Tag Archives: Bridgeport Sound Tigers



BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT –The Wolf Pack (24-20-4-3, 55 pts., .539) improved to a high-water mark for the season of four games over .500, and stretched a points streak to ten straight games, the franchise’s longest since December of 2010, by sweeping three games this past week.  On Wednesday at the XL Center, in their annual “Sonar’s Edu-Skate” school-day game, the Wolf Pack saw a 4-0 third-period lead slip away against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but recovered to win 5-4 in overtime.  Ryan Sproul’s second goal of the game was the winner at 3:51 of OT and Lias Andersson had his first multiple-point game in North American pro with a goal and two assists, as the Wolf Pack won their sixth straight home game.  Hartford then started a stretch of six straight and eight out of ten on the road Friday night in Syracuse and went to overtime for a seventh time in nine games before pulling out a 4-3 shootout win over the Crunch.  Filip Chytil had a goal and an assist in regulation, Ryan Gropp had a goal and the shootout winner, and Alexandar Georgiev made 43 saves.  The next night in Hershey, a blazing start carried the Wolf Pack to victory, as Head Coach Keith McCambridge’s team stormed to a 4-0 lead in the first 8:03 of the first period, on the way to a 5-2 win.  Sproul had the game-winning goal and an assist in that game, Steven Fogarty added a goal and an assist, and Brandon Halverson was victorious in his first AHL appearance of the season, making 31 saves.

For the latest AHL standings, click here. Continue reading


CANTLON: Pack Clamp Down on the Bruins Win 3-1


BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Strong team defense, opportunistic scoring, and timely goaltending combined to give the Hartford Wolf Pack a solid 3-1 victory over the visiting Providence Bruins. The win for the Wolf Pack gave the two teams a split of the weekend’s home-and-home series.

“We’ve put together a good block of games of late, and to keep Providence to 17 shots showed we had real good awareness with, and without, the puck. The forwards and D got into the shot lanes very well and kept the front of the net clear,” Pack head coach, Keith McCambridge, said of his team now 21-20-4-3 record (49 points).

The Pack still trails the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by three points and the two will hook up Wednesday morning at 11 am for the annual Edu-skate game.

After Friday night’s poor defensive effort where the Pack gave up 50 shots in Providence (26-16-3-1), Saturday was different with, to a man, everybody pulled some extra weight for their goaltender, Alex Georgiev.

“We got a point last night because of him,” said Steven Fogarty. “Georgy has been playing so well of late. We wanted to give him a break tonight.” Continue reading


CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: 1/29 – 1/4, 2018

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT – The Wolf Pack (20-20-3-3, 46 pts., .500) went into the AHL All-Star break on a roll, sweeping three games this past week to run a winning streak to a team season-high five games.  On Wednesday night in Utica, Cole Schneider scored his second goal of the game at 2:20 of overtime to lift the Wolf Pack to a franchise-record third straight OT win, a 4-3 triumph over the Comets.  The Wolf Pack then went beyond regulation for a fourth consecutive game, tying a franchise mark, on Friday at home vs. Charlotte, eventually prevailing 3-2 in a shootout.  Boo Nieves had a goal and an assist in that game.  Then, in a rematch with the Checkers on Saturday night at the XL Center, Alexandar Georgiev rang up his, and the Wolf Pack’s, second shutout of the season, and second clean sheet in a span of four games, making 38 saves in a 4-0 Hartford win.

For the latest AHL standings, click here. Continue reading




Hartford Wolf Pack 2, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 (SO)

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack 

Bridgeport, CT, January 19, 2018Marek Mazanec made a team season-high 46 saves for the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday night at the Webster Bank Arena, in a 2-1 shootout win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Mazanec also went 3-for-3 in the shootout, and rookie forward Ryan Gropp had the shootout’s only goal, on his first career pro shootout attempt.  Peter Holland scored a shorthanded goal for the only Wolf Pack tally in regulation, and Travis St. Denis had the only Bridgeport score.  Kristers Gudlevskis made 25 saves for the Sound Tigers, who outshot the Wolf Pack 47-27. Continue reading


CANTLON: (FRI) The Pack Rally Past the Bruins


BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack scored four goals in the third period allowing them to overcome a 3-2 deficit and knocked the AHL’s third-best team, record-wise but fifth in points, over the rival, Providence Bruins, 6-4 on Friday night at the XL Center.

