Tag Archives: Czech Republic



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Nearly 100 teams and over 1500 skaters participated during 2016-17 season

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, April 20, 2017:  The 2016-17 Hartford Wolf Pack season featured another banner year for the Wolf Pack’s “Aetna Amateur Hockey” program.

Featuring opportunities for amateur hockey teams of all age levels, from six and seven-year-old Mites to adult-league squads, to play full-length games before and after Wolf Pack home games at the XL Center, the Aetna Amateur Hockey program brought 96 teams to the XL Center ice in 2016-17.  That means that more than 1,500 players had the chance to show their skills on the same ice surface where the Wolf Pack players strive to make their way to the National Hockey League. Continue reading



BY: The New York Rangers


1) Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp posted a multi-point game in all four games last week, registering 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and a plus-10 rating in the four contests. Gropp recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, on Feb. 7 at Victoria, and he concluded the week by registering four points (two goals, two assists) on Feb. 11 vs. Portland.

The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) extended his point streak to a WHL career-high 12 games, and he has tallied 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) and posted a plus-20 rating over the span. He has recorded a goal in each of the last six contests, registering nine goals over the span. In addition, Gropp has recorded a point in 17 of the last 18 contests, registering 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) and a plus-27 rating in those 18 games. During the 18-game stretch, Gropp has posted a plus-one rating or better in 16 different contests. Gropp leads Seattle in goals (22) and points (56), and he ranks second in assists (34) this season.

2) Igor Shesterkin, G, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) – Shesterkin represented Russia at the 2017 Sweden Hockey Games last week, a four-nation tournament that includes teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft made 23 saves on 24 shots while helping Russia defeat Finland, 2-1, on Feb. 9, and he was selected as the best goaltender in the tournament.

3) Sean Day, D, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) – Day registered two points (one goal, one assist) and a plus-four rating in three games during the week. The Rangers’ third round pick (81st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded three points (two goals, one assist) and a plus-eight rating over the last six contests. Day has tallied 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) and has posted a plus-18 rating in 49 OHL games this season with Windsor and Mississauga. He has established an OHL career-high in goals this season, and he is tied for third among OHL defensemen in goals in 2016-17.

  • Adam Tambellini registered his first career AHL hat trick on Feb. 10 at Springfield, recording all three of the Wolf Pack’s goals in a 3-2 win. The Rangers’ third round pick (65th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has notched five points (four goals, one assist) in the last five games and 11 points (five goals, six assists) in the last 12 contests. Tambellini is tied for second on the Wolf Pack in points (28) and is tied for third on the team in goals (11) this season. 
  • Nicklas Jensen recorded a point in each of Hartford’s two games last week (one goal, one assist), and he added to his AHL career-high in goals by tallying his 21st of the season on Feb. 11 at Hershey. Jensen has recorded a point in 21 of his last 25 games in the AHL, registering 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) over the span. He is tied for fourth in the AHL in goals this season, and he leads the Wolf Pack in goals and points (36) in 2016-17. 
  • Brandon Halverson stopped 32 of 34 shots he faced and earned a win on Feb. 10 at Springfield. The Rangers’ second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has earned a win in three of his last four appearances, and he has made at least 30 saves in two of those four contests. 
  • John Gilmour tallied an assist on Feb. 11 at Hershey. He has notched five assists/points in the last four games and eight assists/points in the last 13 games.


  • Gabriel Fontaine, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) – Fontaine notched an assist on Feb. 9 at Gatineau. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has tallied a point in six of the last eight games (one goal, five assists), as well as 12 of the last 15 games (10 goals, eight assists). Fontaine has registered 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) and a plus-16 rating in 46 QMJHL games this season (he recorded 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points in 63 QMJHL contests in 2015-16).
  • Ty Ronning, RW, Vancouver Giants (WHL) – Ronning registered a goal and posted a plus-one rating on Feb. 8 at Prince George. The Rangers’ seventh round pick (201st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has tallied a point in 11 of the last 20 games, recording 15 points (10 goals, five assists) over the span. He leads the Giants in goals (21) and points (43), and ranks third in assists (22) this season.
  • Tyler Wall, G, UMass Lowell River Hawks (NCAA) – Wall earned a win in both of his appearances/starts last week, posting a 2.00 GAA and a .902 SV% in the two contests. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft extended his winning streak to four games, and he has allowed two goals or fewer in three of the four appearances. Wall has posted an 18-8-1 record, along with a 2.20 GAA, a .914 SV%, and 1 SO in 27 appearances this season.
  • Sergey Zborovskiy, D, Regina Pats (WHL) – Zborovskiy tallied an assist and posted a plus-two rating on Feb. 10 at Edmonton. The Rangers’ third round pick (79th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft leads the WHL in plus/minus rating this season (plus-60). Zborovskiy has registered 29 assists and 35 points in 2016-17, both of which are WHL career-highs.

