Tag Archives: Hamilton Bulldogs

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Two former New York Rangers/Hartford Wolf Pack players were on the opposite ends of the happiness scale Wednesday.

Defenseman Fedor Tyutin hit the jackpot, while center Marc Savard’s career sadly could be over far too soon.

Tyutin, the Rangers’ second-round pick in 2001, signed a six-year, $27 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who added free agent James Wisniewski in a major offseason deal and now have a top-flight pairing. Tyutin will have a salary cap hit of $4.5 million a season after getting seven goals and 20 assists in 80 games last season. Tyutin, who will make $3.425 million this season, would have been an unrestricted free agent next July 1.

“Pleased to announce 6 year extension for Fedor Tyutin,” Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “Fedor has been our top dman since we traded for him. He signed the deal this morning.”

On July 2, 2008, the 28-year-old Tyutin and defenseman Christian Backman were traded by the Rangers to Columbus for forwards Nikolay Zherdev and Dan Fritsche. Tyutin, who has 22 goals and 71 assists in three seasons with the Blue Jackets, is the only player in the trade since with New York or Columbus.

Tyutin averaged between 20:02 and 20:33 in ice time in parts of four seasons with the Rangers, but he has played at least 22:42 a game each season with the Blue Jackets. Tyutin also has represented Russia in the past two Olympics, getting four assists in 17 games. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 56 games with the Wolf Pack in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.

Meanwhile, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told Boston Globe writer Fluto Shinzawa that he doesn’t expect Savard to play this season. Savard, 34, the Rangers’ fourth-round pick in 1995, had two goals and eight assists while playing in only 25 games with the Stanley Cup champion Bruins last season, which started late because of symptoms from a concussion in 2009-10 and ended in January after another concussion.

“Marc Savard won’t play this year,” Chiarelli told Shinzawa. “Nothing has changed in our monitoring. He’ll be examined and he’ll be declared unfit to play.”

In the four seasons before his first concussion in March 2010, Savard averaged more than 89 points and was considered one of the top passers in the NHL. A two-time All-Star, Savard has five seasons remaining on his contract, but Shinzawa also reported Savard is not expected to be present for the start of training camp.

“Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I’m told, it’s very unlikely Marc will play again,” Chiarelli said. “Now, knowing the uncertainty of this injury, there’s always a chance [he could play]. But based on what I’m told, it’s very unlikely he’ll play. As an employer, I support him and hope he gets back to living a healthy life.”

It’s a sad ending to a blindside hit that Savard took from Pittsburgh Penguins’ noted headhunter Matt Cooke in a game on March 7, 2010. The on-ice officials did not penalize Cooke for the hit, and three days later, league disciplinarian Colin Campbell said the league would not suspend or fine Cooke. But the hit and its aftermath were part of the key evidence that caused NHL to institute a new rule more heavily penalizing blindside hits.

Savard sustained another concussion when hit by friend and former teammate Matt Hunwick of the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 22. In an interview with TSN on Aug. 1, Savard said he was still suffering the effects of post-concussion syndrome.

“It’s obviously been a long road for me,” said Savard, who had 24 goals and 63 assists in 67 games with the Wolf Pack in 1997-98 and 1998-99 before being traded to the Calgary Flames. “I’m still suffering with a lot of daily issues. Right now it’s been a tough go. I’m just trying to get through and not worry about hockey right now, just worry about my health because I have three young kids and they’re important to me.

“Mornings have been tough. When I get up in the morning I’m a little foggy sometimes. But as the day wears on, I’m pretty good. Hot sun is tough; I try to stay in the shade and stuff like that and pop the odd Advil and it seems to be OK.”

Wonder if Cooke has any remorse about the senseless hit he put on Savard? Probably not, but at least he couldn’t prevent Savard from having his day with the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Peterborough, Ontario, where he took hockey’s most prized trophy to a local golf course.

Here’s hoping arguably the most skilled player in Wolf Pack history can live somewhat of a normal life for the remainder of his days.

BULLDOGS TO HOST OUTDOOR GAME

The Hamilton Bulldogs will host the AHL’s third outdoor game at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. The games against the Toronto Marlies will be the first time in AHL history that a Canadian team has held an outdoor game.

“This will be a week-long celebration of hockey, with an NHL and AHL alumni game, local minor hockey games, culminating with a battle between the Bulldogs and the Marlies on January 21st,” Bulldogs owner and chairman Michael Andlauer said. “It is our chance to showcase what a great hockey community Hamilton truly is. To me, this is about more than just a hockey game, it’s about bringing the community together in celebration of what is truly Canadian; an outdoor hockey game between the farm clubs of the two most storied franchises in hockey, being played in a Canadian Football League stadium.

“We are very thankful in partnering and working closely with Mayor Bob Bratina and the City of Hamilton as well as Bob Young, Scott Mitchell and the Tiger-Cats to ensure this is a great success. With their backing, and the support of ’Dogs fans, ’Cats fans and all Hamiltonians, I’m confident that together we’ll easily break the AHL’s attendance record of 21,673.”

That would be the 21,673 that attended the second outdoor game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Feb. 19, when the host Connecticut Whale lost 5-4 to the Providence Bruins in a shootout. The first outdoor game was Feb. 20, 2010, when the host Syracuse Crunch beat the Binghamton Senators 2-1 before 21,508 at the New York State Fairgrounds.

