Tag Archives: Donald Brashear

WHITE TO HARTFORD

After all the talk and speculation, the New York Rangers have officially sent Todd White to The Connecticut Whale.

We will have more on this later. White is not on the ice for warm-ups. Oren Eizenman is…for that matter as is Stu Bickel. Recent addition Justin Williams is also not out on the ice. Continue reading

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HOW DOES HE DO IT?

NY Rangers logo Glen Sather pulled off a move that has got to leave some people scratching their heads wondering how he does it.

The NY Rangers have announced that they have traded Donald Brashear AND Patrick Rissmiller to the Atlanta Thrashers for a serviceable center in Todd White. The move creates a minimal amount of cap space and is a low risk shot at easing a major shortcoming the franchise has in the middle.

If this move doesn’t work out, the Rangers send White to Hartford and are free from his contract at the end of the season…if he does play well then they have dealt with a severe issue.

Brashear was set to earn $1.4mm and Rissmiller was guaranteed $1mm ($2.4mm total). Todd White makes $2.375mm. It’s get rid of two issues, take back one and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. On the negative side, once again it’s another reclamation project. In order to free even a miniscule amount of space as they did, to move Brashear and Rissmiller, you were going to have to take back a bad contract or a struggling player to do it. They did that but filled a need at the same time.

However, on the plus side of the ledger, they get rid of a serious malcontent in Brashear who, while a good soldier while in Hartford clearly has nothing left in the tank, and Rissmiller who was essentially useless in both New York and in Hartford and was anything short of a team player in his time in Connecticut’s capital which explains why he was “loaned” to Grand Rapids.

It’s a GREAT move by the much maligned President & General Manager.

For those of you calling for Glen Sather’s head, you have to tip your cap to a move like this. At the same time you must acknowledge that he got himself into this mess in the first place, but just like he did with Scott Gomez, he found a way out of it.

If Sather REALLY wants to impress anyone, find someone OTHER THAN HARTFORD who’ll take Wade Redden’s contract… I know someone who might be able to pull that one off…CALLING CRISS ANGEL….

Here’s the official release:

NEW YORK RANGERS ACQUIRE CENTER

TODD WHITE FROM ATLANTA THRASHERS

In exchange for forwards Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the Rangers have acquired center Todd White from the Atlanta Thrashers, in exchange for forwards Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller.

White, 35, has skated in 635 career regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild and Atlanta Thrashers, registering 140 goals and 239 assists for 379 points, along with 226 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating.  The 12-year NHL veteran has reached the 20-goal and 50-point plateaus three times, and has registered 75 career multi-point performances.

In 2008-09, White established career-highs in games played (82), assists (51), points (73) and power play goals (12) as a Thrasher.  He led Atlanta in assists, tied for the team lead in power play goals and ranked third in points.  White reached several career milestones that season, including his 500th career game on November 2 vs. Florida, his 300th NHL point with a goal on November 28 vs. Nashville, and his 200th career assist on February 8 vs. Philadelphia.  He also recorded a career-high, nine-game point streak from March 6 vs. Montreal to March 21 at Tampa Bay, tallying 10 points (three goals and seven assists) over the span.  White finished the season strong, recording 28 points (eight goals and 20 assists) over the final 26 games.

The 5-10, 195-pounder skated in 65 games with Atlanta in 2009-10, registering seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points, along with 24 penalty minutes.  He recorded four multi-point performances, and posted a three-game assist streak from November 22 vs. Tampa Bay to November 27 at Carolina (three assists).  White also skated in his 600th career game on December 12 vs. Montreal.

The Kanata, Ontario native originally signed with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent on August 27, 1997.

Brashear registered one assist and 73 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Rangers this past season.  He also skated in 27 AHL games with Hartford in 2009-10, recording two goals and four assists for six points, along with 25 penalty minutes.  He signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2009.

Rissmiller skated in 69 AHL games with Hartford and Grand Rapids this past season, registering 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points, along with 26 penalty minutes.  He signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2008.

GO WITH A SMILE…

Hartford Wolf Pack puck      VERSUS      Springfield Falcons

In the original Batman movie starring Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, the Joker says at one point in the script, “…As my plastic surgeon always said, ‘when you got to go, go with a SMILE.” A crowd of 7,275 left the XL Center Saturday night with a smile as the Hartford Wolf Pack scored a team record seven goals in the second period and held on to win their final home game of the 2009 – 2010 season 7-5 over their i-91 rivals, the Springfield Falcons.

Despite winning on the road Friday night over the Worcester Sharks 3-2, Bridgeport’s 6-3 victory over Lowell eliminated the NY Rangers top farm team from playoff contention for the first time in the team’s 13 year history. Hartford easily could have come in and, pardon the pun, “Packed it in” and slept their way through this one. They didn’t as a victory assured them of at least a winning season.

“If anything you want to play for (.500) right now,” team captain Dane Byers said. ”We’re not playing to make the playoffs, but you have to find things to play for and you play for the front of the jersey and being over .500 you go home and think of things we can correct for next year.”

For Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander, this is the first time in his professional career he won’t be involved in a post season race for a championship either as a player, assistant or head coach and was clearly visible on the Minnesota native’s face. “Well obviously I’m (feeling) a bunch of different emotions, most of them, probably all of them not positive. You know, you deal with it.”  He said. “(We) try and prepare just as any other games and be professional about it.”

“Up until (Saturday night) we were playing for a playoff spot. Tonight it’s a little bit different circumstances. The guys had a good game (Friday) night and came out on top. You finish the game and find out that Bridgeport had won so…”

For the Wolf Pack, slow starts in the first period have been the team’s Achilles’ Heel. The Pack managed just three shots on goal for the entire period and didn’t get their first until there was only 8:03 left to go. In other words, they came out against a weaker opponent completely flat.

When Byers took a Cross-checking call at 10:20 and Chris Minard made them pay just 27 seconds later with his first of two on the night you couldn’t help but think it was going to be a long night for the home team.

It was clear that the team’ strategy was to target 5’8” Cory Locke and he was being hit all over the ice. When 6’3” Ryan Donald finish a clean but hard hit on Locke along the half-boards, Byers had seen enough and immediately jumped the Falcons defenseman and essentially knocked him into the next period with a series of hard punches that dropped him at 12:55.

Springfield went to the dressing room for the first intermission up a goal and a 6-3 edge in shots.

In the locker room, Gernander addressed his troops about the physical side of the game. “If you quit playing physically and quit working, and stuff like that, it makes the other team better or braver or what have you, and then they start to take liberties on guys,” Gernander said. “They were kind of targeting (Locke), and if you’re not giving your best effort, like I said, it allows the other team to feed off of that. And whether it’s you that gets taken advantage of or a teammate that get’s taken advantage of, the only way to stop that is to play your game and to really compete.”

That message certainly got through as the team came out in the second period and looked like they could topple any team in professional hockey. The Wolf Pack bested their previous all time high of five goals in a period which they’d done thirteen times in their history. Ironically, the last time they accomplished that was against these same Springfield Falcons on March 29th, 2008. This time however, the team exploded for seven goals on a season high 23 shots on Falcons starter Bryan Pitton (19 saves, 2-6-0).

The offensive barrage started just 47 seconds into the period when Andres Ambϋhl’s shot from the left side hit Pitton and came all the way out to the right point. Corey Potter unloaded a hard wrist shot that also hit Pitton and this time bounced off the Falcon netminder to the left side of the crease where Kris Newbury was there to put it away for the equalizer.

Fifteen seconds later the Pack tallied again when Paul Crowder’s shot from the right circle hit Pitton and found it’s way to Brodie Dupont on the left side of the crease. Dupont slid the puck off Pitton as well. The puck was loose on the right side of the crease where Locke backhanded it into the back of the cage for his first of two on the night.

After the play, ex-Pack defenseman cross-checked Locke to the back of the head sending the Toronto native to the ice. A melee broke out as a result which ended up leaving Taylor in the penalty box for eight minutes and Crowder and Dupont in their for four each. That gave the Pack a four minute power play.

At 3:46 Byers tallied his career high 24th of the season when he cleaned up in front of the net and put the puck past Pitton.

2:37 later Byers and Newbury would finish perhaps their nicest passing play of the season which freed up Chris McKelvie for his second in as many games. “We had the give-and-go,” Byers said. “They weren’t even flat passes. We had to knock them down to give them back to each other and (Newbury) was able to find McKelvie back door. It was a great pass.”

The Pack would tally again just 2:09 later when Ambϋhl would get his first of two on a great rush up left wing and got past Johan Motin and slid his shot under Pitton.

Thirty seconds after the goal, and just after Taylor was released from his holding cell, it was time for the physical defenseman to answer for the shots he’d been laying on Locke.

Jared Nightingale, who has stood in the way for his teammates all season long, challenged Taylor and they went at it. “I think if it wasn’t me then somebody else would have done it.” Nightingale said. “I think it’s important to have that team toughness. If you fight, you fight for the right reasons and obviously he took one of our better players out and I think he knew he’d have to answer the bell with somebody.” Nightingale connected with a hard right hand to the jaw that dropped the 6’4” Taylor.

Taylor, who was a fan favorite when he skated for the Wolf Pack, was jeered and booed every time he touched the puck and was the target of a lot of hard hits the rest of the night.

Chad Johnson (28 saves, 23-18-2) was beaten on a good shot by Colin McDonald after he picked off a clearing attempt at 2:12 left in the second frame.

Right after the goal was scored, Donald Brashear skated over to Taylor and challenged him. Taylor wisely would have nothing to do with it but did take a decent punch anyway from Brashear which sent the NHL veteran to the penalty box.

48 seconds later Ryan Garlock sent a perfect pass from the right corner out to Ambϋhl in the slot. The Swedish Olympian had his first multi-goal game of his AHL career beating Pitton over the glove with 1:24 to go in the period.

Put Hartford had one more left in them as they tallied again with just six seconds left off a three-on-one odd man rush with Nigel Williams, Locke and Dupont. After some impressive passing that drew the defense to his side, Dupont found Locke on the right side all alone and Locke put a fake on Pitton that got him to flinch and the Pack’s top goal scorer set his personal career best with his 31st of the season.

Gernander summed up his team’s most productive period ever saying, “Hockey is a hard, demanding game when you’re 100 percent committed and locked in mentally. If, for whatever reason, you let your guard down or you’re emotionally not where you need to be, it’s an almost impossible game. But when the juices got going, we were a much better team.”

“After the first period, we obviously weren’t happy with our play,” Byers said. “We had a very good second period, and it’s human nature to let up a little bit with a little breathing room. But it’s still the AHL, and you can’t give anyone any breathing room.”

The letting up made an otherwise one sided game much closer than it needed to be as the Pack gave up a power play goal and the second of the game to Minard at 4:29, then a delayed penalty goal to Colton Fretter and the games final tally to Matt Beca at 12:23.

“We’re obviously disappointed not making the playoffs because that’s every team’s goal and we came up short,” Byers said. “It’s too bad because we’re playing our best hockey of the season right now. But we had a bad month of February, and it came back to haunt us.”

“Nobody in the room is happy about going home and not going to the playoffs. I know everybody in here is disappointed, but we’ve had some good spurts during the season, and we’ve played well at times and we just haven’t done it enough.”

Byers then summed up the irony of the 2009 – 2010 Wolf Pack campaign so accurately. “It’s very frustrating. I think the coaching staff would agree that we’re probably playing our best hockey right now and I think if we made the playoffs I think we could have made some noise. But that’ not the way that it is right now. We’ve just got to play good in this last game. You’re only as good as your last shift.”

Sunday afternoon the Pack travel to Bridgeport to face the Sound Tigers for the final game of this season hopeful that their last shift will be one of congratulations and not condolence.

Bruce Berlet pulled double duty Saturday night. He takes on the Hartford perspective at Hartfordwolfpack.com and then crossed the hallway to get the story from Springfield. Read that story at MassLive.com.

 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

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.

* After the game, the Wolf Pack gave out their team awards. Brodie Dupont was honored with the Mary Lynn Gorman Community Service Award. The team gave Andres Ambϋhl the Bob Girouard Character Award and Dupont also received the Unsung Hero Award. The night’s two biggest awards were both presented in absentia as the recipient of the Fan Favorite and the team voted MVP Award were both given to Dale Weise who is on recall in New York with the Rangers. Weise told Howlings that both are incredible honors. “I want to thank the fans for voting me their favorite player,” He said. “It means a lot to me and it’s a great honor. I take a lot of pride in the time I spend off ice with the fans. I know they want us to all go out and play hard and compete and lay it out on the line for them and I tried to do that every single shift. It really means a lot to me.”

When discussing the team voted MVP, Weise said he was really humbled by that honor. “I really want to thank my teammates for that award. That’s amazing. What I would most like to do is thank P.A. Parenteau for not being there for fifty games so that there was a chance that someone other than him was going to win it. These are just incredible honors. I’m really happy right now.”

* After Sunday’s finale with the Sound Tigers, both Julien Brouillette and Nightingale will head straight to Charlotte to join the Checkers in their pursuit of the team’s first Kelly Cup. The Checkers can close out their first round opponent, the Toledo Walleye in Game Four Sunday afternoon at the Time Warner Cable Arena. “(GM and Head Coach Derek Wilkinson) is going to have some tough decisions. They have a pretty deep team. They’re also playing really well and I don’t want to come in and mess with any chemistry, but whatever Wilkie needs I can help and give it my all down there.”

