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Tag Archives: Albany River Rats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Checkers general manager and head coach Jeff Daniels announced today that rookie defenseman Kyle Lawson has been re-assigned to the team by the Carolina Hurricanes from the Florida Everblades. Continue reading
PISTILLI RE-ASSIGNED TO CHECKERS FROM FLORIDA
Winger leads all ECHL skaters with 14 goals
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Checkers general manager and head coach Jeff Daniels announced today that forward Matthew Pistilli has been re-assigned to the team from its ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades.
Pistilli, 22, leads all ECHL skaters with 14 goals in 24 games and ranks second in the league with a +14 rating. The Montreal, Quebec native scored five goals and added three assists in 41 games with the Albany River Rats (AHL) last season.
The Checkers (14-9-3) will host Hershey on Friday at 7 p.m. for “As Seen on TV Night” and Teddy Bear Toss. The first 2,000 fans will receive an official “As Seen on TV” product. Holiday packs are now on sale and include four games, a merchandise certificate and a puck for as low as $35. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
The Wolf Pack/Whale launched into their 2010-11 season with a pair of home games this past week, and ended up with a split. Head Coach Ken Gernander’s club handed the new Charlotte Checkers a 4-2 defeat Saturday at the XL Center, in the Checkers’ inaugural AHL game, but then fell by a 4-3 score to the Worcester Sharks in Atlantic Division action Sunday. Twenty-year-old rookie Kelsey Tessier paced the club in scoring in the two games with 2-2-4, and a team-best +4, including a two-goal, one-assist performance in Sunday’s game.
The Wolf Pack/Whale hit the road for the first time, and also play their first three-games-in-three-days stretch of the season. This Friday night, October 15 finds the Wolf Pack/Whale making its only visit of the season to Albany, to meet the new-look Devils in a 7:00 game. Then it’s on to Bridgeport Saturday night, for the first GEICO Connecticut Cup game of the year against the Nutmeg-State rival Sound Tigers (7:00), and the Wolf Pack finish the weekend in Providence on Sunday, taking on their arch-adversaries the P-Bruins at 4:05
Friday, October 15 at Albany (Times Union Center), 7:00 PM
· Albany’s Times Union Center is now home to the New Jersey Devils’ top affiliate, the Albany Devils, after New Jersey’s top prospects skated in Lowell, MA the past four seasons. The Albany River Rats, who called New York’s state capital home for the past 17 years, were moved to Charlotte to become the Checkers after last season.
· The Devils’ new AHL coach this season is Rick Kowalsky, after John MacLean, now head coach of the parent New Jersey club, led Lowell to a 39-31-4-6 record for 88 points, and a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Division, last year.
· The Devils’ only action thus far this season was a 5-3 home loss Saturday to their close regional rivals, the Adirondack Red Wings. David McIntyre was the top Albany contributor in that game, with two goals, and veteran forward Stephen Gionta had a goal and an assist.
· The Wolf Pack compiled a 5-3-0-0 record against Lowell last season. In their only 2009-10 visit to Albany to play the River Rats, the Pack lost a 3-1 decision on January 9. All-time in Albany, the Wolf Pack are 15(W)-5(L)-2(T)-1(OTL) in 23 visits.
Saturday, October 16 at Bridgeport (Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard), 7:00 p.m.
· This is the first of ten GEICO Connecticut Cup games on the year between the Wolf Pack and Sound Tigers. The Pack won the last two games of last year’s season series, to win the GEICO Connecticut Cup with a 5-3-0-2 series record.
· The Sound Tigers split a pair of home games during the opening weekend, beating Worcester 5-4 in a shootout Saturday and falling by a 2-1 score to Manchester Sunday. Last season Bridgeport edged out the Wolf Pack for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by three points, going 38-32-4-6 for 86 points.
· Robin Figren has two goals in the first two games for Bridgeport, and Michael Haley and Matt Martin have registered a goal and an assist each.
Sunday, October 17 at Providence (Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence), 7:00 p.m.
· This clash starts a ten-game season series between the Wolf Pack/Whale and the arch-rival Bruins. The Pack compiled a 6-3-1-0 record in the series last year and was 2-3-0-0 in five visits to Providence.
· The P-Bruins gave up a total of 10 goals in their season-opening home-and-home series with Springfield but got a split out of it, with a 5-1 home loss on Friday night and a 6-5 road win Saturday. Head Coach Rob Murray’s club is coming off of a 36-38-5-1 (78 pts.) season that saw it miss the playoffs by a margin of eight points, the first time in 12 years that the Bruins have failed to qualify for the postseason.
