Tag Archives: Steve Valiquette


One time Hartford Wolf Pack and New York Rangers netminder Steve Valiquette was back where he started having signed a Professional Try-Out (PTO) with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The always jovial Valiquette, one of hockey’s truly nicest guys, took a few minutes after sitting on the bench backing up Kevin Poulin as the Sound Tigers dropped a 4-1 decision to the Springfield Falcons at the Webster Bank Arena At Harbor Yard Saturday night.

Hear our interview with Valli after the jump… Continue reading


BY: Bruce Berlet

Matt Zaba didn’t particularly enjoy his last season playing goal in North America.

While the Hartford Wolf Pack, now Connecticut Whale, were missing the playoffs for the only time in the franchise’s 14 seasons in 2009-10, Zaba was battling injuries, bouncing around the AHL and ECHL and being an occasional backup with the New York Rangers after Steve Valiquette was demoted and eventually sidelined for the season with an injury.

“There were a lot of things that happened,” Zaba said during a break in workouts this week at the sixth annual Pete Asadourian Pro Hockey Camp at Champions Skating Center. “I got hurt early and Chad (Johnson) played so well, so I kind of lost my position. To be honest, I had a bad training camp in New York, didn’t have a good training camp in Hartford and then didn’t start off the season very well. So it seemed to take me a while to find my game that second year and got sent to Charlotte (in the ECHL). Then once I did find my game, I’d be back on the goalie carousel to New York.

Continue reading


ValliquetteThere are certain people that you meet over the course of your life that just leave an indelible impression upon you…Steve Valiquette is one of those people.

“Vali,” is a 13-year pro who has played for several teams and at just about every level of professional hockey. Some might take all that moving around and become bitter. Not Valiquette. In his case it has made him a better and stronger person who appreciates the moment and just a delight to know.

Continue reading


As we wrote Friday night based upon the sources we spoke to, the Checkers have been assigned Miika Wiikman and the Rangers have a new backup netminder in New York in Alex Auld.

It appears now, for the time being anyway that all of the Rangers goaltending jobs are filled. Auld provides a legitimate NHL backup. With Wiikman off to Charlotte to at least sharing the playing time with Ryan Munce and Matt Zaba and Chad Johnson as the co number ones it would seen that the apparent odd man is Steve Valiquette.

Valiquette originally came to the Rangers organization, along with current Worcester Shark, Dwight “Dewey” Helminen, and a 2004 second round draft choice, as part of the deal with Edmonton for Petr Nedved and Jussi Markkanen on March 3rd, 2004.

That 2004 second round draft choice turned out to be 2010 Hartford Wolf Pack captain, Dane Byers.

The 6’6” 220 pound goaltender from Etobicoke, Ontario (just outside of Toronto) is injured with a busted up hand. According to the rules of the league nothing can happen to him in terms of being released etc., as long as he’s hurt. Once he does heal from his injury, it will be interesting to see how the organization handles a good standup person who has been a good soldier for the past six years, the last four of which riding shotgun for Henrik Lundqvist in New York.

Valiquette is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. It’s extremely unlikely that he will get another NHL team to give him a one-way contract given how his play between the pipes has deteriorated this season. It’s an even safer bet that he won’t be back in Hartford.

Valiquette was originally selected by the Los Angeles Kings round 8 (#190 overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He will turn 33 on August 20th.

Here are Valiquette’s career statistics:

Here is the official release on Wiikman’s move back to Charlotte:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that goaltender Miika Wiikman has been assigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL.
Wiikman, 25, returns to Charlotte where he has posted a record of 9-2-1-2, along with a 2.77 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and one shutout in 16 games this season.  He leads the Checkers in goals against average, is tied for first on the team in save percentage and shutouts, and ranks second in wins.  Wiikman recorded his first career ECHL shutout, stopping all 36 shots faced in a 7-0 win vs. South Carolina on November 18.  He also posted an ECHL career-high four-game winning streak from December 20 vs. South Carolina to January 6 vs. South Carolina.  Wiikman has also appeared in seven games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, posting a 2-4-0 record with a 4.20 goals against average and an .869 save percentage.  He posted back-to-back wins on October 24 vs. Lowell (5-2) and October 25 vs. Worcester (4-3), registering a 2.50 goals against average and stopping 66-of-71 shots for a .930 save percentage over the span.
The Mariestad, Sweden native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on April 24, 2008.