“I think I’ve become more of a reliable player defensively and more of a 200-foot guy. I think I’ve really grown a lot in that area this season, especially on the penalty kill. I’ve been doing that quite a bit. Just being good in my own zone and not cheating for offense and things like that.”Ryan Gropp

“He’s a quiet guy that goes about his business by himself, but right now he’s leading by example. When you see a guy like that … that’s definitely leading by example.”Seattle Thunderbirds Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on Ryan Gropp


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

GLASTONBURY, CT – The early season Hartford Wolf Pack misfortunes continue after the team dropped all three games this past weekend and are winless over their last eight games (0-6-2-0).

Much of what has plagued the team prior to their upstate New York trip raged on in contests with the Rochester Americans and the Utica Comets. The long bus ride home or sleeping in their own beds changed nothing as it was the same old, same old on Sunday afternoon/night at home against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The Pack begins a stretch of three games over five days starting with tonight’s contest where they will get their first look at the new Springfield Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds feature the AHL’s “Player of the Week,” goaltender, Reto Berra, who over this past weekend went 2-0, allowed one goal on 52 shots and had a 0.50 GAA. The fourth place Thunderbirds, who trail the second-place Lehigh Valley Phantoms by just two points and a single point behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for third.

A reeling Wolf Pack are not eager to see that. Continue reading


UCONN    VS.  Quinnipiac_Bobcats.svg

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HAMDEN, CT UConn Huskies hockey program, relatively new to the Divison One experience, still have a few miles to go before proving they can compete with elite college hockey.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats, the fourth-ranked team in the nation. displayed their speed and puck possession skills while outshooting the visiting Huskies 43-31 beat UConn 5-2 Wednesday night at the High Points Solutions Arena.

“It certainly wasn’t the result we wanted,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said afterward. “I was proud of the fight in our guys. We showed some fight in facing some adversity. We didn’t execute some plays that cost us our guys competed hard.”

The second period saw the Huskies show flashes of being competitive playing against the more experienced Bobcat program, but Quinnipiac struck like lightning.

The Huskies used their powerplay to get back into the game early in the second period at 2-1.  Kasperi Ojantakanen’s quality scoring opportunity was stopped by the Bobcat’s Chris Truehl in net, but he was unable to control the rebound. Spencer Naas got to the puck and had three chances at it with the third time being the charm scoring his second goal of the season at 1:44.

Quinnipiac answered back two minutes later, reestablishing a two-goal lead.

Thomas Aldworth, a speedy player from Texas, swung in from the left wing side and moved to the right and put a perfect wraparound into the goal for his second of the season at 3:43 past freshman netminder Adam Huska who answered the call playing against one of Division I’s premier hockey programs.

The Huskies clawed back with one of their few effective rushes. The Huskies had Evan Richardson put a strong backhand shot on Truehl that he saved. Karl El-Mir was right there on the right wing side of the doorstep and using his forehand, flipped the puck into the open side of the net at 9:17 for his second of the season.

UConn gave up the center of the ice far too much and Quinnipiac made them pay for it. Bobcats established a three-goal lead 1:44 later.

Bobcat defenseman Brogan Rafferty roared through center-ice after taking a short pass from K.J. Tiefenworth, and went in on a clean breakaway and beat Huska with a backhand shot through the five-hole after extending himself as he tried to poke-check  the puck at 11:01.

The Bobcats’ Connor Clifton sped through the neutral zone and wired one over Huska’s left shoulder for a 5-2 lead.