“The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are excited to be involved with the Bulldogs for such a great event for our city,” Tiger-Cats president Scott Mitchell said. “This outdoor game will be a terrific way to kick off the 2012 sports calendar in what is the final season of historic Ivor Wynne Stadium.”

“Hockey fans in southern Ontario are in for a terrific experience as the American Hockey League goes outdoors for the first time in Canada,” AHL President and CEO David Andrews said. “Historic Ivor Wynne Stadium has been the site of many great Hamilton-Toronto games in the CFL, and now the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies will bring their intense pro hockey rivalry to what could be an all-time record AHL crowd.”

All Bulldogs season ticket holders will receive a ticket to the outdoor game in their package. Prior to going on sale to the public, season ticket holders and flex pack holders will have an opportunity to purchase tickets to the game. Tickets for the outdoor game will go on sale to the public on Oct. 11 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket prices will be announced in the near future.

“A new era of professional hockey has begun thanks to Michael Andlauer and the Bulldogs,” Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina said. “I encourage all Hamilton hockey fans to consider joining me as a Bulldogs season ticket holder.”

AVON’S DEMICHIEL SIGNS WITH KALAMAZOO

Goalie Jared DeMichiel of Avon signed a one-year contract with Kalamazoo of the ECHL but will attend the training camp of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. DeMichiel, 26, who was born in Torrington and played at Avon Old Farms, led upstart Rochester Institute of Technology to the Frozen Four in 2010, when he was 27-10-1 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .921 save percentage and had six shutouts in 38 games before signing a free-agent contract with the Washington Capitals. He previously played with the Boston Harbor Wolves in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, Springfield Junior Blues in the North American Hockey League and the Chicago Steel and Indiana Ice in the United States Hockey League.

In his rookie pro season, DeMichel was 2-1-0, 3.65, .873 in five games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, 14-10-0, 2.66, .913 in 26 games with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays and 1-2-2, 3.93, .889 in five games with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Now he gets to rub elbows with the reigning Stanley Cup champions, including star goalie Tim Thomas, before heading to Michigan. DeMichiel’s favorite sports moment so far is Kevin Dineen’s winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Hartford Whalers’ last home game April 13, 1997. Maybe some time with Thomas & Co. will change DeMichiel’s mind.

WSE EXECUTIVE TO BE HONORED

Howard Baldwin, president and CEO of Whalers Sports and Entertainment, will receive the Connecticut Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 2011 Community Leader of the Year Award at its Sportscasters’ Super Ball Nov. 12 at The Club at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

The black-tie gala honors state sports stars and community leaders while raising money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. The gala was established in 2002 by ESPN’s Joe Tessier and Chris Berman to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and includes dinner, dancing and a live auction.

“Howard Baldwin is the definition of a community leader,” said Paul Drury, director of special projects at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “He brings people together, simple as that. The Winter Fest at Rentschler Field last February is a perfect example. There were pee wee, high school and NHL alumni games, and thousands of fans to watch. But most importantly, he gives back to the community he believes in.”

Past Community Leader honorees have included philanthropist Mark Wilson, The Hartford CFO Liz Zlatkus, Open Solutions CEO Louis Hernandez and IAE President Jon Beatty. Former sports honorees have included: Geno Auriemma, Jen Rizzotti, Jim Brown, Steve Young, Brian Leetch, Luis Tiant and Dwight Freeney.

For tickets ($200) or to get involved with the foundation, contact Drury at 860-632-7300 or pdrury@cff.org.

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TWO MINUTES with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1South Windsor native and Houston Aeros captain Jon DiSalvatore has had the season of his life while leading the Western Conference champions within two victories of their second Calder Cup title.

DiSalvatore had a career-high 28 goals in the regular season and scored with 1:13 left in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals to give the Aeros a 3-2 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs and former Hartford Wolf Pack and New York Rangers wing Nigel Dawes.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

By Bruce Berlet

Former Hartford Wolf Pack wing Nigel Dawes was part of a Winnipeg native daily double for the Hamilton Bulldogs that was a large part of AHL history on Monday night.

Dawes notched his team-leading ninth goal of the playoffs at 6:24 of the third period to tie it, then Dustin Boyd scored only six seconds into the third overtime, ending the longest Game 7 in  the AHL’s 75-year history as the Bulldogs beat the visiting Manitoba Moose 2-1 in the decisive game of the North Division finals. Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

After the forgettable performance/effort in the opener of their only venture into Canada this season, the Connecticut Whale needed a serious gut check Friday night.

They got it from start to finish, scoring on their first two shots and then winning with 1:13 left on a goal by one of their major grinders.

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DIDIOMETE’S GOAL TAMES BULLDOGS

Connecticut Whale VERSUS  Hamilton

A great start and an even better finish sent the Connecticut Whale to their 25th win of the season with a 3-2 road win against the Hamilton Bulldogs Friday night.

Devin DiDiomete got his sixth goal of the season and first career game-winner with the kind of effort that has marked his three year professional career. It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done.

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WHALE HARPOONED BY BULLDOGS

Connecticut Whale VERSUS   Hamilton

For Connecticut Whale Ken Gernander this could not have been a fun last couple of weeks. First the parent New York Rangers took the heart and soul out of his surging team when they recalled six of his best players and then the Hamilton Bulldogs came into Hartford and gutted the rest on the ice  crushing the remaining roster 7-3 in front of 6,018 at the XL Center Saturday night.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

The XL Center could have made some serious money selling programs Tuesday if Connecticut Whale practice was open to the public.

