Tag Archives: California



Goals and Fists Lead to Danbury Victory

BY: Zak McGinniss, Danbury Titans

Danbury, CT Nikolai Okhlobystin recorded two goals in a Gordie Howe hat trick, including the game-winning goal, as the Danbury Titans won their second in a row over the Cornwall Nationals by a 5-2 score on Saturday night at the Danbury Ice Arena. Nikita Ivandikov stopped 28 of 30 shots as the Titans retook sole possession of fourth place in the Federal Hockey League. Continue reading


Taft Prep Knocks Off Kent 5-3

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

WATERTOWN, CT – Matteo Mangiardi helped kick off the final month of the regular season for the Taft Rhinos (11-5-1) with two goals and an assist to help knock off Kent Prep 5-3 Wednesday afternoon.

In the third period, Kent (9-5-2) pulled to within one at 3-2 early as Kyle Delmaestro (Syosset, NY) took a pass from fellow senior Troy Daniels (Suffern, NY) and wired one to the top shelf over the left shoulder of Taft goalie Andrew Farrier (Montreal, Quebec) at 1:24.

Taft answered back quickly to re-establish their two-goal lead as Mangiardi (Lake Zurich, Ill) scored an unassisted marker to the far side on Kent goalie Peter Negron (Mahwah, NJ) at 3:20. Taft extended their lead to three goals as Ryan Colwell took a pass from Azan Dorsett (McKinney, TX)  and scored on a clean breakaway on Negron way at 10:59.

Colwell’s goal ended the afternoon for Negron who was pulled for Alex Contey (Nutley, NJ). Kent would add the games last goal as Tyler Cooligan (Webster, NY) tallied off a feed from Daniels earning his second assist of the day at 17:09.

In the second period, Mangiardi scored early for Taft unassisted at 1:36 to establish a 2-0 lead. He popped in his second in a row converting a pass from AJ Barre (Ithaca, NY) at 14:21

Kent answered back as Gustav Lundin (Viken, Sweden) jumped on a rebound Jared Casto (Killingworth) shot one timing the puck to the short side to shrink the lead to 3-1 at 16:02 that point.

Kent lost one of their tri-captains Tommy Tanner (Montreal, Quebec) to a left leg injury midway thru the third period.



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, February 3, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned goaltender Magnus Hellberg to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hellberg has appeared in 26 games with the Wolf Pack this season, posting a 10-9-5 record, along with a 2.86 GAA and a .905 SV%. Hellberg has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six AHL appearances (3-2-1 record, 1.80 GAA, .939 SV% over the span).



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, January 16, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned Marek Hrivik to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hrivik has skated in 16 games with the Rangers this season, registering two assists and two penalty minutes. He has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 12 of his 16 games with the Rangers in 2016-17. Hrivik made his season debut with the Blueshirts on Dec. 6 against the Islanders, and he recorded his first career NHL power play assist/point on Dec. 29 at Arizona.

The 6-2, 197-pounder has skated in 20 games with the Wolf Pack this season, registering eight goals and nine assists for 17 points, along with a plus-three rating and eight penalty minutes. At the time Hrivik was recalled by the Rangers on Dec. 5, he led Hartford in points and shorthanded goals (two), was tied for the team lead in goals and assists, and was tied for second on the team in plus/minus rating this season. In addition, he has recorded a point in 13 of 20 AHL games in 2016-17.



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, December 28, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned goaltender Brandon Halverson to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Halverson was recalled by the Rangers on December 27. In six appearances with Hartford this season, Halverson has posted a 3-3-0 record.

The Traverse City, Michigan, native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 59th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.


Grrrowl Night Festivities Announced

Former Kelly Cup Champions Marks, Pepperall, and Stewart set to attend celebration of historic 2002 Grrrowl season

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, revealed details today about the upcoming celebration for Greenville Grrrowl Night. In addition to honoring the 2002 Kelly Cup Championship team, the Swamp Rabbits will have some very special guests at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

ECHL Hall of Fame inductee and Grrrowl Head Coach John Marks will accompany alternate captain Ryan Stewart and franchise leader Colin Pepperall back to the Well. Greenville will don special 115th-anniversaryGrrrowl jerseys for their 7 p.m. game against the Reading Royals. The jerseys will be auctioned via a mobile app or online both before and during the game. To be eligible for bids, please register on the online app. Continue reading


Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, 8:30 p.m. ET
United CenterChicago, IL
 18-9-1 (37 pts)
Blackhawks: 17-8-3 (37 pts)


The Rangers play their 29th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Dec. 9, against the Chicago Blackhawks in an Original Six matchup at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET – TV: MSG+; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). Tonight’s game is also the final contest of the Rangers’ three-game road trip. The Blueshirts have won 16 of their last 24 games (16-7-1), including 13 of their last 20 games (13-6-1). The Rangers have posted an 18-9-1 record this season. Continue reading


XL Centergerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Nearly two years after a report from SCI Architects was released, and four years after selecting a new management company, (Global now Spectra), the time for decisions to be made on the aging, crumbling, mess better known as, “The XL Center” is finally at hand.

