVIEW

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT The Hartford Wolf Pack will get a solid test of the resurgence in their play tonight as they play host to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins now sit in second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth overall in the conference with a record of 15-7-1-0. The Baby Penguins also have a two-game winning streak.

“They are a very good team,” Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “They have a lot of balance. They sit where they are in the standings for a reason. For us, it’s about playing the right way as we have of late, and play with consistency and make sure we’re also collecting points along the way with getting eight-out-of-a possible-ten points in our last five games. That helps us along with learning and growing (as a team) and helps impact our play.”

McCambridge gave his players a maintenance day off on Thursday.

The Wolf Pack record stands at 10-12-3-2 (25 points) putting them in seventh place, just two points behind the Hershey Bears and one point behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Continue reading

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: DEC. 11

BY: The New York Rangers

  1. Ty Ronning tallied five points (three goals, two assists), recorded 12 shots on goal, and posted a plus-three rating in three games this week. Ronning tied a single-game WHL career-high with four points (two goals, two assists), recorded six shots on goal, registered the game-tying goal in the third period, and recorded the game-winning goal in overtime to help Vancouver rally from a 3-0 deficit and earn a 4-3 win on Dec. 9 vs. Kootenay. The Rangers’ seventh-round pick (201st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a goal in 17 of the last 22 contests (23 goals, 11 assists over the span). Ronning has registered 29 goals in 32 games with Vancouver in 2017-18, and he has recorded at least one goal in 21 of the 32 contests. He leads the Giants in goals (29), points (43), plus/minus rating (plus-15), and shots on goal (170) this season. In addition, Ronning leads the WHL in shots on goal and ranks third in the league in goals in 2017-18.
  2. Adam Huska posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 1.57 GAA and a .947 SV% (54 saves on 57 shots) in two appearances during the week. Huska stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced to earn a win on Dec. 5 vs. UMass, and he made 28 saves to earn a win on Dec. 8 vs. Colgate. The Rangers’ seventh-round pick (184th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last seven appearances, as well as in nine of his last 11 appearances. In addition, Huska has only allowed one goal in six of his last nine appearances. He has posted a 5-2-0 record, along with a 1.61 GAA and a .943 SV% in his last seven appearances, and he has posted a 1.89 GA and a .932 SV% over his last 11 appearances.
  3. Tim Gettinger tallied two goals, including a shorthanded goal, and posted a plus-two rating to help Sault Ste. Marie extends its winning streak to 15 games on Dec. 6 vs. Sarnia. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in eight of his last nine games (eight goals, four assists over the span), and he has tallied a goal in seven of the nine contests. Gettinger has recorded 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists) and a plus-15 rating in 29 games with Sault Ste. Marie this season. He is tied for 10th in the OHL in shots on goal this season (120). Gettinger also leads Sault Ste. Marie in shots on goal ranks third in goals, ranks fourth in points, and is tied for fifth in plus/minus rating in 2017-18.

Continue reading

CANTLON: UCONN POWER PLAY OVERWHELMS COLGATE 4-2

CANTLON: UCONN Power play Overwhelms Colgate 4-2

 VERSUS      

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT –  Two late powerplay goals gave the UCONN Huskies (8-11-2 overall, 5-7-1 HEA)  the lead and allowed them to pull away from the from the Colgate Raiders  (8-6-4 overall, 4-1-1 ECACHL) and get a 4-2 win in a non-conference matchup in their last game before the Christmas break.

“That was a great way to finish our first half this year,” remarked head coach Mike Cavanaugh. “We had 21 games in the first half. That was the most I have ever been a part of with any team. The team has played extremely well in this stretch and tonight was indicative of how we have been playing,”

The Huskies used 1:21 of a five-on-three power play perfectly with Johnny Austin at the top of the umbrella formation. He took Evan Wiscoky’s well-threaded pass and drilled a 55-footer past Colgate goaltender, Colton Point who was screened out by Jesse Schwartz at 13:51. It was his third goal of the season and his second in as many games. It also proved to be the game-winning tally.