 

LINES:

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

Williams – Potter
Heikkinen – Baldwin
Brouillette – Nightingale
Dowzak

Johnson
Talbot

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

P.A. Parenteau – Recall NY Rangers
Dale Weise – Recall NY Rangers
Anders Eriksson – Recall NY Rangers
Matt Zaba – Healthy Scratch
Derek Couture – Upper Body injury – Season over
Devin DiDiomete – Lower Body injury – Season over
Bobby Sanguinetti – Lower Body injury – Season over
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 – C. Locke
2. HFD – A. Ambuhl
3. SPR – C. Minard

 

ON-ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Tim Mayer (43)

Linesmen:
Kevin Redding (16)
David Spannaus (8)

NEXT GAME:

Last game of the season Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport. Bob Crawford is on the air at 2:30 with the pre-game, the puck drops at 3pm.

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

Season Tickets can be purchased for the 2010 – 2011 season. 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:

Springfield Falcons 5 At Hartford Wolf Pack 7 – Status: Final

Apr 10, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Springfield 1 1 3 – 5

Hartford 0 7 0 – 7

1st Period-1, Springfield, Minard 20 (Del Grosso, Petry), 10:47 (pp). Penalties-Crowder Hfd (holding), 5:05; Byers Hfd (cross-checking), 10:20; Donald Spr (fighting), 12:55; Byers Hfd (fighting), 12:55; Heikkinen Hfd (hooking), 16:36.

2nd Period-2, Hartford, Newbury 15 (Potter, Ambuhl), 0:47. 3, Hartford, Locke 30 (Dupont, Crowder), 1:02. 4, Hartford, Byers 24 (Potter, Locke), 3:46 (pp). 5, Hartford, McKelvie 2 (Newbury, Byers), 6:23. 6, Hartford, Ambuhl 7 (Crowder, Soryal), 8:32. 7, Springfield, McDonald 12 (O’Marra, Reddox), 17:48. 8, Hartford, Ambuhl 8 (Garlock, Potter), 18:36 (sh). 9, Hartford, Locke 31 (Dupont, Williams), 19:54. Penalties-Donald Spr (roughing, roughing), 1:02; Taylor Spr (cross-checking, roughing, roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:02; Crowder Hfd (roughing, roughing), 1:02; Dupont Hfd (roughing, roughing), 1:02; Taylor Spr (fighting), 9:02; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 9:02; Soryal Hfd (roughing), 14:57; Brashear Hfd (roughing), 17:48.

3rd Period-10, Springfield, Minard 21 (Petry), 4:29 (pp). 11, Springfield, Fretter 25 (Hisey, Gimblett), 6:27. 12, Springfield, Beca 1 (VandeVelde, Trukhno), 12:23. Penalties-Williams Hfd (high-sticking), 4:02; Newbury Hfd (cross-checking), 7:00; Del Grosso Spr (fighting), 19:20; Fretter Spr (hooking), 19:20; Newbury Hfd (instigating, fighting, game misconduct – instigator (last 5:00)), 19:20.

Shots on Goal-Springfield 6-11-16-33. Hartford 3-23-5-31.

Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 2 of 7; Hartford 1 of 2.

Goalies-Springfield, Pitton 2-6-0 (26 shots-19 saves); Roy 0-1-0 (5 shots-5 saves). Hartford, Johnson 23-18-2 (33 shots-28 saves).

A-7,275

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

ONE FOR THE AGES

Hartford Wolf Pack VERSUS Bridgeport Sound Tigers
The next time NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, or AHL Commissioner Dave Andrews needs to explain to someone why hockey is the greatest sport that there is, they won’t have to do anything other than show them a tape of Saturday night’s Bridgeport and Hartford battle at the XL Center  in which the Wolf Pack prevailed on a late Bobby Sanguinetti goal, 4-3 in front of 6,921 exuberant fans.

This game had something for everyone. There were fights, big hits great plays on both sides of the puck, a penalty shot, great saves, non-stop action, a come from behind victory that was capped by a thrilling finish. Who could ask for more for their entertainment dollar.

It was a must win game for the home team as they entered the match trailing their guests by nine points for the final playoff spot in the conference. A loss and they would most certainly be making arrangements for early tee times. Even with the victory, the Pack are still up against the wall and must continue to win when they visit Portland to do battle with the playoff bound Pirates.

Sangs game winner They wouldn’t be talking about a big game Sunday had not former first round draft pick, Sanguinetti not put on his finest move since donning the Hartford sweater two seasons ago. The right hander unloaded a shot from the left point that missed the net entirely. The puck went around to the right wing side and was retrieved by Corey Locke. The AHL’s third leading scorer would then add to his season assist stat when he heard the Pack defenseman calling for the puck again back on the left side. Locke made the pass that the New Jersey native recovered along the left boards. “I just missed the net on my first try,” Sanguinetti said. “But I saw a lane and Corey made a nice play over to me.” He then simply side-stepped Bridgeport center Michael Haley and defenseman Mark Wotten bit on it as well and took themselves out of the play. “I put on a pump-fake on them, they bit and I was just looking for a hole. He (starting Bridgeport goaltender Scott Munroe) was moving side-to-side and I beat him to the far right side.” (see photo – left). The goal was the only tally by either team in the third frame and came with just 3:20 remaining.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

The Pack had another goal in the period, what would have been Donald Brashear’s first, but after Jared Nightingale put a hard hit on Jean Bourbeau along the boards. Bourbeau, in just his second gain after being recalled from CHL’s Odessa Jackalopes kept after Nightingale to fight. When the gloves dropped, referee Chris Brown was forced to blow the whistle just seconds before Brashear’s guided missile into the net and negated the marker. “(Bourbeau) kept asking me and I was just tempted. I took a peek over to the bench to see if (Assistant Coach) J.J. (Daigneault)  was going to tell me ‘no’ or ‘yes’ and then I just went at it.” Nightingale said. “The most important thing at the end of the day is that we’re happy that we and won the game.”

“(Nightingale’s) a physical player,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “He gets in a tussle or a dust up with a guy, he doesn’t know what’s going on up ice.  It was unfortunate that it negated Brash’s goal, but the important thing is we got the win.”

None of the heroics would have been possible had Chad Johnson (25 saves, 19-16-2) had not kept his teammates in the contest all game long. With just 5:57 left in the game Brendan Witt found Mike Radja all alone in front of the Pack net. Johnson slid across and stonewalled the Sound Tiger centerman. Earlier in the period, Johnson stopped Haley on a great scoring chance at 6:39 and just prior stopped Trevor Smith off a two-on-one rush.

“That’s been a big part of things lately is the big save,” Gernander said. “We’re not giving up volumes and volumes of shots where he’s under constant pressure but he’s had few key saves throughout the course of the last couple of games here and that’s been pretty important for us.”

The Wolf Pack came out of the gates on a mission and it showed. There was LOTS of hard hitting by both sides, but you could feel the Pack starting to make headway and getting more play in the offensive zone.

At 6:41 the hard work paid a dividend.

Sorayal goal celebrationJustin Soryal broke a 16 game scoreless drought when he dove to connect with a Derek Couture pass from the right side to the left. Munroe slowed the puck as it went under him but it seemed to just pop out the other side of him and replays showed that the puck crossed the goal line by about 2 or 3 inches max. Soryal was embraced by his teammates who recognized the effort of the Pack forward on the play. The goal came at 6:11.

This was a physical game and Bridgeport loves to play the game that way. Pascal Morency who loves to push players buttons, pushed the button of the wrong player when he tried to cheap shot and sucker punched Brashear. The Morency plays deadcareer enforcer who’s 6’3” and 237 pounds didn’t feel much of a threat from the 5’10” 196 pound Montreal native. Brashear then gave Morency a one shot smack to the face with his gloves still on and laid the right winger out. Morency stayed down on the ice for a long time, and someone from off the Pack bench earned an extra minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct when he threw a water bottle out on to the ice and it hit Morency in the side. It was all a big act as Morency didn’t even miss a shift and went right back to his antics.

With 3:16 left in the first and the Pack on a power play with Wotten in the box for Unsportsmanlike Conduct, a turnover in the offensive zone along the left wing boards wound up on the stick of Greg Mauldin. Haskins tripped up The Tigers’ left wing fed the puck out quickly to Tyler Haskins who had a clean breakaway. Kris Newbury skated back hard and took the legs right out from under him. Brown called a penalty shot.

On the ensuing penalty shot, Haskins came in with speed and broke to Johnson’s right deked and backhanded it over the Pack netminder’s blocker side for the shorthanded goal.Penalty Shot

The Pack outshot the Tigers 15-8 in the first period.

The energy level intensified in the second period. Given the Pack have the worst penalty kill in the American League, any time the Pack wind up shorthanded it’s going to be a “keep-your-fingers-crossed” sort of adventure. Hartford stifled Bridgeport visitors on their first to man advantages, but their third one cost them and broke the stalemate.

With Ryan Garlock in the penalty box on a tripping call at 7:37, the Sound Tigers power play unit went to work.

Johnson reacts to Smith's goalBridgeport worked the puck along the outside perimeter. Brett Motherwell gave the puck to Trevor Smith at the right wing point. Smith moved out to the middle of the ice and from just inside the blue line and with lots of traffic in front of Johnson fired a shot that the Pack goaltender never saw and the visiting team had the lead. The goal was Smith’s 20th if the season.

Just a 1:04 Bridgeport would double their lead when Dustin Friesen shot the puck from the right wing side and it hit Nigel Williams stick en route to the net and it lifted into the air and knuckled over Johnson and it was 3-1. The goal was Friesen’s first since signing a PTO after playing most of the season in the East Coast League with Idaho.

But then came the turning point of the game.

Radja was in the penalty box for a delay of game call at 12:51.

With 6:38 to go in the period, and 31 seconds later, on yet another breakaway opportunity, Johnson closed the door on Haskins and kept his team within two.

“It takes guys making big plays, whether it be somebody finishes a big hit rouses the bench or a goal by somebody. Big plays are important in terms of building momentum.” The Pack head coach stated.

“I’ve been working a lot on breakaways after practice because it’s an important skill to have, especially down the stretch,” Johnson said. “I’m starting to get a good feel on the breakaways, whether it’s in the game or in shootouts. They got kind of a lucky bounce on their third goal, but I’ve just been trying to keep the team in the game and do what I have to do.”

21 seconds later, Newbury put a puck on net from the right wing side. Dale Weise occupied Munroe and the defenseman covering, Jon Gleed. But when the netminder could not cleanly swallow it, it left the puck loose along the right wing side. Byers came in, as heByers goal often does, to clean up the porch, and that what he did, going backhand to forehand and putting the puck in net past the bewildered Munroe.

“Newbury had lots of time up top all game, so we just wanted him to sho0t,”  The Wolf Pack captain said. “Me and Weisey just crashed the net. I went off Weisy and that gave me enough time. There were a couple of guys on Weisy so it gave me enough time to handle the puck and put it in the net.”

But the Pack tallied again just ten seconds later when Andres Ambϋhl found himself with the puck on the left wing side. He wristed the puck with a rising shot through the legs of Friesen and high into the short side corner of then net past Munroe. It was 3-3

The Pack finished the period leading in shots 20-21.

“I’m happy with the two points.”  Gernander said.

“It was It was live or die and we had to win this one tongiht,” Sanguinetti said. “We really played well late in the game.  This is playoff hockey for us now and we have to try and find our way to get in.”

You really need tofind a way to get into the game next Wednesday, when the Wolf Pack return home against Worcester.

(Photos by Dinur Blum)

Bruce Berlet will be off for a week of well earned vacation. Here’s his final report for for the month at Hartfordwolfpack.com. The great Michael Fornabaio reports from the Bridgeport perspective at CTPost.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. x-Sharks 72 45 22 2 3 95 249 219 1-0-0-0 8-2-0-0 1165
2. x-Pirates 73 41 22 6 4 92 220 194 5-0-1-1 6-2-1-1 1313
3. Monarchs 73 38 26 3 6 85 191 181 3-0-0-0 4-4-1-1 1077
4. Devils 73 36 27 4 6 82 215 206 1-0-0-0 4-4-0-2 1304
5. Sound Tigers 74 35 29 4 6 80 186 206 0-2-0-0 7-2-1-0 1639
6. WOLF PACK 72 31 30 6 5 73 201 223 3-0-0-0 5-3-1-1 1417
7. Bruins 73 33 35 4 1 71 192 295 0-2-1-0 2-6-1-1 1113
8. Falcons 74 24 35 11 4 63 188 266 0-1-1-1 4-3-2-1 1525

x = clinched a playoff spot

y = clinched division title

LAST PLAYOFF SPOT STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1. Sound Tigers 74 35 29 4 6 80
2. Norfolk Admirals 74 36 22 3 3 78
3. WOLF PACK 72 31 30 6 5 73
4. Bruins 73 33 35 4 1 71

WOLF PACK TRAGIC NUMBER IS 10 (Ten) Any combination of Bridgeport getting points and the Pack not getting them reduces that number. Pack have two games head-to-head with Bridgeport which are both 4-point games.

SCHEDULE:

The Dunkin Donuts hosts the Providence and Manchester contest. Bridgeport and Lowell do battle at the Tsongas Center. Norfolk has the night off, so the Pack will make up one of their two games in hand.

Toronto and Rochester, Albany and Springfield will meet up at 3pm. Worcester and W-B/Scranton tango at 3:05. Meanwhile at 4pm it’s Texas and Chicago, Houston and Peoria, Lake Erie and San Antonio. Hershey and Binghamton knock heads at 5pm.

SCOREBOARD:

Clay Wilson had two goals and a helper as did Mike York, Jamie Johnson had a goal and two apples, Jeff Taffe had a trio of assists and Michael Repik had a duo of assists as Rochester smoked Toronto 7-3. David Desharnais had a duo of goals and helpers, Brock Trotter had a goal and two apples and P.K. Suppan had one of each as Hamilton knocked off Abbotsford 4-0. Texas got two goals from Mathieu Beaudoin and won in a shootout 5-4 over Grand Rapids. Alex Giroux scored for the 41st time this season and for the 101st time in the last two seasons as Hershey doubled up W-B/Scranton 4-2. Oscar Moller had a pair for Manchester and David Laliberte had two for Adirondack and Jon Matsumoto had a marker and two helpers, but it wasn’t enough as the Monarchs knocked off Adirondack 4-3. Portland clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over Springfield and a Norfolk was shut out by Worcester 2-0. Zac Dalpe had a hat trick for next year’s Charlotte Checkers, this year’s Albany River Rats with a 5-2 win. Cam Paddock had a pair of goals and a helper as Peoria defeated Houston 4-1. Chicago shutout Rockford 3-0. Miika Wiikman stopped 29 shots but Lake Erie got one more and they beat San Antonio 5-4.

