Tag Archives: Corey Potter

SPOTLIGHT: COREY POTTER

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

It’s nice to see former Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Corey Potter finally get regular shifts in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.

Potter, the New York Rangers’ fourth-round pick in 2003, was always a steady presence on the Wolf Pack blueline and among the AHL leaders in plus-minus, even finishing third in the league in 2007-08 at plus-33. But despite showing well with the Wolf Pack and his occasional visits to Broadway, Potter always seemed to be caught in a numbers game with the Rangers.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

I can still picture New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov, then with the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing with Alexander Vasyunov after he was named the No. 1 star and his former Russian linemate the second star in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Lowell Devils at the XL Center on Nov. 21, 2008.

Anisimov and Vasyunov, a speedy wing, had played together at different levels for a decade, often on the same line, with the elite Lokomotiv Yaroslavl teams before heading to North America after being born only a month apart and drafted just four spots apart in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft by the Rangers and rival New Jersey Devils. The XL Center game was their first meeting overseas, and they had plenty to celebrate and catch up on after the final horn sounded before heading their separate ways again.

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PENS STICK IT TO CHECKERS

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS   Wilkes Barre

4-GOAL 1ST PERIOD HELPS PENS DOUBLE UP CHECKERS
Boychuk adds three points to extend streak to five games

WILKES-BARRE, PA. – Behind a four-goal first period, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Charlotte Checkers, 6-3, on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

For the first-place Penguins, their seventh win in the season series was their league-leading 54th win of the season and denied the Checkers (41-26-2-7) a chance to clinch a playoff berth.

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REFS GONE WILD

Connecticut-Whale_thumb4_thumb_thumb VERSUS Wilkes Barre

If you were looking to make the argument against having two referees on the ice at the same time, or maybe just having these two particular referees period, this would be the game that you’d point to as exhibit number one. However despite the atrocious job from referee’s Jaime Koharski and Jameel Chaudry did in this one, the Connecticut Whale managed to overcome two Wilkes-Barre Scranton leads in the first period and came from behind to beat the Penguins 5-2 in front of 5,742 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza Tuesday night.

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WORST TO FIRST

Connecticut Whale       VERSUS     Wilkes Barre 

(Editor’s note: Our apologies for this being posted late…busy day at work)

The Connecticut Whale rebounded from Saturday’s poor performance against the Atlantic Division’s worst team, the Providence Bruins, with one of their best performances of the season against the AHL’s best overall team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, to a 6-3 win in front of 5,382 at the XL Center Sunday afternoon.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

Bruce HeadshotBy Bruce Berlet

Cleaning out the notebook after cleaning off the driveway and sidewalk in the wake of the record snowfall from Winter Storm Benedict before heading to Washington, D.C., for my first visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the memorial service of local World War II hero Billy Colls:

The Connecticut Whale is 2-1 on a four-game road trip that ends Friday night at 7 at Portland, where their new blue road jerseys will debut. The jerseys are available at the XL Center or The Hartford Store, 45 Pratt Street in Hartford. Prices, including sales tax, are $289 (authentic), $125 (senior replica) and $99 (junior replica).

(BIG NEWS FOLLOWS AFTER THE JUMP!)

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OPEN AND SHUT

Hartford Wolf Pack puck VERSUS Worcester Sharks

The Hartford Wolf Pack entered Wednesday night’s game with the Worcester Sharks in a desperate need of two points. Instead they got just two goals and were trounced by the first place Sharks 9-2 and remain five points behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with just three games remaining in the 2009-2010 season.

A visibly disappointed Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander addressed reporters after the game. “We didn’t help ourselves in any area of the game,” He said. “We made it easy for a good team. Right now, it’s the most discouraging loss of the season. They had puck possession, we didn’t finish our hits, we didn’t force their defense to move the puck, just let them skate up the ice, we didn’t front any shots, we didn’t box out, we didn’t eliminate sticks, we didn’t do much of anything. And we took penalties.”

This is the second time this season that the Pack have been so soundly trounced and by the same score. On December 6th, the Pack were on the road in Hershey where the AHL’s best team made it seem easy dismantling the Pack by the same score.

“I’m very frustrated because there were a lot of things that weren’t good. If it was one mistake that cost us the game or one bad bounce or something along those lines, but no. It was a lot of different things, so I’m quite frustrated.” Gernander said.

The Wolf Pack were going to need to play a tight defensive game in order to compensate for the lack of scoring they were going to have entering the contest. While they received the AHL’s third leading scorer in Corey Locke back from the parent NY Rangers, they lost forward Dale Weise who was on a seven game points streak with six goals and three assists in the span. They were also without their most offensive weapon, P.A. Parenteau who is also on recall. Given how well Parenteau has played with the Rangers since being called up on March 26th, scoring two goals and having two helpers, it’s unlikely the Hull, Quebec native will play for Hartford again. Parenteau will be an unrestricted free agent when the season ends.

Meanwhile in Hartford, it was a very poor start to the game, which has plagued this team all season long that cost them. “We had a poor start, and they came at us and didn’t let up,” Wolf Pack forward Brodie Dupont said.

After the Pack failed to covert on two golden opportunities just 40 ticks into the game, just under a  minute later, at 1:27, a missed assignment down low by Locke left Dan DaSilva wide open. Derek Joslin’s shot form the left point hit Wolf Pack starter Matt Zaba (21 saves, 6-12-0) but rebounded right to the Worcester forward’s stick in the right circle. DaSilva then took a step forward and buried the shot past the diving Zaba.

T.J. Trevelyan, who would be named the game’s First Star, got his first of two on the night when he buried a shot past Zaba through the five-hole after Corey Potter lost him in coverage and Dane Byers could not get to the puck first.

With just 1.2 seconds left in the first period, Worcester essentially erased the Pack’s hope of a thirteenth straight playoff appearance with, what would prove to be the game winner. Brandon Mashinter got his first of two, along with a helper, when he finished on the first of Justin Braun’s three assists, with past Zaba.

3-0 end of One…

Andres Ambϋhl was in the penalty box when Hartford did manage to pull the score back to within two.

If there’s been one area where the Wolf Pack have been among the best in the league it’s in converting shorthanded opportunities. Byers, who’s had a very solid first season as Pack captain, picked up a loose puck and travelled down the left wing side and drew Danny Groulx to him. Kris Newbury, who’d beaten Nick Schaus back through the slot, took a perfectly placed pass from Byers and redirected it past Alex Stalock (24 saves, 38-18-2). The goal was Newbury’s 14th of the year and the team’s seventeenth shortie of the season tying them for first overall with Binghamton and Hershey…is there anything those guys aren’t the best at?

But that didn’t last for long.

Jared Nightingale took a questionable Delay of the Game penalty at 14:36. That didn’t sit well with the Pack’s only goal scorer on the night. He fumed about it and twenty seconds after killing off the penalty, Newbury lost his cool with referee Terry Koharski. For his mental lapse, it cost the team a two minute Unsportsmanlike conduct minor, a ten minute major misconduct and a Game misconduct.

“I’m sure Newbury was upset, but what’s the difference?” Gernander said. “It’s the only missed call during the course of the game or throughout the course of the season?” The Pack head coach has higher discipline expectations of the veterans on his roster like Newbury. “You expect those guys to lead the way, and they didn’t.”

Ten seconds later the puck was in the back of the Wolf Pack net as Trevelyan tallied a second time when his shot from the left wing first hit Ryan Garlock’s stick, changed direction and hit Corey Potter’s skate and took a radical turn and flew past Zaba. It’s been that kind of a season for the Rangers top farm club.

One minute later, after a big hit by Julien Brouillette on ex-Pack Dwight “Dewey” Helminen, a series of fights broke out including Jared Nightingale being hit from Andrew Desjardins while he was on the bench. Interestingly though, after the smoke cleared the Pack only wound up with a two minute power play. It certainly seemed like more should have been called against Desjardins, but he didn’t even get called at all.