“I saw him there (Schwartz) and I went right up to him after the goal and said, ‘I know you didn’t get an assist, but that’s an assist in my book,’” Austin said speaking of his game-winning goal in the first game he has ever played against his brother Nick, a defenseman on Colgate. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: XL CENTER FUTURE TO BE DECIDED IN 2018?

CANTLON’S CORNER: XL Center Future To Be Decided in 2018?

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT The long and winding road for the future of the XL Center is close to being determined. The former Hartford Civic Center building will either find a new owner with the deep pockets necessary to truly start the necessary renovation/reboot into a truly viable 21st Century arena in 2018 or there could well be a very large CLOSED sign hanging in the front entrance in the very near future.

Last Wednesday, the state bond commission formerly approved borrowing the $40 million dollars that the legislature approved for the next two years. That money will allow the CRDA to purchase the atrium and continue its patchwork maintenance process to keep the building open and functioning.

Time, however, is running out on the repair side as well as the financial side of the ledger sheet.

“We’ve been whistling past the graveyard for some time,” CRDA Executive Director Mike Freimuth stated. “I have said it in many ways, forums and places, I hope they are taking us seriously. Right now we’re in a true Catch 22 situation. We neither have the consensus to fund and renovate (the XL Center) or to shut the building down. Clearly, there are legislators totally opposed to spending another dime on the building, and there are others who support it with some apprehension, but they recognize the need to do something. We (the CRDA) have a task at hand and it’s not easy. This just another hurdle for us.” Continue reading

CANTLON: UCONN BLASTS MINUTEMAN 8-2

CANTLON: UCONN BLASTS MINUTEMAN 8-2

      VERSUS      

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Six different players scored while five of them had a multi-point game as the UCONN Huskies raced past UMASS-Amherst Minuteman 8-2 Tuesday night before 2,723 at the XL Center.

Corey Ronan, Sasha Payusov, Maxim Letunov, Brian Freeman, and Jeff Wight each posted two points for UConn, who despite getting outshot 29-22, took advantage of sloppy UMASS-Amherst defensive work, and porous goaltending was able to combine that with accurate shooting cutting down on their missed shots significantly.

The victory was the largest margin of victory for UConn since 2013. That was their last season in the AHA Conference and was an 8-1 win over AIC. Of course, it was also their largest margin of victory in their four years since joining Hockey East. Continue reading

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: DEC. 4

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: DEC. 4

  1. Sean Day tallied four assists/points and posted a plus-two rating in three games during the week. He established a single-game OHL career-high with three assists and tied a single-game OHL career-high with three points on Nov. 30 vs. North Bay. The Rangers’ third-round pick (81st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in seven of the last nine games (one goal, eight assists), in 11 of the last 14 games (three goals, 12 assists), and in 15 of the last 19 games (four goals, 15 assists). He ranks second on Windsor in assists (16) and is tied for fourth on the team in points (20) this season. In addition, he leads team defensemen in goals (four), assists, and points in 2017-18. Day also ranks 10th among OHL defensemen (min. 20 games played) in points per game this season (0.87), and he is tied for 11th among OHL defensemen in assists in 2017-18.
  2. Lias Andersson tallied two points (one goal, one assist) and recorded three shots on goal on Nov. 28 against Rogle. Andersson has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) over the last three games. The Rangers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered a goal/point in five of the last eight games, tallying nine points (five goals, four assists) over the span. Andersson has also tallied 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his last 12 SHL games with Frolunda, as well as 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 20 SHL contests with Frolunda this season. Among SHL players younger than 20 years old, Andersson ranks second in goals (seven) and points (13) in 2017-18. Andersson also ranks third on Frolunda in goals and ranks fifth on the team in points this season.
  3. Ty Ronning tallied two goals/points and registered 20 shots on goal in three games during the week. Ronning registered a goal, led all skaters with eight shots on goal, and was selected as the game’s First Star on Dec. 1 at Prince George. The Rangers’ seventh-round pick (201st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a goal in 15 of the last 19 contests (20 goals, nine assists over the span). Ronning has registered 26 goals in 29 games with Vancouver in 2017-18, and he has recorded at least one goal in 19 of the 29 contests. He leads the Giants in goals (26), points (38), plus/minus rating (plus-11), and shots on goal (158) thus far this season. In addition, Ronning leads the WHL in shots on goal and is tied for second in the league in goals in 2017-18.