· Rookie centerman Maxime Sauve is tied for the AHL lead in goals, after netting a hat trick in Saturday’s Providence win.
Individual tickets for Wolf Pack/Whale home games are on sale now at the XL Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may also be charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
For information on Wolf Pack/Whale ticket packages, group sales and VIP packages, call (860) 728-3366
Once again this season, the Wolf Pack are partnering with WTIC Radio to air Wolf Pack hockey action. All of the Wolf Pack’s regular-season and playoff games will air on 96.5 WTIC-FM’s HD 2 channel and will be streamed on-line at www.wtic.com. Select games will be carried live on the 50,000-watt AM powerhouse, WTIC NewsTalk 1080.
The AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale is operated by Whalers Sports and Entertainment, a Hartford-based sports marketing and event firm founded by Howard Baldwin. The team is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers.
Since 1972, the CT Lottery has generated more than $19.3 billion in sales and has transferred nearly $6.7 billion to the state’s General Fund. Prizes have exceeded more than $11.1 billion. Purchasers must be 18 years or older. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-346-6238. For more information about the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, call (860) 713-2000, or visit the CT Lottery web site at ctlottery.org.
TRACK THE PACK/WHALE AT WWW.HARTFORDWOLFPACK.COM
Charlotte Checkers owner Michael Kahn announced today that the American Hockey League Board of Governors has approved his purchase of the AHL’s Albany River Rats franchise, as well as the team’s relocation to Charlotte to begin play in 2010-11.
The Checkers will enter into a multi-year affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes and become the primary training ground for Hurricanes prospects.
The partnership will unite North Carolina’s two biggest cities, Raleigh and Charlotte, and form marketing and operational synergy between the state’s only two professional hockey teams. The Queen City will play host to the highest caliber of hockey that it has seen since it was introduced to the sport in 1956.
“I am extremely excited to bring AHL hockey to Charlotte,” said Kahn. “The city of Charlotte has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and with that comes expectations of a higher level of professional sports, hockey notwithstanding. Fans will now be able to watch a player in Charlotte one night and with the Hurricanes the next. Hockey is and will remain an important component of the Charlotte sports landscape and we will continue to be the best family sports entertainment value in town.”
The agreement provides advantages both on and off the ice such as savings on travel, cross-promotion and marketability of players as they develop into future NHL stars.
“We are very pleased that Charlotte will be the new home for the Carolina Hurricanes’ top prospects,” said Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford. “Charlotte has a proud hockey heritage spanning more than five decades, and we are excited that the Hurricanes will be a part of the new era of Checkers hockey.”
The AHL, which will celebrate its 75th-anniversary season in 2010-11, serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of all current NHL players are graduates of the American Hockey League.
“I am excited to welcome the city of Charlotte and its great fans to the excitement, intensity and world-class skill level of the American Hockey League,” said David Andrews, AHL President and CEO. “This partnership with the Carolina Hurricanes will provide fans throughout the state a chance to witness first-hand the development of the NHL’s stars of tomorrow.”
The Checkers currently play in the ECHL and have for the past 17 seasons. The ECHL has been an integral component in helping the team establish credibility in the Charlotte market and has provided a high level of hockey as evidenced by the numerous players that played their way to the AHL and NHL. The team will continue to play in the ECHL in hopes of winning a championship and helping promote current Checkers players to the next level.
Kahn has also stated that a separate announcement will be made in the coming weeks concerning other details surrounding the move.
The Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL have called a major news conference for Wednesday morning. Howlings has learned that Checkers owner, Michael Kahn will announce his team is moving up from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) to the American Hockey League (AHL) next season becoming the affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. Currently The Albany River Rats serve in that capacity.
It is expected that this move by Carolina could trigger a series of other moves by a number of other AHL teams.
While it is NOT our practice to report on unsubstantiated rumors, there is enough talk among reasonable sources that this move by Charlotte could snowball into several teams shifting their locations and/or affiliations next season. Again, this is NOT FACT, simply RUMOR!!!
Two things that will be fact is that Albany will not have an AHL team after this move is made. Also, at least at this point, the New York Rangers won’t NOT have an ECHL affiliate next season.
More details on this situation as it plays out.
The Albany River Rats were unable to score on the Hartford Wolf Pack in five-on-five situations in their second and final meeting of the season but their special teams were enough as they beat the visiting team 3-1 at the TimesUnion Arena Saturday night. The Pack have been forced to come from behind having surrendered the game’s first goal in eight of their last nine. This one was no different as the Rats got one behind starting goaltender Matt Zaba on their first shot of the contest at 6:58.
