Tag Archives: Providence Bruins

CANTLON’S CORNER: VIRTUE ENJOYS HIS RETURN

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT “He was a character, no doubt, but he also played with character.”

Those are the words of current Pack head coach Ken Gernander describing his former teammate, Terry Virtue, who came back last Friday to the XL Center to have pictures taken with the Calder Cup and fans. Virtue also dropped the ceremonial puck against the Toronto Marlies.

The always loquacious and affable Virtue has not his charm or his gift of gab. Virtue was obviously reflective about coming to Hartford for the first time in many years.

“It’s been a lot to think about again, to be honest. We lived in Manchester for a year or so when I played. I got lost coming to the rink tonight. My wife (Lori) laughed at me,” Virtue said with a smile. “We have great memories in Hartford. Our son (Braeden) was born here, so we talked about it even more now that we live closer (Worcester, MA area) and have driven by Hartford a few times.”

Virtue, who played 888 AHL games with 214 of those coming during a three-year stint in Hartford, is known for simply, “The Goal” that he scored for the Wolf Pack on May 21, 2000. “The Goal” gave the Wolf Pack a chance for championship glory scoring the overtime game-winner in a 3-2 win against the Providence Bruins.  A year earlier, Virtue was wearing the Black and Gold as they swept the Pack en route to their Calder Cup title.

Virtue’s shot went off the skate of ex-Wolf Pack, Peter Ferraro, as he was attempting to pass the puck to former Wolf Pack, Johan Witehall. Continue reading

CANTLON: (FRI) PACK LET ONE SLIP AWAY TO THUNDERBIRDS

      VERSUS      

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Another hard working effort from the Hartford Wolf Pack roster but once again the results don’t reflect it.

Friday night, the Wolf Pack dropped a 3-2 decision on the road to the Springfield Thunderbirds in their first visit of the season to the Mass Mutual Center before a crowd of 5,732.

“I was happy with the effort,” Head Coach Ken Gernander stated afterward. “We battled and competed in all three zones, but with our margin of error right now, we gotta squeeze some of those mistakes out.”

The game-winning tally came on one of those hiccups and the Thunderbirds capitalized on it.

At 4:37 of the third period, Jared McCann was alone on the right wing. The Thunderbirds came into the Pack zone on an odd man break-in and Anthony Greco, who was on the puck all night, put a perfect backhand pass from the left wing over to McCann’s stick. McCann put a small deke on Pack starting goalie, Brandon Halverson and slipped a backhander inside the left post for his fourth of the season and his first point since December 16th. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: (SAT) PACK SMOKED IN P-TOWN – LOSE 6-2

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg      VERSUS      Providence

Providence Bruins 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 2

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Providence, RI, November 5, 2016 – Steven Fogarty scored his first pro goal Saturday night, but that was the lone bright spot for the Hartford Wolf Pack in a 6-2 loss to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Peter Cehlarik had two goals and an assist for Providence and defenseman Alex Grant added a goal and two assists.  Dan Vladar made 35 saves, as the Wolf Pack outshot their hosts 37-29.  Philip McRae scored the other Hartford goal.

“I thought there was times in the game when we were playing pretty well,” Fogarty said, “but they controlled the majority of it and they capitalized on their opportunities.  And any time a team gets chances like that they’re going to score, especially in this league.”

The Wolf Pack had the edge for long stretches of play in the first period, and outshot the Bruins 13-5, but came out of the period trailing 1-0.

Vladar frustrated the Wolf Pack shooters, and Cehlarik gave Providence the lead at the 14:49 mark.  After Sean Kuraly broke up a Chris Summers pass on the right-wing boards, Cehlarik cut across the middle and beat Wolf Pack starting netminder Mackenzie Skapski with a shot high to the glove side.

The Bruins made it a 2-0 lead at 1:34 of the second period, with Grant scoring his second of the year just seven seconds after a Wolf Pack power play ended.  Colby Cave passed cross-ice from the right boards to Grant, who stickhandled in from the left circle and deked to beat Skapski through the legs.

Fogarty’s first goal as a pro got the Wolf Pack on the board at 13:53, as the former Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward banged the puck into the net from Vladar’s left.  That was after Vladar stopped a shot launched from the left point by Summers.

Providence got that goal back only 62 seconds later, though, at 14:55, with Anton Blidh tipping home a shot by Grant from the right point.

Then, with 52.4 seconds left in the period and Summers in the penalty box for hooking, Cehlarik buried his second of the game to increase the Bruins’ lead to three.  Grant beat a check and made his way to the left-wing corner, before passing across the slot to Cehlarik, who one-timed the puck into the net.

Up 4-1 going into the third period, Providence broke the game open with a pair of goals early in the third.

Danton Heinen scored his first pro goal at 4:43, set up alone in front of Skapski by a pass from the right-wing side by Cehlarik.

Then, only 35 seconds later, at 5:23, Jake DeBrusk made it 6-1, getting behind Paliotta in the Wolf Pack zone to jump on a loose puck and flick it into the goal.

That ended Skapski’s night after six goals against on 22 shots, and Magnus Hellberg finished up, stopping all seven shots he faced.

McRae cut the final margin to 6-2 with his second goal of the season with 2:21 left.  He was set up at the left side of the slot by a cross-ice feed from Matt Carey and wired a shot past Vladar’s catching glove.

The Wolf Pack are now off until this Friday night, November 11, when they travel to Rochester for a 7:05 PM game vs. the Americans.  All of the action of that battle can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio.  Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.

The next home game for the Wolf Pack is next Sunday, November 13 vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, with faceoff at 5:00 PM.  Each of the Wolf Pack’s Sunday home games features the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”.  The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.

Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Providence Bruins 6
Saturday, November 5, 2016 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Hartford 0 1 1 – 2
Providence 1 3 2 – 6

1st Period-1, Providence, Cehlarik 3 (Kuraly), 14:49. Penalties-Casto Pro (tripping), 3:13; Brown Hfd (hooking), 4:01; Randell Pro (hooking), 8:10; Blidh Pro (slashing), 19:27.

2nd Period-2, Providence, Grant 2 (Cave, Heinen), 1:34. 3, Hartford, Fogarty 1 (Summers, Paliotta), 13:53. 4, Providence, Blidh 4 (Grant, Szwarz), 14:55. 5, Providence, Cehlarik 4 (Grant, DeBrusk), 19:07 (PP). Penalties-McIlrath Hfd (high-sticking), 6:31; Summers Hfd (hooking), 17:57; McIlrath Hfd (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:45; Casto Pro (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:45.

3rd Period-6, Providence, Heinen 1 (Cehlarik), 4:48. 7, Providence, DeBrusk 2 (Porter, O’Gara), 5:23. 8, Hartford, McRae 2 (Carey, Gilmour), 17:39. Penalties-served by Simpson Pro (bench minor – too many men), 8:32; McRae Hfd (slashing), 12:24.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 13-16-8-37. Providence 5-14-10-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 4; Providence 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 0-4-0-0 (22 shots-16 saves); Hellberg 3-2-1-0 (7 shots-7 saves). Providence, Vladar 2-0-1-0 (37 shots-35 saves).
A-9,015
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Joe Ross (92).

FUEHRING: SWAMP RABBITS RE-SIGN FORWARD MATT JOHNSON

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!

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

PACKARD: PACK CRUSH FALCONS AGAIN

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

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

CRAWFORD: HARTFORD MUST GET THREE WINS THIS WEEKEND – WIN FIRST

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