The third period was a complete disaster as the Pack surrendered five goals.

John McCarthy scored the first just 39 seconds into the period and then 48 seconds later James Marcou scored the first of his career after Ryan Vesce set him up by putting a shot on net that Zaba couldn’t contain. It was 6-1 and that was the end of the night for Zaba.

In came Cameron Talbot to make his AHL debut after signing with the Rangers on March 30th.

Worcester broke through on the new goaltender less than 4:30 minutes later when Jamie Quirk dove to reach a puck off the stick of Braun and it flipped up and over Talbot. Less than two minutes later the Sharks scored again as Mashinter redirected a Groulx shot from the left wing to make it 8-1.

Byers put in a shot from the crease after an Ilkka Heikkinen shot form the left circle was left on the doorstep by Stalock for his 23rd of the season.

Just to add insult to injury, Groulx tallied with just 6.3 seconds left on a shot from the point on the power play.

Dupont summed it up saying, “It wasn’t a very good effort on our part in the position that we are. Mathematically we’re still in it, but we’ve got to pray for some help around the league and do our part.”

He’s home from a well earned vacation in Vegas and back on the beat reporting on the  Hartfordwolfpack.com,  Bruce Berlet tells the sad story. On the other hand, Bill Ballou is all agog about his first place Worcester Sharks. Read his story at Telegram.com.


 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

WOLF PACK TRAGIC NUMBER IS 2 (Two)

Any combination of Bridgeport or Lowell, who’s ever on top, getting points and the Pack not getting them reduces that number. Either Wilkes-Barre or Norfolk will make it and be either the three or four seed in their division. The top Atlantic team will be in and depending upon their points, be either the third of fourth seed in the East Division.

 

NOTES:

* If you have yet to sign up for our new service to our readers on Twitter, you’re really missing out on the most extensive coverage of the Wolf Pack and Checkers you’ll find anywhere. In addition to keeping you posted here on all major news stories, visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for in-game coverage of both Wolf Pack and Checkers games. Please “Follow” us on Twitter.

* Newbury has points in eight straight games (1g, 10a). It’s the longest such streak since P.A. Parenteau’s run between October 23rd and December 18th (6g, 8a)

* The Evgeny Grachev watch is now 24 games and counting without a goal and only one in his last 34.

* The Pack’s last home game of the season on Saturday night against Springfield will feature a bevy of promotions as well as the shirts-off-our-backs give-away. Also, former coach John Paddock will be honored for his recent induction into the AHL Hall of Fame. Sunday will be the last game of the 2009-2010 season in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers.

* Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack have released forward Roman Horak from his Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement.

Horak, who joined the Pack April 2 from the Chilliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League, did not appear in any games for the Wolf Pack.  In 66 WHL contests with the Bruins this season, Horak, a fifth-round selection (127th overall) by the parent New York Rangers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, scored 21 goals and added 26 assists for 47 points in 66 games, along with 39 penalty minutes. 

LINES:

Byers © – Newbury – Couture
Dupont – Locke – Grachev
Soryal – Crowder – McKelvie
Brashear – Garlock – Ambϋhl

Baldwin – Potter
Heikkinen – Sanguinetti
Brouillette – Nightingale

Zaba
Talbot

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

P.A. Parenteau – Recall NY Rangers
Dale Weise – Recall NY Rangers
Anders Eriksson – Recall NY Rangers
Tysen Dowzak – Healthy Scratch
Devin DiDiomete – Healthy Scratch
Nigel Williams – Healthy Scratch
Chad Johnson – Healthy Scratch
Roman Horak – Healthy Scratch
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Season over
Michael Sauer – Shoulder – Season over
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season over
Brent Henley – Knee – Season over

 

THREE STARS:

1. WOR – T. Trevelyan
2. WOR – J. Braun
3. WOR – B. Mashinter

ON-ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Terry Koharski (10)

Linesmen:
Kevin Redding (16)
Luke Galvin (2)

NEXT GAME:

Bob Crawford brings you the second of the back-to-back games between the Wolf Pack and the Sharks. Crawford comes on the air a half hour before the puck drops with the pre-game Friday night from Worcester.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

If you can attend the home games, they 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 or from your cell phone or computer visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for complete live in-game coverage.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Worcester Sharks 9 At Hartford Wolf Pack 2 – Status: Final

Apr 7, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Worcester 3 1 5 – 9

Hartford 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Worcester, DaSilva 20 (Joslin, Braun), 1:27. 2, Worcester, Trevelyan 27 (Quirk), 7:32. 3, Worcester, Mashinter 20 (Braun, Marcou), 19:58. Penalties-Westgarth Wor (fighting), 2:31; Soryal Hfd (fighting), 2:31; McCarthy Wor (slashing), 9:02; Baldwin Hfd (tripping), 14:11.

2nd Period-4, Hartford, Newbury 14 (Byers), 4:00 (sh). 5, Worcester, Trevelyan 28 (Moore, Desjardins), 17:06 (pp). Penalties-Ambuhl Hfd (tripping), 3:47; Nightingale Hfd (hooking), 4:34; Nightingale Hfd (delay of game), 14:36; Newbury Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct, game misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:56; served by Mashinter Wor (bench minor – interference), 18:07; Henderson Wor (roughing), 18:07; McLaren Wor (fighting), 18:07; Couture Hfd (roughing), 18:07; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 18:07.

3rd Period-6, Worcester, McCarthy 15 (DaSilva), 0:39. 7, Worcester, Marcou 1 (Vesce, Mashinter), 1:27. 8, Worcester, Quirk 8 (Braun, Joslin), 6:48. 9, Worcester, Mashinter 21 (Groulx, Schaus), 8:37 (pp). 10, Hartford, Byers 23 (Couture, Heikkinen), 10:45 (pp). 11, Worcester, Groulx 12 (Vesce, Joslin), 19:53 (pp). Penalties-Soryal Hfd (boarding), 8:30; Moore Wor (interference), 10:10; Dupont Hfd (goaltender interference), 19:41.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 15-10-13-38. Hartford 10-7-9-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 3 of 7; Hartford 1 of 3.

Goalies-Worcester, Stalock 38-18-2 (26 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Zaba 6-12-2 (27 shots-21 saves); Talbot 0-0-0 (11 shots-8 saves).

A-1,961

MEANWHILE IN THE CHARLOTTE PLAYOFFS:

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS Toledo Walleye

CHECKERS REBOUND WITH 6-1 WIN OVER WALLEYE

Taylor Scores Two; Quarterfinal Series Evened at 1-1

The Charlotte Checkers scored five unanswered goals in the second half of the game to down Toledo, 6-1, and even the quarterfinal series at 1-1 on Wednesday evening.

Ryan Munce, who today was named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for March, stopped 28 of 29 shots while Mike Taylor notched two goals. Daniel Tkaczuk was activated off playoff reserve earlier in the day and scored the game winner.

The win gives Charlotte a split on the road and they will now return home for the next two and, if necessary, three games in the best-of-five series.

The Checkers opened the scoring just 24 seconds into the game when Steve Ward held the puck in at the blueline and fed Andrew Carroll in the slot. Carroll made no mistake and beat Toledo goaltender Jordan Pearce with a wrist shot for his second goal of the series.

The Walleye responded with a goal of their own, eight minutes later, when Adam Keefe stuffed home the rebound from a point shot for his fourth of the series. Keefe has now doubled his offensive output for the entire season in just two playoff games.

Just minutes later, Toledo forward Chris Robertson skated in on a breakaway but Munce was there to shut the door and keep the score knotted at 1-1.

Early in the second, Aaron Slattengren tried his best to break the tie but was stopped by Pearce on a breakaway.