Coach Ken Gernander and assistants J.J. Daignault and Pat Boller were in scramble mode again thanks to a plethora of injuries and illness that had a substitute goalie in one net and two defensemen playing forward with a junior player rehabbing with the Whale after offseason shoulder surgery.

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CATCH THE WAVE

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One of Howlings biggest supporters is Dave Romeiko, one of the senior Account Execs with the CT Whale. He is likely to be not only the top salesperson with the team, but he might also be the top salesperson in the entire AHL this year.

Dave let us know about a couple of upcoming specials for the team and we thought we’d share them with Howlings readers who might want to go to a game or two and save a few bucks. See the offers, after the jump. Continue reading

0-for-3

Hartford Wolf Pack puck     VERSUS      Hamilton Bulldogs

It was not a good night for any of the New York Ranger’s teams or affiliates. First the Rangers lost to the Alex Ovechkin led Washington Capitals 2-0 while in Toledo the Charlotte Checkers came back from a two goal deficit, then blew one of their own and got a goal late to go to overtime but lost with just six seconds remaining in overtime. Then to finish it all off, the Hartford Wolf Pack came back from a two-goal deficit themselves only to see it all go for naught when they couldn’t slip a single tally past the AHL’s best netminder, Hamilton Bulldogs starter, Cedrick Desjardins in the shootout and lost 3-2.

As Led Zeppelin once wrote, “The Song Remains The Same.” An injury to a key player leaves the team shorthanded in a skill position and then a poor start where the team has to dig themselves out of a hole. That’s been the common theme through almost all of this 2009-2010 Hartford Wolf Pack season.

The player in this case was P.A. Parenteau, who must have been injured in Friday morning’s skate because he was fine after Thursday morning’s practice, missed this game with an undisclosed ailment. Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander had the Hull, Quebec native lined up with opposite Brodie Dupont with Corey Locke in the middle in practice Thursday morning. It was a grouping that had shown some potential against Lowell and gave Parenteau his second hat trick of the season, the only two the Pack have had all season, but again, Gernander had to go back to the drawing board. Gernander’s decision was to slide Evgeny Grachev into Parenteau’s spot.

The other Pack ailment that still can’t seem to respond to treatment, is slow starts to games.

Take away the first five minutes of this contest and the Pack win the game. Unfortunately for Hartford, games are sixty minutes and not fifty-five.

Just 36 seconds into the contest, Max Pacioretty went to center the puck but it hit Aaron Palushaj then pin-balled off the goalpost where Ryan White got to it first, despite having Pack players right there and blasted it between the pipes. Pack starter Matt Zaba (25 saves, 6-10-2) valiantly tried to get across the crease but was there a moment late and White had his 15th of the year.

Hamilton elevated their game and were more like sharks than Bulldogs. They smelled blood in the water and went for it. It only took them 4:07 to double their advantage.

Alex Henry took a shot from the left point that was stopped by Zaba. The rebound went into the slot where it was retrieved by Mike Glumac. The Bulldog right winger fired on the net an hit the crossbar. The puck went behind Zaba and Grant Stevenson tapped it into the empty net.

4:42 into the contest and the Pack already found themselves down a deuce.

The Bulldogs had troubles of their own as two of their better players, Pacioretty and Greg Stewart left the bench area with injuries. It seemed to be a shoulder problem for Pacioretty while Greg Stewart reportedly hurt his back. Neither returned to the game.

But unlike other games where they simply fade away, this time they fought back…literally

Since referee Jeff Smith essentially shows up to get his check and seems like he doesn’t want to be bothered to actually call anything, it was up to the players to police themselves, and that they did. 2:12 after the goal by Stevenson, Dupont had had enough of getting whacked and tore a new one into Palushaj and spent the next five minutes to dwell on it.

From that moment on, the Wolf Pack took control of the game and made the most of it.

The second period was perhaps the best played period of the season by Hartford and paid late dividends.

1:19 remained on the home clock when Jared Nightingale rocketed a blast from the left side that wound up into the front corner left side of the net. The goal was Nightingale’s third of the season. Helpers went to Corey Locke and Grachev.

It only took the Pack 19 seconds to tie the game with beautiful play that newcomer Kris Newbury played a big part of in earning his first point since being acquired in the deal that sent Jordan Owens to Grand Rapids at the trade deadline on Wednesday.

Newbury fought through traffic and got the puck to Corey Potter on the right point. Potter fired a wrister on net that hit Desjardins (30 saves, 24-7-2) and bounced to the left where Weise was waiting to help escort the puck to it’s seat at the back of the net. The goal for Weise was his twentieth of the season. Weise set a goal for himself before the season of scoring twenty-five goals and it’s looking like he just might get it as he only needs five more in the next seventeen to get there.

The score remained tied throughout the third period and through overtime.

In terms of scoring chances, the Pack’s best opportunity came in the third period when Grachev was robbed in front of the Hamilton net and in overtime, Zaba was Godzilla-huge in keeping the puck out of the Hartford net.

In the shootout, the Pack were unable to solve Desjardins at all and looked completely overmatched.

Coming back the other way, P.K. Subban made the same move in his shootout attempt that was the same as the one he used at the All-Star game. The shot, where he comes up short and stops and then puts in the puck, upset Gernander and Zaba and they both protested the move as being illegal. Obviously that protest fell on deaf ears.

