Tag Archives: Mike McKenna

WHALE OBJECTION OVERRULED

Connecticut Whale      VERSUS      Binghampton

If the Connecticut Whale are going to make a serious run at a Calder Cup championship they are going to have to learn how to play with a lead and that it takes a full sixty minutes to win. Friday night in Binghamton, New York the Whale took on the Ottawa Senators top farm team and surrendered goals to forwards Andre Peterrsson and Pat Carrone in exactly sixty seconds and ex-Hartford Wolf Pack center Corey Locke would add an empty net goal in the final minute and the Whale lost for the eighth time in their last thirteen games (5-6-1-1) and saw their record when leading after the first period to 5-4-1-3 as they dropped a 3-1 decision in front of 3,684 at the Brome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

“I thought in the third period, when we pushed harder, we got more consistent offensive output,” Whale head coach Ken Gernander told the team’s Brian Ring afterwards. “In the first two periods, we tried forcing plays, we turned down shots, we didn’t put pucks deep and consequently we didn’t generate much offense. I think that was the difference between the third period and the first two.”

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CHECKERS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS   Albany Devils
Pistilli scores late goal to secure win, secure playoff berth

ALBANY, N.Y. – Matt Pistilli scored to snap a 3-3 tie with 2:49 left in the third period and the Charlotte Checkers went on to defeat the Albany Devils, 5-3, at Times Union Center on Saturday night.

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SHOT OUT

Hartford Wolf Pack Logo      VERSUS      Albany Devils  

The Hartford Wolf Pack played their first game on the road in this early 2010-2011 season and came up on the short-end of a 3-2 score, losing a six-round shootout 2-1 at the Times-Union Center to the Albany Devils.

Stephen Gionta rifled a slap-shot from the left circle right past Wolf Pack netminder Chad Johnson (1-1-0-1, 29 saves) to cinch it for the home team.  New Jersey Devils first Round pick, Mattias Tedenby had the other goal for for Albany. Mats Zuccarello had the lone Wolf Pack tally as Mike McKenna (1-0-1-0, 31 saves) stopped all five other skaters.

All of the scoring in the game came during a furious span of 4:49 in the first period where both teams broke through twice.

One thing that won’t be a question mark this season for the New York Rangers top farm team is their level of talent. This one has a lot of it and they are quite deep all over the ice. Ryan Garlock, back for his second season in Hartford, led Chris McKelvie and enforcer Justin Soryal on a ferocious forecheck that popped the puck loose. At 8:42 of the first, The Norwegian Hobbitt, Mats Zuccarello came over the boards on a line change and got right into the fracas. Nigel Williams shot drew a crowd to the crease, but Zuccarello put a shot that hit the goalpost came back and hit McKenna right around his ankle and snuck in over the line. For Zuccarello, it was his first North American goal. Garlock also got a helper on the tally.

The lead lasted all of 24 seconds as Jyri Niemi got caught out of position down low allowing Gionta a clear view of Johnson. The puck deflected off the Pack netminder from the right side over to Vladimir Zharkov for the easy finish. It was tied at 1.

Ex-Pack forward Chad Wiseman gave the home team their only lead of the contest. With Pavel Valentenko chasing Brad Mills behind the goal line, Nigel Williams abandoned his spot to Johnson’s left and went behind the net as well. This left the middle of the ice wide-open where Brad Mills made a centering pass to Wiseman who came right up the slot unimpeded and ripped it past the helpless Johnson to give the Devils the 2-1 lead.

Hartford came right back and pressed their hosts drawing a Slashing call on Tyler Eckford at 12:39 and giving the Pack their first power play of the game.

The Wolf Pack looked outstanding on the power play. They made sharp passes all over the ice and kept moving causing the Devils penalty killers to have to expend a lot of energy chasing. They controlled it in the Devils end the entire time and with Dale Weise screening McKenna, Wade Redden got his first American League goal and his fourth point in three games (1g-3a-4pts) when his shot from the right point got through traffic and found the back of the net. If Redden is to have any chance of making it back to the NHL, he’s going to have to light it up this season and thus far has been exceptionally solid, both on the ice and off.

Both teams had several good scoring opportunities. The Pack’s best chance came on an odd man rush with Dane Byers and Weise leading the rush. Byers perhaps made one pass too many after electing to feed Weise on the right instead of shooting himself from the left and the Pack’s best forward put his shot wide from in close.