Then, with less than four minutes to play in the second, Tkaczuk broke down the left wing boards and let a shot go from a sharp angle that trickled in between the legs of Pearce. The goal was assisted by Slattengren and Randy Rowe and came at the 16:38 mark of the second period.

The Checkers were outshot 21-16 in the first 40 minutes but held a 2-1 lead going into the third period.

Nine minutes into the third and final frame, Charlotte took a two-goal lead on a somewhat fluky goal by Kenny Roche. Roche let a shot go that deflected off Pearce and sailed up into the air and defenseman Sebastien Piche accidentally gloved it into his own net.

Taylor would make it a 4-1 game, with less than six minutes to play, when he took a nice pass off the wall from Slattengren, broke in alone and let go a backhand shot on the short side that found the back of the net.

The Checkers continued the onslaught just 24 seconds later as Trevor Hendrikx one-timed a pass from Roche off the post and in.

Taylor then added his second of the game with less than 90 seconds to play as Charlotte walked away with a 6-1 victory and evened the American Conference quarterfinal series at 1-1. The two teams will meet again Friday in Charlotte for game 3.

Charlotte (1-1) will host Toledo for game 3 on Friday (7 p.m.) and game 4 on Sunday (2 p.m.). Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com/playoffs.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

NOTES:

* Charlotte clinched its first division title and #1 conference seed in franchise history heading into the playoffs

* The Checkers had the four largest crowds in the ECHL this season

* Mike Taylor leads the Checkers with three playoff goals while Adam Keefe leads the Walleye with four

* Charlotte is 16-3-1 in its last 20 home games and 12-1-1 in the last 14 overall heading into the playoffs

* Ryan Munce led the ECHL in save percentage (.913), was third in wins (26) and was named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for March

* Andrew Carroll led the Checkers this season with 30 goals, including six game winners.

LINES:

Taylor – Leveille © – Slattengren
Rowe – Tkaczuk – Stefanishion
Roche – Carroll – Bartlett
Marshall – Schepke

Urquhart – Schaeffer
Ward – Reynolds
Hendrikx – (Bartlett)

Munce
Zemlak

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:
Mike Berube – Healthy Scratch
Tyler Doig – Healthy Scratch
Brock Bradford – Healthy Scratch
Jean-Philipp Chabot – Healthy Scratch
Tysen Dowzak – Recall in Hartford
Matt Ford – Recall in Lake Erie
Julien Brouillette – Recall in Hartford
Ethan Graham – Recall in Texas
Chris Snavely – Wrist Surgery – Season over
Trevor Glass – Back Surgery – Season over
Codey Burki – Undisclosed – Season over
Chris Chappell – Shoulder Surgery – Season over

THREE STARS

1. CHR – D. Tkaczuk
2. CHR – K. Roche
3. CHR – A. Carroll

ON-ICE OFFICALS:
 

Referee:
JM McNulty (21)

Linesmen:
Ray King (39)
Jim Scarpace (50)

 

NEXT GAME:

Ah, home sweet home. The Checkers return to Charlotte with a mission accomplished…they got a split in Toledo. Now they come back home needing to win two of three in the Time Warner Cable Arena. Akim Aliu should be back for Toledo in game three Friday night at 7pm and then game four comes your way on Sunday at 2. Jason Shaya will have all the action with the irrepressible Chris Snavely along side of him.

For live in-game coverage from your cell phone or computer, we’ll have the action for you at www.twitter.com/howlingstoday.

You can always 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.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Charlotte Checkers 6 At Toledo Walleye 1 – Status: Final

Apr 7, 2010 – Lucas County Arena

Charlotte 1 1 4 – 6

Toledo 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Carroll 2 (Ward, Roche), 0:24. 2, Toledo, Keefe 4 (Danis-Pepin, Piche), 8:56. Penalties-Stefanishion Chr (high-sticking), 0:33; Leveille Chr (cross-checking), 11:07.

2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Tkaczuk 1 (Slattengren, Rowe), 16:38. Penalties-Stefanishion Chr (boarding), 3:30; Schaeffer Chr (interference), 6:46; Reynolds Chr (roughing), 12:24; Hedden Tol (tripping), 18:04.

3rd Period-4, Charlotte, Roche 1 (Reynolds), 8:59. 5, Charlotte, Taylor 2 (Slattengren), 14:45. 6, Charlotte, Hendrikx 1 (Roche, Bartlett), 15:09. 7, Charlotte, Taylor 3 (Leveille, Slattengren), 18:38. Penalties-Roche Chr (high-sticking), 0:58; Hendrikx Chr (kneeing), 18:56.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 6-10-9-25. Toledo 9-12-8-29.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 1; Toledo 0 of 7.

Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 1-1-0-0 (29 shots-28 saves). Toledo, Pearce 1-1-0-0 (25 shots-19 saves).

A-4,297

ON THE BRINK…

Hartford Wolf Pack puck      VERSUS      Worcester Sharks

You have to feel for Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander. Over his career as a player it was often said that he was a coach on the ice. The man played EVERY shift like it was his last. The Coleraine, Minnesota native knows nothing about losing. In his twelve year career as a player he never missed the playoffs…not once. As a coach under Jim Schoenfeld, or as the head coach, prior to this year, Gernander has not had a single season where he was playing golf in early spring instead of putting his heart on the line in the playoffs at the XL Center.

After last night’s 5-3 defeat to the first place Worcester Sharks at the XL Center, it was clear by the look on the coach’s face that he knows the inevitable is coming soon.

“We’ve had out back’s to the wall for quite some time now,” He said. “So Friday night’s (against Lowell) no different. For the last two weeks, it’s been win tonight’s game. That’s where we stand for Friday night’s game and Saturday morning we’ll get up and do it all over again.”

Getting his team to the playoffs wasn’t made any easier for the two-time winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award (‘96 & ‘04) when the New York Rangers recalled the AHL’s third leading scorer, Corey Locke on Monday. Locke joined P.A. Parenteau, the Pack’s best player all season long, and veteran defenseman Anders Eriksson.

Gernander refused to use it as an excuse. “No, it’s the nature of the game. Those are guys that are successful at our level and our locker room and they were rewarded with call-ups. Guys have to look at it as such. ‘Hey, those guys did a job; they were successful; they got rewarded. Now it’s our turn.’ (Players) need to produce and be successful and take charge. That’s the nature of sports. The guy who wants it most. That’s why its called competitive.”

So the head coach put together what he had and sent them out and for the first 11 minutes they did just that.

At 8:30 of the first, Donald Brashear converted from just outside the right wing side of the crease off a terrific no-look, behind-the-back pass from Andres Ambϋhl. The goal was the second for Brashear since coming to Hartford after being reassigned here by the Rangers on February 12th.

DSCF8934(McCarthy’s first goal) But then as has been the case for the Pack all season long, the first period just fell apart Surrendering two quick goals to Worcester left winger John McCarthy at 11:36  and then again at 14:20. Both  came as a result of poor defensive play and Pack starter Chad Johnson (24 saves, 19-18-2) being unable to pull them out of the fire. After the game, McCarthy said he never touched the first goal, that it went in off a Pack defender and that he was going to ask for Andrew Desjardins to get the credit for it.

DSCF8995(DaSilva’s goal) To make matters worse, they surrendered a third goal to Dan DaSilva with just 44.1 left in the period again off poor defensive coverage. McCarthy threw the home run pass from the left wing up the right side and caught defenseman Danny Groulx on the right side behind the Pack defense. This created a two-on-one against Ilkka Heikkinen as Bobby Sanguinetti skated hard to get back, but it wasn’t fast enough as Groulx hit DaSilva stick with a perfect lead and the right winger just pointed his stick at the net and deflected it in.

DSCF9196(Doyle stops Byers in front) The Pack did their best to claw back into the game. Sharks starter, and former Charlotte Checkers netminder, Frank Doyle (27 saves, 6-2-1) was strong between the pipes and stopped Pack captain Dane Byers on a couple of occasions and made a nifty save on Brodie Dupont in front of the net.