Brock Trotter also scored for Hamilton to ice the game.

Hartfordwolfpack.com has Bob Crawford’s game summary. We’re talking Canada so of course there’s coverage of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Garry McKay has the story in the Hamilton Spectator.

 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

 

SHOOTOUT
Hamilton shoots first for each round.
Hartford Hamilton
# Shooter Score
84 Corey Locke No
23 Dale Weise No
11 Kris Newbury No
19 Evgeny Grachev No
Score # Shooter
Yes 76 P.K. Subban
Yes 19 Brock Trotter
No 20 Ryan Russell
No 28 Aaron Palushaj
 
Totals: 0 2  

 

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 63 35 29 5 3 78 193 170 0-2-0-0 5-4-0-1 1114
3. Monarchs 63 34 22 2 5 75 169 154 1-0-0-0 5-5-0-0 933
4. Devils 64 32 24 4 4 72 190 177 0-2-0-0 3-5-0-2 1164
5. Sound Tigers 65 29 27 3 6 67 161 184 2-0-0-0 5-5-0-0 1517
6. Bruins 64 31 30 3 0 65 172 177 0-2-0-0 4-6-0-0 1008
7. WOLF PACK 63 26 27 5 5 62 169 194 0-2-2-1 1-6-2-1 1284
8. Falcons 66 21 33 9 3 54 163 238 1-0-0-0 4-5-0-1 1408

  

SCOREBOARD:

The Sound Tigers won their second straight and beat Providence 4-1. Sean Bentivoglio and Jeremy Reich each had two goals in the win at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Hershey did what they do best and won big knocking off Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-0. As usual, ex-Pack Alex Giroux had a goal. Rochester got a goal from ex-Pack and NY Ranger Mike York in the first and that was it, 1-0 over the Pack’s next opponent, Toronto. Binghamton only needed to spot ex-Pack Chris Holt a goal and he did the rest stopping all 25 shots he faced and gave the Senators a 1-0 win over Adirondack. Manitoba doubled up Grand Rapids 2-1. Grand Rapids was 0-for-7 on the power play at Van Andel Arena. Someone break up the Falcons…oh wait hey did…Falcons get a rare win defeating Lowell 7-5 on two goals from Chris Minard. Albany doubled up Norfolk 4-2. Portland scored three times in the third but it wasn’t enough. Brendan Bell had two tallies to lead Syracuse to a 4-3 win. Greg Moore had an assist. Chicago got past Milwaukee 2-1. Derek Armstrong was one of three who scored as Peoria beat Lake Erie 3-1. Miika Wiikman came in to relive Josh Tordjman after he gave up two goals on nine shots and the e-Pack and Checker stopped 25 of 27 shots but the damage was done as Rockford beat the Rampage 4-1. Duncan Malloy put two past Anton Khudobin as Texas defeated Houston 4-3. Last but not least, the first place Sharks beat Abbotsford on a Dan DaSilva goal with just 3:28 remaining and the Sharks defeated the Heat 2-1.

 

NOTES:

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

* Brodie Dupont, Corey Locke and Evgeny Grachev are the only Pack players to be in the lineup for all 63 games this season.

* The Pack are 12-9-5-5 in one-goal games and 16-11-2-3 when they outshoot their opponents.

* Of the remaining 17 games in the Wolf Pack season, only six are against teams with a losing record (Toronto –1, Springfield –4, Adirondack –1). They have first place Worcester twice (both on the road), Lowell twice (both home), Providence twice (both home), Bridgeport twice (one home, one, the last game of the season, in Bridgeport) and Portland once (on the road).

* Of the last 17 games 10 are at home and seven on the road.

 

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 – 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. HAM – P. Subban
2. HAM – M. Glumac
3. HFD – D. Weise

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Jeff Smith (49)

Linesmen:
Ryan Lachine (83)
Jesse Wilmot (19)

 

NEXT GAME:

The Pack are just about in a must win game now every night and they haven’t been able to pull it off. Getting into the playoffs in their own division is pretty much over. They still have a chance at getting in the East, but they are going to have to get hot in a hurry if they’re going to make a real run at it. Tonight against the sixth place Toronto Marlies is a game they should win…if they can get goals which lately has not been easy and now with P.A. Parenteau not well, that job just got that much harder. Bob Crawford is on the air at 3:30 and game time is at 4:00.

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 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (SO) – Status: Final SO

Mar 6, 2010 – Copps Coliseum

Hartford 0 2 0 0 – 2

Hamilton 2 0 0 0 – 3

1st Period-1, Hamilton, White 15 (Palushaj, Pacioretty), 0:36. 2, Hamilton, Stevenson 6 (Glumac, Henry), 4:43. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (roughing), 6:55; Stewart Ham (slashing), 11:17.

2nd Period-3, Hartford, Nightingale 3 (Locke, Grachev), 18:41. 4, Hartford, Weise 20 (Potter, Newbury), 19:00. Penalties-No Penalties

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Hartford 0 (Locke NG, Weise NG, Newbury NG, Grachev NG), Hamilton 2 (Subban G, Trotter G, Russell NG, Palushaj NG).

Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-18-6-1-0-32. Hamilton 10-9-4-4-1-28.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 1; Hamilton 0 of 1.

Goalies-Hartford, Zaba 6-10-2 (27 shots-25 saves). Hamilton, Desjardins 24-7-2 (32 shots-30 saves).

