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CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 20-26, 2017

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: Feb. 20-26, 2017

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT – The Wolf Pack (19-28-3-2, 43 pts., .413) started a three-game weekend with a 3-2 win at Lehigh Valley this past Friday night, in the front end of a back-to-back set in Allentown, but lost the rematch Saturday evening, 6-4.  The weekend concluded with a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of the Springfield Thunderbirds on Sunday.  Brandon Halverson made a Wolf Pack season-high 42 saves, including 23 in the third period, in Friday’s win, and Justin Fontaine stretched a personal season-high point-scoring streak to seven games (5-4-9) with 2-2-4 in the three tilts.

AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE STANDINGS 

This week:

It’s another three-games-in-three-days set for the Wolf Pack this weekend, as the club continues a stretch of playing six out of seven games at home.  The Hershey Bears visit the XL Center on Friday night for a 7:15 PM game, and then the Wolf Pack head to Springfield on Saturday night for a 7:05 date with the Thunderbirds.  On Sunday the Binghamton Senators make their only regular-season visit to Hartford, for a 5:00 faceoff. Continue reading

TOSTI: RABBITS WIN STREAK CUT OFF BY BLADES

     VERSUS      

Swamp Rabbits Have Win Streak Clipped By Blades

Greenville ends three-game week on the wrong end of 4-3 game with Florida, ending five-game win streak

BY Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits (28-19-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, matched up with the Florida Everblades (34-10-2-3) down to a third-period decision of 4-3, taking their first loss at home in over a month. The Swamp Rabbits held the lead twice against the Everblades, but couldn’t hold on for a weekend sweep of the South Division leaders. Greenville’s home win streak comes to an end at five straight games while also going 4-1-0-0 in a five-game home stand.

The Swamp Rabbits dominated the early part of the hockey game, putting on a show for a season-high 7,276 fans at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The puck luck found Florida first, despite being out shot 9-3 in the first ten minutes. The Everblades Matt Harrington would net the first goal of the game at 12:39, but it didn’t take long for Greenville’s response. Less than a minute later, Tyler Brown deflected his third goal of the season into the net. Matt Prapavessis flew a shot to the front of the net for the fifth-year pro to redirect it past Anthony Peters. Continue reading

TOSTI: RABBITS RUN OVER EVERBLADES

    VERSUS      

Third Period Comeback Catapults Swamp Rabbits over Everblades

Three unanswered third-period goals capped by Justin DaSilva game-winner against South Division-leading Florida earns Greenville fifth consecutive win

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits (28-18-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, came from back from a 4-2 deficit tonight to take down the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Everblades (33-10-2-3) 5-4. The Swamp Rabbits netted three straight third-period goals to earn the victory as Justin DaSilva fired the game-winning goal with one minute left to play. Greenville has won five straight games and are undefeated at home during the last seven contests at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

A power play tally from Bretton Cameron kicked off the third-period rally. The veteran netted his tteam-leading17th goal of the season, deflecting the shot in front of the net. Joe Houk’s shot from the blue line found the body of the captain and tipped into the net to cut the lead to 4-3. The goal set Cameron’s best single season goal total in his career. Greenville finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play. Continue reading

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS PUCKS AND PAWS RETURNS FOR ANOTHER SEASON

Swamp Rabbits’ Pucks and Paws Returns For Another Season

Special game benefiting Greenville County Animal Care featuring local artist, Joe Everson

BY: Briant Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, are excited to host this season’s Pucks and Paws game on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The fundraiser will benefit various animal rescue organizations including Greenville County Animal Care who offers animal adoptions and affordable spay and neutering operations. The County owned animal shelter is moving the Greenville community toward becoming a no-kill community. Members of the players’ families will be posted at each entrance to accept pet food donations on behalf of Greenville County Animal Care at the beginning of the game. Other rescue organizations featured for the game include Last Chance Animal Rescue and Lucky Pup Rescue.