DSCF9147 (Celebrating Sanguinetti’s goal) With Pack defenseman pinching wherever possible, it paid a dividend when Sanguinetti got his ninth of the season when he redirected an outstanding backhanded pass from Dale Weise deep in the left corner as the former first round draft pick beat McCarthy to the front of the net to make it 3-2.

DSCF9189(Quirk’s goal) In the third period the Pack were awarded a power play at 4:49 when Desjardins went off on a hooking call but that ended up costing the Pack what would prove to be the game. Three Pack players on the man-advantage went to the top of the right point to get a puck off the wall. Hartford lost that 3-on-1 battle only to see the puck fly out to Benn Ferriero who broke in 2-on-1 with just Heikkinen back for the Pack defense. Heikkinen chose to pursue the puck carrier (Ferriero) and left Cory Quirk all alone. Ferriero put the puck on Quirk’s stick and he beat Johnson to the glove side for the game winner and a 4-2 lead.

DSCF9209 (Byers goal) To the coaching staff’s credit, their players didn’t quit. When Ryan Vesce took a Delay-of-the-Game call at 6:44, the Pack power play unit worked the puck hard. Just as the man-advantage was completing, Corey Potter took a Kris Newbury pass at the high slot and unloaded a bomb of a shot. Byers, who’s made a living at being in good position in front of the net, got his stick on it and redirected it past the Shark’s netminder for his 22nd of the season and pulled the Pack within a goal.

But just as cream rises to the top, so do good hockey teams.

The Sharks answered back just 1:17 later. Brett Westgarth did a fine job in the offensive zone keeping a clearing attempt in the zone. The defenseman put the puck he’d caught with his hand down to the ice, saw what he had and put a bee-line pass from his spot just off the to right of the top of the slot and right on the stick of Kevin Henderson. Johnson had two defenders and teammates in front of him and never saw it as Henderson got his first undisputed goal of the season. Henderson has had one goal taken away after review and one added the same way.

“We have to be aware of the fact that offense isn’t going to be easy, or a cake walk, so we have to be airtight defensively,” Gernander said. “There were some mistakes made and obviously they cost us goals.”

Gernander and his staff will sit down with his team on Thursday and prepare them to compete Friday night.

If these players have half the heart that Gernander did as a player and now as a coach, they’ll come out and make a battle of it when the Lowell Devils come to the XL Center Friday night.

With Bruce Berlet on vacation, Brian Ring steps up to the plate and files this report at Hartfordwolfpack.com. For the Worcester locker room story Bill Ballou files this report at Telegram.com. (All Photos by Dinur Blum)

 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

   

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. x-Sharks 74 47 22 2 3 99 256 223 3-0-0-0 8-2-0-0 1184
2. x-Pirates 74 42 22 6 4 94 223 196 6-0-1-1 7-1-1-1 1323
3. Monarchs 75 40 26 3 6 89 199 187 5-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 1110
4. Sound Tigers 75 36 29 4 6 82 190 208 1-0-0-0 7-2-1-0 1645
5. Devils 75 36 29 4 6 82 220 214 0-2-0-0 3-5-0-2 1333
6. WOLF PACK 74 31 32 6 5 73 206 231 0-2-0-0 5-5-0-0 1454
7. Bruins 74 33 35 5 1 72 195 209 0-2-2-0 2-5-2-1 1127
8. Falcons 75 24 36 11 4 63 189 271 0-2-1-1 4-3-2-1 1536

x = clinched a playoff spot

y = clinched division title

 

LAST PLAYOFF SPOT STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS DIV
1.W-B/Scranton 75 39 21 2 3 83 East
2. Sound Tigers 75 36 29 4 6 82 Atlantic
3. Devils 75 36 29 4 6 82 Atlantic
3. Norfolk Admirals 74 36 32 3 3 78 East
4. WOLF PACK 74 31 32 6 5 73 Atlantic
5. Bruins 74 33 35 5 1 72 Atlantic

 

WOLF PACK TRAGIC NUMBER IS 4 (Four) Any combination of Bridgeport or Lowell, who’s ever on top getting points and the Pack not getting them reduces that number. Pack have one game in hand on both Bridgeport and Lowell.

Either Wilkes-Barre or Norfolk will make it and be either the three or four seed in their division. The top Atlantic team will be in and depending upon their points, be either the third of fourth seed in the East Division.

 

SCHEDULE:

Nothing that directly affects the Pack are on the schedule. Toronto faces Hamilton and Lake Erie faces Peoria

 

SCOREBOARD:

Apart from the Wolf Pack driving a stake into their own hearts, no other games were on tap that directly affected the Pack accept that Wilkes-Barre-Scranton beat Adirondack 3-2. The rest of the AHL scores had Grand Rapids getting blanked at home by Rochester 3-0. Manchester knocking off Lowell behind two goals from John Zeiler. Alex Giroux continues his torrid pace with two more goals as Hershey beat up Syracuse 5-2. Texas had two goals from Aaron Gagnon including one more in the shootout as the Stars knocked off Milwaukee 3-2. Lastly Chicago put a whooping on Houston 4-0.

In the ECHL, Gwinnett got beaten up pretty badly by South Carolina. The Stingrays, behind a three point night from Trent Campbell (2g, 1a) won 5-1.  Cincy got two from Dustin Sproat and Dean Strong cancelled him out with two for Kalamazoo and the Cyclones beat the Wings 6-5 in a shootout. Elmira hurt Reading’s playoff hopes with a 5-3 win. Elmira had five different goal-scorers. Johnstown got a W with a win over Toledo in a shootout 5-4. Bakersfield got a opened up a 4-0 lead and then held on for a thrilling 5-4 win. Utah beat Victoria 2-1 and in a Shootout Alaska knocked off Idaho 4-3.

 

NOTES:

* If you have yet to sign up for our new service to our readers on Twitter, you’re really missing out on the most extensive coverage of the Wolf Pack and Checkers you’ll find anywhere. In addition to keeping you posted here on all major news stories, visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for in-game coverage of both Wolf Pack and Checkers games. Please “Follow” us on Twitter.

* The Hunt Memorial Award is given annually to the player best exemplifying sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey as voted upon by his fellow players and the media. Gernander is one of only two players ever to be such honored twice. THe other was Murray Eaves of the Adirondack Red Wings who won the award in back-to-back years in ‘89 and ‘90.

 

LINES:

Byers © – Newbury – Weise
Dupont – Crowder – Grachev
Soryal – Ambϋhl – Couture
Brashear – Garlock

Brouillette – Potter
Heikkinen – Sanguinetti
Nightingale – Williams
Baldwin

Johnson
Zaba

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized) 

 

SCRATCHES:

P.A. Parenteau – Recall, NY Rangers
Anders Eriksson – Recall, NY Rangers
Devin DiDIomete – Healthy Scratch
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Season over
Michael Sauer – Shoulder – Season over
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season over
Brent Henley – Knee – Season over 

 

THREE STARS:

Referee:
Jamie Koharski (84)

Linesmen:
Glen Cooke (6)
Luke Galvin (2)

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

1. WOR – J. McCarthy
2. WOR – D. Groulx
3. WOR – D. DaSilva

 

NEXT GAME:

It’s come down to this, if the Pack lose another game the playoffs are shot. For Head Coach Ken Gernander, it would be his first spring without playoff hockey either as a player or a coach. Bob Crawford on the air at 6:30 with the pre-game from the XL Center and the drops at 7pm.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

If you can attend the home games, they 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 or from your cell phone or computer visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for complete live in-game coverage. 