(Valiquette photo courtesy of sover.net)


Hartford Wolf Pack CT Lottery The goalie shuffle between the New York Rangers and the Hartford Wolf Pack begins…and it’s begun today.

The Rangers have sent Steve Valiquette and his broken finger back to the Wolf Pack and recalled Chad Johnson.

Sending Johnson and not Matt Zaba makes sense. Zaba is playing exceptionally well and having him sit and get cold…pardon the pun…on the bench in New York makes no sense whatsoever. Meanwhile, Chad Johnson is struggling mightily to recover his game. He has been awful in his games since being sent down prior to the end of the Olympic break. Having him in New York at the Rangers Training Center to work much closer with goaltending guru Benoit Allaire is the prescription for fixing whatever has caused the lapse in Johnson’s game.

It will be interesting to see what the time with Allaire will do in getting Johnson straightened out when he plays his next game with the Wolf Pack.

For the time being anyway, with Valiquette still injured, Miika Wiikman will remain in Hartford to back up Zaba. If and when Valiquette is able to go it will be interesting to see how this whole four goalie rotation plays itself out. Frankly, of the four netminders, Valiquette has shown the weakest play and should be the odd person out. The greatest likelihood is that Wiikman will be sent back to Charlotte.

Here’s the official release:

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

Johnson, 23, has appeared in 30 games with Hartford this season, posting a 14-11-2 record with a 2.45 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and three shutouts.  He ranks 12th in the AHL in goals against average, 16th in save percentage, and is tied for sixth in shutouts.  Johnson returns to the Rangers where he has posted a record of 1-2-1, along with a 2.35 goals against average, a .919 save percentage and one assist in five appearances this season.  He notched his first career NHL win, while starting in consecutive games for the first time in his career, with a 34-save effort in a 3-1 win at Colorado on January 31.  On January 7 at Atlanta, he became the first NHL goalie to register an assist in his first career start since Alex Auld on January 23, 2002.  He made his NHL debut with 17 saves on December 30 vs. Philadelphia, and has dressed as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in 22 games this season.  In Hartford, Johnson registered a season-high four-game winning streak, beginning with his first career AHL shutout on October 31 against Providence to November 7 at Bridgeport.  He also notched back-to-back shutouts on November 13 vs. Manchester (26 saves) and November 14 at Worcester (35 saves).  The AHL rookie made his debut with Hartford on October 9 at Providence, and recorded his first AHL win the following game on October 10 against Springfield.

The Calgary, Alberta native was acquired by the Rangers on June 27, 2009, in exchange for a fifth round selection (Andy Bathgate) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

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.


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. 




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.


Hartford Wolf Pack puck VERSUS Lowell Devils


Howlings had unconfirmed reports earlier that Miika Wiikman was returning to Hartford. The Wolf Pack have now confirmed those reports as true. Wiikman will be with the team tonight when they take on the first place Manchester Monarchs. The question now is simply the status of Steve Valiquette and Matt Zaba. Is one of them injured or could some other announcement be coming regarding one of them? (For the actual release view the bottom of the page).


The already injured depleted Hartford Wolf Pack suffered not one, but two more injuries to key players Friday night as both defenseman Michael Sauer and fourth line center Ryan Garlock were added to the list of walking wounded. Combine that loss of manpower with a dreadful start with the Pack staking the visiting Lowell Devils a two-goal lead in the first 8:41 of the game, and a perfect storm scenario engulfed the home team in a 3-2 defeat in front of 4,162 at the XL Center in the first of back-to-back home dates.

Garlock left the game in the first period and Sauer left in the second with injuries undisclosed by the team. They join a who’s who of Wolf Pack hockey with NHL veteran Mathieu Dandenault still weeks away with a lower body injury; P.A. Parenteau and Corey Potter out with concussions, Bobby Sanguinetti with a lower body injury and Brent Henley and Mike Hoffman done for the season after having knee and shoulder surgery respectively.

As of right now, the Pack are only playing minus four of the six starters they opened the season with. Only Ilkka Heikkinen and Nigel Williams remain healthy from opening night. Overall, the Pack have lost five defenseman to injury this season.

