Tag Archives: Hartford



Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 4

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Allentown, PA, February 18, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack outshot the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 44-27, and had a 24-5 shots advantage in the third period, Saturday night at the PPL Center, but fell to the Phantoms 6-4, in the second of back-to-back games between the two teams.

It was nearly a mirror image of the previous night’s game, which saw the Wolf Pack outshot 44-18, including 25-5 in the third, but prevailed by a score of 3-2.

Justin Fontaine had a goal and an assist for Hartford Saturday, and Steven Kampfer and Chris Brown had two assists apiece, but Danick Martel had the game-winning goal and an assist for Lehigh Valley, and Andy Miele and T.J. Brennan added a goal and an assist each. Continue reading



Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Allentown, PA, February 17, 2017 – Brandon Halverson made a Hartford Wolf Pack season-high 42 saves Friday night at the PPL Center, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3-2, despite being outshot 44-18.

The game was the first of a back-to-back set between the two teams in Allentown.

Philip McRae had the third-period game-winning goal for the Wolf Pack and added an assist, and Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen also had Wolf Pack goals.  Mark Alt and Scott Laughton scored for the Phantoms in the third, in which Lehigh Valley outshot Hartford 25-5. Continue reading


The XL Center Renovation Plan Officially in State Budget

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT The State of Connecticut is facing serious money issues with a $1.7 billion deficit. Governor Dannel Malloy has officially put a proposal to add $250 million for the renovation/upgrade of the XL Center in the budget.

“Obviously, it’s not the best time to ask for money, but the time is now. We have put forth a multi-year plan and the costs and the needs involved as part of a true long-term revitalization plan- this is the best option,” the Executive Director of the CRDA (Capital Regional Development Authority), Mike Freimuth, said. ” No question, this is an uphill struggle with serious budgetary constraints, but we have come to a point to put all the pieces we have worked on for the last four years and coalesce them around this plan and move forward. This is a critical threshold that we have approached. We have about exhausted the amount of patching we can do.” Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 13-19, 2017

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 13-19, 2017

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (18-26-3-2, 41 pts., .418) managed a split of a set of Atlantic Division road games this past Friday and Saturday. On Friday night in Springfield, the Wolf Pack were outshot 34-16, but Brandon Halverson made 32 saves for his third straight win, and Adam Tambellini struck for his first professional hat trick, to lift Hartford to a 3-2 win.  The Wolf Pack were unable to come back fully from a 2-0 first-period deficit in Hershey Saturday, though, falling to the Bears by a score of 4-2.  Nicklas Jensen upped his team-leading, and AHL career-high, goal total to 21 with a tally in that game.  Continue reading



Hershey Bears 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 2

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hershey, PA, February 11, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack fell behind 2-0 to the Hershey Bears Saturday night at Giant Center and never quite recovered, losing 4-2.

Veterans Nicklas Jensen and Chris Summers scored for the Wolf Pack, who twice closed to within one goal.  Travis Boyd and Christian Djoos had first-period tallies for Hershey, and Paul Carey scored the eventual winner in the second period.  Riley Barber added an empty-net goal.

“I thought we got off to a slow start,” Summers said.  “Starts have been something that we’ve been focusing on, and for whatever reason, we just can’t seem to put that first ten minutes together.  I think that’s a pretty important piece of the game, and you see we get down early and it’s climbing our way back the rest of the game.”

Boyd got a break to open the scoring at 7:57 of the first, capitalizing on a mistake by Wolf Pack goaltender Brandon Halverson (18 saves).  Halverson stepped behind his net to try to clear the puck around the boards to his left, but Boyd cut the feed off and quickly rapped it into the vacated net before Halverson could get back. Continue reading



Pack Score Two Late Drop Springfield 3-2

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Counting the shots on goal as an indicator of team effectiveness can be so overrated.

The offensively challenged Hartford Wolf Pack were outshot 34-16 but Adam Tambellini finished off a hat trick late in the game that provided all the offense the team would need as they pulled off a stunning 3-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds Friday night at the MassMutaul Center.

“Moving forward we have to play better tomorrow night (in Hershey),” Pack head coach Ken Gernander said. “This was a big win for us. We have several more games against them, so we’ll take these two points.”

The Pack’s record improves to 18-25-3-2 (41 points) are they are now within two points of Springfield for sixth place in the Atlantic Division. The Pack still trail the St. John’s IceCaps by nine points for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Wolf Pack had zero shots on goal for 15:51 of the third period but scored 11 seconds into a revived power play to tie the game. 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.