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Worcester Sharks 5 At Hartford Wolf Pack 3 – Status: Final

Mar 31, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Worcester 3 0 2 – 5

Hartford 1 1 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Hartford, Brashear 2 (Ambuhl), 8:30. 2, Worcester, McCarthy 14 (Desjardins, DaSilva), 11:36. 3, Worcester, McCarthy 15 (Zalewski, Groulx), 14:20. 4, Worcester, DaSilva 19 (Groulx, McCarthy), 19:15. Penalties-Williams Hfd (hooking), 6:03.

2nd Period-5, Hartford, Sanguinetti 9 (Weise, Byers), 18:28. Penalties-Baldwin Hfd (high-sticking), 7:33; Wilson Wor (hooking), 10:58; Petrecki Wor (roughing, fighting), 14:34; Couture Hfd (fighting), 14:34.

3rd Period-6, Worcester, Quirk 7 (Ferriero), 5:24 (sh). 7, Hartford, Byers 22 (Potter, Newbury), 8:44. 8, Worcester, Henderson 2 (Westgarth, Groulx), 10:01. Penalties-Desjardins Wor (hooking), 4:49; Vesce Wor (delay of game), 6:44; Brashear Hfd (hooking), 10:54; Joslin Wor (delay of game), 18:56.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 12-9-8-29. Hartford 11-13-6-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 of 3; Hartford 0 of 5.

Goalies-Worcester, Doyle 6-2-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Hartford, Johnson 19-18-2 (29 shots-24 saves).

A-1,671

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED

Hartford Wolf Pack     VERSUS      Springfield Falcons

What better way to get a team’s confidence back and end the season’s longest winless streak (0-3-3-1) than to play a rivalry game against the worst team in the American League? Wolf Pack Ken Gernander couldn’t have asked to visit the MassMutual Center at a better time and he got what he needed – a win with a 4-2 win over the Springfield Falcons in front of 3,808 Friday night.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Wolf Pack. They were outplayed by the Falcons from the midway point of the second period after the Pack had built a three goal lead getting outscored the rest of the way 2-1. Given how loose and carelessly they played the third period, had it been a better team they might have been in real trouble and wound up as they did against Worcester with an “L” instead of a “W.” “We’ve been playing well the last few games,” former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear told reporters after the game. “But we always seem to make a few mistakes, and that cost us the last goal.”

If the Wolf Pack are going to secure an American League record thirteenth straight playoff appearance, Gernander, J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller are going to need to correct this and fast as the Pack cannot afford to give away any more points to sloppy play. The last playoff spot is still six points away as the Pack will have to leap over three other teams to do it. The Pack have 28 points available to them with fourteen to go, and they’re going to need most of them. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has 30 points they can walk away with while Bridgeport can tally 26. Providence can add 28 like the Pack. Hartford has four point games to go with two against Providence and two against Bridgeport. Those are all must-win games. They don’t have any head-to-head games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. To the Pack’s advantage, they still have three more against Springfield. Bridgeport and Providence only have one with the leagues doormat.

Of teams currently in the playoffs, the Pack will have five of their remaining contests against them while Bridgeport, Providence and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton have eight. Of their remaining games, the Wolf Pack have ten at the XL Center while Providence can play in the Dunkin Donuts Center five more times, Bridgeport sells tickets for six more home games at the Arena at Harbor Yard while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has seven more home dates at the Times-Union Center.

So the schedule is HEAVILY in the Pack’s favor if they can string some wins together.

For the second consecutive game Friday night, the Pack got an early lead.

Just 57 seconds into the contest, P.A. Parenteau beat Springfield starter Bryan Pitton (30 saves, 1-2-0) after the puck pin-balled all over the ice. Parenteau picked it up and put an inside out move on Chris Armstrong leaving him lost in a haze and beat the Falcon netminder over the stick. It’s moves like this one that Hartford needs out of their best player if the Pack are going to make the playoffs.

The power play, which has been nothing short of awful this season, tallied with an impressive showing at 13:23 of the first. With Johan Motin in the penalty box for interference, Bobby Sanguinetti showed why he has improved this season as much as he has spt-falcon-2jpg-343c0bb39b4fd9db_largewhen he saw the play developing and didn’t rush a bad pass into traffic. He found Dane Byers on the left wing half boards and put it right on his stick. Byers looked over the landscape and saw Brodie Dupont move into a position alone in the slot and put the puck right there for the Russell, Manitoba native who buried it into the net past Pitton’s glove for his 14th of the season.

The Pack led in shots at one point 5-1 but finished the period with a 10-8 advantage.

In the second period, Dale Weise scored what may well have been his nicest goal of the season. Weise cut down the center of the ice with the puck through traffic. He then faked Armstrong completely out of his jock strap on a three-on-two odd man rush and pin-pointes a shot just under blocker and over the pad of Springfield’s latest goaltender.

But then the Pack, as they have been want to do, lightened up and relaxed with their three-goal lead rather than continuing to press the attack and with 1:03 left in the period, just could not get the puck away form their host team. You could see this goal coming as the Pack stood around and allowed the Falcons to win all the individual battles and moved the puck in the zone at will. Eventually the play moved in front of Pack starter Chad Johnson (22 saves, 15-14-2). Ilkka Heikkinen had his back to the action and never saw Colin McDonald behind him. Rob Hisey got away from Jared Nightingale in the left corner and the Falcon right winger fed the puck to McDonald in front. Ryan Garlock tried to get back to pick up the Hartford, Connecticut native, but it was too late and McDonald put it past Johnson for his eleventh of the season.

Johnson bailed the Wolf Pack out at 12:29 of the final stanza when a ridiculous call by referee Joe Sullivan awarded Liam Reddox a penalty shot off a failed breakaway. Weise went to hook the left winger, but he’d already fired the shot on Johnson and play had moved on when Sullivan made his call. Gernander was righteously indignant on the Pack bench for the very questionable call.

On the shot, Reddox went out to his left and the puck began to roll on him. Johnson cut off his angle and the Springfield veteran threw it harmlessly into the side of the net.

4:06 later, the Pack finally got a bounce that went their way and wound up in an opponents net instead of their own. Corey Potter dumped the puck into the Springfield end from along the the right boards. Pitton went behind the net to retrieve the puck. However, the puck hit the end boards funny and careened out into the slot where the AHL’s third leading scorer, Corey Locke was waiting. Locke immediately fired it into the abandoned 4×6 opening for what what be the Pack’s final tally of the night.

To their credit, Springfield kept pushing and drew back to back penalties first on Brashear for a totally unnecessary roughing call (17:29) and then Anders Eriksson for a lazy hooking call (18:21). This gave the Falcons 1:08 of five-on-three power play time and a chance to tie the game. If Springfield had any power on their man-advantage and had put shots on goal instead of just standing around and passing along the perimeter they could have done something sooner and made it harder on their guests. Slava Trukhno’s eleventh of the season gave Springfield their second of the game when his shot from the right circle in front of Nightingale beat Johnson and wound up in the upper left corner of the net for the game’s final score.

The Pack get the win, but will need a full sixty minutes out of each of their players if they are to keep their hopes alive down the stretch.

It’s been a while since Bob Crawford had a win to write about. Read Hawk’s point of view at Hartfordwolfpack.com. Our close friend, an outstanding young writer, Jason Remillard, has the Springfield tale from inside the arena at Masslive.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

 

PENALTY SHOTS
Springfield  
   
# Shooter # Goaltender Period Time Goal? Rule
9 Liam Reddox 29 Chad Johnson 3rd 12:29 No 55.5
 

 
STANDINGS
TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Sharks 65 40 20 2 3 85 225 198 3-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 1058
2. Pirates 65 36 21 5 3 80 199 173 1-0-0-0 4-5-0-1 1165
3. Devils 66 34 24 4 4 76 196 180 2-0-0-0 5-3-0-2 1227
4. Monarchs 66 34 24 3 5 76 173 165 0-2-1-0 3-6-1-0 991
5. Sound Tigers 67 31 27 3 6 71 166 187 4-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 1529
6. Bruins 66 31 31 3 1 66 177 185 0-3-0-1 3-6-0-1 1028
7. WOLF PACK 66 27 28 6 5 65 179 205 1-0-0-0 2-4-3-1 1329
8. Falcons 67 21 34 9 3 54 165 242 0-1-0-0 4-5-0-1 1421

LAST PLAYOFF SPOT STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1. Sound Tigers 67 31 27 3 6 71
2. Penguins 65 33 29 1 2 69
3. Bruins 66 31 31 3 1 66
4. WOLF PACK 66 27 28 6 5 65

SCHEDULE:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton visits Albany (3pm), Providence is on the road at Adirondack (7pm) and Bridgeport is in Norfolk (7:15pm). 