  • Ryan Gropp registered three goals/points in three games during the week, and he posted his first career multi-goal/point game in the AHL by recording two goals on Dec. 2 at Toronto. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has tallied four goals/points in the last four games and five points (four goals, one assist) in the last six contests. 
  • Vince Pedrie registered two points (one goal, one assist) and a plus-two rating on Dec. 1 at Rochester. Pedrie has tallied an assist/point in four of the last six games (one goal, four assists over the span). He has recorded seven points (two goals, five assists) in 14 AHL games this season, and he leads Wolf Pack defensemen in points per game in 2017-18 (0.50). 
  • Vinni Lettieri tallied a point in two of three games during the week (one goal, one assist). Lettieri has registered a point in 13 of his last 20 games, tallying 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) over the span. He leads the Wolf Pack in goals (nine) and power play goals (five), and ranks second in points (16) in 2017-18. In addition, Lettieri ranks sixth among AHL rookies in goals and is tied for ninth among AHL rookies in points this season. 
  • Peter Holland made his debut with the Wolf Pack on Dec. 1 at Rochester, and he recorded his first assist/point with Hartford on Dec. 2 at Toronto. Holland, who was acquired by the Rangers from Montreal on Nov. 30, has registered 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 22 AHL games in 2017-18. 
  • Brandon Crawley recorded two assists/points, including his first career AHL assist, on Dec. 1 at Rochester. 
  • Gabriel Fontaine registered his second career AHL goal/point on Nov. 29 vs. Springfield. The Rangers’ sixth-round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has also posted a plus-three rating over the last three games. 
  • Alexandar Georgiev started all three games for the Wolf Pack during the week, and he made at least 30 saves in two of the three contests. He has made 30 or more saves in four of his last five starts.
  • Dawson Leedahl was reassigned to Hartford from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Nov. 30, and he posted a plus-two rating while making his AHL debut with the Wolf Pack on Dec. 1 at Rochester. Leedahl registered 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 18 ECHL games with Greenville this season prior to being reassigned to the Wolf Pack.