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



Rochester Downs Wolf Pack 4-2

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT Evan Rodrigues had two goals and Patrick Mullen’s three assists helped the Rochester Americans to a 4-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night before 5,779 on the back end of a hockey doubleheader at the XL Center.

The Pack’s inconsistent effort and lack of any offensive sustained pressure left Head Coach Ken Gernander less than enthused. “That all comes back to decision-making. When they’re clogging up the middle, you gotta come back deeper, put pucks behind them and be skating to them.”

Former UCONN Husky and the AHL’s third leading scorer, Cole Schneider, went down the left wing and gave Rochester a 4-1 lead when he beat Pack starting netminder, Magnus Hellberg, high to his stick side for his 17th of the season at 15:42. Continue reading


  VERSUS  Rochester Americans 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 2

BY: Chris Kohler, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, February 4, 2017 – Justin Fontaine scored shorthanded for the Hartford Wolf Pack, and Philip McRae had a power-play goal, Saturday night at the XL Center, but Evan Rodrigues’ two scores led the Rochester Americans to a 4-2 victory.

The loss snapped a two-game Wolf Pack winning streak.

An injury and illness-depleted Wolf Pack team played a strong first period against the Americans but trailed 1-0 going into the second.

Captain Mat Bodie and Chris Brown were injured Friday night against Utica, and Marek Hrivik was ill, forcing Wolf Pack head coach Gernander to use a limited bench in Saturday night’s game.

The Pack had two power play opportunities in the first period. The first one came at 8:39, when Paul Geiger was called for a trip, and the second on Dan Catenacci at 13:26 for slashing.

The best chance during the power plays came when Fontaine hit Steven Kampfer with a pass from across the ice, but Linus Ullmark, who had eight saves in the period, ultimately denied Kampfer. Continue reading



Wolf Pack Edge Providence 4-3

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack, held off a late rally by the Providence Bruins for an important 4-3 victory  Saturday  night  as  the  team  heads  into  the AHL All-Star break before a season-best 10,700 fans at the XL Center.

“A slow start, but we scored two big goals late in the first, so we didn’t go in trailing, and that was important,” Pack head coach Ken Gernander said.  “We scored again at the end of the second, and in the second period we played more to our liking and a real back and forth third.”

The Pack was able to score twice in the first 5:36 of the third period to establish, for them this season, a rare two-goal lead.

Philip McRae bagged his second of the night and sixth of the season in front of the net converting on a rebound of a Chris Summers shot from the right point at 3:31.

“I was able to be in front. Summers got the shot through a crowd, six inches off the ice. It’s just where you want to be, and I got the rebound. It was a great atmosphere. The crowd really helped us get invested in the game. It was the best crowd of the season and a lot of fun out there,” McRae, who hadn’t scored a goal since December 26th said.

Adam Tambellini followed coming down the left wing side and ripped his shot to the short-side past netminder, Anton Khodobin, who had lost his positioning in playing the shot. It was Tambellini’s eighth of the season. His goal would prove to be the game-winner.

“I don’t think it was the best goal ever, but (Khodobin) was trying to cheat. I saw an opening and shot it,” Tambellini said.

Gernander was pleased he took the shot. “He was really trying to put the puck on the net at that point. At the end of the day, he’ll take it, and we have impressed upon him to have a shooter’s mentality.”

The Bruins showed their resiliency by knocking the lead down to one goal.

At 11:52, Chris Porter took a Jake DeBrusk pass and avoided Ryan Graves, who was attempting a hip check. Porter then a sent a soft, backhanded shot that slipped by Pack goalie, Brandon Halverson, for his second goal.

The two teams did some jockeying in the second period with the Pack gaining the better of the chances. Five of the Pack’s shots came while in shorthanded situations and seemed to jumpstart the Wolf Pack offense.

The best Pack chance came with 8:03 left in the period as Nicklas Jensen came off the left wing and went backhand-to-forehand. Khodobin stood his ground and made the save,

Just before the Jensen chance, Peter Cehlarik had a good left point bid, but his stick shattered as he took the shot.

Providence took a 2-1 lead on the powerplay late in the period at 16:20.

Alex Grant launched a 55-foot rocket that sailed past Halverson who was screened by the Bruins. For Grant, it was his eighth of the season.