Head Coach Ken Gernander has been stressing discipline on the ice. In the second he could not have been too happy when Weise took a tripping call and increased his time in isolation when on his way to the sin bin made one comment too many to referee Terry Koharski and was assessed an extra two minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and gave the home team a four-minute advantage. The penalty killers worked exceptionally hard and with some stellar saves by Johnson kept the score tied.

It’s unknown if Weise was given less ice time for his ailing wrist or if he was being grounded by the coach, but Weise saw limited action the rest of the game.

Albany’s best scoring chance came with 5:05 remaining in regulation when Johnson stopped Tedenby on a 3-on-1 odd man rush to send the game into extra time.

Despite three man-up opportunities to a lone Brodie Dupont roughing call, the Pack could not find the tie=breaker in the final frame. Neither team generated much in the four-on-four extra five minutes.

In the shootout, Zuccarello put a great move on McKenna and put it into the twine, but none of the five other Pack attempts from Tim Kennedy, Jeremy Williams, Kris Newbury, Weise or Evgeny Grachev could find their way behind McKenna.

Johnson stopped Adam Henrique’s shot with his pad, but then Tedenby got a backhander past him. After stopping Michael Swift with his glove and David McIntyre with his pad and Alexander Vasyunov’s backhanded shot, Gionta put the game away with his slapper in close.

Hartford travels to Bridgeport for a Saturday night tilt (7pm) and then it’s off to Providence for a 4:05 starting time with the Bruins to close out the road trip and the busy weekend.

Bob Crawford recounts the action at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  Pete Dougherty has a quick summary at TimesUnion.com. For the full perspective Buzz Gray recounts the Devils perspective.

SHOOTOUT
Hartford shoots first for each round.
Hartford Albany
# Shooter Score
36 Mats Zuccarello Yes
13 Tim Kennedy No
18 Jeremy Williams No
11 Kris Newbury No
23 Dale Weise No
91 Evgeny Grachev No
Score # Shooter
No 17 Adam Henrique
Yes 9 Mattias Tedenby
No 23 Michael Swift
No 26 David McIntyre
No 24 Alexander Vasyunov
Yes 11 Stephen Gionta
 
Totals: 1 2  

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET 

NOTES:

*Kelsey Tessier entered the game as the third highest scoring rookie with four points (2g, 2a). Tessier was also the Pack’s leading scorer as well.

* The Pack entered the game tenth on the power play at 22.2% but 27th on the PK with just a 71.4% success rate.

LINES:

Byers ©Newbury – Weise
Zuccarello – Kennedy – J. Williams
Dupont – Grachev – Tessier
Soryal – Garlock – McKelvie

Redden – Niemi
Kundratek – McDonagh
Valentenko – N. Williams

Johnson
Talbot

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

SCRATCHES:

Devin DiDiomete – Lower body – Month
Jared Nightingale – Foot – Day-to-Day
Lee Baldwin – Healthy Scratch
Brandon Wong – Healthy Scratch

THREE STARS:

1. ALB – M. McKenna
2. ALB – S. Gionta
3. ALB – M. Tedenby

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Terry Koharski (10)

Linesmen:
Luke Galvin (2)
Frank Murphy (29)

NEXT GAME:

No time for sitting around thinking about it. The Wolf Pack go onto game two of their three-in-three weekend as they travel to Bridgeport for a battle with the rival Sound Tigers. Game is at 7. Bob Crawford is on the air at 6:30pm.

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

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 Albany Devils 3 (SO) – Status: Final SO
Friday, October 15, 2010 – Times Union Center

Hartford 2 0 0 0 – 2
Albany 2 0 0 0 – 3

1st Period-1, Hartford, Zuccarello 1 (Williams, Garlock), 8:42. 2, Albany, Zharkov 1 (Gionta, McIntyre), 9:06. 3, Albany, Wiseman 1 (Mills, Davis), 10:32. 4, Hartford, Redden 1 (Williams, Newbury), 13:31 (PP). Penalties-Eckford Alb (slashing), 12:39; Davison Alb (roughing), 19:21.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kennedy Hfd (boarding), 6:37; served by Zuccarello Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 8:21; Weise Hfd (tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:04.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Magnan Alb (slashing), 6:34; Kelly Alb (boarding), 11:26; Dupont Hfd (roughing), 15:01; Robitaille Alb (delay of game), 17:33.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Hartford 1 (Zuccarello G, Kennedy NG, Williams NG, Newbury NG, Weise NG, Grachev NG), Albany 2 (Henrique NG, Tedenby G, Swift NG, McIntyre NG, Vasyunov NG, Gionta G).