“We have a very active D-corps and we want to make plays in the neutral zone and we don’t want to have guys sit back and we did that well tonight,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said.

The Bobcat defense wasn’t too shabby either. They limited Tage Thompson to just one shot on goal.

“He’s a tremendous hockey player and we were fired up and played like we do against a Boston College,” Pecknold said.

The Huskies played too passively and gave Quinnipiac quality chances. They went to the locker room up 2-0 in part because UConn’s 6’5 defenseman, David Drake, was injured on the game’s first shift after being drilled by Scott Davidson behind the net suffering an upper body injury.

The first goal saw Andrew Taverner launch one from the left point that sailed over Huska’s right shoulder, after being completely screened.  UConn’s Joseph Masonius and QU’s Scott Davidson battled in front of Huska providing the screen.

Huska kept things close stopping Derek Smith and Davidson from the left point an right wing respectively.

Tommy Schutt and Connor Clifton had back-to-back shots on the same shift turned aside by the 6’3 Slovak freshmen.

Right after the first goal, the Huskies’ Maxim Letunov was hit with a major and game disqualification for drilling Chase Priskie into the end boards. It caused a big gash on his forehand and he did not return.

UConn also had to deal with Jeff Wight going down with a season-ending upper body injury on the first shift causing UConn to play short two of their natural centers for most of the game.

After the penalty was assessed to Letunov, the UConn PK weathered the storm. Tim Clifton and Luke Shiplo had good bids, but Huska kept the door closed.

“We did a great job killing the five-minute major,” Cavanaugh said. “We rebounded pretty well and they didn’t get a whole lot on it (the penalty).”

The best UConn chance of the period came on the kill with Thompson setting up Ben Freeman for two whacks, but Truehl stayed steady on both.

The Bobcats stayed on the puck deep in the UConn end after the Huskies won the draw. The Bobcats’ Davidson got to the loose puck, controlled it and put in into the front of the net. Craig Martin fanned on his first shot but stayed with it and while falling down, he got his stick on the puck and flipped it over Huska’s left shoulder for the 2-0 lead.

“The biggest problem we had was breaking the puck out of the zone. That was our biggest issue and we wound up giving them (chances). When that happens, they get riding time in the offensive zone and we get tired playing defense and can’t get any energy to create any offense,” remarked Cavanaugh.


Very classy gesture initiated by Pecknold. Both teams gathered at center ice after the game in honor of Bruce Marshall. The former UConn head coach who was close to Pecknold passed away suddenly in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Letunov with the game disqualification will be suspended for the game on Friday against AIC at the XL Center. He could face further discipline from Hockey East.

Quinnipiac is now 3-1-0 and was coming off a 3-2 OT win over Maine in Orono.

UConn came (2-1-2) off a pair of ties last weekend 4-4 against Colgate and 1-1 with AHA member R.I.T.

Huska was big in the R.I.T. game, his first collegiate start with 36 saves. He was stellar last season with Green Bay (USHL). Huska led the league with a 1.97 GAA and played for the Slovakia World Junior team where he put on a show in a memorable 48 save performance against Russia and another against the Czech Republic.

Thompson with four goals and six points paces the offense for UConn.

Quinnipiac lost a significant number of their NCAA Finalist squad.

Quinnipiac now leads the series with UConn 17-11-2. The Bobcats have won the first three major D1 meetings. They won this one 5-2, in 2014 they prevailed 4-1 and last year there was a wild, feisty 6-2 game at the XL Center with four powerplay goals.

Quinnipiac features four players from Alberta and five who played junior hockey in BC and Alberta.

Quinnipiac has had college hockey for 41 years and is in their 19th season of Division I.

College recruiting notes: UCONN got a commit next year from Zac Robbins who plays currently with Cedar Rapids (USHL).

UConn got a commitment for next year from Zac Robbins who plays currently with Cedar Rapids (USHL).

Quinnipiac got a future recruit for 2020-21 in Paul Fletcher out of the Dallas Stars Triple AAA program, who will play at Selects Academy program at South Kent Prep this winter.