  

SCOREBOARD:

In games that are of immediate impact on your Hartford Wolf Pack, it was a night of good and not so good. In the good news department, the Pack were able to pick up two points on sixth place Providence when they dropped a 5-3 decision to Wilkes-Barre / Scranton who got two goals from Tim Wallace at the Dunkin Donuts Center. At the Norfolk Scope, Tyler Haskins scored both of the Sound Tigers and Robin Figren was the only player on either side to score in the shootout as Bridgeport kept pace with a 3-2 win over Norfolk to maintain their six-point lead on Hartford with 14 games to go.

In other AHL action, it was Portland blanking Manchester 4-0. Albany got two goals from Oskar Osala, as the River Rats upended Rochester 4-3. T.J. Trevelyan has another two-goal performance as the Sharks snuffed out Chris Holt  and the Binghamton Senators 6-4. Hershey came from behind on a two-goal performance from the best player in the AHL, Alex Giroux and won in overtime 5-4 over Adirondack. It was ex-pack Patrick Rissmiller’s goal that was the difference in a 3-2 Grand Rapids win over Hamilton. The Wolf Pack’s Saturday night opponent, the Lowell Devils won beating Syracuse 3-1. San Antonio got a third period goal from Stefan Mayer and beat Texas 2-1. Kyle Calder had two goals as Toronto beat Chicago 3-0. Manitoba got a three point night from Matt Pope (2g, 1a) en route to destroying Rockford 6-1. Peoria got two from Nicholas Drazenovic as Peoria snuck by Houston 4-3 and in a Shoot out it was Abbotsford getting past Lake Erie 3-2. Neither Charlotte Checkers property, Randy Rowe or Mike Bartlett has anything to do with the outcome.

 

NOTES:
*
If you have yet to sign up for our new service to our readers on Twitter, you’re really missing out on the most extensive coverage of the Wolf Pack and Checkers you’ll find anywhere. In addition to keeping you posted here on all major news stories, visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for in-game coverage of both Wolf Pack and Checkers games. Please “Follow” us on Twitter.

* The Pack’s first period power play goal ended a streak of seventeen failed man-advantages against the last place Falcons. Hartford finished 1/4 on the night.

* Hartford is now 15-3-1-1 when leading after one period and 21-2-2-1 when leading after two and 17-12-2-3 when outshooting their opponents. They also improved to 6-7-0-0 in games decided by two goals.

* Dale Weise told Howlings that his personal goal for the season was 25 goals. He has 22 with 14 games to go.

* Corey Locke has 11 points (4g, 7a) versus Springfield while P.A. Parenteau has 10 (6g, 4a).

* With the assist on Locke’s goal, Corey Potter equaled his season best two game tally of four points (2g, 2a). He had the same output in games on October 24-25 against Lowell and Worcester (1g, 3a).

* Brodie Dupont’s goal gave him three points in two games (2g,1a), his second three point over two game output since December 11-12 versus Portland and Bridgeport (1g, 2a).

* Evgeny Grachev has not scored a goal in 14 games (February 12 vs Providence). He has just two assists in the same span.

* Dale Weise has goals in three of his last four games (3,0)

 

LINES:

Dupont – Locke – Parenteau
Byers © – Newbury – Weise
Soryal – Crowder – Grachev
Brashear – Garlock – Couture

Eriksson – Sanguinetti 
Brouillette – Potter
Heikkinen – Nightingale

Johnson
Zaba

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized) 

 

SCRATCHES:

Andres Ambϋhl – Healthy Scratch
Nigel Williams – Undisclosed Injury – Day-to-Day
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Season over
Michael Sauer – Shoulder – Season over
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season over
Brent Henley – Knee – Season over

 

THREE STARS:

1. HFD – B. Dupont
2. SPR – C. McDonald
3. HFD – D. Byers

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Joe Sullivan (38)

Linesmen:
Jim Briggs (83)
Bryan Pancich (94)

 

NEXT GAME:

The Pack must get on a significant roll now and the task isn’t going to get any easier. Eight of the next nine are at the XL Center and among them they have Providence twice and Bridgeport who they’re chasing in four point games. They’ll face Lowell twice, Springfield, Worcester and Adirondack. This run will make or break their season. If they can get hot and say win six or seven of eight they should grab the last playoff spot. Really anything less than that and they’re probably done. Game time Saturday against Lowell is 7:00 so Bob Crawford will be on the air with the Pre-Game show at 6:30.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

If you can attend the home games, they 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 or from your cell phone or computer visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for complete live in-game coverage.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Hartford Wolf Pack 4 At Springfield Falcons 2 – Status: Final

Mar 12, 2010 – MassMutual Center

Hartford 2 1 1 – 4

Springfield 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Hartford, Parenteau 17 (Locke, Eriksson), 0:57. 2, Hartford, Dupont 14 (Byers, Sanguinetti), 13:23 (pp). Penalties-Brouillette Hfd (holding), 9:39; Motin Spr (interference), 11:36; Hisey Spr (holding), 18:49; Arsene Spr (tripping), 19:47.

2nd Period-3, Hartford, Weise 22 (Byers, Brouillette), 7:50. 4, Springfield, McDonald 11 (Hisey, MacMurchy), 18:57. Penalties-Crowder Hfd (high-sticking), 2:50; Couture Hfd (fighting), 14:17; Pitton Spr (fighting), 14:17.

3rd Period-5, Hartford, Locke 25 (Potter), 16:35. 6, Springfield, Trukhno 11 (Reddox, Armstrong), 19:38 (pp). Penalties-MacMurchy Spr (hooking), 10:46; Heikkinen Hfd (roughing), 12:11; Brashear Hfd (roughing), 17:29; Eriksson Hfd (hooking), 18:21.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-15-9-34. Springfield 8-9-7-24.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 of 4; Springfield 1 of 5.

Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 15-14-2 (24 shots-22 saves). Springfield, Pitton 1-2-0 (34 shots-30 saves).

A-3,808

(Photo of Rob Hisey and Julien Brouillette looking awfully bizarre is courtesy of Don Treeger at Masslive.com)

RUNNING ON EMPTY

Hartford Wolf Pack     VERSUS      Worcester Sharks

Wednesday night, the Hartford Wolf Pack dropped a game they REALLY needed to win to the first place Sharks 6-4 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The loss brings them one step further away from seeing their AHL record thirteenth consecutive playoff appearance come to fruition.

This entire season can best be summed up in the phrase, “if it’s not one thing, then it’s another.”

Injuries have beset the Wolf Pack all season long, yet entering this game, for the most part they’re healthy. Wednesday night, the team’s best player, P.A. Parenteau, returned after missing the past couple of games with flu-like symptoms, so at least for this game, injuries weren’t a factor.  The New York Ranger’s top development team has struggled all season long to score goals. Wednesday they put four in the net behind Worcester starter Frank Doyle (34 saves, 2-1-0) who has spent much of the season in the ECHL, part of that time with the Charlotte Checkers. Four goals on most nights should be enough to win. That is of course assuming that the team is able to defend in it’s own end, which Wednesday night the Pack struggled to do all night long.