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.

* Sanguinetti’s goal set a career high with his 8th of the season and ended a 16 game scoreless streak.

* The three game win streak is the longest for the Pack since a four game run from December 27th to January 3rd.

* The Pack improved their record when tied after two periods 5-2-3-2, 15-10-6-5 is the Pack record in one goal games and 21-13-2-3 when outshooting their opponents.

* Evgeny Grachev has one goal in his last 30 games.

* In the last five years, the Pack are 30-15-0-4 against their instate and franchise rivals from Bridgeport. This season the Pack are 4-3-0-2 and if they win the last game of the season against the Sound Tigers they will tie for the Geico Cup.

* Although there has been some rumblings out of New York about the mindset of these young defensemen with Anders Ericksson getting called up and not one of them, Sanguinetti isn’t feeling that way at all.”We know what we have to do here,” He said. “We just control what we can control and play our game and we’re fighting for a play off spot as well. They have to do what they have to do to get into the playoffs  and we’re trying to get it done here.

* This was a well attended game by Wolf Pack standards with 6,921…nothing to sneeze at for sure. Look at the Checkers attendance yesterday, 12,044

LINES:

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

Williams – Potter
Heikkinen – Sanguinetti
Nightingale – Brouillette

Johnson
Zaba

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

SCRATCHES:

P.A. Parenteau – Recall, NY Rangers
Anders Eriksson – Recall, NY Rangers
Lee Baldwin – 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. HFD – B. Sanguinetti
2. HFD – A. Ambuhl
3. HFD – C. Johnson

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Chris Brown (86)

Linesmen:
David Spannaus (8)
Luke Galvin (2)

NEXT GAME:

Sunday the Pack put it on the line again at 4pm. Bob Crawford is on the air at 3:30pm.

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:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3 At Hartford Wolf Pack 4 – Status: Final

Mar 27, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Bridgeport 1 2 0 – 3

Hartford 1 2 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Hartford, Soryal 4 (Couture), 6:11. 2, Bridgeport, Haskins 11   16:44 (sh ps). Penalties-Morency Bri (roughing), 10:19; Rechlicz Bri (roughing), 10:19; served by Soryal Hfd (bench minor – unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:19; Brashear Hfd (roughing, roughing), 10:19; Wotton Bri (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:03; Heikkinen Hfd (goaltender interference), 17:41.

2nd Period-3, Bridgeport, Smith 20 (Motherwell, Martin), 8:30 (pp). 4, Bridgeport, Friesen 1 (Radja, Bourbeau), 9:34. 5, Hartford, Byers 21 (Weise, Newbury), 13:43 (pp). 6, Hartford, Ambuhl 5 (Crowder), 13:53. Penalties-Garlock Hfd (tripping), 7:37; Radja Bri (delay of game), 12:51; Nightingale Hfd (high-sticking), 15:24.

3rd Period-7, Hartford, Sanguinetti 8 (Locke, Potter), 16:40. Penalties-Bourbeau Bri (fighting), 7:31; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 7:31; Potter Hfd (slashing), 8:09.

Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 8-13-7-28. Hartford 15-14-7-36.

Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 of 5; Hartford 1 of 2.

Goalies-Bridgeport, Munroe 18-15-3 (36 shots-32 saves). Hartford, Johnson 19-16-2 (28 shots-25 saves).

A-6,921

MEANWHILE BACK IN CHARLOTTE:

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS         Reading Royals

CHECKERS TREAT SEASON’S BIGGEST CROWD TO VICTORY

Four Unanswered Goals Propels Charlotte To 4-2 Win Over Reading

The Charlotte Checkers fell behind by two and fought back with four unanswered goals as they defeated the Reading Royals, 4-2, on Saturday evening in front of 12,044 enthusiastic fans. The crowd was the largest in the entire ECHL this season.

With the win, their 40th of the season and ninth in 10 games, the Checkers close the gap with South Carolina and are now only one point out of first place in the conference with a game in hand.

David Urquhart notched a goal and an assist while Ryan Munce stopped 29 of 31 for his ninth win in 10 starts. Kevin Schaeffer scored the game-winning goal, David Marshall extended his point streak to seven games with a goal and Daniel Tkaczuk chipped in with two assists.

Andrew Carroll got things going in the first with a big hit that sent a Royals defender flying into the boards. The Checkers responded by raising their play and began buzzing Reading’s Andrew Engelage, but the Royals goaltender stopped a flurry of shots to keep it a scoreless game.

Reading would strike first with 10 seconds to play in the period when Stefano Giliati picked up an unsuccessful clearing attempt by a Charlotte defender and fired it home past Munce.

Early in the second, the Royals took a two-goal lead on a penalty shot off a questionable tripping call against Munce. Andrew Sarauer skated in alone and put on the brakes before beating Munce with a wrist shot blocker side.

The rest of the period was all Checkers as they scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead.

Devin DiDiomete sparked the comeback by giving his team some energy when he dropped the gloves with Reading defenseman Scott Fletcher. Just 23 seconds later, David Marshall carried the puck into the Royals’ zone and, using Mike Taylor as a screen, fired a wrist shot between the legs of Engelage for his 21st of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Reading forward Daniel Steiner was assessed a costly interference penalty when he ran into Munce in front of the Charlotte net. The Checkers made good on the power play as Matt Stefanishion won the draw back to Steve Ward who let a wrist shot go that beat Engelage high over the glove.

With six minutes to play in the period, Charlotte took its first lead of the game on a goal by defenseman Kevin Schaeffer. Brock Bradford entered the Reading zone and fed a saucer pass over to Schaeffer who redirected it into the net.

The Checkers then capitalized on a Royals miscue and took a two-goal lead. Daniel Tkaczuk picked up the mishandled puck at his own blue line and skated into the Reading zone on a 1-on-1. Tkaczuk stalled as he waited for help then deked the defender and backhanded a shot on net. David Urquhart joined the play as he skated in and stuffed home the rebound for his second goal in nine games since joining the Checkers.

Reading pulled its goaltender in the dying seconds for the extra attacker but Munce turned aside everything that came his way and walked away with his 24th win of the season. The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 2 p.m.

The Checkers (40-21-7) will host Reading Sunday at 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and 40-game packages start as low as $200.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. x-South Carolina Sting Rays 69 38 19 6 6 88 236 212 0-2-0-0 3-4-2-1 926
2. x-Charlotte Checkers 68 40 21 4 3 87 243 216 1-0-0-0 9-1-0-0 1449
3. x- Florida Everblades 69 36 24 4 5 81 223 213 0-1-0-0 5-5-0-0 1237
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 67 31 29 4 3 69 236 257 1-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 1082

x= Teams who have clinched a playoff spot.

SCOREBOARD:

Gwinnett doubled up Florida 4-2 in the division action. South Carolina had the night off.
Toledo crushed Wheeling 5-1. Trenton put an ass-whooping on Elmira 5-0. Andrew Fournier had a five-point night with a hat-trick and two helpers, and Sam Florek had two goals and two assists as Kalamazoo trounced Cincinnati 6-3. Adam Naglich had two helpers, Dan Kissel had a goal and a helper for Bakersfield, but James Sixsmith two markers and an apple, Ryan Kinasewich and Dylan Hunter each had a goal and an assist as Utah beat up on the Condors. Idaho slammed Victoria to the mat 5-1 at home. Jon Rheault had a pair of tallies and Tim Kraus had a goal and an assist as Ontario doubled up Alaska 4-2. Alex Bourret had his 17th as Las Vegas beat Stockton 3-2.

NOTES:

* Saturday’s crowd of 12,044 was the largest in the entire ECHL this season

* The Checkers are 14-3-1 in their last 18 home games and are 9-1-0 in their last 10 overall

* Ryan Munce is 9-1-0 in his last 10 starts and leads the ECHL with a .911 save percentage

* David Marshall is currently on a seven-game point streak (6g, 5a)

* Andrew Carroll leads the ECHL with five shootout-winning goals and leads the Checkers with 28 goals

LINES:

Carroll – Leveille © Slattengren
Schepke – Tkaczuk – Bradford
Doig – Taylor – Marshall
Stefanishion – DiDiomete

Urquhart – Schaeffer
Berube – Hendrikx
Ward

Munce
Zemlak

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

SCRATCHES:

Ryan Crane – Healthy Scratch
Randy Rowe – Recall in Lake Erie
Matt Ford – Recall in Lake Erie
Julien Brouillette – Recall in Hartford
Ethan Graham – Recall in Texas
Kenny Roche – Recall in Providence
T.J. Reynolds – Lower Body – 2-3 weeks
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. Urquhart
2. CHR – D. Tkaczuk
3. CHR – R. Munce

ON-ICE OFFICALS:

Referee:
Jarrod Ragusin (28)

Linesmen:
Mathieu Chenier (71)
Ben Shiley (92)

NEXT GAME:

Reading plays the back-end of the back-to-back on the weekend Sunday and then the last regular season home game is Tuesday the 30th against Gwinnett. The Checkers finish the season with two on the road in Florida. Jason Shaya will be on the air Sunday at 2pm.

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:

Reading Royals 2 At Charlotte Checkers 4 – Status: Final

Mar 27, 2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena

Reading 1 1 0 – 2

Charlotte 0 3 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Reading, Giliati 21   19:50 (pp). Penalties-Hendrikx Chr (hooking), 3:10; Cruthers Rea (slashing ), 7:57; Stefanishion Chr (elbowing), 7:57; DiDiomete Chr (high-sticking), 10:32; Gwilliam Rea (interference), 16:04; Berube Chr (boarding), 18:40.

2nd Period-2, Reading, Sarauer 25   4:29 (ps). 3, Charlotte, Marshall 21 (Taylor, Urquhart), 6:46. 4, Charlotte, Ward 6 (Stefanishion, Tkaczuk), 8:20 (pp). 5, Charlotte, Schaeffer 5 (Bradford, Schepke), 13:56. Penalties-LaLonde Rea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:39; DiDiomete Chr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:39; Fletcher Rea (fighting – major), 6:23; DiDiomete Chr (fighting – major), 6:23; Steiner Rea (interference on the goalkeeper), 7:21; Cavosie Rea (tripping), 8:41; Stefanishion Chr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:41; Ward Chr (tripping), 10:53; Brocklehurst Rea (slashing ), 16:52; Giliati Rea (roughing), 19:51; DiDiomete Chr (roughing), 19:51.

3rd Period-6, Charlotte, Urquhart 2 (Tkaczuk), 10:04 (sh). Penalties-Schepke Chr (interference on the goalkeeper), 8:11; Leveille Chr (hooking), 13:29; LaLonde Rea (holding), 16:48.

Shots on Goal-Reading 13-11-7-31. Charlotte 8-17-10-35.

Power Play Opportunities-Reading 1 of 6; Charlotte 1 of 5.

Goalies-Reading, Engelage 7-3-0-0 (35 shots-31 saves). Charlotte, Munce 24-14-2-1 (31 shots-29 saves).

A-12,044

HOME SWEET HOME

Hartford Wolf Pack VERSUS

Ken Gernander’s post game mood this season has not always been the most pleasant. However, after defeating the Lowell Devils 6-2 and winning their second game in a row, the first time since a pair of wins against Providence in mid-January, Gernander was in much lighter spirits. When asked if there was anything different that he liked about these last two nights? The one time Wolf Pack captain didn’t hesitate with his answer “Two points at the end of the night.”

Prior to Friday night’s win against Springfield, the Wolf Pack had only won three times in their previous 21 games (3-12-5-1). “When you’re losing you look at things that went against you or what you you, but sometimes you create some of those things that go against you.” Gernander said. “Like tonight some of those penalties at the end of the game, if it was a tie game the other team power play scores well that’s too bad, or there were one or two turnovers that didn’t amount to goals-against that when you’re losing like ‘Oh that the breaks,’ or this or that. A lot of times you bring it on yourself or you make your own luck.“

The Pack fell behind on just one of those kind of breaks that Gernander was talking of. In trying to move the puck from out in front of his own net, Ryan Garlock practically handed the puck to Ben Walter, who’s made a career of scoring big goals against the Wolf Pack, and came in on a mini breakaway on Wolf Pack starter Chad Johnson (27 saves, 16-14-2). Walter surgically placed the puck just under the blocker of the Hartford goaltender.

“You always like to get the first goal, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world if you don’t.” Gernander said. The Pack had only scored first in seven of the last twenty-four games.

But the Pack were still a bit complacent until Dane Byers took care of that. The Pack captain completely leveled Alexander Vasyunov. Ex-Pack and current NY Ranger, Artem Anisimov’s childhood friend skated across the blue line with his head down. Byers crushed him with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit that likely concussed the Yaroslavl, Russia native as he stayed down on the ice for quite a while but eventually left the ice with help.

Not only did the hit jar the Lowell Devils’ left winger, but it woke up the Wolf Pack bench as well.

As the second period opened, the Hartford Wolf Pack looked like the fresher team that they were. Lowell had not arrived till early in the morning after playing a late game against Syracuse.

In the first minute, the Pack got on their collective horses and put pressure on their visitors. At 54 seconds, defenseman Rob Davison took an Interference call. Some sloppy passing almost ended up costing the Wolf Pack dearly as Matt Halischuk picked offa pass and had himself a one on one breakaway against Johnson.