Cehlarik got the primary assist, but he was the sole reason the puck was still in the zone after racing back to the right point just as the puck was about to cross the blue. Cehlarik deftly kept the puck in and avoided offsides that began the scorings sequence.

The Pack, as they have shown in recent play, answered back quickly and tied the game at two just 1:17 later.

“I like the fact we didn’t go away quietly,” Gernander stated. “That can happen when the other team scores that late. We got a good lift going into the locker room that was a lot better than sitting around for 18 minutes in between the periods thinking about how we were going to come from behind.”

Tambellini wheeled around in the right wing circle and fired a shot at the net. Matt Carey was occupying space right in front of Khodobin and was knocked down by the Russian netminder with a glove hand swat to the back of his head. Tambellini’s shot went off him and into the net at 17:27. Carey tallied his 12th of the season and extended his point-scoring streak to three games.

“He has been such a good addition to our line. He’s always battling away and makes it all good for us,” remarked Tambellini.

Gernander was quick to praise of Carey’s play. “He has been a big boost for us offensively. The way he goes net-front and with offensive zone puck recovery and he makes plays with Tambo (Tambellini) and Jenner (Jensen). He has found a spot there.”

The Jekyll-and-Hyde Wolf Pack were on display in the first period.

With a season-best crowd on hand, the Pack played a meek, and passive first period. The team went shotless for 13:35 and yet shocking, they were just down 1-0 in the first minute of play.

Wayne Simpson scored on a wraparound sweeping to the left wing side and putting the puck past Halverson for his 14th goal just 43 seconds into the contest.

After watching chance after chance wasted by the Bruins, the Pack finally awoke from their hibernation via the powerplay.

With 2:42 left, Marek Hrivik was left alone on the lower right wing circle. His one-timed slapper was stopped by Khodobin before the Pack tied the game at one.

At the right point, Mat Bodie took a pass from Garrett Noonan and then sent a low, hard snap shot on net. Khodobin couldn’t control the rebound, but Philip McRae was right on the doorstep and jammed home his fifth of the season at 18:39.

Bodie’s assist also extends his point-scoring streak to four games.

The Pack had two solid scoring chances with Greg Carey from the slot with 48 seconds left in the period and then Justin Fontaine all alone as Chris Brown with an effective forecheck forced a turnover and hit him with a quick pass was denied by Khodobin with 14.7 seconds left.


The Pack, on their anniversary card set giveaway recognizing this being the 20th edition of the team, also wore what could be called a fourth jersey for the game. They had a light purple base with the 20th-anniversary logo and were later auctioned off to the fans following the contest.

The jerseys looked a bit similar to the old Philadelphia Phantoms color scheme, just not as a deep of a purple.

Jensen will depart and represent the Pack at the upcoming AHL All-Star game. Jensen has nine points in his last ten games (5-4) and now has a five-game consecutive point streak going (1-4-5).

The Pack lost defenseman Tommy Hughes to a lower body injury (gone for a week) so had to recall Spiro Goulakos from Greenville. With Goulakos playing every player who signed to an AHL contract for the season by the organization has played at least one game in Hartford this year.

Goulakos teamed with Mat Bodie and picked up an assist.

Boo Nieves was a scratch (upper body, gone for a week) as well as joining Mate Stromwall (broken foot), Mike Paliotta (upper body) and Adam Chapie (knee).

None of the last three teams are expected back after the break.

The Pack was riding a hot powerplay of late operating at 50& 6 for 12 in the last three games and 10 for 26 in their last eight at 38,4% prior to the game.

Wolf Pack have won eight of the last nine games (8-1-1) between Providence and the Pack.

Ex-Pack Andre Deveaux, after a year long IIHF ban for a pre-game attack on a player has signed for the rest of the year with HC Sparta Prague, (Czech Republic-CEL).

Another ex-Pack, Akim Aliu, was traded from Florida (ECHL) to Elmira (ECHL).

Cal Babych, the son of ex-Whaler Dave Babych, and the nephew to ex-Whaler, Wayne Babych. The younger earned a recall from Coquitlam (BCHL) by Everett (WHL) he had a previous three-game recall with Vancouver (WHL).

Pack/Rangers fans can be happy with two goalie prospects who had solid games collegiately this week.

Adam Huska turned in a sterling performance in a 3-1 win over Vermont for the Huskies last night at the XL Center, while Tyler Wall (14-8-1) with UMASS-Lowell was sharp in two losses to Northeastern and Boston University.