At 6 PM on Tuesday in meeting Room 21 on the sixth floor of the CT Convention Center, the first formal public hearing was held to put forward a full concrete plan to replace the XL Center. The meeting took place amid a state budget that is in critical condition with a projected $1.3 billion dollar deficit for next year and a budget that has mandated 54% spending requirements for 2017 with future budget deficits and budgets with higher numbers in the short term.

“We can’t ignore the reality. We have to go forward or not. We have been babysitting this thing for years. We have been kicking the can down the road for so many years we have lapped ourselves,” said the CRDA Executive Director Mike Freimuth at the conclusion of the hour and 25-minute public hearing.

Freimuth acknowledges that passage of any legislation, in whatever form it could come in, is highly contested.

“We know we have the support of the Hartford delegation. We also know there is a high level of anxiety in the rest of state.”

One of the fiercest opponents spoke during the public comment portion of the evening’s presentation and the lone dissenter of  14 people who spoke..

Senator Joe Markley (R) from Southington and the 16th District made clear his perspective that the money, either for the $250 or $500 million dollar proposal, is not feasible at this time.

“To say there is money for $500 million, there is not, and neither is there for $250 million either. It’s not there. Bonding at that level and in general in the state is crowding our essential state services and whatever the final price tag will be, I don’t is a wise expenditure of money for something we’ll have to subsidize. Nothing in this presentation makes me think that in the end, this will be a profitable enterprise. I also doubt that given the comparable markets, it is unlikely they will attract a major league sports franchise.”

Freimuth understands the Senator’s arguments, but the CRDA is only in the position to present options for dealing with the XL Center. The CRDA has no power of the purse—persuasion is its biggest tool. Freimuth made clear the options before the state and region.

“The real question becomes in real time what will happen. I don’t expect this to be approved tomorrow either, but I don’t think we can go about and do nothing either.

“The budget is the budget and I respect about arguing one project over another. I understand Mr. Markley’s concerns about the money. When I go before he and the other senators for a million or a million a half dollars (every year) and they look at us and say we have daycare centers, homeless shelters and nutrition programs to fund and I genuinely understand it. However, where are we gonna get the money? We have to go through the justification process every time.

“Now the question becomes, ‘Do we have a model to make this profitable on a year to year basis in a transformed arena?’ I do. If we don’t change here and do something, we’re going the way of New Haven (closing and demolishing the XL Center).” Freimuth stated.

The question becomes if the issues are structural or financial?

“It’s both really,” Freimuth said. “The first question is obvious. The building is on borrowed time. Lights don’t work, faucets don’t turn on. Pipes break and any of the other numerous things that have gone wrong – its continuous. The second question is economic pro forma. Is the state going to continue to write checks against red ink? Since we started handling things, we have been up around $3 million. That’s not good. Last year, we did better than we have and came in under a million at $800 thousand and clearly we’re in tough economic times, but decisions have to be made. As bad as the physical issues are, the thinnest of margins is the economic model that could be the determining factor.”

Matt Banyon, the lead architect of SCI Architects and who handled the report, recited much of that information, but added several key caveats to the argument for going ahead with the project as well as a dire warning. “I can say the slow/fast pace of the situation. Operational decay has accelerated. You can go three weeks and everything is OK, and then you have three things go wrong in a week, and as the building gets older and older, you can get into life safety issues here that could shut it down like New Haven.”

Banyon did have praise for the structural portion of the building.

“90 percent of the structure is very strong and sound. We went to our structural engineers and they studied things and said that you could build two more floors and so they’re in relatively good shape, the upper floors. The building has been protected from the rain and the freeze thaw cycle we have here (in the winter).

“The costs are expected. What costs a dollar today will be a $1.20 and eventually will cost $1.40. It doesn’t accelerate like inflation, but costs do go up and you’re never gonna build a cheaper or less expensive building than you can now.”

One of the most critical components to ANY new building that would be built is that the CRDA is seeking to acquire the title to the atrium portion of the building and the property from Trumbull Street to Asylum  in an effort to make certain construction impediments be eliminated.

Northland Corporation and the CRDA have been far apart on what the costs of acquiring the title would be and have been negotiating over the finer points of contract language for over a year. Despite appraisals that each side submitted, a second one is presently under way by the CRDA  to assess the value based on what is being negotiated.

