Tag Archives: San Jose

MCGINNISS: DANBURY WINS WITH “OLD-TIME HOCKEY”

      VERSUS      

Goals and Fists Lead to Danbury Victory

BY: Zak McGinniss, Danbury Titans

Danbury, CT Nikolai Okhlobystin recorded two goals in a Gordie Howe hat trick, including the game-winning goal, as the Danbury Titans won their second in a row over the Cornwall Nationals by a 5-2 score on Saturday night at the Danbury Ice Arena. Nikita Ivandikov stopped 28 of 30 shots as the Titans retook sole possession of fourth place in the Federal Hockey League. Continue reading

RANGERS SEND HELLBERG BACK TO HARTFORD

RANGERS ASSIGN MAGNUS HELLBERG TO HARTFORD

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, February 3, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned goaltender Magnus Hellberg to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hellberg has appeared in 26 games with the Wolf Pack this season, posting a 10-9-5 record, along with a 2.86 GAA and a .905 SV%. Hellberg has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six AHL appearances (3-2-1 record, 1.80 GAA, .939 SV% over the span).

RANGERS ASSIGN MAREK HRIVIK TO HARTFORD

RANGERS ASSIGN MAREK HRIVIK TO HARTFORD

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, January 16, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned Marek Hrivik to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hrivik has skated in 16 games with the Rangers this season, registering two assists and two penalty minutes. He has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 12 of his 16 games with the Rangers in 2016-17. Hrivik made his season debut with the Blueshirts on Dec. 6 against the Islanders, and he recorded his first career NHL power play assist/point on Dec. 29 at Arizona.

The 6-2, 197-pounder has skated in 20 games with the Wolf Pack this season, registering eight goals and nine assists for 17 points, along with a plus-three rating and eight penalty minutes. At the time Hrivik was recalled by the Rangers on Dec. 5, he led Hartford in points and shorthanded goals (two), was tied for the team lead in goals and assists, and was tied for second on the team in plus/minus rating this season. In addition, he has recorded a point in 13 of 20 AHL games in 2016-17.

RANGERS ASSIGN BRANDON HALVERSON TO HARTFORD

RANGERS ASSIGN BRANDON HALVERSON TO HARTFORD

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, December 28, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned goaltender Brandon Halverson to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Halverson was recalled by the Rangers on December 27. In six appearances with Hartford this season, Halverson has posted a 3-3-0 record.

The Traverse City, Michigan, native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 59th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

RANGERS LOOK TO REBOUND TUESDAY AT MSG

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NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-7-1 (31 pts)
Hurricanes: 9-8-4 (22 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers 

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 24th game of the 2016-17 season tomorrow, Nov. 29, against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). All of the Blueshirts’ next four games (including tomorrow’s game) are against Eastern Conference opponents, and three of the four games are against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Rangers have won 14 of their last 21 games (14-6-1), including 13 of their last 19 games (13-5-1) and 10 of their last 15 games (10-4-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 15-7-1 record this season.

RANGERS VS. HURRICANES

  • All-Time*: 73-51-7-2 (44-17-4-2 at home; 29-34-3-0 on the road) *Note: All-Time record includes games against the Hartford Whalers from 1979-80 – 1996-97
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow’s game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-2 loss on Oct. 28 at Carolina. Mats Zuccarello recorded two goals in the contest. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers and Hurricanes will play against each other on the following dates: Dec. 3 (at MSG), Mar. 9 (at Carolina).
  • The Rangers have won each of their last 11 home games against Carolina, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. New York’s 11-game home winning streak against the Hurricanes is tied for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in franchise history.
  • The Rangers have won 19 of their last 22 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (19-3-0). New York has also won nine of its last 11 games against Carolina, dating back to Apr. 8, 2014 (9-2-0).

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RANGERS TO TAKE ON MCDAVID’S OILERS

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NEW YORK RANGERS at EDMONTON OILERS
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, 9:30 p.m. ET
Rogers PlaceEdmonton, AB
Rangers: 11-4-0 (22 pts)
Oilers: 9-5-1 (19 pts)

TONIGHT’S GAME

The Rangers play their 16th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Nov. 13, against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place (9:30 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight’s game is the second contest of a four-game road trip for the Blueshirts. The Rangers have won 10 of their last 13 games (10-3-0), including nine of their last 11 games (9-2-0) and six of their last seven games (6-1-0). The Blueshirts have posted an 11-4-0 record this season.