Shots on Goal-Hartford 14-4-12-3-0-33. Albany 8-12-9-2-1-32.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Albany 0 / 5.

Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 1-1-1 (31 shots-29 saves). Albany, McKenna 1-0-0 (33 shots-31 saves).

A-2,183

Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Frank Murphy (29).

BRODIE DUPONT, DEVILS EXORCIST

Hartford Wolf Pack puck     VERSUS      Lowell Devils

Brodie Dupont scored his second goal of the game with just 19.9 seconds remaining in overtime giving the Wolf Pack their eighth overtime win of the season 3-2 over the Lowell Devils.

In their second visit of the season to the Prudential Center in New Jersey where the Devils parent club resides, the winning goal came off a three-on-two odd man rush. Jordan Owens came up the right wing side and fed Brodie Dupont in the slot. Dupont uncorked a blast that hit Devils starting netminder Mike McKenna (25 saves, 16-9-1) in his glove. McKenna didn’t get all of the shot and the force of the it carried the puck past the Devils netminder for the game winner.

Referee Mark Lemelin made his presence felt and had a say in the way the game was played. He was unable to remove the whistle from his mouth all night, not a good sign for the Pack. Lowell entered the game with the AHL’s best power play capitalizing 22.6% of the time while the Pack have been mired near the bottom all season on the penalty kill. The Pack entered the game 23rd overall on the penalty kill at 80.7% and it cost them early in the game.

At 15:32 of the first period, Pack defenseman Nigel Williams went off for hooking. The call negated a Pack power play and and created a four-on-four for 43 seconds. After Nathan Perkovich escaped his solitary confinement, the Devils had the man up and it only took them five seconds to put the puck past Pack starter Matt Zaba. Nick Palmieri took a loose puck in his own zone and sprung Tim Sestito up the left wing side. The bang-bang play created issues for the Pack as their forwards were caught behind the play. Sestito fired from the left wing circle and put it perfectly over Zaba’s right shoulder and into the top corner of the cage for the 1-0 lead.

It stayed that way until  4:14 of the second period when the Pack were able to get the donut off the board.

Devin DiDiomete, who continues to try and make the most of the limited minutes he’s been seeing, made a solid outlet pass to Owens. Owens advanced the puck into the right wing corner and saw linemate Derek Couture driving hard to the net ahead of Brad Snetsinger. Owens made a fantastic feed that hit Couture’s stick perfectly and the Checkers call-up slid it right under McKenna for his sixth of the year.

In the second, despite being outshot 12-5 by Lowell, the Pack played very solid defensively especially Jared Nightingale who had perhaps his best game in a Pack sweater.

The third period saw the Pack come out with a different attitude and they just took the game right to their hosts and their hosts’ net.

Six minutes into the period the Pack almost scored when Nightingale’s shot from in front got behind McKenna, but the Devils’ netminder was able to get back and cover it.

After having stopped five of six Lowell power plays, and having failed on six of their own, the Pack finally cashed one in for the first time in their previous 14 tries.

Dane Byers fed Corey Locke on the right wing side. Locke looked across the ice and as has been the set play for a while now, Dupont crashed the net from the left side and got in front of Matthew Corrente. Locke saw it and put a pass right on the stick of Dupont who deflected it in past McKenna for his ninth of the season.

The Pack could feel their five game winless streak (0-4-1-0) coming to a close as they only had to keep third place Lowell off the board for 7:44, but that wouldn’t happen.

With McKenna pulled for an extra attacker and with just 1:07 remaining in regulation, Cory Murphy blasted a hard slap-shot from the left point that Perkovich, stationed in front of Zaba, deflected in sending the game to overtime.

The Pack left Newark…can you blame them…and headed south for a two-game battle with the Norfolk Admirals on Friday and Saturday nights.

Bob Crawford masterfully called the action and then wrote the summary at Hartfordwolfpack.comThe Eagle Tribune has a brief recap from Lowell’s eyes.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA STK P 10 PIM
1. Monarchs 51 29 15 2 5 65 139 119 0-1-0-0 4-4-1-1 753
2. Sharks 48 30 14 2 2 64 160 148 6-0-1-0 7-1-2-0 750
3. Devils 51 29 17 4 1 63 162 134 2-0-1-0 6-2-1-1 969
4. Pirates 48 25 16 5 2 57 144 130 4-0-0-0 7-2-1-0 871
5.WOLF PACK 50 24 20 2 4 54 136 144 1-0-0-0 4-5-1-0 1017
6. Sound Tigers 51 22 21 2 6 52 121 134 0-2-0-3 1-4-1-4 1161
7. Bruins 49 23 23 3 0 49 125 129 2-0-0-0 4-4-2-0 791
8. Falcons 53 16 27 8 2 42 129 193 0-3-0-0 4-6-0-0 1136

 

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 overtime win gave the Pack the most wins in the extended frame than any other in the AHL.