Johnson, who had struggled losing a team record seven straight decisions until Friday night’s win in Springfield, rose to the occasion shutting Halischuk down.

Gernander saw that as one of many key moments in this game. “There’s turning points throughout the course of the game, so if they score a goal there that’s a turning point.” He said. “I think guys on the bench recognized that. Johnson’s save there was a big save it sparked the bench”

Just twenty-two seconds later, the Pack turned a good save into points on the board.

Ilkka Heikkinen moved a puck from the left point to the right where it found newcomer, Kris Newbury. The gritty center-iceman then fired a shot that hit the skate of Matt Taormina in front and bounced right to Byers. Pucks that find the Pack captain stick in that neck of the woods often wind up behind the net…so did this one. For the eighteenth time this season, he did just that as he smacked it past Mike McKenna (23 saves, 20-13-4) for the game equalizer.

2:41 seconds the Pack would get themselves the lead as Corey Locke would score his first of two on the contest when his persistence at whacking the puck off of McKenna paid off as the third time it went in past the Devils’ goaltender. Brodie Dupont got an assist and P.A. Parenteau would get his first of three helpers on the night.

At 7:44 Lowell managed to get back on the board, at least temporarily when Cory Murphy scored his third of the season on the power play off  a nice setup pass from Halischuk that made it impossible for Johnson to react fast enough.

But the final turning point came with just 54 seconds left in the second period.

Parenteau got the puck free along the left boards and fed Donald Brashear in the left side circle. Brashear then threw a shot at net and it hit McKenna and flipped into the air. Locke had great discipline to keep his stick under the crossbar  and knocked it into the net for his team leading 27th of the season.

For the 38-year old Brashear, it was his second assist and third point in 14 games since being sent to Hartford from New York.

Despite outshooting the Wolf Pack 10-8 in the final frame, the completely dead tired Devils squad just completely run over by the home team.

Locke made a great play to get the puck to Parenteau with a touch pass. Parenteau toe dragged the puck and created space for himself. The Hull, Quebec native moved in on the Lowell net and drew the defender to him. He also somehow got McKenna to move over as well and as soon as he saw the movement, Parenteau threaded the needle and put the stick right on Brodie Dupont’s stick for the easy slam dunk.

1:19 later the Pack did it again. Kris Newbury took a faceoff in the left circle of the offensive zone. He moved the puck forward to the left corner and retrieved it himself. He then threw a Mail Mary from the dead corner behind the line, at the net. The puck hit McKenna and deflected into the net off the Devils’ netminder.

11:22 saw the games final tally as former first round draft pick, Bobby Sanguinetti took a Newbury feed beneath the left circle and fired it on net. The puck hit a Devils defenseman on it’s way there and hit McKenna’s pads and slid in under the Devils netminder.

The Devils removed McKenna at that point, but it was too late and the Pack had the “W.”

For the Wolf Pack though, they got lackadaisical in their own end and began to take penalties, going shorthanded four times in the final six minutes.

“(Discipline) was a little bit lacking there at the end. I don’t care what the score is. I don’t think we needed some of those penalties that we took toward at the end.” Gernander said. “If it ends up being a goal-against that’s one thing, sometimes it ends up someone getting injured with a shot block or something like that and it’s a habit so you don’t want to take those kinds of penalties.”

“I thought we had a good game tonight. A lot of good things, It was nice to have a good effort tonight.”

Sanguinetti said the team was well aware of where they stand as the season has just 14 games left in it. “Guys were starting to realize that it’s going to end our season if we didn’t start to pick it up. It opened everybody’s eyes. We’re going to try and get on a roll here and just play our game and get into the playoffs.”

Parenteau seems to see it right on the nose. “We’re in a hole and we’re trying to dig ourselves out of it. It’s going to be tough, but I think we have the team to do it.

The great Bruce Berlet has a different view of things at Hartfordwolfpack.com. Our close friend, Gerry Cantelon has a story at eurohockey.net. Lowell’s perspective can only be found at LowellDevilsHockey.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

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 66 36 22 5 3 80 204 181 0-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 1202
3. Monarchs 67 34 24 3 5 76 173 165 0-2-1-0 3-6-0-1 991
4. Devils 67 34 25 4 4 76 198 186 0-1-0-0 5-4-0-1 1245
5. Sound Tigers 68 32 27 3 6 73 169 189 5-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 1535
6. WOLF PACK 67 28 28 6 5 67 185 207 2-0-0-0 3-3-3-1 1351
7. Bruins 67 31 32 3 1 66 180 191 0-4-0-1 3-6-0-1 1042
8. Falcons 68 22 34 9 3 56 172 249 1-0-0-0 4-5-0-1 1457

LAST PLAYOFF SPOT STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1. Sound Tigers 68 32 27 3 6 73
2. Penguins 66 33 29 1 3 70
3. WOLF PACK 67 28 28 6 5 67
4. Bruins 67 31 32 3 1 66

SCHEDULE:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is at Adirondack, Providence hosts Binghamton

SCOREBOARD:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dropped a shootout to Albany. Adirondack knocked off Providence 4-0 while Bridgeport again beat Norfolk in a shootout 3-2.

In other action, Lake Erie got two goals from Tom Preissing, but he was outdone by Jason Jaffray’s hat trick for Abbotsford who also got a goal from ex-Pack Garth Murray in a 5-3 win. Hamilton knocked off Grand Rapids 4-3. Ex-Pack Patrick Rissmiller had a goal for Grand Rapids.  Binghamton tripled up Portland 6-2. Hard to believe, but Hershey lost to Springfield in a shootout 5-4. Rochester knocked off Syracuse 5-3 on the road. Chicago also won in a shootout over Houston 2-1. San Antonio lost to Texas 5-4. Manitoba got doubled up by Rockford 6-3 and Toronto got by Milwaukee 3-2.

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.

* Brodie Dupont has his first three game scoring streak

* Excellent job by the sales staff as there was 7,654 in the XL Center. That’s the way the arena needs to be more often. What an atmosphere for a game.

* Johnson last won two straight contests in Mid January.

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 – C. Locke
2. HFD – P. Parenteau
3. HFD – K. Newbury

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Jamie Koharski (84)

Linesmen:
Brent Colby (7)
David Spannaus (8)

NEXT GAME:

Bob Crawford is on the air with the Pre-Game show at 6:30 Wednesday night when the Pack play a critical game with the Providence Bruins.

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:

Lowell Devils 2 At Hartford Wolf Pack 6 – Status: Final

Mar 13, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Lowell 1 1 0 – 2

Hartford 0 3 3 – 6

1st Period-1, Lowell, Walter 20   7:54. Penalties-Locke Hfd (interference), 3:36; Cohen Low (roughing), 15:27; Taormina Low (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:28; Newbury Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:28.

2nd Period-2, Hartford, Byers 18 (Newbury, Heikkinen), 1:37 (pp). 3, Hartford, Locke 26 (Dupont, Parenteau), 4:18. 4, Lowell, Murphy 3 (Halischuk, Davis), 7:44 (pp). 5, Hartford, Locke 27 (Brashear, Parenteau), 19:06. Penalties-Davison Low (interference), 0:54; Dupont Hfd (slashing), 4:52; Potter Hfd (tripping), 7:37; Nagy Low (tripping), 7:59; Robitaille Low (picking up the puck), 10:41; Couture Hfd (roughing), 10:41; Garlock Hfd (roughing), 10:41; Robitaille Low (interference), 15:53; Dupont Hfd (goaltender interference), 16:00.

3rd Period-6, Hartford, Dupont 15 (Parenteau, Locke), 3:31. 7, Hartford, Newbury 13   4:50. 8, Hartford, Sanguinetti 7 (Newbury, Byers), 11:22. Penalties-Byers Hfd (tripping), 5:05; Murphy Low (tripping), 9:20; Soryal Hfd (tripping), 12:47; Locke Hfd (roughing), 16:06; Stoesz Low (roughing, roughing), 19:15; Garlock Hfd (roughing), 19:15.

Shots on Goal-Lowell 11-8-10-29. Hartford 11-11-8-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Lowell 1 of 8; Hartford 1 of 6.

Goalies-Lowell, McKenna 20-13-4 (29 shots-23 saves); Frazee 13-14-0 (1 shots-1 saves). Hartford, Johnson 16-14-2 (29 shots-27 saves).

A-7,654

MEANWHILE DOWN IN CHARLOTTE
Charlotte Checkers VERSUS Gwinnett Gladiators

CHECKERS OUTLAST GLADIATORS, WIN 4-2
Pink In The Rink A Success; Charlotte Now 4-0-1 In Last Five

*          *          *          *          *

More than 11,000 fans attended the fourth annual “Pink in the Rink” and were not disappointed as the Charlotte Checkers downed the Gwinnett Gladiators, 4-2, on Saturday evening.

The Checkers are now 10-2-1 in their last 13 home games and 4-0-1 in their last five overall.

Aaron Slattengren potted two goals and an assist while Mike Taylor chipped in with one goal and two assists. Ryan Munce stopped 28 of 30 shots en route to his 19th win of the season and fourth in his last five tries. Newly acquired defenseman Trevor Hendrikx became the fifth Checkers player this season to score a goal in his first game joining Ryan Crane, Mike Harder, Randy Rowe and Matt Stefanishion.

Mike Taylor put the Checkers ahead 1-0 with his third of the season just two minutes into the game. Devin DiDiomete started the play with a big hit behind the net freeing the puck up for Slattengren in the corner. Slattengren then passed to Taylor who one timed the puck from the top of the crease past Gwinnett goaltender Danny Taylor.

The Gladiators would tie it up four minutes later when Dan Sullivan banged the puck home from a scrum in front of the Charlotte net.

Just minutes later, the Checkers were assessed two penalties 16 seconds apart and Gwinnett went to work on a 5-on-3 power play. Munce was solid, however, and turned aside several good scoring chances to keep it a one-goal game.

Charlotte took its second lead of the game with four minutes left in the period on a goal by Slattengren, his 13th of the season. Taylor poke-checked the puck away from a Gwinnett defender in front of the net and Slattengren fired a wrist shot into the top right corner past Taylor.

Just a minute and a half into the second, the Checkers would score to make it a 3-1 game. Stefanishion laid a big hit on a Gwinnett defender before dishing the puck over the Andrew Carroll. Carroll then fed Hendrix who made no mistake and fired it home low-blocker side from the high slot for his first as a Checker.

Late in the second period, Gwinnett cut the Checkers’ lead in half when defenseman Drew Paris caught a lucky break, skated around a defender and beat Munce high over the glove for his 11th of the year.

The Gladiators showed some desperation in the third period, down by a goal, and fired all they could at Munce, however the Charlotte goaltender stopped everything that came his way.

With less than 10 seconds left and Gwinnett’s goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, Taylor made a good play along the boards to keep the puck alive and Aaron Slattengren fired it into the empty net for the 4-2 victory.

The Checkers (33-20-7) will host Gwinnett again tomorrow (Sunday) for the inaugural “Pooch Party”. The puck drops at 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and 40-game packages start as low as $200.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. South Carolina Sting Rays 65 37 16 6 6 86 225 198 2-0-1-0 5-2-2-1 872
2. Charlotte Checkers 61 34 20 4 3 75 216 199 4-0-1-0 6-3-1-0 1296
3. Florida Everblades 63 33 21 4 5 75 205 191 1-0-0-0 7-2-1-0 1148
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 62 28 27 4 3 63 217 239 0-1-0-1 3-5-1-1 996

SCOREBOARD:
Nothing is worse in a divisional chase than when your two top competitors turn a game into a three point affair. That’s what happened Saturday night when the Everblades went to overtime and defeated South Carolina 2-1. In Trenton, Dean Strong tallied twice but was matched by a three point night by Tim Kunes and then upped one by adding an assist and the home team beat Kalamazoo 5-4. Wheeling knocked off Johnstown 4-1. In Reading, the Royals went to a shootout for the win despite Toledo’s Chris Robertson’s two markers. Tyler Donati had two goals for Elmira but came up short anyway in Cincinnati’s 4-3 win. Stockton got by Utah in overtime 6-5, ex-Checker Ryan Constant had a goal. ex-Ranger Alex Bourret scored again as Las Vegas knocked off Bakersfield 6-2. Idaho won on the road beating Victoria 5-3. Jon Rheault had a hat trick for Ontario and ex-Pack Brock McBride had a goal and an assist for Alaska as Ontario won in a shootout 4-3.

NOTES:

* The Checkers are 4-0-1 in their last five games and 10-2-1 in their last 13 at home

* David Marshall has four goals in the last three games

* Matt Schepke leads the team with a +18 rating

* Aaron Slattengren has seven points (2g, 5a) in the last five games

* Andrew Carroll leads the team with 24 goals and leads the ECHL with four shootout-winning goals

LINES:

Taylor – Leveille ©Slattengren
Schepke – Carroll – Marshall
Doig – Tkaczuk – Stefanishion
DiDiomete

Urquhart – Schaeffer
Ward – Hendrikx
Berube – Crane

Munce
Kreutzer

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

SCRATCHES:

Randy Rowe – Recall in Lake Erie
Matt Ford – Recall in Lake Erie
Julien Brouillette – Recall in Hartford
Ethan Graham – Recall in Texas
Kenny Roche – Recall in Providence
T.J. Reynolds – Undisclosed Injury – 2-3 Weeks
Chris Snavely – Upper Body – 2-3 weeks
Trevor Glass – Back Surgery – Season over
Codey Burki – Undisclosed – Season over
Chris Chappell – Shoulder Surgery – Season over

THREE STARS:

1. CHR – A. Slattengren
2. CHR – M. Taylor
3. CHR – T. Hendrikx

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Steve Patafie (29)

Linesmen:
Mathieu Chenier (71)
Mark Hamlett (81)

NEXT GAME:

Sunday sees the Checkers complete the sweep that they really needed against last place Gwinnett. Game time Sunday afternoon is 2pm. Jason Shaya will be at the Time Warner Cable Arena with all the action.