A-3,667

MEANWHILE IN CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Checkers     VERSUS       Toledo Walleye       

CHECKERS EDGED IN OVERTIME BATTLE WITH TOLEDO
Leveille Records Career-High Five Points

The Charlotte Checkers forced overtime with a late third period goal but were edged, 6-5, in the extra frame by the Toledo Walleye on Saturday evening.

Michelle Leveille led the way offensively with a career-high five points and his four assists fell one shy of a Checkers single-game record. Leveille now has nine points on a current four-game streak. Ryan Munce outperformed his Toledo counterpart with 45 saves but was unable to get the win.

Munce was solid in the first frame stopping all 16 Toledo shots, including a flurry of scoring chances late in the period.

Early in the second, Toledo opened the scoring on a goal by Akim Aliu who was sent down by Rockford (AHL) earlier in the day. Akiu let go a wrist shot from the left side that trickled in just over the goal line for the 1-0 lead.

The Walleye went ahead by two, 44 seconds later, when Mike Hedden wrapped the puck around the net, picked up his own rebound and stuffed it home for his 15th of the season.

Charlotte would then break out with four goals in an 11-minute span beginning with a tally by defenseman T.J. Reynolds. Leveille broke in alone, was stopped by Pearce but managed to pass the puck back to Reynolds, who one-timed it into the back of the net for his fifth of the year.

Four minutes later, defenseman Ryan Crane took a pass from Leveille in the high slot, stepped around a Toledo defender and fired the puck low on the glove side for his fifth.

The Checkers then took their first lead of the game with less than four minutes to play in the period. Leveille took advantage of a Toledo miscue at the blueline and made a nifty move before dishing the puck to Aaron Slattengren. Slattengren let a shot go and Matt Schepke was on the doorstep to bang home the rebound.

Charlotte went ahead by two with 29 seconds left in the period when Leveille beat a Walleye defender 1-on-1 with a toe drag and let a shot go that was stopped by the Toledo goaltender. Andrew Carroll, who scored the shootout-winning goal the night before, was parked in the crease and stuffed home the rebound for his team-leading 24th of the season.

Early in the third period, Toledo scored two goals 20 seconds apart before taking a 5-4 lead on Aliu’s second of the game with only three minutes to play in the game.

With time winding down, Leveille picked up the rebound off a Matt Stefanishion shot and beat Pearce between the legs for his second goal in as many nights and fifth point of the game. The goal came with just 41 seconds to play and set the stage for overtime.

In the overtime period, the Checkers had a chance to win, however a Toledo defenseman swiped the puck out of the crease as it was rolling toward the goal line. Then, with six seconds to play, Chris Robertson broke in alone on Munce and beat him on the blocker side for the overtime game-winner.

The Checkers (31-20-7) will continue their road trip tomorrow in Toledo before returning 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 62 35 16 5 6 81 215 193 0-1-1-1 4-3-1-2 848
2. Florida Everblades 61 32 20 4 5 73 202 187 0-1-0-0 7-3-1-0 1136
3. Charlotte Checkers 58 31 20 4 3 69 205 192 1-0-1-0 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:

Gwinnett scored three times and Florida answered with two in a wild first period of action at Germain Arena. Gwinnett hung on for a 4-3 win. It was Reading over the Johnstown Chiefs 6-4. Oliver Labelle had two goals for Reading, Sean Berkstresser had two for Johnstown. Kalamazoo scored in all three periods and knocked off Elmira 4-1. Trenton doubled up Wheeling 6-3 at WestBanco Arena. Idaho was lead by a five point night from Mark Derlago (2g, 3a) and got a two goal night from Tyler Spurgeon as the Steelheads put a whooping on Bakersfield 7-3. Ontario needed a shootout to get by Las Vegas 4-3 and Stockton got goals from seven different Thunder  players as they knocked off Victoria 7-3.

 

NOTES:

* Michelle Leveille is currently on a four-game point streak (2g, 7a)

* 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 239 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
Marshall

Berube– Reynolds
Dowzak – Schaeffer
Ward – Crane

Munce
LaGrand

 

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Tyler Doig – Lower Body Injury – Day-to-Day
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. TOL – C. Robertson
2. CHR – M. Leveille
3. TOL – A. Aliu

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Keith Kaval (20)

Linesmen:
Cilint Evans (32)
Ray King (39)

 

NEXT GAME:

By the end of Saturday night’s game with Toledo, tempers were running hot on both sides of the benches. Expect a barnburner with the Walleye Sunday afternoon.  The Checkers then get on the bus for a ride home to Charlotte where they have three extremely important games against last place Gwinnett. The Checkers really need to win all three. Jason Shaya will be on the air at 4pm.

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 5 At Toledo Walleye 6 (OT) – Status: Final OT

Mar 6, 2010 – Lucas County Arena

Charlotte 0 4 1 0 – 5

Toledo 0 2 3 1 – 6

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Slattengren Chr (roughing), 7:27; Rankin Tol (interference on the goalkeeper), 7:43; Taylor Chr (tripping), 7:56; Danis-Pepin Tol (boarding), 11:07; Stefanishion Chr (holding), 13:04; Peralta Tol (interference on the goalkeeper), 13:52; Smith Tol (cross-checking), 15:49; Reynolds Chr (hooking), 18:34; Peralta Tol (interference), 19:39.