“The Greenville community is so dog-friendly and this has become a fan favorite for our dog-loving fans and friends,” said Chris Lewis, President of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. “There are so many local organizations trying to give homeless dogs, and animals in general, another chance at life, and we are proud and passionate about helping those efforts in any way that we can.”

Fans are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to participate in game day activities. Dogs will be allowed into the game, free of charge, and there will also be bathroom stations at each entrance. Activities will include a Small Dog Race on the ice for dogs under 35 pounds and the Simba Cam, where fans lift their dogs in the stands during timeouts – like the movie, “Lion King.”

Throughout the game, dogs and their owners will have the chance to win dog-related prizes including a free four-week group obedience class from Astro Kennels, $100 gift certificate to Upstate Dog Academy, and a free portrait of your dog by the Swamp Rabbits’ Official Artist, Joe Everson. Dog-free areas are available for the game and information can be obtained by contacting the Swamp Rabbits at 864-674-7825.

Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all season long and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. Download the Swamp Rabbits app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for up to date information right in the palm of your hand.

Ticket packages and group rates for the 2016-17 season are available now! Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more information and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!

TOSTI: (SAT) RABBITS REFLECT THE SUN – WIN THIRD STRAIGHT

      VERSUS      

Swamp Rabbits Knock Off Solar Bears with Third Straight Win

Greenville stops Solar Bears in tracks and overtakes South Division rival for second in the standings.

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits (26-18-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, were propelled to a 5-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears (24-17-5-2) tonight by their forward, Michael Joly, and goaltender, Mackenzie Skapski. The rookie forward scored two goals in the game while the third year netminder made 37 saves. Greenville leap-frogged Orlando in the South Division standings and are 6-4-1-0 against the Solar Bears this season.

Joly has been the most dynamic goal scorer for the Swamp Rabbits this season. The rookie from Gatineau, QC has scored 14 goals in 19 games for the Swamp Rabbits and is tied for second on the team. The QMJHL standout scored his first goal of the game battling for the puck in front of the net. A shot from Justin DaSilva rattled in front of the crease and Joly batted the puck into the net off a defenseman. At that point, Greenville was ahead 2-1 headed into the second period. Continue reading

PACK WIN IN SPRINGFIELD WITH A FLAIR

      VERSUS     

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Springfield Thunderbirds 2

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Springfield, MA, February 10, 2017 – Adam Tambellini scored all three Hartford Wolf Pack goals, for his first professional hat trick, Friday night at the MassMutual Center, in a 3-2 Wolf Pack victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds.

The Wolf Pack won despite being outshot 34-16, as Brandon Halverson made 32 saves.  Steven Kampfer added a pair of assists for Hartford.

Jace Hawryluk had a goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds, and Denis Malgin also scored for Springfield.

The win improved the Wolf Pack’s record to 18-25-3-2 for 41 points and lifted Hartford to within two points of the sixth-place Thunderbirds in the Atlantic Division. Continue reading

TOSTI: ALDERSON RETURNS FROM AHL TO RABBITS

Brandon Alderson Returns from AHL

Swamp Rabbits scoring threat re-joins the team ahead of three-game week against South Division opponents

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-18-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that forward Brandon Alderson has been returned to the Swamp Rabbits by the Syracuse Crunch. Alderson played eight games in the AHL for Syracuse while on loan. Additionally, the Swamp Rabbits have added Ryan de Melo from the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (SPHL) as an emergency backup goaltender.

Alderson earned his second call-up of the season and sixth of his pro career on January 16th. At the time of his call-up, Alderson was tied for the team lead with 11 goals and ranked third on the team in scoring with 22 points (11G, 11A). The Oakville, ON native recorded a point in 11 straight games (8G, 10A) from November 13th to January 11th, a career best and the longest streak of the season for Greenville. His seven multi-point games are the second most on the team.