“I’ve been a pro for nine years and never seen anything like this. We have to say a prayer to God.” Henley told reporters after the game.

After the game, Pack head coach Ken Gernander was on his cell phone with Derek Wilkinson in Charlotte and the decision was made to recall defenseman, Julien Brouillette (10g, 16a, 26pts along with 19PIM and a plus-11 in 39 games with the Checkers) to take Sauer’s place in the lineup. Unconfirmed reports suggest that also returning to Hartford is goaltender Miika Wiikman. The Mariestad, Sweden native has been exceptionally solid in Charlotte. The 5’11” 180-pounder has a 2.77GAA and a .909 save percentage while posting a 9-2-1 record.

The start of the game was clearly the story of this loss, the third straight for Hartford and fourth without a win (0-3-1-0). The Pack were outshot 13-1 before getting a second shot on goal at 14:12.

Starting netminder Steve Valiquette was not sharp either. Valiquette (7 saves) surrendered an early power play goal allowing Nathan Perkovich to slide one between his legs. It was one of those goals that netminders will always say they wanted back. Valiquette then went down too early 3:26 later on Brad Mills’ shot from the right circle. The puck whizzed right over his glove and like that the Pack were down two goals.

Gernander had seen enough and after allowing two goals on nine shots, at 8:41 Matt Zaba (25 saves, 3-6-1) was brought in to tend to the Pack net.

“It’s hard battling back when you get down that quickly,” Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers said to reporters afterwards. “Getting a good start was addressed before the game, and it wasn’t Valiquette’s fault that we got behind so fast. He had to pay for the bad start. We nearly tied it up, but we couldn’t pull it out.”

“We don’t question the guys’ heart or character or ability to fight off the mat, but now we have to question the start and why we put ourselves behind the 8-ball,” Gernander said. “We got stronger as the game went on, had plenty of scoring chances and did some good things, but we paid the price for our start.

It’s often said that a good fight can wake a team up from it’s doldrums. While in terms of scraps, this one wasn’t much, but when Pack forward Justin Soryal dropped the gloves with defenseman Rob Davison behind the Devils net, it gave the Pack life.

“Everyone kind of built off (the fight),” Corey Locke said. “But it shouldn’t take until the 10-minute mark to get started.”

The team used that adrenaline boost wisely and got on the board with a power play goal at 15:10.  Tim Sestito of the Devils was sent to the penalty box on a tripping infraction at 13:47. It took Hartford just 25 seconds to capitalize as Byers beat Devils starter Mike McKenna (35 saves, 16-8-1). Kenny Roche was stationed in the slot and took a pass from  Locke. The recent Charlotte call-up fanned on a shot, but got enough of it that it found its way right to Byers stick. Byers then got it and put the puck under McKenna for his 13th of the season.

In the second period period, Soryal continued his strong play when he rang up his first of the season with an incredible redirection of a laser of a shot from the right side by Jared Nightingale that beat McKenna to the short side of the cage.

The score was even.

But it wasn’t to be as Mills scored his second of the contest when he deflected a Stephen Gionta shot after getting away from Jordan Owens in front of Zaba at 14:12 for what would prove to be the game winner.

It wasn’t like the Pack did not get their chances.

The Pack had three power play chances to tie it through the remainder of the contest, but just could not buy a goal.

“We had numerous chances on every power play,” Locke said. “One sits on the line, and even some of the shots from the point got tipped or just hit him. We just didn’t get the breaks.” The line shot mentioned by Locke came midway through the final frame when Brodie Dupont’s shot sat behind McKenna for what seemed like an eternity before the Devils’ netminder dove back to cover it.

“We need any number of things to turn the momentum, but collectively, everyone has to be better off the get-go.” He added.

“Our start cost us the game,” Locke said. “When you need to come back at home, it’s tough, especially when a lot of guys have to play a lot of minutes due to some injuries. But there were a lot of positives to come out of the game, other than the start.”

Bruce Berlet is on the scene and takes you inside the Pack’s locker room at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  Lowell’s story can only be found on their team website at LowellDevilsHockey.com. There’s also an interesting story about the Devils attendance woes at LowellSun.com.