Dave Urquhart took an interference call at 5:07. The 27th ranked Albany power play unit came out and looked like they should lead the league making sharp, quick passes that got the Pack moving around. Jonathan Paiement, who was elected by the New York Rangers in round 8 (#247 overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft moved the puck to Jacob McFlicker on the point. McFlicker then put his first of two points on the night into the scorers sheet when his pass set up Drayson Bowman low on the right side. Bowman was patient and looked for an opening and when he saw it, fired a quick release shot that beat Zaba (26 saves, 2-3-1) to the stick side and into the far corner of the net for his eighth of the season.
The Pack had a short five-on-three power play for 28 seconds in the period but were unable to put much of anything together in the opportunity.
“I think they’re doing the right thing. They’re getting chances,” Pack head coach Ken Gernander said. “It’s not going to go in every night. I thought they did some really good things (Saturday night).”
Despite only seeing five shots apiece in the period, bit Zaba and Rats starter Justin Peters, were both good and they continued that way into the second frame.
At 5;19 of the second, Albany came real close to doubling their lead. Zaba played Brett Bellemore tight and huge and denied him anything to shoot at. Somehow, Bellemore got it past Zaba and his shot ricocheted off the far post.
Zaba came up big again just under three minutes later when Nick Dodge had a break in opportunity only to see the puck wind up in Zaba’s glove.
Despite Zaba’s best efforts to keep his team in it, he couldn’t stop the game’s first star, Nicolas Blanchard when he blocked Ilkka Heikkinen’s shot from the right point on the power play and raced in firing a hard shot that Zaba initially stopped in the five hole only for it to sneak past him and across the goal line for his sixth of the season.
The Pack just could not mount any sort of offense as the Rat defense simply shut them down.
“(The loss) wasn’t related to effort tonight as they were taking away the neutral zone on us.” Gernander said. “Our passing wasn’t crisp and we couldn’t get pucks in to forecheck so we didn’t really generate that forecheck and that tempo that is such a big part of our game.”
Hartford’s best chance to get on the board early in the third period came when Corey Locke’s shot from the left side in-close got past Peters and the Blyth, Ontario native dove behind him and knocked the puck out of harm’s way before it could cross the goal line.
Dale Weise continued his superb play.
With AHL All-Star Bobby Sanguinetti in the cooler for an Interference call, a failed back pass to the right point to Dodge failed and Weise won the footrace to the puck against the Rat Center and charged in alone on Peters. Weise put on a deke and got Peters to split the wickets. As soon as he saw the opening Weise threw the puck right through it for his AHL leading fourth short handed tally of the season and 14th on the year, just three behind the team leader, Locke who has 17.
As time was expiring in the game, and with Zaba on the bench for an extra attacker, Micflikier picked up a loose puck in the right wing corner and flung the puck out of the zone from behind his own goal line. The puck found pay dirt over 200’ away for the game’s final tally.
“I thought (Zaba) played a couple of good games for us this weekend. I’m sure his numbers probably reflect that.”
Zaba spoke about what this time has meant to him. “I went through about a month stretch when I obviously didn’t play. I was pretty frustrated.” He said. “I was a little bit frustrated because I was expecting to have a big year this year and I could really make a push. Then its just the way things worked out. Getting hurt, and then ‘Johnny’ (Chad Johnson) just playing out of his mind.” He added. “There was just a tough situation, but I just tried talked to a lot of people and stay positive and work hard in practice and get my chance. Then I knew Valli was going to get some games when he came down. he’s a good goalie and they want to get Johnny some games too so it’s kind of a numbers thing…”
The second year netminder found sound advice and help from his team’s GM and the team’s Goaltending coach. “I talked with Jim Schoenfeld and Benoit (Allaire) last time I was up (in New York) and just kind of talking about things and about life and that really helped me out a lot and then Christmas break was really good to see my family and get away from things it’s been a struggle. I just want to help the team win no matter what my role is.”
Bob Crawford reports his game summary at Hartfordwolfpack.com. It’s fascinating how some of the teams in the AHL are covered. Some teams like the Wolf Pack and the Providence Bruins to name two can’t get a single reporter to cover even their home games. Then there are other teams like Hershey, Wilkes-Barre and surprisingly Albany who have multiple newspapers covering them. Pete Dougherty has two stories on the game. The first focuses on Nicholas Blanchard who had the shorty for Albany. You’ll find his game story on his newspaper’s site at Timesunion.com. Bill Cain, a terrific writer and big help, has his story in dailygazette.com and even the local TV station has a story, even if it’s a reprint of the Rats’ website story at WNYT.com.
|4. WOLF PACK||40||20||15||1||4||45||116||115||0-1-0-0||6-3-0-1||807|
|5. Sound Tigers||41||21||17||1||2||45||103||105||2-0-0-0||6-4-0-0||950|
* Matt Zaba and Chad Johnson have switched places again for the Rangers and Pack. Expect Johnson to get the start in Providence.