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:

Gwinnett Gladiators 2 At Charlotte Checkers 4 – Status: Unofficial Final

Mar 13, 2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena

Gwinnett 1 1 0 – 2

Charlotte 2 1 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Taylor 3 (Slattengren, DiDiomete), 2:15. 2, Gwinnett, Sullivan 13 (McLean, Hurley), 6:20. 3, Charlotte, Slattengren 13 (Taylor, Marshall), 16:05. Penalties-Urquhart Chr (interference), 8:32; Hendrikx Chr (hooking), 8:48; Miller Gwt (tripping, fighting – major), 17:27; Berube Chr (fighting – major), 17:27.

2nd Period-4, Charlotte, Hendrikx 7 (Doig, Tkaczuk), 1:26. 5, Gwinnett, Paris 11   15:26. Penalties-Fritsch Gwt (high-sticking – double), 1:26; Stefanishion Chr (double – roughing), 1:26; Crane Chr (interference), 4:52; Mifsud Gwt (slashing ), 14:04; Paris Gwt (high-sticking), 16:26.

3rd Period-6, Charlotte, Slattengren 14 (Taylor), 19:51 (en). Penalties-DiDiomete Chr (high-sticking), 2:01.

Shots on Goal-Gwinnett 9-9-12-30. Charlotte 7-14-10-31.

Power Play Opportunities-Gwinnett 0 of 4; Charlotte 0 of 3.

Goalies-Gwinnett, Taylor 17-12-2-3 (30 shots-27 saves). Charlotte, Munce 18-13-2-1 (30 shots-28 saves).

A-11,023

HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL

Hartford Wolf Pack puck     VERSUS      Toronto Marlies

Everyone will get asked at some point in their life if they see a glass of a liquid as half-empty or half-full.” Your answer is supposed to dictate if you see life as an optimist or a pessimist. That philosophical challenge also sums up how you’ll judge how the Hartford Wolf Pack’s weekend in “The Great White North” went. There were four possible points available to be had by the team that is fighting so hard to make a thirteenth straight appearance in the post season. The Wolf Pack came away with two of the four points. The question; was it a good weekend for the team or not?

On Saturday, the Pack lost in a shootout when their four best “healthy” offensive players could not score a goal among them and goaltender Matt Zaba was only able to stop two of the four. Sunday afternoon came a heartbreaking loss as Brendan Mikkelson scored on a controversial play with just 1.1 left in overtime.

Chad Johnson (24 saves, 14-14-2) was in between the pipes for the New York Rangers top farm team. The Calgary native looked to end a team record for futility having lost his last six straight decisions against a team that could play only put fifteen healthy bodies on the ice and has an even more difficult time putting pucks in the net than the Pack do, but as they’ve done so many times this season, they dug a hole for themselves that they had to dig out of.

Towards the end of a lifeless first period in which the Pack only could muster three shots on starting netminder, James Reimer (22 saves, 9-4-1), Mikkelson would tally his first of the contest with just 43.7 seconds left in the period. Alex Foster recovered a loose puck in the corner and fed the Marlie defenseman at the top of the right circle. Mikkelson wasn’t challenged by a Pack defender until Corey Potter came to try and block his shot. But with Potter blocking a bit of the puck and Ryan Hamilton screening Johnson, the Pack netminder stood no chance as the puck flew right over his glove and into the top of the net.

Intensity was high and with referee Jeff Smith, and his practice of not calling penalties in full play, liberties were being taken by both teams and nothing was called until 2:49 of the second frame when Justin Soryal was called for a blatant holding call that he had no choice but to call.

The Pack were just ten seconds from killing it off but Johnson could not control Kyle Calder’s shot from the right wing circle. The puck went off to the left side where Justin Hodgman was waiting and lifted a backhander over the glove of Johnson who tried to get across the crease but could not set himself in time to stop the shot by the Marlie centerman.

Smith made a couple of calls, first on Brennan Evans for kneeing and then with just 16 seconds left in the power play called Ben Ondrus for holding giving the Wolf Pack a brief five-on-three advantage.

While the team couldn’t do anything with the two man, they found the back of the net on the second half of the power play when two of the Pack’s newest acquisitions got them back in the game at 17:41.

Kris Newbury, who played for the Marlies for parts of four seasons, scored his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack when he took a hard pass from the Hartford’s other trade day addition, Anders Eriksson and one timed it from the left side of the crease and put it past Reimer.

Newbury has a goal and an assist since the trade that sent Jordan Owens to Grand Rapids and the assist was the first point for Eriksson since the trade.

The team’s play picked up once they got a taste of of offensive success.

With 27.8 left in the second, Bobby Sanguinetti took a cross checking call on Ondrus. As the period ended, the Pack had only had eight shots on goal total. But the team hadn’t given up. A good sign.

Hartford raised their intensity level to start the third period and it produced results. The penalty killers, last in the AHL, came through and they continually applied hard core forecheck pressure on the Marlies defenseman and were able to dictate play as they hadn’t done in a VERY long time and it finally paid off from the most unlikely of sources.

At 7:38, with Derek Couture pinned on the left wall fed the puck over to Donald Brashear. The Pack’s resident tough guy blasted a shot from above the left circle with Phil Oreskovic right in front of him and it may have fooled Reimer a bit and just like that the game was tied at two.

Brashear’s goal was his first since December 4th 2008 when he was with the Washington. He fired a backhander past Joey MacDonald, then in net for the New York Islanders, that broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game winner in a 5-2 victory for the Capitals.

Neither team was able to get a shot on goal but play went back and forth with chances in the extended frame. But as time was winding down and it looked like this game was headed for a shoot out, Eriksson had the puck in the defensive zone and was skating around apparently looking to send it to the shootout.

But Eriksson was clearly tripped and fell to the ice, and is the case with Smith and the whistle, no call came. When the puck was loose, Hamilton fed Mikkelson and he broke in alone and fired a missile past the glove of Johnson for the win.

The Pack picked up the point but still trail Wilkes Barre / Scranton (2pts),  Providence (3pts) and Bridgeport (6pts) for the final playoff position with sixteen games left to play.

Hartfordwolfpack.com is the place to find Bob Crawford’s recap of this heartbreaker. Toronto is the hockey capital of the planet. Nobody goes to Marlies games, but they get plenty of coverage. TSN.ca has a story from the Canadian Press. There’s a brief summary at TorontoMarlies.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

 

STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Sharks 63 38 20 2 3 81 213 190 1-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 1030
2. Pirates 64 35 21 5 3 78 193 170 0-2-0-0 5-4-0-1 1114
3. Monarchs 64 34 22 3 5 76 170 156 1-0-1-0 4-5-0-1 937
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 64 26 27 6 5 63 171 197 02-3-1 1-5-3-1 1292
8. Falcons 66 21 33 9 3 54 163 238 1-0-0-0 4-5-0-1 1408

  

SCOREBOARD:

Bridgeport won their third straight knocking off Manchester on a Jon Gleed goal 1:41 into overtime 2-1 in Manchester. Chicago won a shootout against Lake Erie 5-4. Andrew Kozek had two goals for Chicago. Ex-Pack Jeff Taffe scored with just 1:05 left lifting Rochester to a 3-2 win over Portland. San Antonio got two goals from Alexander Picard and they just crushed Rockford 7-2. Providence lost their first shootout of the season against Lowell 3-2. Hershey doubled up Adirondack 4-2 behind two from ex-Pack Boyd Kane. Cam Paddock had two goals as Peoria whipped Milwaukee 4-2. In Binghamton, there were ex-Pack all over the place. Chris Holt lost in OT to Syracuse 4-3. Ex-Pack captain Greg Moore had two goals and ex-Pack Dave Liffiton had the game winner against his ex-teammate. 

 

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.

* With a one-for-three night on the power play, that actually improved the team’s percentage, the Pack are still 18th overall at 17.2%. On the reverse, the team has the worst PK in the league and dropped further with another one goal allowed on four chances and is now at 79.1% On the plus side, they still are the leagues best team at scoring shorthanded with 15. Syracuse and Hershey (big surprise) both have 13.

* The Pack have not won two consecutive games since January 10th and 16 when they won both ends of a home-and-home with Providence. They only have one win in their last twelve games (1-7-3-1)

* Prior to Johnson’s streak of six consecutive losses, the record he beat was five by three ex-Pack netminders, J.F. Labbe, Vitali Yeremeyev and Al Montoya.

* Brashear’s goal was his first in the AHL since 1994-95 when he was with the Fredericton Canadiens. Here’s something that you probably don’t know about the Pack enforcer. He’s an accomplished Pianist and his uncle, the inspiration for the film Men of Honor (2000) starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro was based upon the life of Donald’s uncle, Carl Brashear.

 

LINES:

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

Eriksson – Sanguinetti 
Heikkinen – Nightingale
Brouillette – Potter

Zaba
Johnson 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized) 

 

SCRATCHES:

Dave Urquhart – Healthy Scratch
Nigel Williams – Undisclosed Injury – Day-to-Day
P.A. Parenteau – Flu – 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. TOR – B. Mikkelson
2. HFD – D. Brashear
3. TOR – R. Hamilton

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Jeff Smith (49)

Linesmen:
Kevin Hastings (61)
Matt Traub (88)

 

NEXT GAME:

The Pack will play their middle game of a five game road trip when they visit first place Worcester to take on the Sharks Wednesday night at 7:05. Bob Crawford is on the air half an hour earlier with the Pre-Game show.

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 2 At Toronto Marlies 3 (OT) – Status: Final OT

Mar 7, 2010 – Ricoh Coliseum

Hartford 0 1 1 0 – 2

Toronto 1 1 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Toronto, Hamilton 9 (Mikkelson, Foster), 19:16. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-2, Toronto, Hodgman 6 (Calder, Scott), 4:39 (pp). 3, Hartford, Newbury 12 (Eriksson, Sanguinetti), 17:41 (pp). Penalties-Soryal Hfd (holding), 2:49; Garlock Hfd (interference), 8:01; Evans Tor (kneeing), 15:27; Ondrus Tor (holding), 17:11; Sanguinetti Hfd (cross-checking), 19:32.

3rd Period-4, Hartford, Brashear 1 (Couture), 7:38. Penalties-Hodgman Tor (delay of game), 4:02; Locke Hfd (interference), 15:58.

OT Period-5, Toronto, Mikkelson 6 (Hamilton, Calder), 4:58. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Hartford 3-5-15-1-24. Toronto 10-6-9-2-27.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 of 3; Toronto 1 of 4.

Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 14-14-2 (27 shots-24 saves). Toronto, Reimer 9-4-1 (24 shots-22 saves).

A-3,730

 

MEANWHILE IN CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Checkers     VERSUS      Toledo Walleye       

CHECKERS OUTLAST WALLEYE FOR 2-1 WIN

Charlotte Picks Up Five Of Six Points In Three-Game Trip

The Charlotte Checkers scored two quick second period goals and hung on for the 2-1 victory over the Toledo Walleye on Sunday afternoon.

With the win Charlotte picks up five of a possible six points on its three-game northern road trip and opens up a five-point lead over Toledo for sixth spot in the American Conference.

Ryan Munce stopped 32 of 33 shots while Matt Schepke scored the game-winning goal, his third tally in the last four games.

Late in the first period, the Checkers went to work on a 5-on-3 power play however Toledo goaltender Alec Richards stood strong and turned away everything that came his way.

The Walleye opened the scoring 31 seconds into the second period when Evan Rankin let a shot go that deflected off the skates of a Charlotte defender and past Munce.

Charlotte would even the score at 1-1, with less than seven minutes to play in the period, when David Marshall took a nice pass from Jean-Philipp Chabot, cut to the left side of the net and flipped it past a sprawling Richards for his 16th of the year.

Just a minute and a half later, the Checkers took their first lead of the game when Daniel Tzachuk took advantage of a Toledo turnover and passed it over to a streaking Schepke. Schepke made no mistake and flicked the puck between the legs of Richards to go ahead 2-1.

Charlotte had a late power play chance toward the end of the second, but Richards made some key saves to keep it a 2-1 game.

With time winding down in the game and the Checkers holding a one-goal lead, Toledo pulled its goaltender for the extra attacker and went on the offensive. Munce, however, made several point blank saves to preserve the win and help Charlotte to a 2-0-1 record over the weekend.

The Checkers (32-20-7) will return home on Thursday, Mar. 11 to host Gwinnett. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and 40-game packages start as low as $200.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. South Carolina Sting Rays 63 36 16 5 6 83 221 195 1-0-0-0 5-3-1-1 858
2. Florida Everblades 61 32 20 4 5 73 202 187 0-1-0-0 7-3-1-0 1136
3. Charlotte Checkers 59 32 20 4 3 71 207 193 2-0-1-0 4-5-1-0 1243
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 59 27 26 4 2 60 207 227 1-0-0-0 4-5-1-0 953

 

SCOREBOARD:
A light schedule for a Sunday. Elmira came from behind to beat Johnstown 5-4. South Carolina, behind Rob Ricci’s hat trick, trounced Cincinnati 6-2. It only took 48 seconds into overtime and Oliver Labelle’s second of the game ended it as Reading beat Kalamazoo 6-5. Las Vegas defeated Ontario in a shootout 4-3.