  • Alexei Bereglazov tallied his first assist/point of the season in the KHL and posted a plus-three rating in 25:51 of ice time to help Metallurg earn a 4-3 win on Dec. 3 against Barys. He has averaged 22:16 of ice time per game in 10 games with Metallurg in 2017-18. 
  • Tim Gettinger tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in three games during the week, and he registered the game-winning goal on Dec. 3 at Ottawa. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in seven of the last eight games (six goals, four assists over the span), and he has tallied a goal in six of the eight contests. Gettinger has recorded 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) and a plus-13 rating in 28 games with Sault Ste. Marie this season. He ranks fifth in the OHL in shots on goal this season (116). In addition, Gettinger leads Sault Ste. Marie in shots on goal ranks third in goals, ranks fourth in points, is tied for fourth in plus/minus rating, and is tied for fifth in assists in 2017-18. 
  • Brandon Halverson stopped 36 of 38 shots he faced in his only appearance of the week with Greenville on Dec. 1 against Orlando. The Rangers’ second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has made 30 or more saves in nine of his 12 ECHL appearances this season.
  • Adam Huska stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced to earn his third consecutive win on Nov. 28 against Northeastern. In addition, Huska allowed one goal in a game for the fourth consecutive contest. The Rangers’ seventh-round pick (184th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has only allowed one goal in five of his last seven appearances, posting a 3-3-1 record, along with a 2.00 GAA and a .924 SV% over the span.
  • Dominik Lakatos registered a goal while skating in his second game this season with HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the Czech Republic. The Rangers’ sixth-round pick (157th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in two games with HC Benatky in 2017-18.
  • Tyler Nanne registered a power play goal and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 1 against Wisconsin. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (142nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in the last three games, as well as four points (one goal, three assists) in the last six games. Nanne has registered six points (two goals, four assists) and has posted a plus-two rating with the University of Minnesota this season. He is tied for first among team defensemen in goals and ranks third among team defensemen in points in 2017-18.
  • Tarmo Reunanen tallied an assist while making his season debut with SaPKo on Dec. 2. SaPKo is a team in the Mestis league in Finland. The Rangers’ fourth-round pick (98th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft registered nine assists in 42 games with TUTO in Mestis during the 2016-17 season.
  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced and earned a win on Nov. 29 against Avangard. The Rangers’ fourth-round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has posted a 19-0-1 record, along with a 1.57 GAA, a .941 SV%, and 4 SO in 20 KHL appearances this season. Over the last two seasons with SKA, Shesterkin has posted a 50-4-2 record, along with a 1.62 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 12 SO in 59 appearances. He ranks second in the KHL in SV%, ranks fourth in GAA, and is tied for sixth in shutouts this season.
  • Patrik Virta tallied two assists, recorded four shots on goal, posted a plus-two rating, and won 13 of 20 faceoffs (65.0%) on Nov. 29 against KooKoo. The Rangers’ seventh-round pick (207th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 27 games with TPS in Liiga this season. Virta has tied a Liiga career-high in assists in 2017-18. He ranks third on TPS in assists and is tied for third on the team in points this season.
  • Sergey Zborovskiy recorded an assist/point in all three games during the week (three assists over the span). The Rangers’ third-round pick (79th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has registered a point in four of the last five games (one goal, three assists), and he has recorded 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 21 games with Greenville this season. Zborovskiy is tied for first among ECHL rookie defensemen in points in 2017-18.

“His seemingly near-effortless skating ability has improved. He is stronger, faster, and more powerful than he was last season. He is also processing the play better in both directions.”Rangers Amateur Scout Peter Stephan on Sean Day

CANTLON: (SAT) RIVER HAWKS BLANK HUSKIES

CANTLON: River Hawks Blank Huskies

    VERSUS 

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The UConn Huskies most effective offensive pressure of the game came during the final 2:07 of regulation but it couldn’t produce a game-tying goal and led to a tough 1-0 defeat to visiting UMASS-Lowell Saturday afternoon at the XL Center.

The Huskies pulled goalie Adam Huska upon taking their timeout. The team’s most golden opportunity of the several they had was off the stick of Ed Wisocky from the right point. He zipped a perfect pass to Maxim Letunov who made a gorgeous redirect at the open left side of the net just went wide of the post.

“If we had any puck luck, we would be a scary team. We will take one going off a shin pad at this point. We certainly had enough opportunities at the net, its gotta eventually turn,” UCONN head coach Mike Cavanaugh said with the hope the hockey gods would answer his petitions.

Max Kalter had two quality offensive zone draw wins during the frenetic final two minutes. The wins allowed UConn to keep the pressure on UML. Cory Ronan got stopped and Johnny Austin’s left point drive in the waning seconds got tipped aside by the stick of Hernberg. Continue reading

CANTLON: (SUN) PACK DROP ANOTHER ONE TO SPRINGFIELD

CANTLON: (SUN) Pack Drop Another One to Springfield

      VERSUS      

By: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

SPRINGFIELD, MA Thomas Schermitsch’s early third-period goal turned out to be the game-winner as the Springfield Thunderbirds upended the Wolf Pack 4-2 in a Sunday mid-afternoon meeting at the Mass Mutual Center.