* Weise now has 6 points, 5g and 1a in his last six games and leads the AHL in shorthanded goals with 4.
* Corey Locke is still the AHL points leader with 47 (17g, 30a) in 40 games. Keith Aucoin of Hershey is right on his heals with 45 (29g, 26a) in 32 games. Dustin Henry of Wilkes-Barre has 41 points (12g, 29a) in 37 games and ex-Pack and current Hershey Bear, Alex Giroux has 40 points (13g, 27a) in 29 games. Hershey has three of the top five scorers in the league on their roster and two of the AHL’s top four goaltenders (Braden Holtby & Michael Neuvirth – on recall, and Semon Varlamov to boot). Any idea why they have the AHL’s best record (29-8-0-2) and are winners of 12 straight (12-0-0-0).
* The Pack Power-Play, which led the league for much of the first couple of months has fallen to sixth at 18.6%. On the PK, they’re continuing to struggle and find themselves at 27th out of 29 teams.
* Despite the inconsistency on a game-in and game-out basis, the Pack were 6-5-0-0 in October, 8-2-1-2 in November and then 4-5-0-2 in December and have started the month 3-2-0-0 in January.
* The Pack are 7-8-0-2 in games they get outshot and 4-3-0-0 in games decided by two goals.
Grachev – Dupont – Weise
Byers © – Locke – Parenteau
DiDiomete – Crowder – Couture
Ambϋhl – Garlock – Soryal
Potter – Williams
Heikkinen – Sanguinetti
Urquhart – Sauer
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
Jared Nightingale – Healthy Scratch
Daniel Tkaczuk – Healthy Scratch
Mike Hoffman – Undisclosed injury – Day-to-Day
Chad Johnson – On recall with the NY Rangers
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Three – Four weeks
Jordan Owens – Facial Injury – Indefinite
Brent Henley – Knee – Season
1. ALB – N. Blanchard
2. ALB – J. Peters
3. ALB – D. Bowman
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Shaun Davis (31)
Frank Murphy (29)
Steve Lemay (64)
The Pack will try and regroup and get their game back on track as they travel up to face the equally inconsistent Providence Bruins up at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Rhode Island.
To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.
If you can attend the cost is as little as $10 a ticket, why not just go? For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.
Too far away or can’t make it? Listen live at WTIC.com.
Hartford Wolf Pack 1 At Albany River Rats 3
Jan 9, 2010 – Times Union Center
Hartford 0 0 1 – 1
Albany 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Albany, Bowman 8 (Micflikier, Paiement), 6:28 (pp). Penalties-DiDiomete Hfd (hooking), 2:24; Urquhart Hfd (interference), 5:07; Pistilli Alb (hooking), 10:48; FitzGerald Alb (closing hand on puck), 12:21; FitzGerald Alb (interference), 15:13; Byers Hfd (roughing, goaltender interference), 16:04; Conboy Alb (roughing, roughing), 16:04.
2nd Period-2, Albany, Blanchard 6 10:10 (sh). Penalties-Paiement Alb (tripping), 9:47; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 13:54; Angelidis Alb (fighting), 13:54.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Weise 14 12:18 (sh). 4, Albany, Micflikier 6 19:57 (en). Penalties-Garlock Hfd (hooking), 2:33; Paiement Alb (diving), 2:33; Williams Hfd (holding), 8:44; Sanguinetti Hfd (interference), 11:29; Parenteau Hfd (high-sticking), 17:10; Parenteau Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:57.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 5-7-8-20. Albany 5-11-13-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 4; Albany 1 of 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Zaba 2-3-1 (29 shots-26 saves). Albany, Peters 13-10-2 (20 shots-19 saves).
MEANWHILE BACK IN CHARLOTTE
CHECKERS STYMIED BY NORTH DIVISION-LEADING WINGS
Jones’ Hat Trick Lifts Kalamazoo Over Charlotte
The Charlotte Checkers managed to put four goals past one of the league’s hottest goaltenders, Ryan Nie, but it wasn’t enough as they were downed, 7-4, by the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday night in Michigan.Andrew Carroll added a pair of goals and now has a team-leading 15 tallies while Julien Brouilette recorded a goal, assist and fighting major for the Gordie Howe hat trick. Miika Wiikman made 24 saves and was handed his first regulation loss since Nov. 8, also against Kalamazoo, a span of 11 games.