RANGERS VS. OILERS

  • All-Time: 30-30-9-2 (14-16-6-1 at home; 16-14-3-1 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tonight’s game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Oilers, and the only meeting between the two teams in Edmonton. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record against Edmonton (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), defeating the Oilers, 5-3, on Nov. 3 at MSG. Five different Rangers tallied a goal and nine different Rangers registered a point in the contest. Kevin Hayes recorded three points (one goal, two assists), while J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner each notched one goal and one assist. Brady Skjei posted his first career NHL multi-assist/point game by recording two assists, and Rick Nash tallied the game-winning goal with 1:21 remaining in regulation.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in nine of their last 13 contests against the Oilers, dating back to the start of the 2005-06 season (7-4-2).
  • New York has earned at least one point in 14 of its last 19 road games against Edmonton, dating back to Jan. 23, 1989 (11-5-2-1).

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RANGERS CONTINUE TORRID PACE – WIN 5-2 (AGAIN)

postcaptureBox Scorecapture  Game Summary                               WPG: C. Hellebuyck (L) M. Hutchinson (ND) NYR: H.       Event Summary                               Lundqvist
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        TOP TEN – The Rangers’ 10 wins through 13 games this season are tied for the most the team has earned in the first 13 games of one season in franchise history. New York has now won 10 games in the first 13 games of a season three times in franchise history (1990-91, 2008-09, and 2016-17).

        HIGH FIVE The Rangers have registered five or more goals in each of the last five games. New York has tallied at least five goals in five straight games for the first time since Dec. 26, 1978 – Jan. 14, 1979 (nine consecutive games). In addition, New York has recorded five or more goals in five straight home games for the first time since Oct. 17, 1990 – Oct. 31, 1990.

        GOALS GALORE – The Rangers have registered 55 goals through the first 13 games of the 2016-17 season. New York has recorded at least 55 goals in the first 13 contests of a season for the first time since 1990-91 and has tallied at least 55 goals in the first 13 games of a season for the seventh time in franchise history. The Rangers have registered five or more goals in eight of 13 games in 2016-17 and in each of the last five games. New York leads the NHL in goals per game this season (4.23).

        HOME COOKING – The Rangers have won eight of their first nine home games in one season for the third time in franchise history (1972-73, 1990-91, and 2016-17). The Rangers have posted an 8-1-0 record at home this season and have outscored opponents, 42-19, in their first nine games at MSG in 2016-17. New York leads the NHL in wins (eight), goals for (42), and goals per game (4.67) at home this season. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 69 of their last 89 home games, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014 (60-20-9 record). In addition, the Rangers have posted a 35-11-4 record at MSG since the start of last season. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, the Rangers lead the NHL in wins (35), goals for (172), and goals per game (3.44) at home. The Rangers have outscored their opponents, 26-6, over the last 14 periods at MSG, dating back to the start of the second period on Oct. 26 vs. Boston.

        MAKING THE DIFFERENCE – The Rangers lead the NHL in goal differential this season (plus-26; 55 goals for, 29 goals against). The Rangers’ plus-26 goal differential through 13 games this season is the best through the first 13 games of any season in franchise history.

        WINNING WAYS – The Rangers extended their winning streak to five games, dating back to Oct. 30 vs. Tampa Bay. In addition, the Rangers have won eight of their last nine games (8-1-0; dating back to Oct. 22 at Washington) and nine of their last 11 contests (9-2-0; dating back to Oct. 17 vs. San Jose). The Rangers have outscored their opponents, 26-8, during their current five-game winning streak, and have tallied at least five goals in each game.

        BACK-TO-BACK – In their last 84 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 55-23-6 record in the second game of the set.

        WHAT A LINE – Over the last five games, the Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller has recorded 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists).

        TEAM EFFORT – Five different Blueshirts recorded a goal and 11 different Rangers tallied a point in the contest.

        TWO GOOD – The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in eight of the last 10 games. The Blueshirts have won 34 of the last 35 games in which they allowed two goals or fewer, dating back to Dec. 15, 2015 (34-1-0).

        SECOND HELPING – The Blueshirts have outscored their opponents, 25-7, in the second period this season. In addition, New York has outscored its opponents, 21-5, in the second period over the last nine games.

        NOVEMBER REIGN – Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Rangers lead the NHL in wins during November (87; 87-46-9 record in 142 games in November). The Rangers have won each of their first four games in November in 2016-17.

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        Kevin Hayes tallied a goal and posted a plus-two rating. He extended his point streak to five games (four goals, nine assists) and his goal streak to four games. Hayes’ four-game goal streak is a career-high, while his five-game point streak ties a career-high. Hayes has posted a plus-11 rating over the last five games.

        Brandon Pirri tied a single-game career-high with two assists, established a single-game career-high with a plus-three rating, and won seven of 10 faceoffs (70.0%). He has registered three assists/points over the last three games, and he has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last nine contests.