 

NOTES:
* David Marshall has three goals in his last four games

* Michelle Leveille has nine points (2g, 7a) in his last five games

* Andrew Carroll leads the team with 24 goals and ranks tied for first among all ECHL players with three shootout-winning goals

* T.J. Reynolds leads the ECHL with 248 penalty minutes and leads the Checkers with a +18 rating

* Julien Brouillette and Derek Couture are up with Hartford (AHL), Kenny Roche is with Providence (AHL), Ethan Graham is with Texas (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)

 

LINES:
SlattengrenLeveille © – Taylor
Schepke – Tkaczuk – Stefanishion
Chabot – Carroll – Marshall
Doig

Berube– Reynolds
Dowzak – Schaeffer
Ward – Crane

Munce
LaGrand

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:
Devin DiDiomete – Healthy Scratch
Kenny Roche – Recall in Providence
Julien Brouillette – Recall in Hartford
Trevor Glass – Lower Body – Mid-March
Chris Snavely – Upper Body – 2-3 weeks
Codey Burki – Undisclosed – Season over
Chris Chappell – Shoulder Surgery – Season over

 

THREE STARS:
1. CHR – M. Schepke
2. CHR – D. Marshall
3. TOL – E. Rankin
 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Tim Mayer (11)

Linesmen:
Joe DeMizio
Bob Marcis (94)

 

NEXT GAME:

Wednesday night, the Checkers start a run of three consecutive, extremely important, games against last place Gwinnett. The Checkers really need to win all three. Jason Shaya will be on the air at 7pm.

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 2 At Toledo Walleye 1 – Status: Final

Mar 7, 2010 – Lucas County Arena

Charlotte 0 2 0 – 2

Toledo 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Stefanishion Chr (holding), 9:36; served by Peralta Tol (bench – too many men), 13:11; Zarb Tol (holding), 14:34; Reynolds Chr (roughing), 19:37; Keefe Tol (roughing), 19:37.

2nd Period-1, Toledo, Rankin 27 (Sawyer, Tanguay), 0:31. 2, Charlotte, Marshall 16 (Chabot, Carroll), 13:10. 3, Charlotte, Schepke 22 (Tkaczuk), 14:39. Penalties-Crane Chr (tripping), 1:23; Keefe Tol (holding), 4:04; Marshall Chr (high-sticking), 6:33; Reynolds Chr (slashing ), 7:04; served by Nebus Tol (bench – too many men), 8:13; Reynolds Chr (fighting – major), 10:53; Nebus Tol (fighting -major), 10:53; Dowzak Chr (roughing), 17:12; Stefanishion Chr (roughing, roughing), 17:12; Hedden Tol (roughing), 17:12; Keefe Tol (roughing), 17:12; MacMillan Tol (roughing), 17:12; Smith Tol (hooking), 18:19.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Tkaczuk Chr (holding), 11:24.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 12-16-4-32. Toledo 11-13-9-33.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 5; Toledo 0 of 5.

Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 17-13-2-1 (33 shots-32 saves). Toledo, Richards 16-10-0-3 (32 shots-30 saves).

A-7,084

“ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK…”

Hartford Wolf Pack puck     VERSUS     Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Frustration, Head Coach Ken Gernander agreed, would be the best word to describe how he feels after watching his troops play a hard fought game but come up short for the 33rd time in 59 games (26-26-3-4) as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Hartford Wolf Pack for the second time in three days 2-1 in front of 7,985 at the Arena at Harbor Yard Sunday afternoon.

“Last night (against first place Worcester, a 4-2 win) was a good game, a good effort,” Gernander said. “Tonight (Sunday) poor decisions, poor judgment. We can’t keep going up one step forward, two steps back. We gotta start making some progress and winning some games.”

The poor decision and poor judgment Gernander is likely referring too came on the game winner by NHL veteran Brendan Witt with just 8:07 remaining in the third.

Dale Weise, who was the first star of the game in Saturday night’s contest was the goat in this one.

“We’ve been stressing since day one that we want to enter the zone wide , challenge to the outside, don’t bring pucks to the middle of the ice.” Gernander said.

Weise did just that. On a break out during a four-on-four situation, Weise tried to come up the middle of the neutral zone only to see it go very wrong.

“You could see it develop in the neutral zone.” Witt said. “We had their guys caught and had a three-on-two. I just took the puck off Weise and ‘Flooder’ (Mark Flood) stepped up to give it to Mauldie (Greg Mauldin) and we transitioned real well.” The veteran of 14 NHL seasons said. “We had a good odd-man rush. I just jumped in the play and Greg (Mauldin) made a great pass to me and I just finished it. It’s always good to be able to contribute.”

Matt Zaba (28 saves, 6-8-1) was between the pipes for the New York Rangers top farm team. “It went over my pad and under my glove.” He said of the winning shot. “I thought I had it with my pad, but I should have just caught it I think. (Witt) made a good shot. It was a three-on-two odd-man rush so it was a good play by them. We got kind of caught, but that’s four-on-four hockey.”

“The ‘D’ always scores the big goals.” Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano, a former defenseman joked.

For the Pack, this one was no laughing matter. Once again, it came down to the Pack just taking too many penalties that changed the nature of their game.

“Discipline was a big issue,” Gernander said. “You can’t generate (offense) when your short handed. “I’m disappointed to only get two points (out of five games in the last seven days).”

“I thought some of the calls were bad.” Pack captain Dane Byers said. “I’m not going to make excuses and blame everything on the penalties, but a lot of the times it changes the momentum of the game.” He said. “We just took too many bad penalties.”

As you might imagine, Capuano didn’t see it quite the same way. “Some of the penalties that we got, we deserved them; same on the other side. You just concentrate and tell (The players) to stay disciplined and keep the shifts short you can stay disciplined in all areas of your game.”

As the first period came to a close the Pack began to bury themselves in a sea of bad penalties.

First Nigel Williams went off for a hooking call at 18:15. 1:32 later, Byers was sent to join Williams in the sin bin and gave the Tigers a 28 second five-on-three to close the period.

The Pack kept the Tigers off the score board as the first expired, but they were outshot 9-3 and did not look sharp.

As they came out to start the second period, the Pack still had 14 seconds to kill of a two-man disadvantage, but at 44 ticks of the clock in, Jordan Owens got called for a High Stick and put the Pack behind the eight-ball for 1:03 of being two-players down.

This time they wouldn’t get so lucky.

“(Matt) Martin was standing in front of me.” Zaba said. “I saw (Mauldin) shoot it but I didn’t see where the puck went after that so I just went down and tried to be big. (Mauldin) made a good shot. it was a good five-on-three goal for them. They made a good play.”

“You can’t give any team in this league that many five-on-three opportunities, especially after you just killed one off and you then you go right again after.” The Pack’s netminder added. “It’s taxing on our penalty killers. It definitely affects you for the rest of the game. We did a good job killing them off. That should have given us some momentum. I thought in the third period we really came out and took it to them. They got the one break that they needed and they capitalized on it.”

The Pack scored their only goal of the game with just 1:41 remaining on the clock in the second period.

Martin went to the penalty box to serve two minutes for a slashing call. It created a short four-on-four that bore no fruit for either squad, but when the Pack got on the ice for their fourth power play of the game, they would finally light the lamp behind the glass.

Bobby Sanguinetti, playing in just his third game after missing a month with a high ankle sprain, heeded the call of his co point man, Williams. The defenseman then blasted a shot/pass the missed the net wide left from the left point position. The angle caused a perfect bounce of the back boards that came to Locke on the right doorstep. Locke collected the puck and fired a backhanded shot over Lawson who tried to get back to cover the open side, but it was too late.

In order to try and generate some offense, Gernander switched up his lines to start the third period. It didn’t help.

“For four games in five nights I thought both teams played extremely well,” Capuano said. “It was a hard fought game; a lot of special teams; a lot of top guys from both teams played a lot of minutes because of the special teams situations so, I thought they were a little bit tired there at the end with their power play because they were playing so many minutes, but I thought it was a good hockey game.”

“We’ve got 21 games left till the start of the playoffs so we gotta get on a roll,” Byers said and then summed it up perfectly for his team. “Every game now obviously, everyone knows its a huge game. Every game now till the end of the year has to be the biggest game of the year so it’s like the playoffs right now for us. We gotta flight and claw for every point.”

Bob Crawford called it and then wrote it up at Hartfordwolfpack.com. Gerry Cantelon has his version at Eurohockey.net.  Not only a great guy, but a great writer, Mike Fornabaio has the Bridgeport perspective at CTPost.com 

 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

 

STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Sharks 56 35 17 2 2 74 191 169 0-1-0-0 6-3-1-0 911
2. Pirates 56 32 16 5 3 72 175 150 11-0-0-1 9-0-0-1 963
3. Monarchs 59 32 20 2 5 71 158 143 0-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 867
4. Devils 59 30 22 4 3 67 175 158 0-1-0-0 2-5-1-2 1101
5. Sound Tigers 60 27 24 3 6 63 145 161 1-0-0-0 5-3-1-1 1401
6. Bruins 58 28 27 3 0 59 156 157 0-2-0-0 6-4-0-0 955
7. WOLF PACK 59 26 26 3 4 59 162 183 0-1-0-0 3-6-1-0 1209
8. Falcons 61 18 31 9 3 48 147 221 0-2-0-1 2-6-1-1 1307

  

SCOREBOARD:

Hamilton got two goals from ex-Pack Tommy Pyatt en route to destroying Adirondack 5-0. W-B/Scranton doubled up Manchester 4-2 who got both of their goals from Justin Azevedo, Two ex-Ranger organization players, Jeff Taffe and Mike York had goals for the Rochester Americans as they won in a shootout ending Portland’s 11 game winning streak.  Defenseman Paul Postma had a hat trick as Chicago beat San Antonio 7-4. Grand Rapids knocked off Texas 5-4 while Abbotsford easily handled Providence 5-2. Hershey continues to just run over the rest of the AHL beating Albany 5-3 and Milwaukee and Houston both won 4-1 over Rockford and Peoria respectively.

 

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.

* P.A. Parenteau should be in the lineup next Friday night Springfield at home in the XL Center. Don’t be surprised if Mathieu Dandenault and Andres Ambϋhl are back in the lineup. If, as expected those players return to the lineup, it’s likely that Dave Urquhart will go to the press box, while Devin DiDiomete and either Justin Soryal or Derek Couture (the more likely candidate) head to Charlotte. Once the Rangers return to play the goaltender shuffle is likely to happen again. Steven Valiquette has a pretty bad hand injury so he is going to be sent back…on paper..from the Rangers. Miika Wiikman is likely to stay as the backup to Zaba and Chad Johnson who will do the back-and-forth in New York to back-up Henrik Lundqvist.

* Brendan Witt’s goal was his first in the AHL in 13 years.

* This time it wasn’t the penalty kill that doomed the team in red, white & blue. The penalty killers stopped Bridgeport seven-of-eight times in this one. No, this time the game was lost by the powerless power play that went one-for-six. Over the four games in five nights stench, stretch they played this week, the power play was an embarrassing 2 for 23 or 8.6%. The Pack have gone from a dominating team with the man advantage (which they lead the AHL with for nearly two full months) and dropped to 17th of 30 overall at 17.2%. For the record, the penalty killers are answering the bell at a 79.5% clip which is still last in the American League. On the bright side though, they still lead the league in shorthanded tallies with 15. Hershey is second with 12.

 

LINES:

Soryal – Dupont – Weise
Grachev – Locke – Owens
Byers © – Crowder – Roche
Brashear – Garlock – Couture

Williams – Nightingale
Urquhart – Potter
Heikkinen – Sanguinetti 

Zaba
Johnson

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Miika Wiikman – Healthy Scratch
Devin DiDiomete – Healthy Scratch
Andres Ambϋhl – Reassigned to Swiss National Team – Two weeks
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Day-to-Day (Technically on recall with the NY Rangers)
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Day-to-Day
P.A. Parenteau – Concussion – Day-to-Day
Michael Sauer – Shoulder Surgery – Season over
Brent Henley – Knee  – Season over
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season over

 

THREE STARS:

1. BRI – G. Mauldin

2. BRI – B. Witt

3. HFD – M. Zaba

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:

Shaun Davis (31)

Linesmen:

Derek Wahl (46)

Paul Simeon (66)

 

NEXT GAME:

After a big win, the Pack will look to build on that and take it right to Bridgeport for a battle with the Sound Tigers. Bob Crawford is on the air with the pre-game show at 2:30.

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.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Hartford Wolf Pack 1 At Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 – Status: Final

Feb 21, 2010 – Arena at Harbor Yard

Hartford 0 1 0 – 1

Bridgeport 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 0:43; Reich Bri (fighting), 0:43; Williams Hfd (roughing), 4:53; Joensuu Bri (roughing), 4:53; Dupont Hfd (tripping), 6:03; served by Figren Bri (bench minor – too many men), 9:26; Haley Bri (roughing), 13:13; Williams Hfd (hooking), 18:15; Byers Hfd (roughing), 19:46.

2nd Period-1, Bridgeport, Mauldin 20 (Flood, Moore), 1:23 (pp). 2, Hartford, Locke 24 (Williams, Sanguinetti), 18:19 (pp). Penalties-Owens Hfd (high-sticking), 0:44; Williams Hfd (delay of game), 3:31; DiBenedetto Bri (hooking), 3:56; Couture Hfd (roughing, fighting), 7:06; Martin Bri (roughing, fighting), 7:06; Soryal Hfd (fighting), 8:27; Haley Bri (fighting), 8:27; Dupont Hfd (holding), 13:58; Byers Hfd (goaltender interference), 15:18; Martin Bri (slashing), 16:45.

3rd Period-3, Bridgeport, Witt 1 (Mauldin, Flood), 11:53. Penalties-Soryal Hfd (misconduct), 3:29; Morency Bri (misconduct), 3:29; Reich Bri (hooking), 11:27; Byers Hfd (tripping), 11:35; Bentivoglio Bri (holding), 16:03.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 3-10-9-22. Bridgeport 9-11-10-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 of 6; Bridgeport 1 of 8.

Goalies-Hartford, Zaba 6-9-1 (30 shots-28 saves). Bridgeport, Lawson 11-11-3 (22 shots-21 saves).