1. Monarchs 49 28 14 2 5 63 136 113 2-0-0-1 4-3-1-2 729
2. Sharks 46 29 14 1 2 61 149 140 1-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 701
3. Devils 49 28 17 3 1 60 156 128 1-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 918
4. Pirates 46 23 16 5 2 53 136 128 2-0-0-0 6-3-1-0 843
5.WOLF PACK 48 23 19 2 4 52 133 140 0-3-1-0 4-5-1-0 981
6. Sound Tigers 49 22 20 2 5 51 119 130 0-1-0-2 3-3-1-3 1126
7. Bruins 47 21 23 3 0 45 111 127 0-1-0-0 3-5-2-0 742
8. Falcons 50 16 24 8 2 42 123 171 1-0-0-0 5-4-1-0 1027


* Former Wolf Pack Enforcer Trevor Gillies will play in only his second NHL game of his career. The 6’3” 215-pounder has been recalled by the New York Islanders. He will play the Marty McSorley role to John Tavares’ Gretzky.

* Howlings has started something new. In addition to keeping you posted here on all major news stories, visit www.twitter.com/howlingstoday for in-game coverage of both the Pack and Checkers games. Please “Follow” us on Twitter.

* Chad Johnson ranks fifth among AHL netminders with a 14-8-2 record and 2.03GAA and a .930%

* Brodie Dupont, Evgeny Grachev and Corey Locke have played in EVERY game thus far for the Pack.

* The Pack’s record in 1-goal games drops to 11-7-2-4 and when they outshoot their opponents its 15-10-1-2.


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

Urquhart – Sauer
Williams – Nightingale
Heikkinen – Schaeffer


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)


Devin DiDiomete – Healthy Scratch
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


1. LOW – B. Mills
2. LOW – S. Gionta
3. HFD – D. Byers


Shaun Davis (31)

Luke Galvin (2)
David Spannaus (8)


The Norfolk Admirals and AHL All-Star Blair Jones, with ex-Ranger Adam Hall and ex-Pack Mitch Fritz continue their northern states visit when they steam into the XL Center for a battle on the ice with the Wolf Pack Wednesday night. One could say this one would be a sea battle since the Admirals embrace the Navy and the Wolf Pack are named after a fleet of submarines. 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.


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

Jan 29, 2010 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Lowell 2 1 0 – 3

Hartford 1 1 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Lowell, Perkovich 12 (Swift, Eckford), 5:15 (pp). 2, Lowell, Mills 6 (Gionta, Murphy), 8:41. 3, Hartford, Byers 13 (Roche, Locke), 15:10 (pp). Penalties-Roche Hfd (hooking), 4:49; Davison Low (fighting), 10:28; Soryal Hfd (fighting), 10:28; Sestito Low (tripping), 13:47.

2nd Period-4, Hartford, Soryal 1 (Nightingale, Williams), 9:10. 5, Lowell, Mills 7 (Gionta, Murphy), 14:12. Penalties-Swift Low (fighting), 1:35; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 1:35; Locke Hfd (roughing), 2:43; Sestito Low (slashing), 4:15; Weise Hfd (boarding), 4:54; Robitaille Low (boarding, fighting), 9:29; Byers Hfd (fighting), 9:29; Eckford Low (tripping), 14:59; Couture Hfd (high-sticking), 18:08; Urquhart Hfd (hooking), 19:36.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Murphy Low (cross-checking), 3:09; Robitaille Low (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:02; Soryal Hfd (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:02; Murphy Low (slashing), 8:19.

Shots on Goal-Lowell 14-10-11-35. Hartford 8-10-19-37.

Power Play Opportunities-Lowell 1 of 5; Hartford 1 of 6.

Goalies-Lowell, McKenna 16-8-1 (37 shots-35 saves). Hartford, Valiquette 4-5-1 (9 shots-7 saves); Zaba 3-6-1 (26 shots-25 saves).



Charlotte Checkers VERSUS      Johnstown Chiefs


Carroll Adds Another Two; Charlotte Undefeated Against Chiefs, East Division

The Charlotte Checkers spotted the Johnstown Chiefs two goals and stormed back for the 5-2 win on Friday night in Western Pennsylvania. With the win, the Checkers improve to 3-0-0 against the Chiefs and 6-0-0 against East Division teams this season.