        J.T. Miller registered the game-winning goal and posted a plus-two rating. Miller has tallied a point in four of the last five games (three goals, four assists) and in nine of 13 contests in 2016-17 (five goals, eight assists). He has not gone two consecutive games without recording a point thus far this season. He has recorded a point in nine of the Rangers’ 10 wins in 2016-17, and the team has posted a 9-0-0 record in games which he has recorded a point this season. Miller has posted a plus-12 rating over the last five games.

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        Mats Zuccarello recorded a goal and led the Rangers with four shots on goal. He has registered a goal/point in three of the last six games, tallying four goals over the span. Since the start of last season, 31 of Zuccarello’s 32 goals have been in game situations when the Rangers have either led by one goal, trailed by one goal, or were tied in the contest.

        Jesper Fast tallied a goal and posted a plus-one rating. He has recorded a goal/point in two of the last three games, and he has registered a point in six of 13 games this season (two goals, four assists).

        Pavel Buchnevich registered a goal and posted a plus-one rating. He has notched a goal/point in each of the last two games, and he has recorded a point in four of his first eight career NHL games (two goals, two assists).

        Brady Skjei recorded an assist and was credited with two blocked shots. He extended his assist/point streak to five games (six assists) and has tallied seven assists in the last eight contests. Skjei is the first Rangers rookie defensemen to tally a five-game assist/point streak since Brian Leetch, who did so twice during his Calder Trophy-winning season in 1988-89. He is tied for first among NHL rookies in assists this season (eight).

        Chris Kreider notched an assist and recorded three shots on goal. He has registered an assist/point in six of the nine games in which he has played this season (three goals, seven assists).

        Kevin Klein tied single-game career-highs with two assists and two points, and he led all skaters with four blocked shots in 18:45 of ice time. He has tallied three assists/points in the last two contests.

        Adam Clendening notched an assist, was credited with two blocked shots, and posted a plus-one rating. Clendening has recorded an assist/point in each of the last two games he has played.

        Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to earn his seventh win of the season. Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last three appearances (3-0-0, 1.67 GAA, .941 SV%, 1 SO over the span), and he has posted a 6-1-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA, a .927 SV%, and 1 SO in his last seven appearances.

        Ryan McDonagh tied for the team-high with three hits and posted a plus-two rating while skating in a game-high 25:40 of ice time. The Rangers have posted a 23-1-2 record in the last 26 games in which McDonagh has logged at least 25:00 of ice time, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014. He has led the Rangers in ice time in every game thus far in 2016-17.

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  • Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers head coach

On tonight’s game…

“In the second period we had four chances, and we scored on all four of them.  There’s no doubt that we capitalized on our opportunities.  I would say tonight is a good night to use, ‘never critique a win,’ just take the win.  It was our fifth game in eight nights, fourth game in six nights; it was also their third [game] in four [nights] so these are really tough on players: tough physically, tough mentally.  You’ve got to grind it out.  In the third period, we’re just trying to defend.  We’re packing it in front of our net, we’re blocking shots, and we’re trying to get the two points, and that’s what we did.” 

On the Brady Skjei and Kevin Klein defense pairing…

“I think Brady’s been skating real well, and Kleiner for the most part.  He and Kleiner have had some really good chemistry.  What I’ve liked about Brady’s progression is he’s skating away from the hard pressure and being able to beat the forecheck.  Sometimes you beat the forecheck with a good first pass, sometimes you beat it by wheeling, and turning, and skating up the ice, and he’s been able to do that against hard forechecking teams.  So we just felt that for tonight, [after play] back to back nights, it was an alright matchup.”

On Pavel Buchnevich’s goal…

“It should be on the highlights.  It’s going to be up in Canada anyway, they look for goals like that.  It was a great goal, great passing there.”

  • Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets head coach

On tonight’s game…

“We were a little wobbly in the first four or five minutes, but right through the three-minute mark, I really liked our game. I think we are a little bit guilty of getting too excited about our zone time and some of our lateral plays that we tried to make instead of getting right to the net, and that’s what they are good at, they’ll transition off of that. They can shoot the puck off the rush and we got burned by it.

On Connor Hellebuyck…

“They were pretty good shots. He made a great save at the end of the first. Our goaltending is like our defense, we’re going to have some really good performances and then every once in a while we’re going to have a rough one. They have to wake up and come back to work tomorrow.

  • J.T. Miller, New York Rangers forward

On his goal…

“I pretty much had my mind made up for the most part. We shoot a hundred of those a day in practice. I like to do the short-side shot, so it was fortunate that it found a hole there. At that point in the game, it was nice to get one.” 