Nie stopped 36 shots for his fourth win in a row while Matt Jones led the way offensively for Wings with three goals and, for the second consecutive game, scored the game-winner. The Wings have now won five straight.
Charlotte opened the scoring just under two minutes into the game when Jean-Philipp Chabot fed a nice pass to Carroll in the slot. Carroll cradled the pass and slid it past Nie to take the early 1-0 lead.
Kalamazoo would light the lamp three times before the end of the period. Jones directed a cross-crease pass from Andrew Fournier past Wiikman at 5:28 before adding another just over six minutes later. With under two minutes to play in the period, Sam Ftorek skated in alone on the Checkers’ netminder and beat him with a backhander to take a two-goal lead.
The Wings then took a three-goal lead just over five minutes into the second, on the power play, as Mathieu Curadeau took a point shot that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
The Checkers would capitalize on a power play of their own late in the period to cut Kalamazoo’s lead to two. On a 5-on-3 advantage, leading scorer Tyler Doig fed a pass to Brouillette who then rifled a slap shot over the glove of Nie for his seventh of the season.
Kalamazoo, however, would tally three quick goals in a span of 2:16 midway through the period, jumping to a 7-2 lead. On the power play, Jones recorded the hat trick when he redirected a pass from Ftorek past Wiikman. Just a minute and a half later, Rick Cleaver chased Wiikman from the Charlotte net when he blasted a one-timer into the top corner on a 4-on-3 man advantage. Ftorek, riding a wave of momentum, added a breakaway goal just 44 seconds later for the five-goal lead.
At the midway point of the third period, Charlotte showed signs of life as David Marshall beat Nie, making it a 7-3 game. Mike Taylor and Brouillette picked up assists on the play.
Carroll would add a late goal, his fifth in the last five games, however, it wasn’t enough as Kalamazoo hung on for the 7-4 victory.
The Checkers (18-12-4-0) will continue their northern swing in Toledo tomorrow before returning home to host the Gwinnett Gladiators on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
|1. South Carolina Sting Rays||39||25||8||2||4||56||137||122||2-0-1-1||6-2-1-1||566|
|2. Charlotte Checkers||34||12||11||3||1||40||121||113||0-2-0-0||4-5-1-0||740|
|3. Florida Everblades||37||17||14||2||4||40||118||110||0-1-0-1||5-3-1-1||743|
|4. Gwinnett Gladiators||33||16||13||2||2||36||119||120||1-0-0-0||3-6-0-1||588|
* Ryan Munce (.922) ranks 2nd in save percentage among all ECHL goaltenders…
* Andrew Carroll has five goals in his last five games…
* Miika Wiikman has only two regulation losses in 12 games this season (7-2-2)…
* Julien Brouillette has five points (2g, 3a) in his last five games…
* T.J. Reynolds has six points in his last seven games, leads all ECHL defensemen with 147 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +18 rating…
* The Checkers are 10-3-1 in their last 14 home games…
* Trevor Glass and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Doig – Leveille © – Roche
Burki – Harder – Slattengren
Carroll – Taylor – Chabot
Berube – Reynolds
Brouillette – Schaeffer
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
1. GWT – S. Roberts
2. GWT – S. Mifsud
3. SC – K. Johnson
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Geno Binda (15)
David Jones (57)
Terry Wicklum (98)
The Checkers go to Michigan’s arch rival state…Ohio on Sunday when they will take to the ice to face the Toledo Walleye (Third place, 19-13-1-3) who’ve won two in a row and are on a 7-3-0-0 run in their last ten games.
You can buy tickets for any Checkers game home or away at Ticketmaster.com.
Should you want to watch this very exciting team from the comfort of your computer chair, all Checkers games are available on B2Live.
Charlotte Checkers 4 At Kalamazoo Wings 7 – Status: Final
Jan 9, 2010 – Wings Stadium
Charlotte 1 1 2 – 4
Kalamazoo 3 1 3 – 7
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Carroll 14 (Chabot, Burki), 1:58. 2, Kalamazoo, Jones 13 (Ftorek, Fournier), 5:28. 3, Kalamazoo, Jones 14 (Curadeau, Featherstone), 11:50. 4, Kalamazoo, Ftorek 5 (Willis, Featherstone), 18:46. Penalties-Chabot Chr (roughing), 2:32; Ward Chr (slashing ), 3:21.