* Dupont’s game winner was his second of the season. He also rang up a goal that was the difference on November 6th when the Pack beat Providence 5-3.

 

LINES:

Byers ©LockeWeise
Grachev – Dupont – Roche
Soryal – Crowder – Ambϋhl
DiDiomete – Owens – Couture

Heikkinen – Brouillette
Williams – Schaeffer
Urquhart – Nightingale

Zaba
Wiikman

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

 

SCRATCHES:

Ryan Garlock – Undisclosed – Day-to-Day
Steven Valiquette – Hand Injury – Day-to-Day
Michael Sauer – Undisclosed – Day-to-Day
Bobby Sanguinetti – Lower Body – Day-to-Day
Corey Potter – Concussion – Indefinite
P.A. Parenteau – Concussion – Indefinite
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Indefinite
Chad Johnson – On recall with the NY Rangers
Brent Henley – Knee  – Season
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season

 

THREE STARS:

1. HFD – B. Dupont
2. HFD – M. Zaba
3. LOW – N. Perkovich

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Mark Lemelin (84)

Linesmen:
Scott Adams (20)
Mike McDevitt (13)

 

NEXT GAME:
”On the Road Again…” The good guys are headed to Virginia for two games Friday and Saturday with the Norfolk Admirals. Bob Crawford will have the pre-game at 6:30 and then the call of the contest starting at 7:05
To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

If you can attend the cost is as little as $10 a ticket, why not just go? For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.

Too far away or can’t make it? Listen live at WTIC.com.

 

SCORE-SHEET:

Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (OT) At Lowell Devils 2 – Status: Final OT

Feb 3, 2010 – Prudential Center

Hartford 0 1 1 1 – 3

Lowell 1 0 1 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Lowell, Sestito 15 (Palmieri), 16:19 (pp). Penalties-DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 3:19; Robitaille Low (fighting), 3:19; Taormina Low (holding the stick), 4:42; Couture Hfd (fighting), 7:26; Stoesz Low (fighting), 7:26; Williams Hfd (tripping), 9:36; Perkovich Low (interference), 14:14; Williams Hfd (hooking), 15:32; Thomas Low (hooking), 16:34; Swift Low (holding), 19:37.

2nd Period-2, Hartford, Couture 6 (Owens, DiDiomete), 4:14. Penalties-Brouillette Hfd (hooking), 4:50; Ambuhl Hfd (tripping), 7:02; Stoesz Low (cross-checking), 10:03; Owens Hfd (hooking), 12:33; Byers Hfd (hooking), 15:52.

3rd Period-3, Hartford, Dupont 9 (Locke, Byers), 12:16 (pp). 4, Lowell, Perkovich 12 (Murphy, Taormina), 18:53. Penalties-Davison Low (high-sticking), 0:22; Snetsinger Low (goaltender interference), 11:52.

OT Period-5, Hartford, Dupont 10 (Owens), 4:40. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-5-10-3-28. Lowell 13-12-13-1-39.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 of 7; Lowell 1 of 6.

Goalies-Hartford, Zaba 4-7-1 (39 shots-37 saves). Lowell, McKenna 16-9-1 (28 shots-25 saves).

A-5,458

 

MEANWHILE BACK IN CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Checkers Lots of News from Charlotte today. One concerns an old friend and the other, man’s best friend and the last concerns a new talented face for the lineup.

Matt Stefanishion has been acquired by the Charlotte Checkers. Stefanishion played 15 games back with the Wolf Pack in 2008-2009 and scored a goal and had 17 PIM. The team also announced the arrival of Cedric McNicoll from the Lake Erie Monsters. Meanwhile the Checkers also announced perhaps the most creative promotion that we’ve ever heard of. Read the official release below and then Stefanishion and McNicoll’s releases follow.

 

CHECKERS TO HOST INAUGURAL POOCH PARTY

Fans Encouraged To Bring Their Dogs To Mar. 14 Game

The Charlotte Checkers announced today that they have partnered with the Humane Society of Charlotte to present the inaugural “Pooch Party” at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday, Mar. 14 at 2 p.m. when they host the Gwinnett Gladiators.