On tonight’s game…

“We’ve played a lot of hockey lately. Some games you don’t really have it, but you find ways to get it done. Pirri’s line stepped up tonight with two more goals tonight that were big goals for our team. I think we’re finding a way for everybody to contribute right now and it’s hard to stop for the opposition if you have four lines rolling like that.” 

On the team’s production…

“You’re not (expecting) to score five goals every night. That’s a lot of goals against the goaltending talent in the league and how good the teams are. At the same time, if we can keep four lines going and out-change the other team and play with speed on every line, it’s hard to stop. The whole team is contributing right now and that’s one of the biggest things, is if we can get every line and the (defense) to contribute, that’s when you’re going to get your production.”

  • Brandon Pirri, New York Rangers forward

On Pavel Buchnevich and the play of his line…

“I think after he got that first (goal), he’s a different player. Now he’s smiling and he’s dominant when he has the puck. The last couple of games I should’ve had a couple where he fed me right in front. Quickie (Jesper Fast) is a workhorse, he’s dynamite down there retrieving pucks. Buch has all the skill so we want to get it in his hands, and then for me it’s just trying to get open.” 

On being able to roll four lines…

“It’s pretty impressive. Everyone is contributing and that’s what’s important. It’s a tough matchup for other teams when the next line coming over the boards is just as capable as the one before that.”

  • Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers defenseman

On tonight’s game…

“I think the first period we were a little sloppy and trying to find our rhythm a little bit. We talked about making sure we got in behind their defense there with pucks and just stayed a little bit closer in the defensive zone to help out break-outs there. They seemed to kind of give us a few more looks there as the second went on and a little bit more offensive zone time. We had some good shots by a couple of our guys and just putting it to the net and finding a way.” 

More on tonight’s game…

“We knew we were playing sloppy. It was a back-to-back situation. Those are big tests for our team and thankfully Henrik [Lundqvist] bailed us out there early and we were able to get through that point of the game where we weren’t firing on all cylinders and playing the way we needed to be, competing on pucks and competing against those guys. So I like the way the game progressed. But ultimately it’s a lesson learned there too because we’re not always going to be able to get through those stretches there. We’ve got to find a way to get that intensity right off the bat even if it’s a back-to-back for us. It’s going to happen again in the season and we’ve got to learn from this.”

  • Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers goaltender

On tonight’s game…

“It was definitely not an easy game. They are a skilled team, but again we found a way after they tied it up there. We had a couple shifts where we turned it up a little bit and scored a couple of really important goals for the game. If you look at the weekend, [we got] two big wins. I don’t think we are super pleased with everything in our game but we are finding ways to win games. You can’t expect it to be perfect every night, you just need to find different ways to win hockey games. I think the big thing is we have so many different guys right now stepping up at key moments, defensemen, forwards, everyone doing important things for this team to win.” 

More on tonight’s game…

“That’s hockey. You never know what is going to happen. There are a lot of skilled players out there. A game can change within a minute or 30 seconds. It could be a couple goals. You never know. That’s why you have to pay attention to every little detail. One shift can turn around for you in a good way or in a bad way. Especially a couple penalties can really turn a game around. Again we were not perfect but we are doing a lot of good things. I think at key times throughout the game, yesterday and today, we were finding a way, which is a great sign.” 

On not being complacent even with the good start to the season…

“I think that’s a good sign. We sit in here and we talk about going out and playing a little bit better in the third even though we are up a few goals. We understand how this league is very competitive and the reason why I think we’ve been successful is we’ve been paying attention to all the details that we talked about in our game. If we get away from that a little bit it’s going to be a lot tougher game. Obviously we are super happy with the start. The amount of goals that are going in right now, obviously we appreciate that. Guys are feeling good about themselves and about their games putting the puck in the net. Especially in our own end, the way we defend. From there, we get good offense and good timing.”

  • Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets forward

On the Jets’ road trip overall…

“You know, for the most part, our games have been pretty good. Just a couple lapses tonight just put us behind by too much, though I think we’ve been pretty happy with our game.” 

On playing from behind…

“We did some good things tonight. I feel like, the games where we get behind by too much, that’s kind of the story. Most of it’s pretty good, and then it’s like tonight, where it just kind of gets away from us. Then, it’s kind of out of our reach.”

  • Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets forward

On the second period…

“It wasn’t the result that we came here to play for. I thought we played a strong first period, and they’re going to come hard in the second, and they’re the best team in the league when playing in the second period. I don’t know, we just didn’t play our game in the second period, and I think we lost because of that.”

