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CRAWFORD: AETNA AND WOLF PACK CONTINUE TO GROW “AETNA AMATEUR HOCKEY” PROGRAM

AETNA AND WOLF PACK CONTINUE TO GROW “AETNA AMATEUR HOCKEY” PROGRAM

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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

CANLTON’S CORNER: BRUCE LANDON OFFICIALLY RETIRES

CANTLON’S CORNER:

BRUCE Landon Officially Retires

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

SPRINGFIELD, MA – You couldn’t have written a better ending to a great fair tale story.

Bruce Landon, the true face of Springfield hockey for the past 40 years, ended his career in the city to which he admits he owes everything to. Hartford also played a pivotal role in his planting roots over the border.

Almost with a sense of poetic justice in mind, the Thunderbirds and Wolf Pack close out the 2016-17 season at the same time as Landon closed his career as Springfield defeated Hartford, 5-1. Continue reading

TOSTI: FOUR RETURNED TO RABBITS FOR POST SEASON

Four Returned To Rabbits for Post Season

Recent call-ups finish the weekend in AHL and rejoin Greenville ahead of first round matchup against South Carolina.

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that forwards Brandon Alderson, Allan McPherson, Angelo Miceli, and defenseman Joe Houk have been returned to the Swamp Rabbits by the AHL’s Texas Stars. The four skaters joined Texas during a weekend series in Charlotte, NC against the Charlotte Checkers.

Alderson skated in two games for the Stars and recorded an assist. The winger earned three call-ups and played in 13 AHL contests this season between the Stars, Hartford Wolf Pack, and Syracuse Crunch. The 6-foot-4 skater has played 146 career AHL contests and earned 33 points (17G, 16A) over parts of five seasons. The Oakville, ON native ended the regular season second on the team in scoring with 55 points (26G, 29A) in 45 games. In the final 25 games of the ECHL season, Alderson recorded 33 points (15G, 18A) in 25 games. Only six ECHL skaters tallied more points in that stretch.

Miceli earned an assist on Texas’ lone goal on Sunday afternoon. The second-year pro earned his first AHL call-up of the season after tallying 77 points (22G, 55A) in 68 ECHL games. The center from Montreal, QC ended the regular season one point shy of Greenville’s franchise record set by Justin Bowers in 2012. Miceli’s efforts this season led the Swamp Rabbits and finished ninth in the ECHL. The 5-foot-10 skater earned Sher-Wood Hockey / ECHL Player of the Week in March and led Greenville with 22 multi-point performances. Continue reading

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS CLINCH BERTH IN 2017 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS

Swamp Rabbits Clinch Berth in 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Check out the SwampRabbits.com playoff hub for preliminary information, tickets, and scheduling for the first round of the Swamp Rabbits post-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, punched their ticket to the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs last night. The Swamp Rabbits are ready to begin the playoff push after locking up one of four positions in the South Division. Seeding and scheduling for the first round of the postseason is still to be determined.

GREENVILLE PLAYOFF HISTORY

The Swamp Rabbits trip to the playoffs is the first since Greenville made the 2014 Eastern Conference Final round. Jeff Malcolm and Bretton Cameron are the lone returners from the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoff team. Greenville qualified for the playoffs during the franchise’s first four seasons, winning the South Division title in 2011. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: PENGUINS CRUSH PACK 5-2

       VERSUS     

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 2

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Wilkes-Barre, PA, March 21, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack’s frustrations against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continued Tuesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, as the Wolf Pack fell to 0-7-0-0 on the year against the Penguins with a 5-2 loss.

Chris Brown and Marek Hrivik had goals for the Wolf Pack Tuesday, but former Wolf Pack Ryan Haggerty scored twice for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Tom Kostopoulos and Dominik Simon had two assists apiece.

“They’ve got a really good team,” Brown said of the Penguins.  “They’ve got a lot of depth, and they proved that tonight.  They capitalized on a lot of Grade A opportunities.  I was proud of the guys for battling in the third.  I thought we had a really good third period, did some really good things, and hopefully, we can build off of that momentum of positive play.”

The first period was high-scoring, with the teams combining for five goals, and the Penguins came out of it with a 3-2 lead. Continue reading

PECORARO: (SAT) TITANS HOLD OFF RIVER DRIVERS, WIN 3-2

      VERSUS      

Titans Hold Off River Drivers, Win 3-2

BY: Tommy Pecoraro, Danbury Titans

Danbury, CT  In what could be a Federal Hockey League playoff preview, Dalton Jay and Taylor Bourne each registered a goal and an assist, while Ryan Wilkinson added two helpers to lead the Danbury Titans to a crucial 3-2 win over the visiting Berlin River Drivers before 812 at the Danbury Ice Arena on Saturday night.

