Tag Archives: Providence Bruins


rp_Greenville-Swamp-Rabbits-300x225.pngSWAMP RABBITS RE-SIGN FORWARD MATT JOHNSON

Rookie skater made professional debut with Greenville 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 re-signed rookie forward Matt Johnson for the 2016-17 season.

Johnson, 24, began his pro career with the Swamp Rabbits near the end of last season following a three-year career at Lake Superior State University. He recorded four penalty minutes in six games with Greenville Previously, the Clinton Township, Michigan native notched 18 points (4g, 14a) and 93 penalty minutes in 93 contests at Lake Superior State. He collected four assists and 23 penalty minutes in 27 games as a senior.

“We were impressed with Matt’s work ethic and playmaking abilities during his limited time in Greenville last season,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s capable of opening up space and developing high-percentage chances, and I’m very excited to have him back.”

Before his college career, Johnson spent three seasons at the junior level with the Albert Lee Thunder and Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). He set career highs in goals (21), assists (28), points (49), and plus-minus (+18) with Amarillo during the 2010-11 campaign and served as co-captain the following season. Overall, the 6’1, 204-pound forward earned 108 points (42g, 66a), 147 penalty minutes and a +22 rating in 159 NAHL games.

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 and Twitter

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 at the “Hop Shop” team store or visit the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!


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


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


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


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Springfield

Hartford Wolf Pack 6, Springfield Falcons 2

BY: Chuck Packard, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, April 9, 2016 – Chris Brown and Jayson Megna had a goal and an assist apiece Saturday night at the XL Center, to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 6-2 win over the Springfield Falcons in the Wolf Pack’s last home game of the regular season.

Now 39-30-3-0 for 81 points on the year, the Wolf Pack remain four points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  Saturday’s win gave Hartford a sweep of a home-and-home set with the Falcons, whom the Wolf Pack defeated 7-3 Friday night in Springfield. Continue reading


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


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Springfield

Hartford Wolf Pack 7, Springfield Falcons 3

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Springfield, MA, April 8, 2016 – Daniel Paille had the Hartford Wolf Pack’s first four-point game of the season Friday night at the MassMutual Center, with two goals and two assists in a 7-3 win over the Springfield Falcons.

The victory improved the Wolf Pack’s record to 38-30-3-0 for 79 points and moved Hartford to within four points of a playoff spot.

Paille’s linemate, Boo Nieves, added his first two pro goals and an assist, and Chris Brown, the other member of the line, had two assists.  Tyler Brown, Jayson Megna and Calle Andersson also scored Wolf Pack goals, and Luke Adam had a pair of assists.  Magnus Hellberg made 33 saves. Continue reading


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

CROMWELL, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack are ready for their final three-in-three weekend of play.

The action for the Pack begins on Friday night with the start of a home-and-home contest with the Springfield Falcons. On Saturday, the game moves south on I-91 for the regular season home finale at the XL Center.

Sunday, the team, travels to Portland Maine for a critical battle with the Pirates starting at 3 pm. Portland is also in the hunt with for the last playoff spot.

The path to a postseason berth for the Pack got harder when the Utica Comets defeated the Binghampton Senators 4-2 Wednesday night. The Comets (36-27-7-4) have built a six-point lead (83-77) over the Wolf Pack (37-30-3-0).

The Pack’s postseason hopes, dim at best, rests on the hope of making the crossover to the North Division.

If the fifth place team in the Atlantic Division has more points that the fourth-place team in the North Division, then the fifth place team from the Atlantic would cross over and play in the North Division.

Bridgeport is the fifth place team. They are currently in a tie for record and percentage points with Portland. However, the Pirates have the tiebreaker, so they sit in fourth place.

Like the Pack, the Sound Tigers also have three games in three days this weekend. The Sound Tigers are in Hershey Friday night to face the Bears in Allentown. On Saturday, they play Lehigh Valley, and the Phantoms visit Bridgeport Sunday afternoon at 5 pm.

The Syracuse Crunch are the fourth-place team in the North Division; They draw the AHL’s second best team, the Albany Devils on Friday night. If that weren’t enough, they take on the best overall team, the Toronto Marlies on Saturday. The Crunch are at home both nights.

If the Sound Tigers drop all three games and Syracuse lose their two, if the Pack sweep the weekend, they would be still in the hunt, but that is an awful lot of chips that have to fall their way.

Even under a strict conference system if applied, they would have to climb over Utica, Bridgeport, and Portland, who are 7-1-2-0 in their last ten games.

The team spent Thursday working on their in-close play and tried to get their powerplay in synch. That lack of cohesion cost them dearly in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Portland. Continue reading


bob-crawfordWOLF PACK WEEKLY: April 4-10, 2016

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (37-30-3-0, 77 pts., .550 pts. percentage) dropped the Atlantic Division-leading Hershey Bears 5-1 at the XL Center on Friday night, paced by Brady Skjei’s goal and two assists, but that victory was bookended by a pair of losses. The Pack were shut out, 3-0, by the Albany Devils Tuesday night in Albany and suffered a crucial defeat Saturday night at home, falling to the Portland Pirates, the team they are chasing for the last playoff spot, by a score of 4-1.  The Wolf Pack finished the week six points behind the Pirates and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with six games to play. 

Capture Continue reading



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Reassigned from ECHL Greenville

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, April 4, 2016:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the parent New York Rangers have reassigned goaltender Mackenzie Skapski to the Wolf Pack from its ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Skapski, 21, a second-year pro out of the Western Hockey League and sixth-round (170th overall) Ranger selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, is 2-6-0 in ten appearances with the Wolf Pack this season, with a 3.51 goals-against average and an 88.8% save percentage.  In 27 ECHL outings with the Swamp Rabbits, Skapski is 5-14-5, with a 3.26 GAA, a 90.1% save percentage and one shutout.

The Wolf Pack are next in action this Friday night, April 8, when they begin a home-and-home series with the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  Faceoff that night is 7:00 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio.  Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.

Then, the Falcons visit the XL Center this Saturday night, April 9, for the Wolf Pack’s last regular-season home game.  That is also a 7:00 faceoff, and it’s “Fan Appreciation Night”.  The Wolf Pack will salute all of the great fans who have supported the team throughout the season, with numerous exciting prizes throughout the night, including a big screen TV, a grill and hundreds of dollars to local restaurants.

Tickets for Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Night are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.