On the game overall…

“I thought we played a pretty solid couple periods. The last one was obviously down three goals. We just tried to score the first goal and keep that going, but we just didn’t.”

team schedule

–        Tomorrow: Team is OFF

–        Next Game: Tuesday, Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network)

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 6

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Here’s this week’s news from around professional hockey.

STANLEY CUP FINALS

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks started the final series of the hockey season on Memorial Day, and a Connecticut kid played a big part.

Farmington native, and Avon Old Farms grad, Nick Bonino, scored with 2:25 left in regulation off a superb pass from Kris Letang, and flipped his shot high to the short side, to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game One.

The Penguins, in the Sidney Crosby era, are seeking their third title. Behind the bench is Mike Sullivan, the ex-New York Rangers assistant coach under John Tortorella. Sullivan is at the helm after being promoted from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier in the year. Sullivan replaces the fired Mike Johnston. Former Ranger and one-time Hartford Wolf Pack/CT Whale, Carl Hagelin gets his second shot at the Cup.

Ex-CT Whale, Tim Erixon, is one of the Penguins’ Black Aces.

The San Jose Sharks are making their first appearance in the final in their 25- year history. The Sharks feature Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, who have a combined 2,778 NHL games without a Stanley Cup. One of the Sharks Black Aces is former Wolf Pack and Sound Tiger Micheal Haley.

The Sharks radio play-by-play voice is Dan Rusanowsky, a Milford native, and former voice of the New Haven Nighthawks. Rusanowsky becomes the second Nighthawks alumni announcer to call a Stanley Cup final. Hockey Hall of Famer from the Los Angeles Kings Nick Nickson called two Stanley Cup championships in LA.

AHL CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS

It’s the Lake Erie Monsters and the Hershey Bears who will battle for the 80th Calder Cup title.

Hershey knocked off regular offensive powerhouse, the Toronto Marlies, in five games. The Bears won Game Five by a 3-2 score clinching their appearance in the championship final. In the history of the AHL, these two cities have produced the most titles the Bears 11 and Cleveland 10 mostly in the late 1950’s and 1960’s period.

In the history of the AHL, the two cities where Lake Erie and Hershey are located have produced the most titles. The Bears have won eleven in Chocolate-town and Cleveland has won ten, though theirs came mostly in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

In the 21st century, the Bears have won the title three times. The last victory came in the 2009-2010 season when they beat the Texas Stars in six games, (4-2). They won the previous season against the Manitoba Moose and they were also victorious in 2005-06 beating the Milwaukee Admirals all four games to two.

Cleveland last appeared in the Calder Cup Final as the original Barons lost to the Rochester Americans four games to two. Their last title came in 1964 when they swept the Quebec Aces, who featured Fred Glover who would eventually make his way into the AHL Hall-of-Fame. Glover was the team’s leading scorer, PIM leader, and their head coach!

One thing the league won’t have to worry about is attendance in this series. Hershey and Cleveland have always been on top of the AHL’s attendance figures.

The Bears feature ex-Wolf Pack players Chris and Ryan Bourque, who was last year’s captain before being traded for Chris Brown at the NHL trade deadline. Chris won the regular season scoring title and was named the AHL MVP. In this playoff season, he has become the all-time leading playoff point-earner in Hershey. The elder Bourque surpassed Mike Nykoluk (74 points, 1958-1972) who went on to be a Rangers assistant coach in the late 1970’s and the head coach ifor the Toronto Maple Leafs for three seasons.

The Bears also have Chandler Stephenson, the nephew of ex-Whaler Bob Stephenson, former Sound Tiger captain, Aaron Ness, and assistant coach Randy Murphy, an ex-Wolf Pack.

Lake Erie features ten ex-Springfield Falcons from a year ago when Columbus switched its affiliation. Among them is their defenseman, Steve Eminger. The ex-CT Whale ended last year tearing his right knee up at the XL Center as a member of the Providence Bruins. Eminger rehabbed and signed mid-season with the Monsters. Ex-Sound Tiger tough guy Brett Gallant is a Monster too. On defense is Stratford native, and former Fairfield Prep and Taft Prep, player Jamie Sifers. Also on the roster is Westport native, and Choate Prep grad, Mike Paliotta and former Rangers defenseman, Justin Falk.

One of the assistant coaches is former Beast of New Haven, Nolan Pratt.

MEMORIAL CUP

The London Knights are kings of Canadian junior hockey.

It took overtime to overcome a great effort by QMJHL champs, the Rouyn Noranda Huskies, seeking to achieve one of the biggest upsets in Memorial Cup history.