2nd Period-1, Toledo, Aliu 1 (Robertson, Piche), 1:47. 2, Toledo, Hedden 15 (Keefe, MacMillan), 2:31. 3, Charlotte, Reynolds 5 (Leveille, Taylor), 8:50. 4, Charlotte, Crane 5 (Leveille, Slattengren), 12:41. 5, Charlotte, Schepke 21 (Schaeffer, Leveille), 16:31. 6, Charlotte, Carroll 24 (Leveille, Slattengren), 19:31. Penalties-DiDiomete Chr (fighting – major), 6:19; Danis-Pepin Tol (fighting – major), 6:19; MacMillan Tol (hooking), 6:53; Marshall Chr (holding the stick), 8:05; Carroll Chr (roughing, roughing), 20:00; Robertson Tol (roughing, roughing), 20:00.

3rd Period-7, Toledo, Tanguay 22 (Smith, Sawyer), 6:57 (pp). 8, Toledo, Keefe 1 (MacMillan, Hedden), 7:17. 9, Toledo, Aliu 2 (Danis-Pepin, Smith), 16:57 (pp). 10, Charlotte, Leveille 16 (Stefanishion, Slattengren), 19:19. Penalties-Schepke Chr (hooking), 5:23; Chabot Chr (fighting – major), 13:46; Piche Tol (fighting – major), 13:46; DiDiomete Chr (unsportsmanlike conduct, unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:29.

OT Period-11, Toledo, Robertson 14 (Aliu), 4:54. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-9-9-2-28. Toledo 16-12-17-6-51.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 6; Toledo 2 of 7.

Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 16-13-2-1 (51 shots-45 saves). Toledo, Pearce 12-13-1-0 (28 shots-23 saves).

A-8,000

PACK VANISH AFTER FIRST TWENTY, LOSE 4-1

Pack Puck Standing     VERSUS      Bulldogs

For the Hartford Wolf Pack, 32 games into the season, their play has been filled with a mix of peaks and valleys. Friday night they disassembled an inferior Toronto Marlies team 6-1. They then followed it up with a subpar performance against the visiting Hamilton Bull Dogs and dropped a 4-1 decision.

In a microcosm of the season, they were up and down in the same game with a variety of different efforts up and down the roster. “I think we have some of our players are playing a lot of hockey and really giving it all they got,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “We’ve got other guys that are content to settle into smaller roles and they need to puff out their chests, expand their roles and pitch in.” He then added, “They’re the best defensive team in the league, so if you’re going to spot them a lead you really have your work cut out for you.”

In the first period, the Pack came out with a solid effort all over the ice. They hit. They defended and put pucks on net. Between the pipes, Steve Valiquette was solid making strong saves especially on Greg Stewart’s opportunity in front of the net. Valiquette then stone walled Ryan White on a breakaway at 4:43 after he got away from Corey Potter. Later in the period (15:20) he froze White out again on a two-on-one odd man rush. Despite the great saves though, Valiquette (30 saves, 2-3-0) seemed to be battling the puck all night as he dropped the puck a couple of times in front of the net and gave up a couple of rebounds on shots that he would have ordinarily corralled.

Valiquette faced off against AHL and NHL veteran Curtis Sanford, The former Vancouver Canuck and St. Louis Blues netminder also had a big first period. While Valiquette was only called upon to snuff seven shots, all of them pretty good scoring chances, Sanford stopped all 14 shots the Pack threw at him. Sanford made particularly nice stops on the AHL’s leading scorer, Corey Locke and Derek Couture both saw excellent scoring opportunities extinguished by the Bulldog netminder.

“We had a good first period. I thought we did a lot of things well,” Gernander said. “But in the second period you make some little deviations from what we want to do, they start to mount up and we put ourselves in penalty trouble and couldn’t kill them all.”

The home team did manage to catch an early break to start the second period. Dale Weise was in the penalty box on a hooking call just :29 seconds into the period. The Bulldogs pressured the Pack penalty killers. Grant Stevenson worked himself free and found himself all alone in the front. The centerman should have scored, with Valiquette out of the play, but missed a wide open net.

Hamilton was very aggressive on their forecheck and pressured the Pack puck handlers. The pressure resulted in turnovers in the Pack’s own end, and it finally broke caught up with them. After Hamilton puck movement led to the Pack running around in their own zone, a slew of traffic gathered in front of the Pack net. The defense didn’t and couldn’t push them out, so when Mathieu Carle unloaded a hard low shot from the right point at 5:09, Valiquette couldn’t stop what he couldn’t see and the Pack trailed 1-0.

As has been the case through many of the Pack’s game this season, they battled back and took advantage of a special teams situation. After Locke took a holding call and Yannick Weber was tagged with hooking Weise, the two teams skated four-to-a-side for 1:36. Brodie Dupont and Michael Sauer got their team on the board. “Basically we wanted to put as much speed out there on the four-on-four as we could.” Dupont said. “I broke and (Sauer) made a good pass up the middle of the ice. I just head faked to the middle and caught him (White) off just a little bit and went around him and tried to get the puck on net.” Dupont drew Sanford with him across the crease and then flipped a perfect shot over Sanford’s outstretched glove on the short side.

But penalties have been the Pack’s downfall all season long. Hartford sits tenth overall in PIM in the AHL with 643 and with a PK unit ranking 24th out of 29 teams and successful just 80.4%, it hurt them in this one as well. “You’re not going to get into an offensive grove when you’re shorthanded and you’re using your best players to kill penalties and you over tax them because they’re shorthanded and they have to work twice as hard.” Gernander said.