The Pack (13-12-1-3-3) climbed above .500 for the first time since the first month of the season. Despite Bridgeport’s 5-2 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Sound Tigers (29 points) remain ahead of the Pack (32 points) due to the winning percentage of .518 to.516.

The Pack will be back in action tomorrow afternoon against those very same Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a holiday matinee at 3 pm.

“Our habits are in a good place right now,” a happy Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win that game after clawing back into it. Give credit to the group overall for making sure we got the two points.” Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: December 18-24, 2017


BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT – The Wolf Pack (11-12-3-3, 28 pts., .483) banked three out of a possible four points in a pair of Atlantic Division games this past week, stretching a season-high streak of games with at least a standings point to seven (4-0-1-2).  On Friday night at home, the Wolf Pack exploded for a season-best seven goals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, defeating the second-place Penguins by a score of 7-3.  John Gilmour (2-1-3) and Gabriel Fontaine (two goals) both struck for their first career pro multiple-goal games in that victory.  Then on Saturday night in Springfield, the Wolf Pack were held to one goal, a first-period power-play tally by Ryan Gropp, in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Thunderbirds.   Continue reading



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, December 6, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned goaltender Alexandar Georgiev to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Georgiev was recalled by the Rangers on Dec. 5 and he dressed for the team’s game on Dec. 5 at Pittsburgh. He has appeared in 17 games with the Wolf Pack this season, posting a 4-7-4 record, along with a 3.29 GAA and a .897 SV%. Georgiev has made at least 30 saves in seven of his 17 AHL appearances in 2017-18, including four of his last six AHL appearances.


CANTLON: (SUN) Pack Drop Another One to Springfield


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’S CORNER: XL Ctr Looks to Be Sold

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Expect a final decision in the next two weeks that will likely determine the future direction of the state’s two major multi-purpose hockey arenas, The XL Center in Hartford, and Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

One shoe dropped Wednesday night in Bridgeport.

A bidding process declared that the nationally renowned concert promotion agency, Live Nation in partnership with the local developer Howard Saffan, who was the former president of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, won a bid to convert the baseball stadium to a three-season outdoor concert amphitheater. The building will rival the Meadows/XFINITY facility in Hartford, as a 5.500 seat facility to open in May 2019.

The awarding of the deal to Saffan/Live Nation was ratified by the Bridgeport City Contracts committee board Wednesday night to be sent to the full council to vote to either approve or reject the deal on November 6th, just one day before Election Day.

Thursday morning, an even bigger shoe dropped in the process.

In Hartford, The legislature passed a bipartisan $40 billion budget, but there is only an allocation of $40 million to be bonded (pending bond commission approval) for the XL Center over the next two years to do needed repairs and purchase the atrium.

CRDA Executive Director, Michael Friemuth, was certainly not doing a jig or ringing the church bells either.

“We’re caught in the middle,” Friemuth said. “There is no consensus to shut it down or renovate it either. We’re happy the operating budget was maintained for the building (at $600K) because in the budget previously passed and vetoed by the Governor, (the legislature) had it cut completely and if it had passed, it would be a completely different situation to deal with.

“Now we have two questions before us. We have the $40 million the next two years to do some needed repairs and deal with the Atrium. The larger one is, can we find outside investors by 2019 in helping with the renovation part since there is no appetite in the legislature (to fund) it now.”