Dog owners from throughout the Charlotte area are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to the Checkers game to enjoy the excitement together and raise funds for a worthy cause.

“We are very excited to be able to offer an event that is dog-friendly,” said Checkers COO Tera Black. “It seems as if dog owners are continually seeking out new activities to do with their pets, and the Pooch Party has had substantial success in other, similar markets.  In partnering with the Humane Society, we also hope to bring a new level of awareness to the challenges that they face, and hopefully be able to garner the support of our fans in their initiatives.”

The Humane Society of Charlotte’s vision is to place all animals in safe and loving homes by providing care and compassion for all pets as well as education and information on the humane and responsible treatment of, and respect for, all animals. The not-for-profit organization is committed to treating all animals that enter their shelters with love, kindness, and dignity.

“The “Pooch Party” is a unique opportunity for families to bring their dog to a Checkers game while supporting the great work of the Humane Society of Charlotte,” added Donna Canzano, director of development for the Humane Society of Charlotte. “We are grateful to the Checkers for this opportunity to raise funds and awareness for our organization.”

Humane Society of Charlotte members and supporters can attend the game and support the cause in the process. As part of the partnership, the Checkers will donate $6 of each $15 fundraiser ticket back to the not-for-profit organization.

Non-pet-owners, or those who prefer to leave their companions at home, can still attend the game and raise funds for the Humane Society of Charlotte.

Owners and dogs will have a designated seating section to take in the “Pooch Party”, which will include promotional elements during the game and on the concourse as well as on-ice activities and much more.

Those interested in attending the game and supporting Humane Society of Charlotte, should contact the Checkers’ front office at 704.342-4423 or tickets@gocheckers.com.

Charlotte (24-15-5) will host two important games with potential playoff implications on Thursday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb 5 against the Florida Everblades. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.

About the Humane Society of Charlotte: The mission of the Humane Society of Charlotte is to bring love and hope to all animals by ensuring the humane treatment of companion animals through adoption, spay/neuter and education. Our vision is to place all animals in safe and loving homes. The Humane Society of Charlotte provides low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for cats and dogs to reduce pet overpopulation throughout the Carolinas. The no-kill-of-adoptable-animals organization provides pets with the love and attention they need to live happy and healthy lives while awaiting a new home. The Humane Society of Charlotte is a non-profit organization that relies solely on private donations to achieve its mission

Here’s the Stefanishion release:

CHECKERS ACQUIRE STEFANISHION FROM ALASKA 

 Power Forward Brings Size, Scoring; Deal Completes Doyle Trade

The Charlotte Checkers have acquired forward Matt Stefanishion from the Alaska Aces, general manager and head coach Derek Wilkinson announced today. The deal completes the future considerations from the trade in early January that sent goaltender Frank Doyle to Alaska.

Stefanishion has 14 goals, six assists and 101 penalty minutes in 30 games this season for Alaska, including eight goals and three assists in his last 13 games. He helped the Aces reach game seven of last season’s Kelly Cup Finals with six goals and three assists in 16 playoff games.

The 26-year-old native of Daysland, Alberta has also skated for Fresno, Reading and South Carolina over four seasons. In 191 career ECHL games, he has 66 goals, 62 assists and 570 penalty minutes. Stefanishion has also appeared in 19 career American Hockey League games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Hershey Bears and Peoria Rivermen.

Prior to joining the pro ranks, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound power forward played two seasons at Ferris State University where he scored 21 goals, 13 assists and added 125 penalty minutes in 57 games. Upon graduation, he signed a two-year entry level contract with the Washington Capitals.

It is expected Stefanishion will join the Checkers for Sunday’s home game against Toledo.

 

Here’s the McNicoll release:

 CHECKERS RECEIVE MCNICOLL FROM LAKE ERIE 

 Skilled Forward Led Team In Scoring, League In Plus-Minus In ‘08-09
The Charlotte Checkers have been assigned forward Cedric McNicoll from the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters head coach and general manager Derek Wilkinson announced today.

McNicoll, 21, has five goals and eight assists in 39 games for the Monsters this season, his first as a professional. He notched his first career goal on Oct. 30 against Peoria and collected seven points in seven games between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound center from Longueuil, Quebec enjoyed a successful four-year junior career with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he tallied 110 goals and 154 assists in 249 games.

In 2008-09, McNicoll led the Cataractes in scoring with 104 points (38g, 66a) in 65 games and led the entire QMJHL with an impressive +61 rating. He helped Shawinigan to the QMJHL finals with 31 points in 21 games before losing in seven games to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

He was twice named winner of the Frank J. Selke Award as the QMJHL’s most sportsmanlike player and participated in the 2009 QMJHL All-Star Game.

