Tag Archives: Ken Gernander

CANTLON’S CORNER: POST SEASON WRAP UP

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, HOWLINGS

HARTFORD, CT Break up day for any hockey team is like the last day of school, graduation and moving  from your home all rolled into one.

For the Hartford Wolf Pack, the 2015-16 season ended, not as they had hoped, with a return to the postseason and a chance at a Championship, but missing the playoffs and heading off to summer vacation.

The Pack took themselves from cresting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference to within two points of the postseason. Those games in November, December, and January where they should have won but were tossed away with poor play will likely stay on their minds this summer.

The Wolf Pack used to be an automatic to make the playoff, but that magic is truly gone. This the second time in the last three years, and fourth time in last five that the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliates have missed the playoffs.  Last year’s run to the Conference Final seems more like an anomaly now.

In terms of the team’s roster, let’s take a look at those players who’s contracts have run out to one degree or another. Continue reading

CANTLON: (SAT) PACK FINISH SEASON WITH LOSS IN ST. JOHN’S

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS       St. Johns IceCaps

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND – A late goal by Tim Bozon gave the St. John’s IceCaps a 2-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack in the season finale for both teams in front of 5,994 at the Mile one Centre.

The loss closed the books on the 2015-16 AHL season for Hartford who finished with a 41-32-3-0 record (85 points). St. John’s finished with a record of 32-33-8-3 (75 points).

The game winner for St. John’s came just a minute after Pack netminder, Mackenzie Skapski, was accidently clipped by Ryan Graves defending on a three-on-two odd man rush.

On the play, rookie Steven Fogarty couldn’t control the puck and turned it over to Jeremy Gregiore. The IceCaps centerman quickly passed it off to Mark McMillan on the right wing. McMillan then slipped the puck over to Bozon who weaved into the middle of the ice. Pack captain Mat Bodie made a furious effort to get back on Bozon, but not in time as the left-winger rifled a smart wrist shot high to the glove-side at 17:41. For Bozon, it was his fifth of the season. Continue reading

CANTLON: HOPE FOR HARTFORD POSTSEASON DIMMED WITH LOSS IN PORTLAND

rp_hartfordwolfpackpuck_thumb.jpg      VERSUS      Portland Pirates

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

PORTLAND, ME – The Hartford Wolf Pack lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision on Sunday to the Portland Pirates on a late goal. Despite the loss, their hopes of a playoff birth have not been extinguished, but they are very slim  indeed.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were beaten at the Webster Bank Arena by the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-1 Sunday afternoon. The Wolf Pack play the last three games on the road in Canada starting Wednesday morning at 11:00 am with a game in Toronto against the AHL’s best, the Marlies. They end their regular season with a pair of games in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Pack record stands at 39-31-3-0 (81 points). For them to have any chance at all, they will have to win out and hope that the Sound Tigers lose one of their three remaining games. Should they finish tied with Bridgeport at the end of the regular season the Sound Tigers hold the first tiebreaker, regular season non-shootout wins (ROW). The Pack can only max out at 35 ROW, so the Sound Tigers would go to the postseason. Continue reading

CANLTON: (FRIDAY) WOLF PACK CRUSH FALCONS

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS       Springfield

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Boo Nieves, Chris Brown and Daniel Paille carried the night for the Hartford Wolf Pack scoring four goals, earning five assists and were a combined plus-12 as the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliates trounced the Springfield Falcons 7-3 before 5,425 at the Mass Mutual Center.

The two teams meet Saturday night in the Wolf regular season home finale at the XL Center at 7 pm.

Before boarding the bus for Springfield, the team lost forward Marek Hrivik to an emergency recall by the Rangers. It’s not exactly the way you want to start a critical weekend of play.

“The message was, ‘Play your game,’ and, ‘Everybody can step up (with the loss of Hrivik) and play to the best of your ability,’” Pack head coach Ken Gernander said. Mission accomplished.

Mission accomplished. Continue reading

PACKARD: PACK POUND HERSHEY 5-1

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS       Hershey

Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Hershey Bears 1

BY: Chuck Packard, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, April 1, 2016 – Hartford Wolf Pack rookie defenseman Brady Skjei scored a personal pro-best three points, with a goal and two assists, Friday night at the XL Center, leading the Wolf Pack to a 5-1 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Hershey Bears.

Former Bear Chris Brown had the game-winning goal against his old team, and Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, and Brian Gibbons scored third-period goals for the Wolf Pack.  Mat Bodie had two assists.  Riley Barber scored the only Hershey goal.

Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander said of the team’s 60-minute effort, “It’s part of the maturation process, is learning how to close out games, and obviously I think we did a pretty good job at that tonight.”

The Wolf Pack scored first at the 14-minute mark of the first period, with Skjei getting his fourth of the season. The goal was scored in a 4-on-4 situation, after matching roughing penalties on Hershey’s Nathan Walker and Chris Brown. Jayson Megna had the lone assist on Skjei’s goal. Continue reading

CANTLON: BACK PICK UP TWO CRITICAL POINTS IN OT WIN OVER SOUND TIGERS

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Bridgeport

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Chad Nehring’s goal at 1:13 of overtime ended a wild, and exciting game and gave the Hartford Wolf Pack a critical 2-1 victory over the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of 5,188 on Friday night at the XL Center.

With the win, the Wolf Pack vaulted into sole possession into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pack now have a .568 percentage points and a record 36-27-3-0.

The Utica Comets helped the Pack in their quest to get back into the playoffs by losing their fifth game in a row (0-3-1-1) as they lost to the Hershey Bears by the same 2-1 score.

“The penalty kill was huge tonight,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “Five-on-four is one thing, but we had two five-on-threes and a four-on-three (in OT). They did a great job to keep it where it was, and Chad (Nehring) finished it for us.” Continue reading

CANTLON: PACK TAKE EXTRA POINT OVER TIGERS IN SHOOT OUT

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Bridgeport

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

BRIDGEPORT, CT The Hartford Wolf Pack tallied twice in the shootout and rode Magnus Hellberg (43 saves), who stopped both shooters he faced and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the BridgeportSound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena Wednesday night.

“It was a tale of two games,” said Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander. “We didn’t get off to the start we wanted, but we did finish up strong.”

On the Pack’s first chance in the shootout, Nicklas Jensen came in and made a great deke on Sound Tigers netminder, Christopher Gibson, and slipped a forehand past him for the goal. The clincher for the Pack came off the stick of Adam Tambellini who first a hard wrist shot from fifteen feet out to Gibson’s stick-side.

Meanwhile, Hellberg denied Bridgeport’s Jesse Graham and Alan Quine on their bids to pull out the win for the Wolf Pack. Continue reading