Tag Archives: Al Montoya

SPOTLIGHT: SOUNDING OUT THE TIGERS

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

After a well-earned four-day break, the Northeast Division-leading Connecticut Whale looks to extend their latest points streak to four games when they visit their intrastate rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Monday night.

The Whale headed to the Christmas hiatus off a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Wednesday night, on defenseman Pavel Valentenko’s 50-foot laser with 16.2 seconds left off a faceoff win by veteran center Kris Newbury. Defenseman Brendan Bell, who assisted on all three Whale goals, touched the puck to Valentenko for the second winner of his life, the first coming only nine games earlier in a 4-2 win over the Hershey Bears on Nov. 29.

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SPOTLIGHT: AL MONTOYA

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Friday night wasn’t exactly what former Hartford Wolf Pack goalie Al Montoya and AHL Hall of Famer Bruce Boudreau had in mind, but it did have some redeeming value.

Montoya played his first game in the building where he watched games as a kid and stood for the spine-tingling national anthem as a Chicago Blackhawks fan. The New York Rangers’ first-round pick (sixth overall) in 2004, who played 119 games for the Wolf Pack in 2005-08, had several chances to get an emotional win before Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who scored shorthanded in the second period, had the only goal in a shootout to beat the New York Islanders, 5-4.

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SPOTLIGHT: HARTFORD GRADUATES

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale graduates are helping the parent New York Rangers more all the time.

Take Thursday night, in a 5-3 victory over the host Carolina Hurricanes, in which the Rangers rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits.

Former Wolf Pack All-Star right wing Ryan Callahan and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer each scored, with McDonagh’s tally coming after a tenacious forecheck by Brian Boyle and the two most recent call-ups, John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin, had a bunch of worn-out Hurricanes scurrying to get to the bench, leading to a bad change.

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THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK – ROUND ONE

NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, New York
October 15, 2011 – 7:00 p.m.

TOMORROW’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The Rangers (0-0-2, 2 pts) enter tomorrow’s contest having been defeated by the Ducks, 2-1, in the shootout on Oct. 8 to complete the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere in Stockholm, Sweden with an 0-0-2 mark.  The Blueshirts are now 2-0-2 all-time in regular season games played in Europe, having previously swept a back-to-back set against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2008 NHL Premier in Prague, Czech Republic. The Islanders enter the contest with a 2-1-0 (4 pts) record, and have won each of their last two games. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will travel to Vancouver to face-off against the Canucks on Tuesday, October 18, at Rogers Arena (10:00 p.m.), to begin a six-game stretch against Canadian opponents including four on the road to begin the set.

BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – CUTTING TIME

BY: Bruce Berlet

After needing a little more time than usual, the Connecticut Whale got closer to their final roster for the franchise’s 15th season on Monday.

As coach Ken Gernander said Sunday after a 3-2 victory over the Worcester Sharks, all the decision making was made “a little bit dicey” because the parent New York Rangers were traveling in Europe while the seven players assigned to the Whale on Saturday were flying across the Atlantic Ocean to join their new/old team.

But after conversations with several members of the Rangers organization, Gernander and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller decided to assign defenseman Sam Klassen, left wing Jason Wilson and centers Max Campbell and Brendan Connolly to Greenville of the ECHL and release tryout forwards Tayler Jordan and Matt Rust, a four-year linemate of Rangers prospect Carl Hagelin at the University of Michigan.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

Veteran right wing Jeremy Williams, the Connecticut Whale’s leading goal scorer and only AHL All-Star last season, won’t be returning to Hartford.

The 27-year-old Williams wasn’t offered a new contract by the parent New York Rangers and has signed a one-year deal with the EC Salzburg Red Bulls in the Austrian Elite League, where his opponents will include former Hartford Wolf Pack players Craig Weller, Cory Larose, Marvin Degon, Francois Fortier, Mike Ouellette, Burke Henry and Tyler Donati.

In his only season with the Whale, Williams led the team with 32 goals, tying his career high with the Grand Rapids Griffins the previous season, and was second in points with 55, six behind center and close friend Kris Newbury, who is signed for next season. Williams was scoreless in one game with the Rangers.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1By: Bruce Berlet

NHL general managers and coaches usually worry about their players getting injured in such special events as the Olympics and World Hockey Championships, especially when they’re goalies.

Intelligent officials won’t keep players from competing for their country, though they often wish they would when those dreaded injuries occur.

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WATERBOARDED ON THE ISLAND

New York Rangers VERSUS New York I

NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
March 31, 2011 – New York Rangers 2, New York Islanders 6 (Game No. 78, Away No. 40)

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HOPE HE LIKES PLAYING IN THE QUIET

63799685According to TSN.ca, goaltender Al Montoya has signed a one-year extension with the New York Islanders.

Montoya, who was the New York Rangers’ first round pick, sixth overall, in the 2004 draft is also the second winningest goaltender in Hartford Wolf Pack history. He trails only Jason LaBarbera in sheer wins.

Monty has been very strong between the pipes for the AHL NHL team on Long Island. He joins ex-Wolf Pack forward P.A. Parenteau as ex-Wolf Pack who have found a home in the NHL at the Nassau Coliseum.

We wouldn’t be even the least bit surprised if that’s where defenseman Wade Redden winds up next season as well.

Montoya has posted a very solid 8-4-4 record since joining the Fish Sticks on February 9 in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes. The 26 year-old netminder was going nowhere with the Coyotes and Islanders’ GM Garth Snow was able to take him off the Coyotes for just a sixth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Montoya, a Chicago native, has given the Islanders some stability in net with Rick “Mr. Glass” DiPietro almost constantly on the DL. Montoya has a 2.35 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 17 games this season.

TRADES

A couple of quick hits here on a couple of ex-number one picks and both former Hartford Wolf Pack players.

The team’s all-time number two goaltender in terms of wins, Al Montoya has been traded for a sixth round pick to the NY Islanders.

Also, The Florida Panthers have announced they have acquired RW Jack Skille, ex-Hartford Wolf Pack RW Hugh Jessiman and C David Pacan from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for RW Michael Frolik and G Alexander Salak.