2nd Period-5, Kalamazoo, Curadeau 14 (Bootland, Mason), 5:24 (pp). 6, Charlotte, Brouillette 7 (Doig, Leveille), 18:07 (pp). Penalties-Bootland Kal (hooking), 3:06; served by Marshall Chr (bench – too many men), 4:24; Lloyd Kal (high-sticking), 6:48; Chabot Chr (slashing ), 9:18; Fournier Kal (tripping), 16:30; McGinnis Kal (roughing), 17:01.
3rd Period-7, Kalamazoo, Jones 15 (Ftorek, Daavettila), 6:45 (pp). 8, Kalamazoo, Cleaver 17 (Daavettila, Jones), 8:17 (pp). 9, Kalamazoo, Ftorek 6 (Mason, McGinnis), 9:01. 10, Charlotte, Marshall 6 (Taylor, Brouillette), 10:22. 11, Charlotte, Carroll 15 (Slattengren, Graham), 17:19 (pp). Penalties-Roche Chr (holding), 5:50; Willis Kal (interference on the goalkeeper), 7:25; Leveille Chr (slashing ), 7:41; Schaeffer Chr (slashing ), 7:49; Doig Chr (misconduct), 11:25; Brouillette Chr (fighting – major), 16:07; Reynolds Chr (misconduct), 16:07; Bootland Kal (roughing, misconduct), 16:07; Willis Kal (instigating, fighting – major), 16:07.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 10-19-11-40. Kalamazoo 11-7-18-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 of 7; Kalamazoo 3 of 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Wiikman 7-1-1-1 (30 shots-24 saves); Munce 5-6-1-0 (6 shots-5 saves). Kalamazoo, Nie 10-4-1-0 (40 shots-36 saves).
After expending so much emotion and energy in a very spirited and gutsy game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers less than 24 hours before, you had to figure that the Hartford Wolf Pack might have at least a little bit of a let down against their next opponent. Add to the mix that next game was an opponent that came with no emotional attachment to draw from,and you have all the ingredients necessary for an off game. That’s exactly what happened when the East Division’s Albany River Rats came to the XL Center Sunday night…at least for one period anyway. This game came down to a poorly played first period as a unit by the Wolf Pack, and a third period goal by Corey Potter incorrectly waived off by referee Frederick L’Ecuyer that would eventually lead to overtime and then to a shootout where the Pack would come up short dropping a 2-1 decision to the River Rats in front of 3,073 at the XL Center Sunday evening.
After Saturday’s victory against the Sound Tigers that ended a six game losing streak, in his post game comments, Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander spoke about hoping there would be a carryover of “the good feeding” into this game. There wasn’t, at least not in the first period. The Pack came out completely flat and played with the same lack of emotion that had gotten them into trouble over the six game losing streak. Albany carried the play and fired 19 shots on Pack starter Chad Johnson (29 saves, 10-7-2). The Wolf Pack managed only six on Albany netminder Justin Peters (30 saves, 11-5-2) and it cost them.
With just 3:06 left in the first, Jamie McBain defending in his own zone stripped Dane Byers of the puck along the left wing boards. McBain fed Rat captain Pat Dwyer with an outlet pass and watches as he advanced the puck through the neutral zone and over the Pack blueline along the right wing side. Dwyer fired a shot and used Corey Potter as a screen. Chris Terry muscled past Bobby Sanguinetti towards the net and redirected the shot past the stick side of Johnson into the far corner of the net. Despite being outplayed all over the ice, the Pack entered the first intermission down just a goal.
Whatever the message was to the team between periods by Gernander got through as the team came out motivated and took control of the contest.
Midway through the second period, Derek Couture started a rush from the Pack defensive zone with an outlet pass to Dane Byers. The Pack captain then moved it through the neutral zone and found Matt Gilroy with speed moving up the left wing side. Gilroy took the pass and outskated defenseman Brett Bellemore to the outside. Zach Fitzpatrick followed into the left wing corner. As he passed over the goal line, and with both defenseman out of the play, Gilroy made a backhanded pass into the crease that found Couture, who beat Harrison Reed to the spot, and deflected the puck perfectly past Peters for the game tying goal at 12:24.
The game remained knotted and the Pack in control of play. But as has been the case over the past couple of weeks, the Pack have not been able to finish their chances and it cost them.
At 5:48 of the third period, Byers had a magnificent opportunity to open up a lead when his shot form the left side rebounded right. Brodie Dupont made a valiant effort to put it past Peters, but the Rat goaltender made a sparkling diving save to engulf the puck and keep it out of the twine.
After a Devin DiDiomete throttling of Bellemore at 10:47, came the controversial decision that would eventually cost the Pack the game.