Both teams were looking to secure second place and home-ice advantage in the first round of the Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs. The playoffs start in three weeks. The Titans built a 3-1 lead and held on against a late Berlin charge to secure a 3-2 win.

In the third period, with the team nursing a 2-1 lead, the Titans got what would prove to be the game-winner at 7:55 of the third period.

Wilkinson was just barely able to avoid a huge center ice check from the River Drivers’ Vojtek Zemlicka. The puck got loose and was found by Jay who took it all the way to River Drivers’ netminder, Matt Kaludis (43 saves) and shot it over his shoulder to make it 3-1.

The River Drivers pressed to make it a one-goal game and were awarded a power play at 15:20 when Frankie Hart went off for holding.  Tyler Howe deflected a shot in front of Titan goaltender, Bobby Bowden (23 saves) and made it 3-2.

BOXSCORE Continue reading

CRAWFORD: PACK HUMILIATED BY PENGUINS 8-1

      VERSUS      

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 8, Hartford Wolf Pack 1

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Wilkes-Barre, PA, March 10, 2017 – Taylor Beck scored his first Hartford Wolf Pack goal Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, but that was the only bright spot for the Wolf Pack in an 8-1 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot led the way for the winning side with a goal and three assists, and Jean-Sebastien Dea, Kevin Porter, and Barry Goers had a goal and two assists apiece.

The Penguins took control of the game in the first period, building a 3-0 lead through the first 20 minutes. Continue reading

MCGINNISS: (SAT) DANBURY WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT

      VERSUS      

BY: Zak McGinniss, Danbury Titans

DANBURY, CT The Titans scored all four of their goals in the second period en route to a 4-1 victory over the St Clair Shores Fighting Saints on Saturday night at the Danbury Ice Arena. Nikita Ivandikov stopped 29 of 30 shots for Danbury as he improved to 14-13 on the season and the Titans kept pace in the Federal Hockey League playoff race.

A scoreless first period which saw the Titans outshoot the Saints 12-5 gave way to more offensive pressure from the home team. Taylor Bourne would break the deadlock with his 22nd goal of the season 4:38 into the middle period, with assists from Matt Graham and Dalton Jay. With the goal, Bourne moves into a tie with Jay for the team lead in goals. Matt Coleman potted the eventual game-winner less than 2 minutes later on a breakaway from Mike Dolman and John Scully. Halfway through the period Taylor Love was left alone in the slot and fed a pass from Graham to make it 3-0. Then, with only 1:39 remaining, Graham found the back of the net himself, with Jay and Vadim Subbitnikov on the helpers.  Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 6-12, 2017

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 6-12, 2017

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (17-25-3-2, 39 pts., .415) split a pair of non-divisional home games this past weekend, coming back from being down 1-0 and 2-1 to defeat the Utica Comets, 4-3, on Friday night and then falling 4-2 to the Rochester Americans Saturday evening.  Justin Fontaine had a pair of goals, including the game-winner, Friday night, and John Gilmour and Marek Hrivik both had three assists, and Fontaine scored a shorthanded goal in Saturday’s game.

AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE STANDINGSThis week:

The Wolf Pack start a run of four straight on the road with visits to Springfield Friday night (7:05 PM faceoff) and Hershey Saturday (7:00).

Friday, February 10 at the Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida) at the MassMutual Center, 7:05 PM

  • The Thunderbirds come into the week three points ahead of the Wolf Pack for sixth place in the Atlantic Division, after stopping a three-game skid with a 5-2 win at Bridgeport Saturday night.
  • This is the Wolf Pack’s first look at the Thunderbirds since December 30, when they lost 3-2 in their only previous trip to Springfield, and only the teams’ fourth meeting of the season.  The Thunderbirds have won the last two, after a 3-2 shootout win by the Wolf Pack in the first encounter November 16 in Hartford.
  • Winger Kyle Rau, who has played in 24 NHL games with the parent Florida Panthers this year, had a hat trick for Springfield Saturday in Bridgeport, in the Thunderbirds’ 5-2 victory over the red-hot Sound Tigers.
  • Broadcast – live with Bob Crawford on News Radio 1410 WPOP, on-line at iheart.com and on iHeartRadio.  Video streaming at ahllive.com.

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…