Yale has secured a commitment for next season from Greenwich native Phil Kemp who is currently with the USNDTP (USHL). Kemp went to Brunswick Prep school and has a good shot of being on the US WJC team for the tourney to be held starting Boxing Day in Montreal and Toronto. He withdrew his commitment from Brown University and, according to Chip Malafronte of the New Haven Register, is a third generation Yale athlete. His grandfather played with President George H.W. Bush in late 1940’s on the Yale baseball team.

Matt Tugnutt, son of former NHL’er Ron Tugnutt, has committed to Sacred Heart University next fall. He currently plays for Kemptville (OJHL).




Second-year pro played 29 games in the AHL last season

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team has agreed to terms with forward Angelo Miceli for the 2016-17 season.

“Angelo is a dynamic centerman. He is very strong in the face-off circle and another potent offensive threat,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “He is coming off of a productive rookie season splitting time between the AHL and ECHL. His playmaking ability and high pace of play will add to our offensive depth. We are excited to have him on board.”

A second-year pro, Miceli spent his rookie campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization between the Brampton Beast and AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. In 26 games with Brampton, he notched 20 points (7g, 13a) and six penalty minutes. In addition, the 22-year-old made his professional debut with St. John’s on Oct. 10, 2015, and went on to record four points (3g, 1a) in 29 AHL games.

“I’m really excited to get started in Greenville. I’ve heard great things about the organization, the city, and the fans,” Miceli explained. “I’m really looking forward to coming in and contributing.”

A Montreal native, Miceli was better than a point-per-game during four seasons in the QMJHL prior to turning pro. In 255 games with the Victoriaville Tigres, he produced 279 points (118g, 161a) and a +12 rating including a career-best 81 points (36g, 45) in 2012-13.

The 5’9, 176-pound center was initially selected by Victoriaville in the third round (#46 overall) of the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft and served as an alternate captain during the 2014-15 season.

Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all off-season long and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Ticket packages for the 2016-17 season are available and on sale 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!



Blueshirts trade Keith Yandle to Florida; Rangers would also receive a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft if Yandle signs with Panthers

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, June 20, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Keith Yandle. The Blueshirts would receive the fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft if Yandle signs with the Panthers.

The Rangers currently have six selections in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft: their own third round pick (81st overall), Arizona’s fourth round pick (98th overall), their own fifth-round pick (141st overall), their own sixth-round pick (171st overall), Florida’s sixth round pick (174th overall), and their own seventh-round pick (201st overall).

Yandle registered 58 points (seven goals, 51 assists) in 103 games with the Rangers over parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16).


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Albany Devils

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Matt Lorio scored twice, Reid Boucher had a goal and an assist and Joseph Blandisi had two assists in pacing to a 4-3 win for the Albany Devils (20-8-3-0) over the Hartford Wolf Pack (14-17-2-0) in front of 5,129 on Saturday night at the XL Center.

The Devils scored twice in the third period and held off a late Wolf Pack rally to extend their current winning streak to four games. The loss snapped the Wolf Pack’s modest two-game winning streak. The win for the Devils allowed them to hold on to second place in the North Division.

The Pack sit seventh in the eight team Atlantic Division with just 30 points. There will be little time to think about this as they return to action Sunday afternoon against Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins at 3pm.

The Pack made the game close. Mat Bodie was at the point and was able to launch a shot with Jayson Megna in front of the net and while occupying two defenseman somehow managed to get stick on the puck, popping it into the air. On the left wing side, Marek Hrivik, like a first baseman snaring a line drive, grabbed the puck out of the air and in one smooth motion brought it to his stick and fired his fourth goal of the season into the shortside of the net at 12:43. The goal cut the Albany lead to 4-3, but that was as close as they would get.

GAME SUMMARY Continue reading



“2-for-$7” concession specials available throughout the evening

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Date                         Time                Opponent              Location

Tues, Nov. 17           7 p.m.              vs. Orlando             Bon Secours Wellness Arena


The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (5-8-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, begin a three-game homestand tonight and conclude a stretch of four games in six days when they face the Orlando Solar Bears (6-3-2) at 7 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Greenville enters the contest on a two-game winning streak at home after a pair of victories last week against Atlanta and Adirondack. However, the Swamp Rabbits fell in their last outing on Sunday with a 4-1 loss at Atlanta, in which the Gladiators scored twice on the power play and once shorthanded. Scott Fleming netted Greenville’s only tally while Jeff Malcolm stopped a season-high 44 shots in the setback. Tonight, the Swamp Rabbits go for their first three-game winning streak at home this season. Continue reading


rp_new-york-r_thumb.gifNEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: NOV. 2 – NOV. 8