The Rats had iced the puck and called a time out to rest their tired troops. Assistant coach JJ Daigneault drew up a play for his team and sent them off to execute it and they did. Paul Crowder worked the puck free deep in the right corner and sent the puck up to Potter at the point. Potter then uncorked a hard slap shot through traffic in front of Peters and cleanly best the netminder who was on his knees a good three feet in front of his crease. L’Ecuyer was in the right corner behind the goal line and ruled that Dale Weise had interfered with Peters. A close examination of the replay shows that Weise never touched the Rat netminder. Moreover, the replay shows that L’Ecuyer could not possibly have seen whether Weise had made any contact or not since he was completely screened on the play by Rat center Mike Angelidis and one time Pack defenseman Brian Rodney who were bunched together directly in L’Ecuyer’s line of sight. It was a badly made call and not only did it strip the Pack of a goal they had cleanly earned, but put them shorthanded as Weise went to the sin bin for a two-minute vacation.
The Pack outshot the Rats 12-4 in the final frame.
In overtime, the Pack had golden opportunities to score. Steven Goetzen went to the penalty box for taking a necessary hooking call that brought down Byers in the crease. Byers was crashing the net and ahead of Goetzen and easily could have had a goal off a Sanguinetti feed that left the puck loose in the crease. So with the Pack on a 4-on-3 power play for the final 1:32 of extended play, the opportunities were there. First, Weise had a golden opportunity when the rebound of a Gilroy shot bounced off Dupont’s stick and right to the wide open Weise in almost the same spot as his game winner the night before. However, he had to lift his shot to go over the fallen bodies in front and it went over the net. Then he and Dupont, who have strong chemistry together and had co-orchestrated the previous night’s win against Bridgeport, had another chance when with just 3.2 seconds left, Weise put it again on goal and the puck slipped behind Peters. Tim Conboy and Angelidis dove over the top of their netminder and somehow kept the puck from crossing the goal line.
“It’s just the way the breaks go, I guess,” Dupont said after the game to reporters. “We have got to work our way out of it.”
So it was on to the skills competition to determine a winner.
Corey Locke beat Peters on the pack’s first attempt and his backhander went off the right post hit the crossbar and went in. A goal scorer’s goal for sure. But it would be the only Pack goal in the shootout as Gilroy, Byers, Sauer and Weise could not get one past the Rat netminder.
Meanwhile, if there’s any one area where it looks like the rookie Pack netminder needs to work, it’s in the shootouts. He just doesn’t look comfortable or confident in them. He entered this, the team’s third shootout of the season having been beaten both times not looking strong in either. On the first shooter, Jacob McFlicker lost the puck on his way to the crease. However somehow it still slid in under Johnson for a goal. Chris Terry also lost the puck but Johnson turned that one away easily. McBain then went stick side with a wrister that Johnson barely moved on and Boychuk’s bid was swallowed by the glove. Had any of his teammates scored it certainly would have helped, but McFlicker’s goal was VERY weak.
Overall for the weekend the Pack went 1-1-1 for three points and with a far improved effort in the last two.
|4. Sound Tigers||31||15||13||1||2||33||77||83||2-0-1-0||5-3-1-1||751|
|6. WOLF PACK||30||14||12||1||3||32||85||90||1-0-0-1||3-4-1-2||584|
* P.A. Parenteau has been sent back to Hartford by the New York Rangers, saying to several in the stands that this time in Hartford, “Should only be for a little while.” Nigel Dawes, and Ryan Callahan also went through this.
* The Pack are averaging 19.7 PIM per game.
* Hartford is 2-1-1-1 when tied going into the third period.
* Johnson’s 18 saves in the first period were the most any netminder has made in a period all season for the Wolf Pack
* Wolf Pack Defenseman as a unit have scored only one goal since Corey Potter tallied on Nov. 27 against Portland. That goal came off the stick of Jared Nightingale on Dec 5th against Wilkes Barre.
* Matt Gilroy has had an assist in all three games he’s played in since being demoted to Hartford by the Rangers last Thursday.
Byers © –Dupont – Couture
Locke – Crowder – Weise
Grachev – Garlock – Hoffman
DiDiomete – Carroll – Ambϋhl
Potter – Sanguinetti
Williams – Gilroy
Urquhart – Sauer
(Assistant Captains bold & italicized)
Jared Nightingale – Healthy
Justin Soryal – Upper Body – Day-to-Day
Matt Zaba – On recall with the NY Rangers
Illka Heikkinen – On recall with the NY Rangers
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Indefinite
Jordan Owens – Facial Injury – Indefinite
Brent Henley – Lower Body Injury – Four to Six weeks
1. ALB – J. Peters
2. ALB – J. McBain
3. HFD – D. Byers
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Frederic L’Ecuyer (48)
Glen Cooke (6)
Kevin Redding (16)
After playing three in three days, the Pack will have time to recuperate before taking on their next challenge, the Toronto Marlies who visit the XL Center for their only visit of the season. To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live. On the other hand, you can attend the game for as little as $10 a ticket? So why not just go? For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.