The Huskies attempt would certainly rank with another major underdog story dating back to 1979. In that year, the high-powered Brandon Wheat Kings lost 2-1 in overtime to the Peterborough Petes.

It was not a shock considering London’s top line consisted of Mitch Marner (Toronto), Christian Dvorak (Arizona) and Matt Tkachuk (2016 draft eligible) factored in the game winner and game-tying goals.

At 7:13 Thachuk came off the left-wing and snapped a wrister that Dvorak got the shaft of his stick on redirecting it just past the Huskies’ goalie, Chase Marchand. Tkachuk, was given credit for the game-winning tally and second goal of the game.

It looked like the Huskies would engineer their upset as Julien Nantel’s bang-bang rebound at 9:13 would hold up. The goal came off great pass from Alexandre Fortin.

The Knights had won 17 in a row showed and demonstrated why they are such an offensive juggernaut under head coach Dale Hunter.

Trailing 2-1, Dvorak took a pass from Aaron Berisha and zipped a backhander in at 15:49 to tie the game at two. The eventual tournament MVP, Marner nearly won it in regulation in the last minute hitting the crossbar from fifteen feet out. Marner had 14 points in the four games he played.

London has Max Jones (son of ex-Nighthawk, Brad Jones, 2016 draft eligible), goalie Brendan Burke (son of Hartford Whalers’ Sean Burke) and ex-Wolf Pack Mike Martin (team scout).

The host Red Deer Rebels were eliminated by the Rouyn Noranda Huskies 3-1 last Friday night to get to play London. That ended the season for Jake Debrusk son of ex-Wolf Pack Louie DeBrusk, Ivan Nikolishin son of ex-Whaler Andrei Nikolishin and Adam Musil son ex-NHL’er Frantisek Musil and nephew of ex-Whaler and Ranger Bobby Holik.

Brandon head coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon is the younger brother of late Whaler Brad McCrimmon.

The goal of the tournament was scored by Brandon’s John Quenneville (second cousin of former Whaler and Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville) on the second night of the tournament against Rouyn-Noranda. See it HERE

RANGER NEWS

In a move that could affect the makeup of the Wolf Pack coaching staff next season, Rangers assistant coach, Ulf Samuelsson, has been hired Ron Francis, the Carolina GM and his long-time friend and former Hartford Whaler teammate. Samuelsson becomes the third head coach in the Charlotte Checkers AHL history. Samuelsson replaces Mark Morris, the ex-New Haven Nighthawk, who took the job at his alma mater, St. Lawrence University (ECACHL).

Samuelsson played 1,080 NHL games, 463 of them in Hartford and for his career had 31-145-176 and 1,110 PIM. In Hartford, Samuelsson’s number 5 and Francis’ number 10 hang in the rafters of the XL Center. He was the assistant coach in 2005-06 with the Wolf Pack and in 2004-05 with Avon Old Farms prep school when they had a goalie from Hamden named, Jonathan Quick.

Samuelsson has all four of his children involved in hockey. The eldest Philip split last year with the Arizona Coyotes and the Springfield Falcons. Henrik played all season in Springfield (nee Tucson). His daughter Victoria is a sophomore with the Penn State University varsity women’s team and the youngest child, Adam, has committed to Boston College this past spring and played with the CT Jr. Rangers (USPHL-Premier) last year.

This leaves an opening in New York where it’s likely that Wolf Pack assistant coach, Jeff Beukeboom, is likely to get the promotion call to work with the defenseman there as he has the last four years in Hartford.

WORLD CUP HOCKEY ROSTERS

The rosters are set for the September inaugural tournament patterned to capture the great Canada Cup series in the 1980’s. Some of the usual suspects with CT ties will be a part of various lineups.

Team Europe – Nino Neiderreiter, and Franz Nielsen (Sound Tigers) and Mats Zuccarello (CT Whale)

Team Finland – Mikko Koskinen (Sound Tigers) and Lauri Korpikoski (Wolf Pack)

Team North America – J.T. Miller (Wolf Pack) and Sean Couturier (son of Nighthawks Sylvain)

Team Russia – Artem Anisimov (Wolf Pack) and Vladimir Namestnikov (son of Wolf Pack Evgeni)

Team Sweden – Cal Hagelin (CT Whale)

Team USA – Jonathan Quick (Hamden), Max Pacioretty (New Canaan) and a trio of ex-Wolf Pack Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Callahan, and Brandon Dubinsky.

WOLF PACK PRIORITY DATES

The Wolf Pack regular season home opener is one of seven dates the team released as guaranteed home dates for the 2016-17 AHL season.