BY: The New York Rangers

three stars

(1) Robin Kovacs, RW, AIK (Allsvenskan) – Kovacs represented Sweden at the Four Nations Tournament in Tampere and Hämeenlinna, Finland during the past week. In the tournament, which featured U-20 teams from Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Czech Republic, the Rangers’ third round pick (62nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft registered three goals and one assist for four points, along with a plus-four rating in three games.

Kovacs led all skaters in the tournament in goals and tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in points and plus/minus rating. Kovacs tallied a point in each of the three contests, and he recorded two goals in Sweden’s 6-0 win against the Czech Republic on Nov. 7. Continue reading


rp_new-york-rangers_thumb1.png       VERSUS      Columbus

Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, OH
Rangers2-0-0 (4 pts)
Blue Jackets: 0-1-0 (0 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers


  • TWO GOOD – The Rangers have won each of their first two games of the regular season for the first time since 2008-09, when they tied a franchise record by recording a win in each of their first five games. In addition, the Blueshirts won each of their first two games of the regular season, both of which were on the road, for the fourth time in franchise history (1941-42, 1955-56, 1989-90). (Note: In 2008-09, the Rangers began the season with two games against Tampa Bay in Prague, Czech Republic. The Rangers were the road team for the first game and the home team for the second game).
  • TOP OF THE HEAP – The Rangers have posted the best record in the NHL since Jan. 1, 2014 (80-34-11 in 125 games; .684 points percentage over the span).
  • THREE’S COMPANY – The Blueshirts recorded three goals in a span of 1:17 in the third period. The Rangers registered three goals in a span of 1:17 or less for the first time since Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo, when they tallied three goals in a span of 1:14 during the first period. New York has notched three goals in one period in each of its first two contests this season (three goals in the first period on Oct. 7 at Chicago).
  • ROAD WARRIORS New York earned its 55th road win in its last 84 road games, dating back to the start of the 2013-14 season. The Rangers lead the NHL in road wins and road points (114) over the span. Dating back to last season, the Blueshirts have won 12 of their last 13 road contests (12-1-0), and they have earned a point in 18 of their last 20 road games (17-2-1).
  • TAKING THE METRO – The Rangers have earned at least one point in 25 of their last 29 games against Metropolitan Division opponents (24-4-1), and they have won 21 of their last 25 intra-division games (21-4-0). Last season, the Blueshirts led the NHL in wins in intra-division games with 23.
  • FOUR SCORE – The Blueshirts have posted a 97-1-1 record in the last 99 regular season games in which they have registered at least four goals, dating back to Oct. 31, 2011 vs. San Jose. In addition, the Rangers have posted a 118-1-2 record in the last 121 regular season games in which they have notched four or more goals, dating back to Nov. 14, 2010 vs. Edmonton.
  • SHUTTING THE DOOR – The Rangers allowed two goals or fewer for the 18th time in their last 23 regular season contests, dating back to Mar. 2, 2015. The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in games with two or fewer goals allowed since the start of the 2013-14 season (96), and they have posted an 81-12-3 record in those contests over the span. In addition, the Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in 57.8% of games they have played since the start of the 2013-14 season (96 of 166).
  • BLUE ‘JACKET’ NOTE – New York extended its winning streak against Columbus to four games, which is its longest winning streak against the Blue Jackets since the teams first faced each other during the 2000-01 season. New York has earned a point in 10 of its last 13 games against Columbus, dating back to Oct. 24, 2008 (9-3-1).
  • FIRST IN SCORE – The Rangers have tallied the first goal of the game in each of their first two contests this season, and they have done so in 52 of 84 games since the start of last season. In addition, the Blueshirts have outscored their opponent, 4-1, in the first period through two games in 2015-16. New York has notched a goal in the final minute of the first period in each of its first two games this season. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Blueshirts have posted a 127-18-9 record in games which they have recorded the first goal of the game.

Continue reading