Dec 13, 2009 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum Albany 1 0 0 0 – 2Hartford 0 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Albany, Terry 6 (Dwyer, McBain), 16:54. Penalties-Crowder Hfd (high-sticking), 12:20.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Couture 3 (Gilroy, Byers), 12:24. Penalties-Bellemore Alb (holding), 7:39; Couture Hfd (holding), 13:42; Angelidis Alb (tripping), 17:10; Byers Hfd (interference), 19:45.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Herauf Alb (holding), 7:18; Bellemore Alb (fighting), 10:47; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 10:47; Weise Hfd (goaltender interference), 12:34; Angelidis Alb (interference), 16:21.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Goertzen Alb (hooking), 3:28.
Shootout – Albany 2 (Micflikier G, Terry NG, McBain G, Boychuk NG), Hartford 1 (Locke G, Gilroy NG, Byers NG, Sauer NG, Weise NG).
Shots on Goal-Albany 19-5-4-2-1-31. Hartford 6-6-12-7-0-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 of 4; Hartford 0 of 5.
Goalies-Albany, Peters 11-5-2 (31 shots-30 saves). Hartford, Johnson 10-7-2 (30 shots-29 saves).
MEANWHILE DOWN IN CHARLOTTE:
CHECKERS RUN OUT OF GAS, FALL TO STINGRAYS
Charlotte Drops 4-0 Decision To End Road Trip
Playing their fifth game in eight nights, the Charlotte Checkers could not generate any offense and dropped a 4-0 decision to the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday in North Charleston.
Stingrays forward Nikita Kashirsky recorded the hat trick and goaltender Todd Ford stopped all 25 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season. Frank Doyle got the start for the Checkers and made 26 saves in a losing effort.
With the loss the Checkers drop to 6-4-2 on the road and will meet South Carolina again for the next four games, beginning Wednesday in Charlotte.
The Stingrays opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the game on a goal by Kashirsky. Nate Kiser took a shot from the point and the team’s leading goal-scorer was there to bang home the rebound.
The rookie forward from Russia would add another just two minutes later when he redirected a pass from Trent Campell between the legs of Doyle.
With two minutes to play in the second period, South Carolina increased their lead to three. Matt Fornataro streaked into the Checkers’ zone on the left wing and fed a nice pass to Gregg Johnson who tipped it past Doyle.
The shots favored Charlotte 19-18 after forty minutes, however they were unable to solve Ford.
With less than four minutes to play, Kashirsky would ice the game and complete the hat trick off a pass from Gregg Johnson. The goal was his 16th of the season, leading all ECHL rookies.
The Checkers (14-7-3) will return to Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 16 to host South Carolina. Game time is 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com
* Ryan Munce has stopped 83 of the last 84 shots he has faced
* Mike Harder has two goals in four games since joining the team
* T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 97 penalty minutes and 11 fighting majors and leads the Checkers with a +14 rating
* In Friday’s game, Randy Rowe played in his 500th pro game and Harder his 600th
* Hat’s off the GM/Head Coach Derek Wilkinson as his Checkers are still doing extremely well despite being short Andrew Carroll and Derek Couture in Hartford, Daniel Tkaczuk is with Syracuse, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)
* Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Aaron Slattengren are on the 21-day injured reserve.
1. SC – N. Kashirsky
2. SC – T. Ford
3. SC – K. Johnson
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Steve Patafie (29)
Mathieu Chenier (71)
Paul Reid (97)
Charlotte Checkers At South Carolina Stingrays 4 – Status: Final
Dec 13, 2009 – North Charleston Coliseum
Charlotte 0 0 0 – 0
South Carolina 2 1 1 – 4
1st Period-1, South Carolina, Kashirsky 14 (Kiser, Campbell), 7:15. 2, South Carolina, Kashirsky 15 (Campbell, Johnson), 9:28. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-3, South Carolina, Johnson 8 (Fornataro, Godfrey), 18:00. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-4, South Carolina, Kashirsky 16 (Johnson), 16:34. Penalties-Marshall Chr (tripping), 2:53.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-11-6-25. South Carolina 11-6-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 0; South Carolina 0 of 1.
Goalies-Charlotte, Doyle 3-2-0-0 (30 shots-26 saves).
South Carolina, Ford 12-4-0-1 (25 shots-25 saves).