McNicoll attended training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 and was signed by the Colorado Avalanche in 2009. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Checkers host the Florida Everblades.

 

PACK GIVE LOWELL “DEVIL” OF A TIME

 Pack Puck Standing     VERSUS     Devils

This Thanksgiving the Pack will have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday night the Pack got excellent goaltending again from rookie Chad Johnson, two goals from Dale Weise and two assists apiece from the AHL’s overall points leader, Corey Locke and points from a defenseman, Bobby Sanguinetti, as the Wolf Pack came from behind on the road and knocked off the Lowell Devils 4-1.

The Pack fell behind midway through the first period when on the power play, with Derek Couture in the box on a tripping rap, Patrick Davis took a pass from defenseman Matt Taormina and bolted up the left wing boards beating Mathieu Dandenault turning in and beating Johnson (22 saves, 9-5-1) under the pads.

One of the signs that this team is beginning to come together is that they did not panic when down on the road. Just 33 seconds later the Pack responded with an outstanding team effort that resulted in an Evgeny Grachev lamp lighter. Sanguinetti (6g, 16a in 21 games) fed Brodie Dupont along the right wing. Dupont put a low hard shot that hit Devils starter Mike McKenna (27 saves, 7-4-0) in the pads and deflected over to the left side where Grachev was there to punch it in past the St. Louis, Missouri native.

Play was completely controlled by the third place Wolf Pack (12-8-0-1, 25 points) against their franchise rivals. But they would not have entered the intermission with the lead had Johnson not come up huge between the pipes. With just ten seconds remaining in the first, Corey Potter was stripped of the puck along the right wing boards by Brad Mills. There was nothing but air and ice between he and linemate Nick Palmieri in the way to the net. Mills approached and Johnson did his best to cut off the angle to the twine. As he got close to the net, Mills fed Palmieri and Johnson stayed right with it and forced the right winger to shoot the puck wide of the net. With a 1-0 lead on the board and a 12-6 shots advantage in the scorer’s sheet, the Pack went to the locker room.

They didn’t let up when the two teams returned to the ice. The Devils tried to elevate their game, but the Pack made their rivals look like they were full of tryptophan from too much turkey a day early. The Pack came out determined to make this one stick. At 3:13, Devin DiDiomete, in his first game of the season after having broken his arm in training camp and a six game stay in Charlotte, proved his arm is healed when he and Louis Robitaille dropped the mitts. While it wasn’t much of a fight, DiDiomete got the victory in his first major of the season by landing far better shots. Robitaille did win the wrestling section of the contest as he brought the Pack forward to the ice.

But the Pack resolve was reinvigorated and they capitalized 2:27 later.

Jordan Owens took a Corey Potter feed and rushed with abandon up the right wing boards. Owens bull rushed past defender Rob Davison and with the Devils defender draped on him like paparazzi to Britney Spears, came in hard on McKenna. Owens, a Toronto native, stuffed the puck past McKenna and was run into the goal by Davison forcing the cage to become dislodged from it’s moorings. The goal judge immediately turned on the light and referee Terry Koharski made no signal. But after discussing the play with linesman Chris Aughe and then confirming the call with the goal judge the light once again was turned on and the Pack had a lead they would not relinquish.

The Pack doubled up their lead to two just less than ten minutes later on some terrific play from the team’s new first line of Dane Byers on the left, Locke in center and Dale Weise on the right. The trio played with what seemed like a good chemistry all night long. But after some nifty netminding and a huge stop on Robitaille from Johnson as the Devils buzzed the Pack net, the Rangers’ top prospects broke out of their zone with a three-on-two odd man rush. On a delayed penalty, Locke had the puck along the right side boards and made a sweet cross ice pass to Byers. The left winger made a beautiful feed just past McKenna and right on the tape of Weise’s stick who put the puck to bed in the back of the Devils’ net.

Weise would get his fourth multi-point game of the season with just 43.1 seconds remaining in the contest when he took a Sanguinetti feed just inside the right wing side of the Devils’ blue line. With a defender all over him, Weise fired a laser into the upper left corner of the vacated Lowell net for what would be the final score of the night.

The Devils announced 1,189 for this Atlantic Division attendance. That number clearly was an extremely generous announcement, as the building appeared to be almost totally empty.