Andrew Carroll led the charge with two goals, including the game-winner while Tyler Doig, who was returned from Hartford (AHL) earlier in the day, added a goal and two assists. Miika Wiikman stopped 28 of 30 shots for his ninth win of the season. The Swedish netminder has only one regulation loss in his last 13 starts.

Johnstown drew first blood, just over two minutes into the contest, on a fluky goal from 100 feet out. Chiefs defenseman Jonathan Ralph let go a slap shot from the red line that fooled Wiikman and dipped just under the crossbar for the 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs would take a two-goal lead near the end of the period when Connor Shields, stationed in the slot, took a pass from Bryan Marshall and lifted the puck past Wiikman on the blocker side for the shorthanded tally.

For the second game in a row, the Checkers headed to the locker room after 20 minutes down by two goals and came out in the second period looking to turn the tide.

Midway through the second period, David Marshall notched his second goal in as many games to cut the Johnstown lead to 2-1. Defenseman Ethan Graham threw a bomb of a pass to Marshall, who then snuck past the opposing defenders and skated in alone on Chiefs goaltender John Murray. Marshall then slipped the puck between the legs of Murray for his 10th of the season.

Charlotte then tied the game, with less than three minutes to play in the period, when Aaron Slattengren banged home a rebound from a Matt Schepke wrist shot.

The Checkers did not stop there and took their first lead of the game with 38 seconds to play in the frame. Michel Leveille dished a pretty pass over to Carroll who beat an out-of-position Murray for his team-leading 19th of the season.

Charlotte held the 3-2 lead for the first three quarters of the third period before Carroll added another. Doig centered a pass from the wing that was redirected by Carroll past the blocker of Murray, putting the Checkers ahead 4-2 and giving Carroll the third-highest goal total among all ECHL rookies.

Doig then added some insurance, with less than two minutes left, when he fired a slap shot over the shoulder of the Johnstown netminder.

The Checkers killed a late penalty and cruised to a 5-2 victory, their first of the season north of Charlotte.

The Checkers (23-14-5) will continue their northern road trip in Reading tomorrow before returning home on Thursday, Feb. 4 to host the Florida Everblades Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.


1. South Carolina Sting Rays 48 30 11 3 4 67 169 150 0-2-1-0 5-3-2-0 693
2. Florida Everblades 45 23 16 2 4 52 144 131 1-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 872
3. Charlotte Checkers 42 23 14 3 2 51 157 144 1-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 880
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 42 19 18 3 2 43 149 162 0-1-0-0 4-5-1-0 736


* The Chiefs are owned and coached by Neil Smith. Yes Rangers fans, that Neil Smith.

* Charlotte is 13-3-1 in its last 17 home games

* The Checkers are 6-0-0 against East Division opponents this season

* Andrew Carroll has nine goals and six assists in his last 11 games and his five game-winning goals are the second highest total in the entire ECHL

* Tyler Doig ranks fourth in ECHL scoring with 51 points (12g, 39a) while Leveille ranks tied for 11th with 43 points (14g, 29a)

* Julien Brouillette has eight points (4g, 4a) in his last nine games and ranks seventh among all ECHL defensemen with 26 points (10g, 16a)

* T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 174 penalty minutes, and is fourth in overall plus-minus with a +17 rating

* Derek Couture, Tyler Doig, Kenny Roche and Kevin Schaeffer are with Hartford (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.


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

Berube – Reynolds
Graham – Ward
Brouillette – Dowzak


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)


Chris Snavely – 21-day IR
Trevor Glass – Close to returning
Chris Chappell – Season ending injury


1. CHR – A. Carroll
2. CHR – T. Doig
3. CHR – M. Wiikman


Geno Binda (15)

Paul Carnathan (93)
Zach Roberts (77)


The Checkers leave Johnstown to head to Reading for a 7pm faceoff with the East Division leading Royals. Then it’s back on the bus and a return trip to finish what they started with the Chiefs for a Sunday tilt at 5:30.

You can 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.