A-7,985

MEANWHILE DOWN IN CHARLOTTE

 

Charlotte Checkers     VERSUS       Toledo Walleye  

CHECKERS AVENGE FRIDAY’S LOSS WITH BLOWOUT OF THEIR OWN 

Schepke Records Second Hat Trick In 7-2 Triumph Over Gwinnett
The Charlotte Checkers followed up Friday’s lopsided loss to Toledo with a 7-2 blowout of their own over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Schepke led the charge with his second hat trick of the season while Matt Stefanishion recorded four assists. Ryan Munce stopped 19 of 21 shots for some redemption after allowing seven goals to Toledo on Friday morning. Munce is now 6-3-1 since Miika Wiikman, the other half of the Checkers’ goaltending tandem, was called up to Hartford in late January.

With the win, the Checkers opened up a nine-point lead over the Gladiators in the South Division standings and pulled within one point of second-place Florida.

Kevin Schaeffer, who was returned to the team from Hartford (AHL) earlier in the day, opened the scoring for the Checkers with a one-timer in the slot off a pass from Stefanishion. The goal was Schaeffer’s second of the season and came at the 7:19 mark of the first period.

Shortly after the opening tally Munce made several key saves to keep the one-goal lead, including a beautiful kick save on a wraparound attempt by Gwinnett forward Tim Miller.

Charlotte would then take a two-goal lead, five minutes later, when Andrew Carroll, who was also returned from the Wolf Pack today, scored on a 2-on-1 with Michel Leveille. Leveille fed a pass through the Gwinnett defender and Carroll made no mistake, burying his team-leading 22nd of the season.

Early in the second frame, Schepke scored his first of three to give the Checkers a 3-0 advantage. On the odd-man rush, Stefanishion dished a pass to Schepke who beat Gwinnett goaltender David Brown low on the blocker side.

Charlotte then went ahead by four, just two and a half minutes later, when Tyler Doig beat Brown from the left point on the power play. Leveille and Julien Brouillette picked up assists on the goal.

Gwinnett forward Mike McLean was assessed a high-sticking penalty a minute after the goal by Doig and the Checkers went to the work on the power play once again. Doig took a pass from Brouillette and put a shot on net which was redirected by Carroll between the post and the arm of Brown for the 5-0 lead.

With less than five minutes to play in the period, Jean-Philipp Chabot centered a pass to Schepke who converted for his second of the game to put the Checkers up by six goals.

The Gladiators got on the board early in the third on the power play before Schepke completed the hat trick when he redirected a pass from Steve Ward to regain the six-goal lead.

Gwinnett scored a late goal but it wasn’t enough as the Checkers triumphed, 7-2, to get back in the win column and maintain sole possession of fifth place in the American Conference.

The Checkers (29-17-6) will embark on a three-game northern road trip before returning on Wednesday, Mar. 3. Puck drops at 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. South Carolina Sting Rays 59 35 15 4 5 79 207 181 3-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 819
2. Florida Everblades 56 28 19 4 5 65 180 169 2-0-1-0 5-2-2-1 1017
3. Charlotte Checkers 52 29 17 3 3 64 188 169 1-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 1082
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 53 25 23 3 2 55 183 291 0-2-0-0 6-4-0-0 852

 

NOTES:

* Charlotte is 8-1-1 in its last 10 home games…

* Matt Schepke has the Checkers’ only two hat tricks this season…

* Andrew Carroll leads the team with 23 goals and ranks tied for third among all ECHL rookies…

* T.J. Reynolds leads the ECHL with 213 penalty minutes and is second in overall plus-minus with a +23 rating…

* Derek Couture and Kenny Roche remain with Hartford (AHL), Ethan Graham is with Texas (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)…

* Trevor Glass, Chris Snavely and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve

 

LINES:

Doig – Leveille © – Carroll
Stefanishion – Tkaczuk – Schepke
Slattengren – Taylor – Marshall
Chabot

Brouillette – Schaeffer
Dowzak – Reynolds
Crane

Munce
Willerding

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Mike Berube – Healthy Scratch
Trevor Glass – Lower Body – Early March
Chris Snavely – Upper Body – 2-3 weeks
Chris Chappell – Shoulder Surgery – Season Over

 

THREE STARS:

1. CHR – M. Schepke

2. CHR – M. Stefanishion

3. GWT – M. Francis

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:

JM McNulty (21)

Linesmen:

Mathieu Chenier (71)

Ben Shiley (92)

 

NEXT GAME:

Another long respite for the Checkers. They are off until Friday night when they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Cyclones. They then will play back-back games in Kalamazoo again the Wings on Saturday and Sunday.

You’ll find in live in-game coverage 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 7 At Gwinnett Gladiators 2 – Status: Final

Feb 21, 2010 – The Arena at Gwinnett Center

Charlotte 2 4 1 – 7

Gwinnett 0 0 2 – 2

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Schaeffer 1 (Stefanishion), 7:19. 2, Charlotte, Carroll 1 (Leveille), 12:28. Penalties-Roberts Gwt (boarding), 3:46.

2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Schepke 17 (Stefanishion), 4:55. 4, Charlotte, Doig 15 (Brouillette, Leveille), 7:33 (pp). 5, Charlotte, Carroll 2 (Doig, Brouillette), 9:52 (pp). 6, Charlotte, Schepke 18 (Chabot, Stefanishion), 15:47. Penalties-Reynolds Chr (tripping), 1:27; Filangieri Gwt (slashing ), 7:02; McLean Gwt (high-sticking), 9:35.

3rd Period-7, Gwinnett, Francis 7 (Lawrence, Denny), 2:25 (pp). 8, Charlotte, Schepke 19 (Ward, Stefanishion), 6:57. 9, Gwinnett, Francis 8 (Denny, McLean), 14:08 (pp). Penalties-Reynolds Chr (slashing ), 2:20; Slattengren Chr (tripping), 11:38; Crane Chr (high-sticking), 13:23.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 9-9-3-21. Gwinnett 9-5-12-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 of 3; Gwinnett 2 of 4.

Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 14-11-1-1 (26 shots-24 saves). Gwinnett, Brown 8-11-2-0 (18 shots-12 saves); Taylor 14-11-1-2 (3 shots-2 saves).

A-4,571

PACK TIE TEAM RECORD…FOR LOSING

Hartford Wolf Pack puck      VERSUS     Bridgeport Sound Tigers

After getting blown of of four straight games by an aggregate score of 27-12, for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the fact that Friday night’s 4-2 defeat to the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers was a close and spirited game was at least a step in the right direction. However, despite the improved effort, it was still a defeat in a game they could have won had they not had mistakes throughout the contest that could have been avoided. The loss was also the team’s fifth in a row which tied a team record for consecutive losses that dates back to the 2003-2004 season, the only other team its been done in the team’s thirteen year history.

Head Coach Ken Gernander, who was Captain of the 2003-2004 team spelled it out succinctly when he said, “I thought we were more committed, but our margin for error isn’t very great right now so we can’t take any unnecessary penalties.” (Referring to a late call on Corey Locke). Gernander added, “There are no small things, so we have to be completely committed and fully and mentally locked in for all 60 minutes to give ourselves a chance. If we have to allow one goal a game, then that’s what we’ll have to do to get it done.”

What needs addressing however is the team’s total failures on special teams. The Pack power play, which led the AHL for the first couple of months in the season, has looked very bad. Using a dump and chase strategy requires a commitment to forechecking hard and using the extra attacker to gain control of the puck, but in the Pack’s case, the puck is getting chipped in and then after some time down low, the battles are being won by opponents and the pick is flying out of zone without the team even getting set up.  In the case of this game, the Pack could not even get their shots on goal. TO Bridgeport’s credit, their players were committed to blocking shots whenever the Pack did manage to set something up. For the game, the Pack were one-for-seven on the man-advantage including an extended four minute power play late in the game in which they got no shots on goal.

Penalty killing has been abysmal all season. While the team does lead the American League with shorthanded goals (14), the team ranks dead last when on the penalty kill (78.8%).

Another major struggle for the Pack this season has been their almost constant predicament of having to play from behind. The Wolf Pack scored the game’s first goal for only the second time in the last eleven games. NHL veteran Brendan Witt tripped Corey Potter at 2:38 of the second period sending the Wolf Pack power play on the ice for their second time in the game. It was team captain Dane Byers, who has been the Pack’s best player of late, who, after Nigel Williams kept the puck in the zone at the left point, gave it to Byers. From high along the boards, the Nipawin, Saskatchewan native avoided Sean Bentivoglio and saw Locke all alone on the right doorstep. Byers made a laser pass putting the puck right on the tape of the AHL’s third leading scorer who one timed it right past Bridgeport starter Nathan Lawson (18 saves, 10-11-3). The goal was Locke’s 22nd of the season and 15th on the power play.

The Pack only held the lead however for 3:46 seconds. After a faceoff win against Locke, Robin Figren sent the puck to the left point to Bentivoglio. The Tiger’s left winger threw the puck into the right corner where Figren came away with the puck out-dueling both Evgeny Grachev and Ilkka Heikkinen and took the puck behind the Pack net to starter Chad Johnson’s right. With Corey Potter eyeballing Figren standing in the Pack crease, Figren saw Jeremy Reich get open as Locke moved off the coverage and moved to the low slot. Figren saw the play develop in front and fed Reich the puck. Just seven seconds after killing off Donald Brashear’s roughing call, Reich roofed the puck over Johnson (18 saves, 14-11-2).

At 12:15, a bad change getting off and on the ice by Dale Weise and Kenny Roche led to a Too Many Men on the ice penalty putting the Pack on the kill for the third time.

It only took ten seconds for the Pack to fall behind as the penalty kill failed them. After a faceoff win, on the left side, the puck swung around to the left. Jordan Owens got tied up with Jesse Joensuu and the two fell to the ice. The puck slid out to Mark Flood at the left point. The Tiger’s defenseman ripped a hard shot that looked like it may have hit Heikkinen on it’s way to the net. Both the Pack defenseman and Greg Moore, the ex-Pack captain, were in Johnson’s line of sight.

The Pack went to the locker-room down a goal for the 27th time in 57 games. The Pack’s record in those games is now 2-23-0-2. When the team leads after two periods, their record is 19-1-1-1.

Hartford came out of the intermission with a collective look of determination on their faces and they made it work for them.

Potter started a break out of the Pack end by hitting Justin Soryal with a pass banked off the boards on the left side. Soryal advanced the puck to Dupont in the middle. Dupont chipped it past Flood where Weise hauled it in. The Winnipeg native then went to pass the puck but it hit NHL veteran Brendan Witt’s skate, went through the legs of Flood and came back into the corner of the right faceoff circle to Soryal. Flood went down, but Soryal’s quick pass to Dupont just inside the crease on the right side eluded the Tiger Defenseman. Dupont then one-times it right into the net as Lawson was helpless to do anything to stop it. Just 22 seconds into the period, the Pack had tied the score.

But when things are not going right, there just always seems to be something that comes back to cost them. In this case it was poor defensive coverage in their own zone that cost the Pack just 41 seconds later.

Anton Klementyev recovered his own rebound along the right wing boards and fed the puck down low to Matt Martin. Locke came over to battle with Martin and Bentivoglio whacked at it. Williams joined the fray in the far corner and knocked Bentivoglio down. In the meantime, that left the 5’9” Locke to tangle with the 6’2” Martin as the puck was moved in front of Johnson.  Grachev let Tyler Haskins all alone. Nightingale tried to go down to block the shot and Owens came over from the left side, but it was too late. Haskins blasted the one timer from the slot and beat Johnson low to the stick side for what would prove to be the fame winner.

The Pack would have their chances.

Ex-Pack Trevor Gillies got called for a double roughing call at 6:10 that the Pack did nothing with, but the team’s best chance came during a shorthanded situation that shouldn’t have been.

Coming up to the faceoff circle, at 14:14, Locke said something to linesman Luke Galvin that the veteran was not going to tolerate. Galvin called over referee Ian Croft and for the second game in a row, a Pack player selfishly costs the team a chance to get back in the game by yapping at an official.

On the ensuing power play for Bridgeport, Byers was defending against Reich at the right point and the puck got swatted over to the center. Ryan Garlock, in his first game back after missing eight games due to injury, chipped the puck past

Witt. Byers had a breakaway. The puck would not settle down on the ice and twice the puck jumped off Byers’ stick. It slowed him up enough that it gave Reich and Witt enough time to come back and alter the shot that Byers took allowing Lawson to make a pad save with 6:24 to go in the game.

Bridgeport would get an empty net goal with just 14.9 seconds left. The Pack were again on the power play for the seventh time. Johnson was pulled for an extra attacker creating a six-on-four personnel surge. Dupont and Roche both had excellent scoring chances rejected by Lawson. Locke recovered the puck to Lawson’s left behind the goal line and in the corner. Locke attempted to feed a wide open Potter at the left point. Potter only got a piece of the puck on the one-timer. The puck flew over his stick into the neutral zone. Trevor Smith, who had just returned to the play having just come out of the penalty box, raced out and grabbed the puck and put it away for the gift empty netter.

The Pack face a daunting task Saturday to avoid extending their losing streak to the worst in team history as the red-hot and first place Worcester Sharks invade the XL Center for a 7pm faceoff.