The loss left the Pack (7-8-2-1) with their third straight loss (all divisional). The team is 1-4-2-0 in their last six (3-5-2-0 in their last 10). The Pack is tied with Springfield with 17 points each in the Atlantic Division and in the conference. The Wolf Pack maintain a slight edge in percentage points (.405 to .386) with two fewer losses, holding on to seventh place in the division to avoid being cellar dwellers. Continue reading

CANTLON: (SAT) UCONN EDGES RIT 2-1

CANTLON: UCONN Edges RIT 2-1

  VS.      

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – It wasn’t pretty, but the UCONN Huskies (5-10-2 overall, 3-6-1 HE) picked up a non-conference 2-1 win over RIT (6-5-1 overall, 6-2-0 AHA) on Saturday afternoon before an announced crowd of 3,395 at the XL Center.

Both goalies were the difference in the third period.

Sophomore Adam Huska (21 saves) kept RIT off the board with a series of late saves as the visitors pushed right to the UCONN net for the equalizer.

With 3.1 seconds left, Huska stopped Myles Powell’s backhand attempt from just ten feet out.

The RIT Tigers‘ Liam Kerins had another quality chance with 36.9 seconds left on a right wing side. Huska cut the angle down and made the save.

At the other end of the ice, junior netminder, Christian Short, (32 saves) prevented UCONN from adding to their lead by giving his RIT teammates a chance to try to tie the game.

Short, who played his prep school hockey at Canterbury Prep (New Milford), used all of his 6’4-frame in that effort.

On a two-on-one break, Short smothered Miles Gendron’s shot from the right wing with two minutes to go. Just 1:27 earlier, Max Kalter’s rebound shot was taken away by Short to keep RIT alive. The Huskies’ Zac Robbins backhanded attempt at 12:16 was kicked to the corner and Huska shortly thereafter rejected Alden Dupuis’s bid.

The game’s play was adversely affected by a whistle-happy refereeing combination of Michael Baker and Jack Millea who managed to accrue 24 minutes of penalties out of the first 40-minutes making five-on-five hockey a luxury for both teams.

All the scoring occurred in the first period.

RIT scored the game’s first goal. The Huskies coverage down-low fell short as junior Abbott Girduckis was able to circle the net from the right-wing to the left side. Girduckis found teammate Erik Brown wide-open on the right-wing. Brown deposited his ninth goal of the season into the back of the net at 9:25.

UCONN tied the game at one on the powerplay.

At 13:37, Philip Nyberg posted his first goal of the season from the right point. Nyberg was helped by a perfect screen in front set by Jesse Schwartz.

Schwartz scored the eventual game-winner also on the power play late in the first period. Schwartz was on the doorstep and pounced on a rebound of Maxim Letunov’s shot set up by a great cross-ice feed from freshman Evan Wysocky, at 16:42.

The second period was devoid of any sustained action because of the excessive refereeing.

UCONN finishes its busy November schedule of hockey with a Hockey East matchup with Northeastern Tuesday night at the XL Center at 7 pm

NOTES:

The RIT roster featured just three American-born players (New York, California, and Michigan) with the rest coming from Canada. One player comes from Quebec, with eight from Ontario, seven from Alberta, one from Saskatchewan and one from British Columbia.

Conversely, UCONN has just two Canadians. They have one from Ontario (Schwartz) and one from Quebec (Karl El-Mir).

The World Junior camps start in two weeks for the heralded Christmastime tournament that will be held in Buffalo this year and in Vancouver and Victoria BC, Canada the following year. The US will look to defend its gold medal with UCONN likely to lose Adam Huska to Slovakia as he is age eligible since he will not be turning 20 until May.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE STAFF AT HOWLINGS

FROM THE HOWLINGS STAFF

TO ALL OF OUR WONDERFUL FOLLOWERS,

MAY YOU HAVE A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING…