SPRINGFIELD, MAThe American Hockey League has announced that center Cody Bass of the Binghamton Senators has been selected the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the 2010-11 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The award is presented annually to an AHL player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations.
“I stepped up on a guy (right wing Eric Condra) and made a good smack on him and was kind of dazed for a second just trying to get back to my senses,” With McDonagh down on the ice by the center redline, centerman Cody Bass came over and held McDonagh down to the ice and gave him a couple of shots that prevented him from getting back in to the play.
Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander was not happy with referee Mark Lemelin. “I thought someone took a retaliation poke at McDonagh. He made a good hit in the neutral zone, and one of their guys came over and gave him a shot that prohibited him from getting up,” the 4th year coach said. “There should have been a penalty, but at that point, what’s he going to do? He missed it.”
“Guys were saying (Bass) gave me an extra shot and kept me down. I tried to get up as fast I could. I just realized it was a 2-on-2, and I didn’t stick with my guy and it led to a goal,” the obviously disappointed Pack defenseman said.
So with McDonagh pinned to the ice, the puck was picked up by Jim O’Brien who rushed in up the left side on Wolf Pack starter Chad Johnson, (2-3-1, 19 saves).
Johnson was clearly disappointed in how the game ended. “The shot just handcuffed me,” he said. “(O’Brien) didn’t really hammer it the way I thought he would, the puck dropped and I moved to the left but just didn’t get over fast enough. I sprawled when I just should have slid over. It was a bad bounce, but it’s one that I have to make a better effort on in that situation. With three minutes left, I have to try to get my body in a different position and control the puck. It’s a real tough way to lose.”
“I didn’t think it was a great shot, and the rebound was big and (Johnson) couldn’t recover, and with three minutes left, it’s tough to battle back from that,” Gernander said.
The story in this one was the stellar goaltending of Johnson’s counterpart, Barry Brust (2-2-0, 28 saves).
The first period saw only 13 shots on goal between both teams even with four power plays, three of which went to the home team, but still favored the visitors. However the second stanza was a totally different story.
Hartford came out of the locker room and simply dominated play all over the ice. They held onto the puck in the offensive zone for what seemed like minutes at a time but just could not get it into the net past Brust, who has given the Wolf Pack fits in Hartford his entire career.
Brust stopped excellent opportunities by captain Dane Byers on his doorstep at 7:51 and then off a two-on-one odd man rush used his glove to envelop a Devin DiDiomete slap shot from the left circle. DiDiomete was playing in his first game since recovering from off-season hip surgery.
“Brust was our knight in shining armor,” Kleinendorst said, “Otherwise we’re down 2-0 or 3-0 at the end of the second period.”
“It’s frustrating for sure,” McDonagh said. “The good thing is we played pretty close to a 60-minute game. And coming back from that Norfolk game (a 5-1 loss Wednesday night), that’s what we wanted to focus on. I think the guys gave a great effort, and everybody finished their checks and that’s just the way we have to play every game and build off of this.”
* Whalers Sports & Entertainment chairman/CEO Howard Baldwin will be meeting and greeting Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale fans prior to the Wolf Pack’s home game this Saturday, October 23 vs. the Syracuse Crunch at the XL Center Atrium, adjacent to the arena box office from 6:15-6:45 PM.