The fourth-year pro began his career in the AHL with the Adirondack Phantoms and has compiled 144 AHL games since his rookie season. In those contests, Alderson earned 32 points (17G, 15A). He made his ECHL debut on November 28th, 2014 with Reading against Greenville. Alderson has compiled 64 points (29G, 35A) in 96 ECHL games after earning an assist in his debut. Continue reading

STEVE VALIQUETTE TO HOST “HOCKEY NEEDS DATA”

See Map

Editor’s Note:

I am a HUGE supporter of Steve’s. I know him a long time and there are VERY few people who know more or who teach it better than Steve does. If you’re a goaltender or you’re a goaltending coach or a head coach of a youth hockey team or you’re just a stat addict fan, you absolutely could not possibly do better than to go to this event.

RABBITS ROASTED IN THE SUN BY BEARS

    VERSUS   

Swamp Rabbits Come Up Short Against Solar Bears

Greenville rallied for two goals, but Orlando’s third-period tally proves to be enough for win

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Orlando, FLThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-17-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, tied the Orlando Solar Bears (22-15-5-2) during the first and second periods but fell 3-2 to their South Division opponent. Greenville sees their seven-game point streak come to an end in the regulation loss. The teams are now tied for second in the ECHL’s South Division with 51 points.

The Solar Bears opened the scoring a little over nine minutes into the first period. Mason Marchment fought for three shots to get the puck into the net. The winger’s fifth of the season gave Orlando the lead. Continue reading

A TRAGIC DAY AS BRENDA J. CARON PASSES AWAY

BY: Mitch Beck, Howlings

When I first started to get involved with Hartford Wolf Pack 14 years ago, one of the very first people I met at the Hartford Civic Center, now the XL Center, was this bundle of joy, Brenda J. Caron.  She was so bright and friendly and warm. It took me back. I grew up in an environment that caused you to be skeptical of pretty much everything and everybody and here was this person giving me a hug, welcoming me to the arena and just so friendly and funny I didn’t know what to make of it.

Over the years as I first started writing and editing the Hartford Wolf Pack Fan Club newsletter, someone who I could ALWAYS count on to help me was Brenda. She was better than Google when it came to the Wolf Pack. If she didn’t know something I’d ask her, she’d almost always know where I could find out.

At almost every Fan Club event, I would sit with Brenda or at very least she would find me and have that BIG smile she had and have something nice to say about something I’d written or something going on that she was happy about. There are a lot of positive people out there

There are a lot of positive people out there. I just wasn’t used to being around them.

You couldn’t help but notice how thin she was. I just thought she might have had some sort of eating problem. It never occurred to me that she was actually sick until one day I worked up the nerve to ask her and she gave me all of the things she was dealing with. For her privacy’s sake, I’ll keep that out of the story.

When she would be in the hospital and could do so, she’d write to me on Facebook or send an email sometimes and it was NEVER ONCE about self-pity or her pain or anything like that. She was always concerned how my kids were doing or wanted to talk Wolf Pack hockey.

I would always kid her, “Where were you when I was single?” It was a joke between us for a long time. “She’d say funny things to me like, “I was right here,” or most times she would say, “Stop, you have a great family!”

I absolutely adored Brenda.

I haven’t seen her that much in the past couple of years because financial problems and my hockey coaching schedule have prohibited me from getting to as many games as I’d like. The last time I saw her, she said hello and high-fived me as I was going up to the press box. Her last words to me were, “Hey, how’s the kids? You look like you’re in a hurry…hey, we’ll catch up later.” I didn’t see her after that.

Well, I found out this morning that Brenda passed away.

Brenda NEVER was EVER anything but upbeat, friendly and funny. She had such a GREAT sense of humor, even when my endless jokes were bad, she’d always smile or chuckle…or laugh and say, “Stop.”

Brenda battled her health for as long as I’ve known her and having learned of her passing is one of the most INCREDIBLY sad moments of my life.

We didn’t get to spend as much time together as I would have liked because of the responsibilities that I had when I got to games, but this planet rarely sees people like Brenda and this is not just a loss for me, or her family or friends or for hockey or the Wolf Pack even. This is a loss for all of us because a special person has left us.

Going to see the Pack for me will NEVER be the same. I will miss her a great deal… RIP Brenda… You embodied everything that was good and I will miss you terribly…