Charlotte Checkers 5 At Johnstown Chiefs 2 – Status: Final

Jan 29, 2010 – Cambria County War Memorial Arena

Charlotte 0 3 2 – 5

Johnstown 2 0 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Johnstown, Ralph 2 (Murray), 2:33. 2, Johnstown, Shields 16 (Marshall, Zarb), 18:29 (sh). Penalties-Berube Chr (fighting – major), 5:25; Schwab Jhn (fighting – major), 5:25; Myers Jhn (interference), 7:09; Doig Chr (slashing ), 10:37; Hendrikx Jhn (slashing ), 10:37; Reynolds Chr (roughing), 14:55; Ralph Jhn (hooking), 17:18; Chabot Chr (fighting – major), 20:00; Hendrikx Jhn (cross-checking, fighting – major), 20:00.

2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Marshall 10 (Graham, Wiikman), 11:06. 4, Charlotte, Slattengren 10 (Schepke, Tkaczuk), 17:46. 5, Charlotte, Carroll 19 (Doig, Leveille), 19:22. Penalties-Dowzak Chr (hooking), 6:39; Myers Jhn (roughing), 8:43; Schwab Jhn (slashing ), 12:50.

3rd Period-6, Charlotte, Carroll 20 (Doig), 14:29. 7, Charlotte, Doig 12   18:39. Penalties-Zarb Jhn (delay of game), 3:10; Dowzak Chr (hooking), 15:41; Berube Chr (delay of game), 18:49.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-13-8-32. Johnstown 12-11-7-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 6; Johnstown 0 of 4.

Goalies-Charlotte, Wiikman 9-2-1-2 (30 shots-28 saves). Johnstown, Murray 3-10-2-0 (32 shots-27 saves).


Here’s the official release on Brouillette coming to Hartford:

* * * *
Was Leading Scorer Among ECHL Charlotte’s Defensemen

Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the team has signed defenseman Julien Brouillette to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement.

Brouillette, currently in his third year of pro hockey, is the leading point, goal and assist-producer among defensemen for the Wolf Pack’s ECHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, with 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points in 38 games. Brouillette is also tied for second among all ECHL defensemen in goals, and tied for sixth among league blueliners in points.

The 5-11, 185-pound St. Esprit, Quebec native has also played three AHL games this year for the Providence Bruins, registering one assist. Last season Brouillette topped all Charlotte defensemen in points and goals, and finished tied for fifth overall on the Checker team in points, with 11-18-29 in 70 games.

In 175 career ECHL games with Charlotte and the Columbia Inferno, the 23-year old Brouillette has totaled 27 goals and 45 assists for 72 points, along with 141 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, amassing 27 goals and 96 assists for 123 points, plus 206 PIM, in 227 career games.

Here is the Wiikman press release:


* * * *

Had 9-3-2 Record in 16 Games with ECHL Charlotte

Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the parent New York Rangers have reassigned goaltender Miika Wiikman to the Wolf Pack from the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Prior to being assigned to the Checkers October 31, Wiikman appeared in four games with the Wolf Pack, going 2-2-0 with a 3.27 goals-against average and an 88.8% save percentage. In 16 ECHL games with Charlotte, the 5-11, 187-pound native of Mariestad Sweden has compiled a 9-3-2 slate, with a 2.77 GAA, a 90.9% save percentage and one shutout. His 2.77 goals-against average ranks seventh among ECHL netminders.

Wiikman, who is in his third year of North American pro hockey, has played in 79 career AHL games with the Wolf Pack and has gone 44-28-7, with a 2.56 GAA, a 91.0% save percentage and four shutouts. In 20 career ECHL contests with Charlotte, Wiikman is 10-4-2 with a 2.68 GAA and a 91.2% save percentage.

Wiikman signed as a free agent with the Rangers April 24, 2008.

The Wolf Pack are back in action tonight at the XL Center, hosting the Atlantic Division-leading Manchester Monarchs in a 7:00 PM game


Pack Puck Standing      VERSUS      Monarchs

Just about every time Han Solo or Lando Calrissian went to jump into hyper-space in the film Star Wars and it didn’t work, that would be their first line of defense. In the past few years that we’ve been interviewing Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander and back when we watched him play, it’s a safe bet that those words have never come out of his mouth when talking about his team whether he was coaching them or playing for them. After Sunday’s 6-1 pasting by the Manchester Monarchs you wouldn’t blame him if he did…but he still never would. It’s what made him a great teammate and an even better coach.