The legislative finance committee took the original request of the $125 million half of the publicly stated cost of the project and recommended only $75 million. In one of the failed budgets over the past few months, John Fonfara (D-Hartford), who has the XL Center in his district, had a plan to bond $115 million. That budget went down to defeat when three Democrats defected and sided with a Republican proposal that was vetoed by the governor and was sustained.

Freimuth was under no illusions about the $115 million budget allocation.

“That had no chance of ever passing. Certainly, would have been nice, but I’m a pragmatist about this. You have to be realistic about what you can get given the fiscal dynamics in the state right now. We have fully depreciated equipment in the building, contracts with Spectra, and major tenants, so this is not an easy situation for obvious reasons. The marketplace the XL Center operates in will be changing in the next two years as well. There will be the opening of a new casino and now the amphitheater in Bridgeport.”

Also looming over the head of Freimuth and the XL Center is a provision that if a private investor isn’t found for the current home of UConn Hockey and the Hartford Wolf Pack, the building will be put up For Sale in 2019. It seems it was the polite way to say, “We’re closing the building because nobody will buy a 44-year-old building.” Last year they put out RFP’s for a private investor and received just one response.

Northland Corporation, the owner of Atrium’s title and who has been in a protracted negotiation for almost two years, will now seek more money for the title and deed they hold. Northland could now wait until the building closes to build another building or take a long-term strategic objective Cantlon’s Corner uncovered in the early days, and that was their desire to be the building’s operator.

Now, the current occupants all have expiring contracts. The one ending soonest would be that of the Wolf Pack.

As per the agreement, MSG has to inform the CRDA by December 31st of their intentions regarding the contract.

The two sides have already been in discussions.

“We have been talking the better part of two months and they have expressed their interest to remain in Hartford,”Friemuth said. “Any deal will be short term because that’s what we’re working with right now.”

Friemuth confirmed what Cantlon’s Corner reported two months ago that there is a two-year offer on the table, but he would not confirm the numbers a source stated that would follow the path of the current deal. $1,55 million for 2018 and $1.6 million for 2019 with the check written by Spectra.

Then there is the issue with UConn hockey that has to be sorted out first before any dealing with the basketball teams.

“They clearly need a place to play with no on-campus arena in Storrs. I would say that might be a 2-3 year agreement or year-to-year with options. There are several ways to proceed with it. I think now with the operating budget in place, we can move forward with that piece and the Wolf Pack.”

The ultimate solution for the building though is still nowhere in sight.

“I wish I could say we have something, but we don’t at this point. We’re kind of like the Romans and the Greeks with our Coliseum. Not much has changed. We know the problems and we know what needs to be done and until the fiscal landscape changes, it’s still unresolved. We put a lot of effort in the process. I have learned not to answer my phone after 11 pm anymore that’s for sure,” Freimuth jokingly replied referencing the many late night budget issues that been worked on the past two months.

It seems that we might be leaving a Roman Coliseum in Hartford that future generations will come with backpacks and say, ‘This is where the XL Center once stood,” and where “Hart-City” flatlined.

Cantlon’s Corner will report on a more detailed historical outline of the history of the state’s sports arenas coming soon.


Pack Drop Another 6-3 in Bridgeport To Close Out Weekend


BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings 

BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2-4-0-0) jumped on the Hartford Wolf Pack (3-3-0-1) with three goals in the first period and never looked back posting a 6-3 win in their first regular season meeting of the 2017-18 season.

The Wolf Pack dropped all three of their weekend games by a combined score of 14-4. Clearly, ahead of the team is a long week of hockey correction ahead.

“It was an uphill battle and we were in the box early again and in three-on-threes can’t start that way,” Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said from the hallway outside a clearly dejected locker room.

The first period was all Sound Tigers. The Pack seemed to be still on the team bus parked behind the Webster Bank Arena as each team was completing their first three-in-three on the season. Bridgeport was clearly the fresher squad.

The Sound Tigers used the power play to grab the games first lead. Continue reading