With David Urquhart in the box on an Interference call, Valiquette came up huge with a highlight reel save smothering a hard shot by Andre Pouliot. But it just got worse when Matt Gilroy rushed his defensive zone clearing shot and put it over the glass just 48 seconds into the penalty kill at 10:29 giving Hamilton an 18 second two-man advantage. It would only take nine seconds for the Pack to trail for a second time.

After a face off win in the offensive zone, the puck found Benoit. The Bulldog defenseman fed the game’s First Star, P.K. Subban on the right side. Subban moved the puck to the game’s Second Star, David Desharnais low also on the right side. Desharnais then scored what would prove to be the game winner when he fired a puck on net that hit off a Pack defender in front of Valiquette and just like that, the Pack were down 2-1.

Another penalty, a roughing call to Jordan Owens, 1:24 later left the Pack short handed five-on-three a second time. This time for 36 seconds and they would pay for it again.

It was just one of those nights. Still down a player after working their way out of the two man disadvantage, at 12:42 Subban’s shot from the left point was initially swallowed up by Valiquette, but his struggles holding on to pucks continued as the puck found it’s way under the Pack’ netminder’s legs and crept out from under him and barely slid in over the goal line for Subban’s sixth of the season.

The period ended with Hamilton having put 20 shots on goal and the Pack just 4. But as the game progressed, Sanford just got better and better.

Hartford played slightly better than they did in the second period in the final stanza, but it wasn’t enough.

With just 4:51 remaining in the contest, White came out of the penalty box and Subban lofted a puck from the defensive zone that found the centerman’s stick. Gilroy, who had lost the puck to Subban, could not recover and White skated right by the Pack defender and came in alone on a breakaway and beat Valiquette over the glove for his fourth of the season.

The Pack are heading off to their Christmas vacation in sixth place in their division. If they are to make any kind of a run at the division title or at this point even making the playoffs, their decision making and overall team play MUST improve and become more consistent.

Brian Ring was in the press box for the Hartford perspective and writes it up at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  Hamilton is the minor league team of the Montreal Canadiens so they have no problem at all getting coverage. You’ll find stories at TSN.ca, TheSpec.com , The Globe and Mail. All three post the same story from the Canadian press.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Monarchs 33 21 9 1 2 45 95 70 1-0-0-0 7-3-0-0 469
2. Sound Tigers 35 18 14 1 2 39 87 88 1-0-0-0 6-2-1-1 852
3. Devils 32 17 12 3 0 37 106 94 0-1-0-0 5-5-0-0 600
4. Pirates 33 16 12 3 2 37 98 96 2-0-0-0 6-2-0-2 645
5. Sharks 30 16 12 0 2 34 84 92 0-1-0-0 7-2-0-1 477
6. WOLF PACK 32 15 13 1 3 34 92 95 0-1-0-0 2-5-1-2 643
7. Bruins 31 16 14 1 0 33 85 87 1-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 566
8. Falcons 33 10 16 5 2 27 799 115 0-10-2-1 0-8-2-0 765

 

NOTES:

* Hartford’s attendance is currently 22nd out of 29 after 16 home dates with the team averaging only 3,428 per game. Hershey leads the league with 8,849 per. Bridgeport is 19th at 3,651.

* Corey Locke is still tops in the AHL in points with 39 (12g, 26a) in 32 games played or 1.19 per game. Ex-Pack Alex Giroux has 33 points (11g, 22a) in just 21 games or 1.57 per game. P.A. Parenteau has 22 points (10g, 12a) in 15 games for 1.47 per game.

* The Pack could only put one past Sanford. The Bulldogs top netminder, Cedrick Desjardins is 94-1 with a 1.34GAA and a .948%.

* The Power play, which had been so fruitful for the Pack and led the league for much of the season has fallen to fifth at 19.7%. In the last five games they have gone 3-31 or 9.6%.

* 6-5-0-0 is the team’s record when tied after one, 0-11-0-1 when behind after two and 7-7-0-2 when being out shot by their opponents.

 

LINES:

Byers © – Locke – Parenteau

Grachev – Dupont – Weise

Owens – Crowder – Couture

DiDiomete – Garlock – Hoffman

Williams – Gilroy

Potter – Nightingale

Urquhart – Sauer

Valiquette

(Assistant Captains Bold & Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Andres Ambϋhl – Healthy

Justin Soryal – Facial Injury – Indefinite

Chad Johnson – On recall with the NY Rangers

Illka Heikkinen – On recall with the NY Rangers

Bobby Sanguinetti – On recall with the NY Rangers

Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Indefinite

Brent Henley – Lower Body Injury – Four to Six weeks

 

THREE STARS:

1. HAM – P. Subban
2. HAM – D. Desharnais
3. HAM – C. Sanford

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Geno Binda (22)

Linesmen:
Paul Simeon (66)
Brent Colby (7)

 

NEXT GAME:

The Pack are off now until next Saturday when they come back from their Christmas break for another GEICO Cup interstate battle with the franchise rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Game time is 7pm.

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

The Pack’s next home game is not until December 30th when they will play their last game of 2009. If you can attend the game for as little as $10 a ticket, why not just go? For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.

Or you can listen live at WTIC.com.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Hamilton Bulldogs 4 At Hartford Wolf Pack 1 – Status: Final

Dec 19, 2009 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Hamilton 0 3 1 – 4

Hartford 0 1 0 – 1

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Maxwell Ham (tripping), 6:01; Benoit Ham (hooking), 7:20; Conboy Ham (roughing), 13:12; Stewart Ham (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:12; Parenteau Hfd (roughing), 13:12.