“We’re not going at this like it’s a Cape Cod house selling for $300 thousand,” Freimuth said with a laugh. “We have serious differences over what we think it’s worth and we’re doing a second appraisal because they didn’t accept our first.”

While there is an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in place between the parties, Freimuth went as far as he ever has and probably legally can in discussing this thorny part of the equation.

“They believe we are a unique building unlike any other building in its value and I say then give us an alternative and we’ll look at it and so far we haven’t done that, so we said, ‘We’ll have another set of eyes look at this. What they think its value is and that’s what we have been working on for a better part of a year.”

Combined, the building portion and the atrium, and the purchase of the Trumbull block is likely in the $500 million range though many may think it’s higher than that.

Then there’s the state budget mess and the continued dip in the state bond rating. The state’s rating could go lower thus making the borrowing costs even higher  for this capital budget request which would be a 20-year financial commitment by the state. That committment while still dealing with goods and services being cut, a pension system that is commonly recognized as a major issue eating up a large part of the budget now. In outlying years, how can the legislature that’s already dealing with medical programs and infrastructure needs, possibly be able to address with this and those?

Cantlon’s Corner can report that MSG, contractually required to notify the CRDA by December 31, 2016, will renew their option (which was at their disposal) for the fifth and final year of their deal. The Rangers will receive $1.5 million next season from Global to operate the Hartford Wolf Pack. The $1.5M is one of the highest affiliation fees in the league.

“We have had discussions, and while we have not received anything yet in writing, but we’ll be ready to roll next season for Year 5,” said Freimuth

The foundation of the building for a re-booted or refurbished XL Center, pick your phrase, will be installing a brand new ice surface and its supporting mechanical components to update it from its 1979 status to 2016. A critical question to the success of that portion is, ‘What type of piping will be used?’ Will the new system use PVC piping, which has smaller costs in a large project, but as seen in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, could have a deleterious outcome.

The success of the projected 12 week shutdown of the XL Center tentatively scheduled for mid-May through mid-September 2017 can also be exclusively reported.

“It will be steel piping as this project will be the foundation of a new arena,” Freimuth unequivocally said.

The clock has officially started ticking on whether the XL Center will usher in a new dawn or signal the end of an era. Which way that ultimately goes at this point is truly unknown.




Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-7-1 (31 pts)
Hurricanes: 9-8-4 (22 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers 


The Rangers play their 24th game of the 2016-17 season tomorrow, Nov. 29, against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). All of the Blueshirts’ next four games (including tomorrow’s game) are against Eastern Conference opponents, and three of the four games are against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Rangers have won 14 of their last 21 games (14-6-1), including 13 of their last 19 games (13-5-1) and 10 of their last 15 games (10-4-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 15-7-1 record this season.


  • All-Time*: 73-51-7-2 (44-17-4-2 at home; 29-34-3-0 on the road) *Note: All-Time record includes games against the Hartford Whalers from 1979-80 – 1996-97
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow’s game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-2 loss on Oct. 28 at Carolina. Mats Zuccarello recorded two goals in the contest. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers and Hurricanes will play against each other on the following dates: Dec. 3 (at MSG), Mar. 9 (at Carolina).
  • The Rangers have won each of their last 11 home games against Carolina, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. New York’s 11-game home winning streak against the Hurricanes is tied for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in franchise history.
  • The Rangers have won 19 of their last 22 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (19-3-0). New York has also won nine of its last 11 games against Carolina, dating back to Apr. 8, 2014 (9-2-0).

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Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, 9:30 p.m. ET
Rogers PlaceEdmonton, AB
Rangers: 11-4-0 (22 pts)
Oilers: 9-5-1 (19 pts)


The Rangers play their 16th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Nov. 13, against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place (9:30 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight’s game is the second contest of a four-game road trip for the Blueshirts. The Rangers have won 10 of their last 13 games (10-3-0), including nine of their last 11 games (9-2-0) and six of their last seven games (6-1-0). The Blueshirts have posted an 11-4-0 record this season.


  • All-Time: 30-30-9-2 (14-16-6-1 at home; 16-14-3-1 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tonight’s game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Oilers, and the only meeting between the two teams in Edmonton. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record against Edmonton (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), defeating the Oilers, 5-3, on Nov. 3 at MSG. Five different Rangers tallied a goal and nine different Rangers registered a point in the contest. Kevin Hayes recorded three points (one goal, two assists), while J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner each notched one goal and one assist. Brady Skjei posted his first career NHL multi-assist/point game by recording two assists, and Rick Nash tallied the game-winning goal with 1:21 remaining in regulation.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in nine of their last 13 contests against the Oilers, dating back to the start of the 2005-06 season (7-4-2).
  • New York has earned at least one point in 14 of its last 19 road games against Edmonton, dating back to Jan. 23, 1989 (11-5-2-1).

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