Bob Crawford recaps the contest at Hartfordwolfpack.com. For the Lowell perspective, the only place to find it is at lowelldevilshockey.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

 

NOTES:

* From the mixed bag department comes news that Wade Redden was injured in Wednesday night contest between the parent New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers. The team is not saying what the injury is, when do they ever, but based upon the way it looked, it appeared to be a shoulder injury. Redden went to make a play and had his arm extended before taking a very hard hit on the exposed shoulder into the glass by Victor Oreskovich. Redden went down to the ice where he stayed for several seconds before getting up and getting back to the bench. Redden went right into the locker room and didn’t return. You can bet your bottom dollar that the call will be made to the Sanguinetti household telling Bobby to prepare for his NHL debut Friday night in Tampa Bay. While the team hasn’t said it yet, the Rangers/Wolf Pack have a history of promoting whoever is playing best at the time. Not only is Sanguinetti playing the best of any Pack defender you can make the case right now that he might be the best defenseman in the AHL. Sanguinetti has 6g, 16a for 22pts in 21 games. Enjoy the Sunshine State Bobby…

* Speaking of Pack players that have been called up to “The Show,” if any Wolf Pack fans are counting on seeing number 17, P.A. Parenteau, wearing a Pack sweater again, it’s pretty safe to say that isn’t going to happen. Parenteau has graduated. He had another outstanding performance in his seventh game with the Rangers against the Florida Panthers Wednesday night. Not only was he all over the ice playing well defensively, but for the second consecutive game it was his shootout attempt that won the game for the Rangers. This time he beat Tomas Vokoun drawing the Karlovy Vary, Czech netminder to the left before firing it back past his glove the other way. Should the Rangers for some reason decide to send Parenteau back to Hartford, he would have to pass through waivers before he can return to Connecticut’s capitol. Given the way the Hull, Quebec native has played in this stretch in New York, you can bet your bottom dollar that if the Rangers try putting him through waivers that given his low cap hit and proof that he can be productive at the NHL level, that one a multitude of cash strapped and offense hungry teams will take the chance and claim him off the waiver wire. So congratulations to our friend P.A. Parenteau… This Thanksgiving you can add a new NHL career to the list of things to be thankful for… On our list is a gratitude that we got to see you grow both as a person and as a player while you were here.

* Lowell entered the game red hot losing only once in their last eight games. They also had a five game home winning streak.

* Weise has his first three game point streak of the season (3g, 2a). The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had a four game streak between October 9th and October 16th (2g, 3a) earlier in the season. Weise has CLEARLY earned the promotion to the Packs’ top unit. We’ve said it all season long, Weise is making a strong case for himself to be the next forward to get a call up should one develop with New York.

* The second period assist for Byers put him back on the scorer’s sheet since having his seven game scoring streak snapped in Syracuse. Byers has points in five of six games since being sent back to Hartford after a six game run in The Big Apple. (2g, 4a).

* Chad Johnson is quietly putting up some rather impressive numbers. The Calgary, Alberta native is 8th overall in wins with 9, is 10th in GAA with a 1.99 and 9th with a 929 save percentage. Johnson also has 3 shutouts which ties him for second with Brent Krahn of the Texas Stars and only one behind Anton Khudobin of the Houston Aeros who has 4.

* Inside the Numbers:

  – Pack are now 7-0-0-0 when leading after one period

  – 10-1-0-0 when leading after two

  – 3-1-0-0 in goals decided by three goals

  – They also evened their record in games they have outshot their opponents 6-6-0-0.

* The Pack Penalty Killers continue to improve. They were putrid for a while and ranked 28th out of 29. But have since raised themselves up to 21st with an 80.2% efficiency rating.

* On the Power Play, the Pack continue to have the league’s best with a 25.7% rate of success.

* The Pack announced Wednesday morning a very interesting promotion if you’re looking for stocking stuffer for a friend or two…They’ve announced a Holiday Pack that includes two flexible game vouchers, good to be exchanged for tickets to any regular-season Wolf Pack home game, a Wolf Pack souvenir and a Chuck-a-Puck voucher.  The cost of the Holiday Pack package is $32 for adults, and packages for kids 16 or younger can be purchased for $22, with the purchase of at least one adult package (service charges, facility and handling fees may apply). If you’re interested, Wolf Pack Holiday Packs can be ordered from the Wolf Pack ticket office, at (860) 548-2000, and on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.

THANKFUL ON THANKSGIVING:

You’ve all heard it said on Thanksgiving a million times before; So, tell me…what are you thankful for on Thanksgiving? Well, as much as propagating clichés goes against my best judgment, I do have plenty to be thankful for.