The 20th season of the franchise, now longer than the Hartford Whalers were in the Connecticut capital will commence at home on Friday, October 14th. The six other released special dates are; Wednesday, November 2nd 11:00am, Friday, November 25, Saturday, December 10, Friday, January 6, Friday, January 20, and Friday, January 28.

The full AHL schedule will be released in mid-August. The league needs to wait until after the NBA schedules are released. Why? Lake Erie and San Antonio are owned by NBA teams and play in the same building. The two teams are last NBA/AHL connections. Milwaukee will play at University-Wisconsin Carver Arena because the BMO Harris Center is being torn down and Charlotte already has moved to the Bojanglee Coliseum.

ON THE MOVE

Milford native, Mark Arcobello, who played collegiately at Yale and his public school hockey at Fairfield Prep, and prep school at Salisbury Prep (winning a championship at both), has signed with SC Bern (Switzerland-LNA).

Max Talbot who split last season between Providence and Boston is heading to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Russia-KHL).

Ex-Pack Corey Potter who split last year with Springfield and Milwaukee and got a brief late season recall to Nashville will be joining former Wolf Pack teammate Dane Byers in Cologne (Germany-DEL) next season.

Domink Uher from Wilkes Barre/Scranton heads back home to HC Sparta Prague of the Czech Elite League (CEL). Zach Phillips, who spent most of the year with Providence, but was reassigned to three different teams in the second half Chicago (AHL) and Atlanta and Kalamazoo (ECHL), heads to Sweden to Tingsryds AIF (Sweden-Allsvenskan).

Zach Phillips, who spent most of the year with Providence but was reassigned to three different teams in the second half of the season, Chicago (AHL) and Atlanta and Kalamazoo (ECHL), heads to Sweden to Tingsryds AIF (Sweden-Allsvenskan).

Former pair of CT Whale players taking up new European residences, Casey Wellman goes from Spartak Moscow (Russia-KHL) to Frolunda HC (Sweden-SHL) the defending champions. Francois Bouchard goes from HC Val Pusteria (Italy LIHG A-League) to GHC Bordeaux (France-FREL).

Manitoba Moose announced its new head coach will be Jets assistant coach Pascal Vincent who has extensive QMJHL coaching experience before becoming an NHL assistant coach.

PRE-SEASON NHL GAME IN BRIDGEPORT

The New York Islanders will host their third NHL pre-season game at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, October 1st against the Washington Capitals at 7pm.

WJC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

The highly regarded tournament returns to North America on Boxing Day in Toronto and Montreal with a twist on the format between the two cities for the tournament.

Toronto ACC (Air Canada Centre) will host one group featuring the US, Canada, Russia, Slovakia, and Latvia. Then in Montreal at the Bell Centre the other group (Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, and Switzerland) for the preliminary round. Each city will host the quarterfinal round and the semifinal round and medal games will be held in Montreal.

The US squad could feature UConn’s Tage Thompson and Ridgefield native, Chad Krys. Slovakia will likely have incoming UConn freshmen and Ranger draft pick, Adam Huska, in net and another slick skating center, Husky Max Letunov , who will be playing for Russia.

HALL OF FAME

Steve Moria, a one-time New Haven Nighthawk who played all 105 games of his AHL career in the Elm City, was inducted in the British Hockey Hall of Fame. Moria was the last Nighthawk to play actively in pro hockey.

Moria played until he was fifty before retiring five years ago. He played in over 1,339 games in Britain including their National team and World Championship teams with 3,043 total points in his career.

He played his last three season with Basingstoke (EIPHL) as a player-coach in fact 10 of his British season he held that title.

Among the teams he played for included Fife (Scotland), London, Milton Keynesn, Nottingham, Swindon, Blackburn and the Cardiff Devils in Wales where he was held in very high regard for 12 years and the Slough Jets. He played in all the leagues that have been around the UK such as the EIHL, BNL, EIPHL, BD 1 & 2 and BISL.

He is from Vancouver and played Junior A hockey in Richmond, BC for three years in the BCHL. He played collegiately at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks when it was a Division 2 program and is their Hall of Fame as well.

IN MEMORIAM

The hockey world took a double whammy this week with the loss of one-time Whaler Rick MacLeish 66, (meningitis and other complications) and Tom Lysiak 63, (Leukemia) who both had battled these illnesses for several years.

MacLeish gained his stardom with the Philadelphia Flyers as one of its top scorers during their Broad Street Bullies days in the early to mid-1970’s.

He was drafted in the first round fourth overall by the Boston Bruins in 1970 from Peterborough (OHL). He never played for the Boston. The Bobby Orr-led Bruins halfway through his first year of pro playing in the minors playing with Oklahoma City (CHL) he was a part of three team trade between Philadelphia, Toronto and Boston.