2nd Period-1, Hamilton, Carle 5 (Henry, Desharnais), 5:09. 2, Hartford, Dupont 6 (Sauer), 8:06. 3, Hamilton, Desharnais 11 (Subban, Benoit), 10:38 (pp). 4, Hamilton, Subban 6 (Weber, Stevenson), 12:42 (pp). Penalties-Weise Hfd (hooking), 0:29; Conboy Ham (fighting), 6:43; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 6:43; Locke Hfd (holding), 6:58; Weber Ham (hooking), 7:22; Urquhart Hfd (interference), 8:46; Gilroy Hfd (delay of game), 10:29; Owens Hfd (roughing), 11:53; White Ham (roughing), 13:52; DiDiomete Hfd (roughing), 13:52.

3rd Period-5, Hamilton, White 4 (Subban), 15:09. Penalties-Stevenson Ham (interference), 3:17; White Ham (charging), 13:00; DiDiomete Hfd (roughing), 15:32.

Shots on Goal-Hamilton 7-20-7-34. Hartford 14-4-8-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Hamilton 2 of 6; Hartford 0 of 5.

Goalies-Hamilton, Sanford 9-5-2 (26 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Valiquette 2-3-0 (34 shots-30 saves).

A-3,370

MEANWHILE BACK IN CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Checkers     VERSUS       South Carolina Stingrays

 

CHECKERS DOUBLED UP BY STINGRAYS
Charlotte Throws 35 Shots At South Carolina, Loses 4-2

CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers scored two power-play goals but could not stop the league-leading South Carolina Stingrays as they were defeated 4-2 in North Charleston on Saturday night.

The Checkers have now dropped four straight to the defending champs after earning points in the first three matchups (2-0-1).

Kenny Roche scored his sixth goal in seven games and Michel Leveille returned to the lineup from injury, adding an assist.

South Carolina opened the scoring on the power play just over four minutes into the game as Keith Johnson took a shot from the left slot that beat Munce over the catcher.

The Checkers would tie it up thirteen minutes into the second period on a power-play goal by Kenny Roche. Mike Taylor fired a shot off the right pad of Stingrays goaltender Todd Ford and Roche was there to bang home the rebound.

Early in the third period, South Carolina scored two goals 30 seconds apart to take a 3-1 lead. On a turnover at the Checkers’ offensive blueline, Matt Scherer grabbed the puck, cut to the middle of the ice and beat Munce low-blocker side. Trent Campbell then broke in alone, took a shot and stuffed home his own rebound for the two-goal lead.

With less than four minutes to play, Charlotte attempted another late-game comeback as Tyler Doig beat Ford with a wrist shot on the power play. The goal came at the 15:52 mark and was assisted by Leveille and Steve Ward.

The celebration wouldn’t last long, however, as the Stingrays iced the game just 34 seconds later on a goal by Matt Fornataro.

Todd Ford stopped 33 of 35 shots for the victory and Ryan Munce turned aside 26 in a losing effort for the Checkers.

The Checkers (14-9-4-0) will once again host the Stingrays on Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com

 

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL GAME SHEET 

 

NOTES:

* Tyler Doig has eight points in his last eight games…

* Roche has six goals in his last seven games, including two game-winners…

* The Checkers are 7-2-1 in their last nine home games…

* T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 116 penalty minutes and 12 fighting majors and leads the Checkers with a +14 rating…

* Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Aaron Slattengren are on the 21-day injured reserve.

THREE STARS:

1. SC – T. Campbell
2. SC – T. Ford
3. SC – J. Godfrey

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Tim Mayer (11)

Linesmen:
Mathieu Chenier (71)
Paul Reid (97)

NEXT GAME:

The Checkers take another shot at South Carolina.

 

SCORE SHEET:

Charlotte Checkers 2 At South Carolina Stingrays 4 – Status: Final

Dec 19, 2009 – North Charleston Coliseum

Charlotte 0 1 1 – 2

South Carolina 1 0 3 – 4

1st Period-1, South Carolina, Johnson 12 (Kashirsky, Godfrey), 4:35 (pp). Penalties-Reynolds Chr (hooking), 3:58; Cascalenda Sc (tripping), 13:59.

2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Roche 14 (Taylor, Slattengren), 13:00 (pp). Penalties-Snavely Chr (tripping), 1:51; Marshall Chr (cross-checking), 5:07; Godfrey Sc (holding), 11:24; Kroll Sc (hooking), 16:44; Carroll Chr (holding), 18:15.

3rd Period-3, South Carolina, Scherer 8 (Ricci), 2:22. 4, South Carolina, Campbell 6 (Farrell), 2:52. 5, Charlotte, Doig 7 (Leveille, Ward), 15:52 (pp). 6, South Carolina, Fornataro 14 (Hauswirth, Godfrey), 16:26. Penalties-Reynolds Chr (fighting – major, game misconduct – aggressor), 9:16; Bruess Sc (holding), 15:33.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-13-11-35. South Carolina 10-12-8-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 of 4; South Carolina 1 of 5.

Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 5-4-1-0 (30 shots-26 saves). South Carolina, Ford 15-5-0-1 (35 shots-33 saves).

A-4,328

Referees-Tim Mayer (11).

Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).