My mentor Bruce Berlet reports the events from the press box and locker-room at Hartfordwolfpack.comCTPost.com has the gifted Michael Fornabaio telling his story.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Sharks 55 35 16 2 2 74 189 165 4-0-0-0 7-2-1-0 894
2. Pirates 54 31 16 5 2 69 169 144 10-0-0-0 10-0-0-0 936
3. Monarchs 57 31 19 2 5 69 152 139 0-2-0-0 4-5-0-1 835
4. Devils 58 30 21 4 3 67 175 157 1-0-0-1 3-4-1-2 1095
5. Sound Tigers 58 26 23 3 6 61 143 159 2-0-0-0 4-3-1-2 1309
6. Bruins 56 28 25 3 0 59 154 148 1-0-0-0 7-3-0-0 931
7. WOLF PACK 57 25 26 3 4 57 157 179 0-5-0-0 2-7-1-0 1145
8. Falcons 60 18 31 9 2 47 145 218 0-2-0-0 2-7-1-0 1293

  

SCOREBOARD:

Joe DiPenta scored a shorthanded goal with 1:21 left as Portland knocked off River Rats at the Times Union Center in Albany. Hamilton, behind three assists from ex-Pack Tommy Pyatt beat Grand Rapids 4-3. Matt Taormina and Ben Walter each had three points (1g, 2a) en route to a 5-0 shellacking of Manchester in Lowell. Joey MacDonald made 21 saves to lead Toronto past Texas while the Worcester Sharks won their fourth straight with a 4-3 win over Binghamton.  Providence doubled up Abbotsford 402. Ex-Pack captain Craig Weller had a goal. At the Blue Cross Arena Manitoba rode a 32 save performance by Cory Schneider to a 4-3 win. Springfield got trounced by Norfolk at the Scope 3-1. Ex-Pack Alex Giroux had two goals but it wasn’t enough as the leagues best, Hershey dropped a 5-3 decision to Adirondack in Glens Falls. Ex-Pack Dave Liffiton had an assist but his Syracuse Crunch were defeated by ex-Pack Brian Fahey and the Lake Erie Monsters 6-4. Another ex-Pack, Hugh Jessiman had a helper as his Milwaukee Admirals beat Houston 2-0. Derek Armstrong, a member of the Pack’s Cup team in 2000, had a goal but it wasn’t enough as Peoria was upended by Chris Chelios and the Chicago Wolves. Matt Keith had a hat trick to lead Rockford past San Antonio 6-5.

 

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.

* On the season, Hartford has surrendered the first goal in 35 of team’s 57 games. 

* Samson in reverse. Ever since he cut his hair, Brodie Dupont has been on a tear. Sorry about the Dr. Seuss like rhyming, but in the last five games, Brodie Dupont has five points (2g, 3a).

* Donald Brashear had his first fight as a member of the Wolf Pack. At 8:54 of the first period, he and Joel Rechlicz tangled in what might have been the longest buildup before throwing any punches in AHL history. But once they did start to throw them, Brashear landed some powerful shots and came away with the decision.

* Kenny Roche, the former Rangers third round draft pick, is making a solid case for his staying in Hartford even after other regulars make it back from the IR. In 12 games, Roche has eight points (4g, 4a) and has been good defensively.

 

LINES:

Byers © – Crowder – Roche
Grachev – Locke – Owens
Soryal – Dupont – Weise
DiDiomete – Garlock – Brashear

Heikkinen – Sanguinetti
Williams – Nightingale
Urquhart – Potter

Johnson
Wiikman

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Matt Zaba – Healthy Scratch
Andrew Carroll – Healthy Scratch
Kevin Schaeffer – Healthy Scratch 
Derek Couture – Healthy Scratch
Andres Ambϋhl – Reassigned to Swiss National Team – Two weeks
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Day-to-Day (Technically on recall with the NY Rangers)
Michael Sauer – Shoulder – Day-to-Day
P.A. Parenteau – Concussion – Day-to-Day
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Indefinite
Brent Henley – Knee  – Season
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season

 

THREE STARS:

1. BRI – T. Haskins
2. BRI – S. Bentivoglio
3. HFD – B. Dupont

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Ian Croft (87)

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

 

NEXT GAME:

After losing five straight, the story line for the Hartford Wolf Pack for Saturday night’s contest against the first place and red hot Worcester Sharks is, do they lose six and set the dubious mark for futility.  Bob Crawford is 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.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4 At Hartford Wolf Pack 2 – Status: Final

Feb 19, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Bridgeport 0 2 2 – 4

Hartford 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Rechlicz Bri (fighting), 8:54; Brashear Hfd (fighting), 8:54; Wotton Bri (hooking), 14:31.

2nd Period-1, Hartford, Locke 22 (Byers, Williams), 4:02 (pp). 2, Bridgeport, Reich 2 (Figren, Bentivoglio), 7:48. 3, Bridgeport, Flood 8 (Joensuu), 12:25 (pp). Penalties-Witt Bri (hooking), 2:38; Brashear Hfd (roughing), 5:41; Joensuu Bri (roughing), 6:28; Byers Hfd (roughing), 6:28; Mauldin Bri (roughing), 9:04; Nightingale Hfd (roughing), 9:04; Soryal Hfd (elbowing), 9:04; Moore Bri (tripping), 9:37; served by DiDiomete Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 12:15; Morency Bri (hooking), 13:27.

3rd Period-4, Hartford, Dupont 12 (Soryal, Weise), 0:22. 5, Bridgeport, Haskins 6 (Martin, Bentivoglio), 1:03. 6, Bridgeport, Smith 17   19:45 (en). Penalties-Gillies Bri (roughing, roughing), 6:10; Soryal Hfd (hooking), 11:39; Locke Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:14; Smith Bri (boarding), 17:34.

Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 7-10-5-22. Hartford 7-8-5-20.

Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 of 5; Hartford 1 of 7.

Goalies-Bridgeport, Lawson 10-11-3 (20 shots-18 saves). Hartford, Johnson 14-11-2 (21 shots-18 saves).

A-4,154

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: February 16-21, 2010 AND ROSTER MOVES

The Wolf Pack (25-23-3-4, 57 pts.) dropped three Atlantic-Division games between Friday and Monday, remaining tied with Bridgeport and Providence for fifth place in the Atlantic.  The Pack fell to the P-Bruins by a 7-1 score in Providence on Friday night, lost a 6-4 GEICO Connecticut Cup verdict at home to Bridgeport Saturday, and then were downed 7-4 in a holiday matinee at Portland on Monday.  Dane Byers (3-1-4) and defenseman Nigel Williams (1-3-4) led the Pack with four points apiece in the three games, and Williams has at least a point in a personal pro career-high four straight games (1-4-5).

 This week:

The Wolf Pack continue a busy stretch of five games in seven days this week, which features three home games at the XL Center.  The Norfolk Admirals visit Hartford for a 7:00 game on Wednesday, and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town Friday night for a GEICO Connecticut Cup battle, on Guida’s Family Value Night.  The Worcester Sharks, the Atlantic Division leaders, invade the XL Center on Saturday night (7:00), before the Wolf Pack finish up the hectic stretch with a visit to Bridgeport on Sunday (3:00). 

Wednesday, February 17 vs. Norfolk at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

  • This game wraps up a four-game season series between the Wolf Pack and the Admirals, and the Pack are 1-1-1-0 in the first three games between the two teams.  The Admirals won the only previous encounter at the XL Center, 5-4, on January 27.
  • Norfolk is on a 10-2-1-1 run in its last 14 games and has climbed into third place in the East Division, with a 27-25-3-1 record for 58 points.
  • Goaltender Jaroslav Janus, who made 29 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Wolf Pack in Norfolk February 5, has won his last three starts, allowing a total of only three goals on 82 shots.
  • As with all Wolf Pack Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday-night home games, this night features $3 domestic drafts and snacks in the XL Center Atrium.
  • Radio – live with Bob Crawford in HD on WTIC’s 96.5 HD 2 and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and www.wtic.com

Friday, February 19 vs. Bridgeport at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

  • Being a Friday home game, this is a Guida’s Family Value Night.  Family Value packages start as low as $45 and include three tickets, three hot dogs or pizza slices, three sodas and a Wolf Pack souvenir.  Guida’s Family Value Night packs are available at the XL Center box office and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
  • At 24-23-3-6 for 57 points, the Sound Tigers are tied with the Wolf Pack for fifth place in the Atlantic Division.  Bridgeport has only two wins in its last 10 games, but has at least a standings point in six of those contests (2-4-1-3).
  • Saturday’s 6-4 home loss to Bridgeport was the Wolf Pack’s first regulation defeat in six GEICO Connecticut Cup games this season (3-1-0-2).  The Pack are 2-1-0-0 in three home games on the year vs. the Sound Tigers.
  • Sound Tiger leading point-scorer Greg Mauldin (18-22-40 in 53 GP) lit up the Wolf Pack for five points in Saturday’s Bridgeport win, with a goal and four assists.
  • Radio – live with Bob Crawford in HD on WTIC’s 96.5 HD 2 and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and www.wtic.com

Saturday, February 20 vs. Worcester at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

  • The first 3,000 fans into this game will receive a free Wolf Pack mouse pad, courtesy of Comcast.
  • The Sharks enter the week in first place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of Manchester, at 33-16-2-2 for 70 points.  Worcester is only 2-2-0-0 in its last four games, but has lost only twice in regulation in its last 12 outings (9-2-1-0).
  • The Wolf Pack have swept the previous three games between themselves and the Sharks this season, and posted a 4-3 win October 25 in the only prior meeting at the XL Center.
  • Shark eighth-year pro defenseman Danny Groulx leads all AHL blueliners in assists, and is tied for tops in the league in points among defensemen (8-33-41 in 53 GP).
  • As with all Wolf Pack Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday-night home games, this night features $3 domestic drafts and snacks in the XL Center Atrium.
  • Radio – live with Bob Crawford in HD on WTIC’s 96.5 HD 2 and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and www.wtic.com

Sunday, February 21 at Bridgeport (Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard), 3:00 PM

  • This is the Wolf Pack’s fourth of five visits on the year to Bridgeport, and they have a win and two shootout losses to show for three previous trips.
  • Radio – live with Bob Crawford in HD on WTIC’s 96.5 HD 2 and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and www.wtic.com

Recent Transactions:

Corey Potter – recalled from the Wolf Pack by the New York Rangers February 9, returned February 11, recalled February 13 and returned February 14.
Chad Johnson – returned to the Wolf Pack by the New York Rangers February 11.
Matt Zaba – recalled from the Wolf Pack by the New York Rangers February 11.
Andrew Carroll – signed Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement with Wolf Pack February 12.
Donald Brashear – loaned to the Wolf Pack by the New York Rangers February 13.

Pack Tracks:

The Wolf Pack players will be wearing specialty jerseys at their home games Friday, February 26 against Springfield and Saturday, February 27 vs. Portland, and the jerseys will be auctioned off throughout the February 27 game.  Proceeds from the auction benefit the March of Dimes, and the jersey design can be seen on the Wolf Pack’s official website, www.hartfordwolfpack.com.

The Wolf Pack will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with “Go Green Night” Saturday, March 13.  The Mighty Ploughboys will be performing live, as the Wolf Pack host the Lowell Devils that evening at 7:00.

At every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday-night Wolf Pack home game for the balance of the regular season, fans can enjoy $3 drafts and snacks in the XL Center Atrium.  Also, the Comcast Coliseum Club features a “Warmup Menu”, with $3 domestic drafts and appetizers, before every Wolf Pack home game at the XL Center.

Individual tickets for Wolf Pack games are on sale now at the XL Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations including Macy’s at the Buckland Hills Mall and at the Westfarms Mall. Tickets may also be charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.  Information on all of the Wolf Pack’s many terrific ticket options, including group discounts, season tickets, partial plans, Birthday Bash packages and more, is available by calling the Wolf Pack ticket office at (860) 548-2000, and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.

Every Friday-night Wolf Pack home game at the XL Center is Guida’s Family Value Night.  Family Value packages start as low as $45 and include three tickets, three hot dogs or pizza slices, three sodas and a Wolf Pack souvenir.  To order your Guida’s Family Value Night pack, visit the XL Center box office, or go on-line to www.hartfordwolfpack.com

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 next Wolf Pack game scheduled to be on WTIC NewsTalk 1080 is Saturday, February 27, when the Pack host the Portland Pirates at 7:00 PM.

The AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack is operated by Northland AEG LLC, a joint partnership between Northland Investment Corporation and AEG Facilities.  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 AT WWW.HARTFORDWOLFPACK.COM

________________________________________________

ROSTER MOVES OFFICIAL RELEASES:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that goaltender Steve Valiquette has been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and goaltender Matt Zaba has been assigned to Hartford.

Valiquette, 32, has posted a record of 4-5-1, along with a 3.73 goals against average and an .877 save percentage in 11 appearances with Hartford this season.  Valiquette posted a 4-1-1 mark, with a 2.29 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in a six-game stretch from December 12 vs. Bridgeport to December 30 vs. Springfield, including back-to-back wins on December 12 vs. Bridgeport (2-1) and December 18 vs. Toronto (6-1) where he registered a 0.99 goals against average and a .960 save percentage in the two contests.

The Etobicoke, Ontario native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2006.

Zaba, 26, has posted a 0-0-0 record, with a 3.56 goals against average and an .875 save percentage in one appearance with the Rangers this season.  He made his NHL debut in a 6-0 loss at Montreal on January 23, entering the game at 6:18 of the second period and stopping 14 of 16 shots, including nine of 10 in the third.  In addition, Zaba has dressed as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in six games this season.  He returns to Hartford where he has posted a 5-8-1 record, along with a 3.03 goals against average and a .905 save percentage in 18 AHL appearances this season.  He has posted a 2-4-0 record, with a 2.36 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in his last six games with the Wolf Pack dating back to a 5-4 loss vs. Norfolk on January 27.  Last season, Zaba ranked seventh in the AHL in goals against average (2.33), tied for eighth in save percentage (.920) and 12th in wins (25).  He also led the league in shootout save percentage with a .930% success rate.  Zaba was named AHL Goaltender of the Month for February, and he finished the regular season with a 14-2-0 mark and a 1.84 goals against average, a .937 save percentage and one shutout in his final 16 contests.  He made his AHL debut on October 18, 2008, at Toronto.

The Yorkton, Saskatchewan native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 20, 2007.