First, I have an amazing family. I’m supported in this endeavor by a wife who considers herself a “Hockey Widow” and yet at the same time believes in what I’m doing here despite the fact this costs us quite a bit of money to do it. I also have two amazing little boys, Ross 7 and Tory, 5 who are my biggest fans and always asking me questions and are developing a great passion for the game.

I’m extremely thankful to the voice of the Wolf Pack, Bob Crawford. I can’t even begin to list the amount of help that Bob has given me. Bob stuck with us and has supported us in just about every way imaginable, He fought to get us credibility even when we made some pretty big blunders in terms of professionalism when we were getting started.  I’m also grateful to the rest of the Wolf Pack staff, both past and present, for all their help along the way.

None of the coverage of the Checkers would be possible if it weren’t for one of the greatest guys in sports, Derek Wilkinson. The GM/Head Coach of the Checkers has never said, “No” to a single request. He should be in the NHL and will someday.

Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Park has been invaluable not only for his encyclopedia-like knowledge of the youngsters in juniors but for his advice and counsel.

Early on, I learned so much about the technical aspects of hockey from The Hockey Rodent. He’d hate to have me say this publicly given his ornery reputation, but he’s a good guy.

I’m exceptionally grateful to the New York beat reporters (Steve Zipay, Andrew Gross, Larry BrooksRich Carpiniello and Mike Obernauer) who’ve all been so helpful in terms of advice and support but who’ve also respected me and treated this site as a credible source for information on the Wolf Pack.

In Harford George Dalek, and especially Gerry Cantelon, have been amazing in helping me go from being a completely clueless loud-mouth comedian into a loud mouth somewhat less clueless hockey reporter.

As far as help and support though, everyone pales in comparison to the friendship, support, advice, and encouragement than I’ve been fortunate enough to receive from one of the most talented writers I’ve ever known, Bruce Berlet. Bruce has become like a big brother to me and I wouldn’t even be doing this if it weren’t for him.

One other person that I am extremely grateful for knowing is Dubi Silverstein. None of this would have ever been possible had he not given me the opportunity and the freedom to grow this site in the first place. I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement from publishing.

Last but not least, there’s you…the readers of this mess blog. You’ve been great in terms of encouragement to press on and hungry for more and more coverage. Keep Howling my friends…

MEANWHILE DOWN IN CHARLOTTE:

Checkers have the night off…

LINES:

ByersLocke – Weise

Grachev – Dupont – Owens

Soryal – Garlock – Couture

DiDiomete – Ambϋhl

Heikkinen – Dandenault

Potter – Sanguinetti

SauerUrquhart

Williams

Johnson

(Assistant Captains Italicized)

SCRATCHES:

Paul Crowder – Illness, Day-to-Day

Chris Chappell – Healthy (With DiDiomete back, expect him to be sent back to Charlotte)

Brent Henley – Undisclosed Injury – Day-To-Day

THREE STARS:

1. HFD – J. Owens
2. HFD – D. Weise
3. HFD – D. Byers

 

ON ICE OFFICIALS:

Referee:
Terry Koharski (10)

Linesmen:
Chris Aughe (74)
Joe Ross (92)

NEXT GAME:

Hartford head coach hopes his players aren’t hung-over with tryptophan as Kevin Dineen leads his Buffalo Sabre prospects from Portland, Maine (7th place 9-10-2) into the XL Center for a battle with the Wolf Pack.

SCORE-SHEET:

Hartford 1 2 1 – 4

Lowell 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Lowell, Davis 4 (Taormina, McKenna), 9:30 (pp). 2, Hartford, Grachev 6 (Dupont, Sanguinetti), 10:03. Penalties-Murray Low (boarding), 1:47; Couture Hfd (tripping), 8:24; Sauer Hfd (interference), 10:14.

2nd Period-3, Hartford, Owens 3 (Potter), 5:40. 4, Hartford, Weise 6 (Byers, Locke), 15:25. Penalties-DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 3:13; Robitaille Low (fighting), 3:13.

3rd Period-5, Hartford, Weise 7 (Sanguinetti, Locke), 19:16 (en). Penalties-Dupont Hfd (tripping), 4:03; Couture Hfd (double minor – high-sticking), 11:26.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 12-14-5-31. Lowell 6-8-9-23.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 1; Lowell 1 of 5.

Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 9-5-1 (23 shots-22 saves). Lowell, McKenna 7-4-0 (30 shots-27 saves).

A-1,189