But in looking at this game the one consistency that has plagued this team all season long and reared it’s ugly head again Wednesday night was the absence of anything approaching an effective power play and penalty killing that is just atrocious. The Pack were 0-for-4 on the man advantage and surrendered three goals on six times short handed, the last being an empty netter with just one second left in the contest. Even without that two goals on five times shorthanded is nothing to be excited about either. It has been the single largest area of problem for Head Coach Ken Gernander’s troops all year long.

On the plus side, the Wolf Pack defenseman Corey Potter had an outstanding night. The Michigan native duplicated his last, and only other, two goal game performance from last February 13th, 2009 when he also had a two and one assist game in a 6-2 home win against the Lake Erie Monsters. Hartford also got goals from Brodie Dupont and Dale Weise, who inched that much closer to his season goal of putting 25 in the net with his 21st of the season.

The Pack had to be confident as they entered this game as they had won the last two times they visited the DCU Center and were 4-0-0 overall against their division leading opponents. This contest was extra critical because it was the game-in-hand they had against sixth place Providence and one of the two they had against fifth place Bridgeport, both of whom they are chasing for the final playoff spot.

Ultimately though, the team was not able to play any sort of containment defense and allowed T.J. Trevelyan two goals, including the game winner and Danny Groulx and Ryan Vesce a goal and an assist each.

For only the fifth time in the last twenty-one games, the Pack scored first. At 5:54, Worcester’s Nick Petrecki sent the puck up the boards on a clearing attempt only there were no Sharks anywhere in the neighborhood. The only one who was there was Potter. The Pack defenseman just threw the puck at the net form the right point and it hit Doyle’s glove and went into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Donald Brashear then took a lazy hooking call at 7:46 which put the leagues fifth best power play unit on the ice against the Pack’s last placed penalty killers. 

1:22 later, Derek Joslin put a puck on net that starter Matt Zaba, (20 saves, 6-11-2) was unable to freeze and it bounced in front of him in the crease. Steven Zalewski whacked at the puck and knocked it through the legs of the Pack netminder for his twenty-first of the season and the game was tied.

The Pack regained the lead at 2-1 when on a delayed tripping call from a Shark defender to Parenteau in the offensive zone, Corey Locke retrieved the puck along the left side and fed it around to the right to Dupont. On this line Dupont was back at his more familiar left wing slot and fed Potter who was just inside the blue line in the high slot and he uncorked a  missile of a shot that blew right past Doyle who was WAY outside his crease.

The Pack doubled their lead at 10:21 of the second period.

Mike Moore turned over the puck on great forecheck pressure by Parenteau, who got his stick down and intercepted a pass from the Shark defenseman. The puck slid over to Locke behind the net on the left wing side. Locke then fed the puck into the slot just outside the crease area where a crashing Dupont blasted it past Doyle for his thirteenth of the season.

bilde But the Pack put themselves behind the eight-ball again by taking too many penalties.

First it was Ilkka Heikkinen who was forced to take a hooking call on Benn Ferriero who had broken through the defense and was heading for the net unencumbered by any defense at all. Then 1:30 later, Potter took a very obvious cross-checking call that might have sent Gernander to an apoplectic state. The Pack would be short handed five-on-three for :30 seconds and given the Sharks 3:30 of power play time. The Pack managed to kill off the two-man advantage, but just six seconds after Ferriero got the puck to Vesce behind the net to Zaba’s right, Vesce brought the puck in and the Pack netminder could not get his glove on the loose biscuit and one of Vesce’s attempts sent the puck around Zaba, hit newcomer Anders Eriksson in the skate and went over the line for the second power play goal in four tries.

In terms of effort, the Pack outshot Worcester in the period 18-8 and 28-19 to that point in the contest and given their record of 20-1-2-1 when leading after two periods, it looked like the momentum had swung, but that the Pack should be able to come away with the two points.

But they play sixty minutes for a reason and as has been an issue all season long, the Pack seemed to forget that in the early part of the final period.

At 7:26, and with the Sharks putting lots of forecheck pressure on and the Pack unable to advance the puck with any sort of consistency, Dan DaSilva was chased into the left corner by both Paul Crowder and Bobby Sanguinetti which left Andrew Desjardins completely alone. DaSilva saw that and fed him the puck and the Shark centerman beat Zaba with a hard shot from inside the slot and the game was tied at three.

2:04 later, with the Pack forwards caught up ice, Worcester seized the lead for the first time in the contest when Trevelyan put the puck past Zaba. He and Kevin Henderson came up the ice on a two-on-one odd man rush against Eriksson. Locke skated hard to get back and dove to the ice to try and intercept the set up pass from Henderson, but it was too late and Trevelyan had his first of the game and twentieth of the season.

Unlike many other games this season where the Pack would scramble around and not get anything on the board, this time they answered back with hard work and were rewarded with a tally.

At 13:03, Potter, again from the right point, just threw the puck at the net and Wiese made a great redirect knocking the puck out of midair and fooling Doyle knotting the score again, this time at four.

The game winner came as no one challenged Logan Couture in the right corner. Couture surveyed the landscape and saw Brett Westgarth, who just returned to the Sharks after spending much of this season with Bridgeport, and Trevelyan in front of the net. He sent the puck right into the crease where it appeared as if the puck deflected off of Westgarth and right to Trevelyan who put what would prove to be the game winner right into the twine.

Hartford took a too many men on the ice call, that sent Gernander into a fit of anger against referee Mark Lemelin as the puck hit Zaba as he was trying to get off the ice. That forced the Pack to keep him on the ice longer and took any chance of the Pack getting a man advantage in the closing minute. Danny Groulx found the back of the empty net just as time was expiring for the games final score.

The Pack finish their five game road trip Friday night in a must win game against last place Springfield. Hartford is winless in a season high seven games (0-3-3-1) and have only won three times in their last twenty-one (3-12-5-1).

(pictured: Anders Eriksson and ex-Pack Dwight “Dewey” Helminen battle for the puck. Photo courtesy of telegram.com)

Hartfordwolfpack.com is where Bob Crawford recounts what he saw from the broadcast booth for Wolf Pack fans. Bill Ballou will have the Worcester story at Telegram.com . TheAHL.com also has a brief recount of the game.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

 

STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Sharks 64 39 20 2 3 83 219 194 2-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 1048
2. Pirates 64 35 21 5 3 78 193 170 0-2-0-0 5-4-0-1 1114
3. Monarchs 65 34 23 3 5 76 173 161 0-1-1-0 3-6-0-1 953
4. Devils 65 33 24 4 4 74 193 179 1-0-0-0 4-4-0-2 1179
5. Sound Tigers 66 30 27 3 6 69 163 185 3-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 1519
6. Bruins 65 31 30 3 1 66 174 180 0-2-0-1 4-5-0-1 1019
7. WOLF PACK 65 26 28 6 5 63 175 203 0-3-3-1 1-5-3-1 1314
8. Falcons 66 21 33 9 3 54 163 238 1-0-0-0 4-5-0-1 1408

 

  

SCOREBOARD:

Not much in the way of action for a Wednesday night in the American League. Ex-Pack goaltender Chris Holt evened up his record at 12-12-1 as the Binghamton Senators got two goals and an assist from Josh Hennessy on their way to a 5-3 win over Manchester. Nick Johnson has a goal in regulation and then the shootout winner for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton despite a pair of tallies from Albany’s Jerome Samson as the Penguins beat the River Rats 4-3. Texas knocked off Peoria 3-2 and Mike Santorelli had two goals, ex-Pack Hugh Jessiman had an assist as the Admirals crushed the Lake Erie Monsters 5-1.

 

NOTES:

* If you have yet to sign up for our new service to our readers on Twitter, you’re really missing out on the most extensive coverage of the Wolf Pack and Checkers you’ll find anywhere. In addition to keeping you posted here on all major news stories, visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for in-game coverage of both Wolf Pack and Checkers games. Please “Follow” us on Twitter.