He struggled to find his game until he broke out in 1972-’73 season with 50 goals and 50 assists. He was one of six Flyers to hit the 50 goal mark in franchise history (Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, John LeClair, Tim Kerr and March Recchi) were the others.

He scored the Stanley Cup game winner for the Flyers first Stanley Cup in 1973-’74 beating the heavily favored Bruins 1-0 in Game 6 led the play playoffs in scoring with 13 goals and nine assists, but he lost out on the Conn Smythe trophy to teammate Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent both times.

On the Flyers second and last Cup winning team in 1974-75 he had 20 points in 13 games the team was also the last Stanley Cup team to win with a lineup that was comprised of all Canadians. He was an NHL All-Star three times in his 12-year career.

MacLeish had great speed for the time, one of his patented moves to come across the blue line and shift to his off-wing shooting side, going against the grain before firing his hard and very accurate wrist shot. He led the Flyers team in scoring in 1976-77.

He escaped what could have been a life threatening incident in a late season game in LA in 1978. MacLeish slid into and was accidently cut on the neck by the skate blade of Marcel Dionne. The injury resulted in MacLeish receiving 80 stitches to close the wound.

MacLeish came to the Whalers in the summer of 1981. he arrived in the Connecticut capital with Blake Wesley (former Whaler Glen’s older brother) and big tough winger Don Gillen. The trade sent Fred Arthur and Ray Allison the otheer way. All five players never made an impact for their teams. The only notable exception was defenseman Fred Arthur who would retire two years later to become a doctor.

The Whalers traded MacLeish to Pittsburgh for defenseman Russ Anderson, who still lives and works in Connecticut. Two years later MacLeish retired as a member of the Red Wings.

Lysiak was a second overall selection in the 1973 draft for the first incarnation of NHL hockey in Atlanta, the Flames. He was also drafted by the WHA’s Houston Aeros. Denis Potvin of the Islanders went first overall.

Lysiak played junior hockey for the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) winning the scoring title his last two years when he had Lanny MacDonald as his winger before being taken fourth overall by Toronto. He played in the 1974 Memorial Cup tournament.

He played for the Flames for six years leading them in scoring five of the six years, and made three straight NHL All-Star game appearances. He was the face of the franchise and retired to the Atlanta area.

Lysiak was part of what was then the largest trade in NHL history in 1978. The move was an eight player trade between Atlanta and the Chicago Blackhawks. Lysiak was the Flames’ team captain at the time.

He played seven years with Chicago before retiring in 1985 after 919 NHL games with 292 goals and 843 points.

Lysiak might most be remembered for his twenty game suspension for tripping linesman Ron Foyt on October 30, 1983 against the Hartford Whalers. The suspension remains one of the longest in NHL history and has been the standard for player contact with an official. It set a standard that even holds to this day as it was used as a measuring stick this past season for the crosscheck hit by Calgary’s Dennis Wideman on linesman Don Henderson.

Lysiak’s daughter, Jessica Lee Lysiak, is married to San Jose Sharks’ defenseman, Justin Braun, who’s competing for the Stanley Cup. He will miss tonight’s game to be with his wife and family. Braun’s agent is former New England and Hartford Whaler Tim Sheehy.

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NEW YORK RANGERS -0 at BOSTON BRUINS -3
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
TD Garden – Boston, MA
Rangers: 24-13-4 (52 pts)
Bruins: 24-15-6 (54 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TEAM NOTES:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on the penalty kill in the contest. New York is 42-for-48 (87.5%) on the penalty kill over the last 17 games and is 52-for-60 (86.7%) over the last 20 games.
  • New York was credited with 30 shots on goal in the contest, as eight different skaters registered at least two shots on goal. The Rangers have recorded at least 30 shots on goal in 23 of 41 contests this season.
  • The Blueshirts recorded 33 hits in the game, as 14 different skaters registered at least one hit and nine different skaters were credited with at least two.

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RANGERS WILL NEED A BIGGER BOAT FOR THESE SHARKS

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NEW YORK RANGERS vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS

Sunday, Oct. 19, 5:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square GardenNew York, NY
Sharks: 4-0-1 (9 pts)
Rangers: 2-3-0 (4 pts)

TONIGHT’S GAME

The Rangers conclude their four-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden (5:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Today’s game is the fourth game of a stretch where they play 14 of 19 games at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers enter the contest with a 2-3-0 record (1-2-0 at home, 1-1-0 on the road), following a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday at MSG. San Jose has opened the season with a five-game point streak (4-0-1 record over the span), after it’s game Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Continue reading