* The Wolf Pack signed the injured Mike Hoffman to a full AHL contract. Hoffman had been on a Professional Try-out deal. This is probably a move designed more for next season than this one. Here’s the official release:

WOLF PACK SIGN MIKE HOFFMAN TO AHL CONTRACT

*           *           *           *

Veteran Winger had been on PTO with Pack

*           *           *           *

Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack have signed forward Mike Hoffman to an American Hockey League contract.

Hoffman has played in seven games with the Wolf Pack since signing a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement December 10, scoring one goal and registering 19 penalty minutes.  The seventh-year pro has been out of action since December 30 due to injury.

Hoffman, a 29-year-old, 6-5, 248-pound native of Weymouth, MA, is an ex-UConn Husky, having played a total of 31 games in a UConn uniform in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.  Prior to going to UConn, Hoffman attended prep school at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, CT.  He is the first-ever UConn product to play with the Wolf Pack.

Before joining the Wolf Pack, Hoffman was with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, for whom he had played 12 games, registering one assist and 31 penalty minutes.  Hoffman played in the AHL last season for the Chicago Wolves, skating in 61 games and scoring two goals and two assists for four points, while serving 89 minutes in penalties. 

Hoffman has played in 289 career AHL contests with the Worcester IceCats, Cleveland Barons, Toronto Marlies, Manchester Monarchs, Portland Pirates, Chicago Wolves and the Wolf Pack, totaling 21 goals, 29 assists, 50 points and 621 PIM.

* Also in the news is the clear day list for the team should they make the playoffs. Some interesting things to note in terms of names on and off the list. The “Clear Day list” consists of a maximum of 22 players that can play in the playoffs should the Pack somehow manage to make it that far. Here’s the list: Chad Johnson and Matt Zaba in the net. Donald Brashear, Dane Byers, Paul Crowder, Brodie Dupont, Anders Eriksson, Ryan Garlock, Evgeny Grachev, Ilkka Heikkinen, Corey Locke, Kris Newbury, Jared Nightingale, P.A. Parenteau, Corey Potter, Bobby Sanguinetti, Justin Soryal, Dale Weise. No surprises there, but also on the list are Brent Henley, Mike Hoffman, Nigel Williams and Michael Sauer who are all injured and were thought to be done for the season. Notice also that Olympian Andres Ambϋhl and David Urquhart are not on that list.  Ambϋhl’s absence is puzzling. While he’s not exactly dynamic by any stretch, Ambϋhl has been a good soldier all season long and was good enough to play for his nation’s Olympic team, but not the AHL playoffs? Derek Couture is also not on the list and will probably head to Charlotte for their run to win the Kelly Cup as will Julien Brouillette. Urquhart being off the list is surprising to say the least given the defenseman has had a decent season defensively and there was another thing too…oh yeah,  HE’S NOT HURT.

Teams may also add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after their respective junior or college seasons are complete.

* The start time for the Tuesday, March 16 contest between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden is set for 7:30 pm.  It was originally scheduled for 7:00 pm.  The matchup will be nationally televised on Versus.

 

 

LINES:

Byers © – Newbury – Weise
Dupont – Locke – Parenteau
Brashear – Garlock – Couture
Soryal – Crowder – Grachev

Heikkinen – Nightingale  
Brouillette – Potter
Eriksson – Sanguinetti

Zaba
Johnson

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized) 

 

SCRATCHES:

Dave Urquhart – Healthy Scratch
Andres Ambϋhl – Healthy Scratch
Nigel Williams – Undisclosed Injury – Day-to-Day
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Season over
Michael Sauer – Shoulder – Season over
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season over
Brent Henley – Knee – Season over

 

THREE STARS:

1. WOR – T. Trevelyan
2. HFD – C. Potter
3. WOR – R. Vesce

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Mark Lemelin (84)

Linesmen:
Mark Messier (12)
Bob Paquette (18)

 

NEXT GAME:

For the Pack to even have a remote chance of getting into the race for the last playoff spot, Friday night’s game against the Springfield Falcons is a must win game. Game time is 7:30 so Bob Crawford will be on the air with the Pre-Game show at 7.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

If you can attend the home games, they 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 or from your cell phone or computer visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for complete live in-game coverage.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Hartford Wolf Pack 4 At Worcester Sharks 6 – Status: Final

Mar 10, 2010 – DCU Center

Hartford 2 1 1 – 4

Worcester 1 1 4 – 6

1st Period-1, Hartford, Potter 3   5:54. 2, Worcester, Zalewski 21 (Joslin), 9:08 (pp). 3, Hartford, Potter 4 (Dupont, Locke), 14:16. Penalties-Brashear Hfd (hooking), 7:46; Doyle Wor (delay of game – restricted area), 14:29; served by Brashear Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 17:05.

2nd Period-4, Hartford, Dupont 13 (Locke, Parenteau), 10:21. 5, Worcester, Vesce 12 (Ferriero, Groulx), 14:32 (pp). Penalties-Soryal Hfd (fighting), 4:31; Petrecki Wor (fighting), 4:31; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 6:21; Henderson Wor (kneeing, fighting), 6:21; Westgarth Wor (interference), 10:45; Heikkinen Hfd (hooking), 12:26; Potter Hfd (cross-checking), 13:56.

3rd Period-6, Worcester, Desjardins 14 (McCarthy, DaSilva), 7:26. 7, Worcester, Trevelyan 20 (Doyle, Henderson), 9:30. 8, Hartford, Weise 21 (Potter, Newbury), 13:03. 9, Worcester, Trevelyan 21 (Westgarth, Couture), 18:15. 10, Worcester, Groulx 9 (Demers, Vesce), 19:59 (pp en). Penalties-Joslin Wor (boarding), 0:19; Garlock Hfd (hooking), 3:56; served by Soryal Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 19:00.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-18-10-38. Worcester 11-8-7-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 4; Worcester 3 of 6.

Goalies-Hartford, Zaba 6-11-2 (25 shots-20 saves). Worcester, Doyle 2-1-0 (38 shots-34 saves).

A-2,306

 

MEANWHILE IN CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Checkers
CHECKERS, DIAMONDS DIRECT TO GIVE AWAY ONE-KARAT DIAMOND

Estimated Value of $4,000; Giveaway To Take Place Saturday At “Pink In The Rink”
One lucky lady will enter Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday evening to watch a hockey game and leave with a one-karat diamond courtesy of Diamonds Direct of South Park.

On Saturday, Mar. 13, during the Checkers fourth annual “Pink in the Rink”, the first 1,000 ladies that register at the Diamonds Direct concourse area table will be handed an envelope that may contain a real one Karat diamond with an estimated value of $4,000. In order to verify if the “diamond” handed out is genuine, ladies will have to make their way to the Diamonds Direct location in South Park at 4521 Sharon Road in order to verify if their envelope contains the special prize or a cubic zirconium.

In the past three seasons, the Checkers have raised over $72,200 through jersey auctions, ticket fundraising and merchandise sales for “Pink in the Rink”-related charities, including Carolina Breast Friends, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society.

During the event, the Checkers will don special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off live after the game. The Checkers will also raise money through fundraising tickets and merchandise sales.

The funds raised from the “Pink in the Rink” game will be used for the design and construction of the “Pink House”, a “one-stop-shop” where breast cancer survivors have the opportunity to meet with each other in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. They will participate in monthly educational/social meetings as well as fitness/yoga training, nutritional education, wig/scarf boutique and other counseling and creative workshops.

The Checkers (32-20-7) will host the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, Mar. 11 for “Hockey for Haiti”. Season tickets are now on sale for the inaugural AHL season in 2010-11 and 40-game packages start as low as $200. Visit www.gocheckers.com or call 704-342-4ICE for more information.