When the team lost their hottest forward in Dale Weise (hand) and then their best playing defenseman in Bobby Sanguinetti (lower body) on consecutive nights to injury and they joined their star forward in P.A. Parenteau and most reliable defenseman in Corey Potter the previous week to concussions you knew this team was going to be in trouble. Of the eighteen skaters the Pack put on the ice against the first place Monarchs, six of them (Kenny Roche, Derek Couture, Ryan Garlock, Devin DiDiomete, Kevin Schaeffer, and Jared Nightingale) started the season in the ECHL in Charlotte, two of them (Roche, Schaeffer) as late as Friday night. Four others, Andres Ambϋhl, Ilkka Heikkinen, Evgeny Grachev and Paul Crowder are all rookies in terms of play in the North American hockey.

Their opponent meanwhile entered the game having struggled over the past ten games (3-4-1-2) and had lost the night before 5-3 to the Pack’s next opponent, the Norfolk Admirals. But at home, the Monarchs had a record of 16-6-0-2 and they had surrendered only 109 goals, third best in the entire league. Hershey has allowed only 102 and Hamilton 107.

The Pack also started Steve Valiquette in goal. Valiquette has been struggling to rediscover his game after being sent down to Hartford by the Rangers on December 3rd and he had not seen any time in the net in almost three weeks. His last start came in a January 6th 3-2 loss in Lowell. 

With all those factors in play, this one looked like it could be problematic…and it was.

Right from the drop of the puck, the Monarchs were skating at a different speed than the Pack were. It was only 4:15 into the contest when Bud Holloway would score his first of two on the power play. With Michael Sauer in the sin bin on a Boarding call, Geoff Walker advanced the puck along the right wing side. The Winger held the puck and got Kevin Schaeffer, playing in his first game with the Pack after being recalled from Charlotte last night, to slide. As he did, He fed Holloway with a pinpoint cross ice pass. Holloway then one-timed it by Valiquette (17 saves, 4-5-1).

The Pack tried to slow the game down by raising the physical level of their play, but to do that successfully, the team needs to stay out of the penalty box, and they didn’t. Paul Crowder was sent to the isolation booth at 9:06 on a boarding call. It only took Holloway and his teammates 39 seconds to make the Pack pay for their indiscretion as the left winger fired a Howitzer of a shot from just above the right circle over Valiquette’s glove and just under the crossbar. Valiquette probably never even saw the shot as David Meckler was right in his face screening him on the shot.

Manchester expanded their lead to 3-0 at 5:54 of the second period. Richard Clune made a pass reminiscent of Dane Byers overtime game winner Friday night. He hit Gabe Gauthier, who had beaten David Urquhart back up the pipe and redirected the pass in past Valiquette.

After the goal, Manchester continued their attack and the Pack just could not get the puck out of their own zone. Exactly sixty seconds after the third goal, Kevin Westgarth dumped the puck behind Valiquette from the right side. Holloway advanced it to the left side and saw Andrew Campbell in the left circle. The timing couldn’t have been better for Campbell or worse for the Pack because as the Monarch’s defenseman fired off the shot both Corey Elkins and Ilkka Heikkinen crossed through the Pack netminders line of sight distracting him enough for the puck to enter the netting over his glove. It was Campbell’s second goal of the season and both have come against Valiquette.

The Pack did show some life after they’d dug themselves the Grand Canyon of a hole.

Just twelve seconds after a power play from a David Kolomatis tripping call to Brodie Dupont had ended. Kenny Roche, playing in his first game with the Pack in nearly four years since being drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round (#75 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, fired a cross ice feed from the left side over to Corey Locke’s favorite spot on the right. The third leading scorer in the AHL knew just what to do with it…he put everything he had into a flaming wrist shot. Had Jonathan Bernier (22 saves, 19-11-4) actually gotten a hand on it, he might have looked like a cartoon character with a hole right through his hand.

The three goal margin didn’t last very long as Manchester struck again 3:12 seconds later. With just 3:09 left in the second frame, Elkins snatched the puck from Michael Sauer’s stick along the left wing side and came in hard at the net. Valiquette made a stab at the puck just as Elkins was backhanding it. The puck then went airborne and just seemed to move in slow motion and came down and fell into the net behind Etobicoke, Ontario native.

Valiquette finished the period, but after allowing five goals on twenty-two shots, Gernander had seen enough and made the switch to rookie, Chad Johnson (11 saves).

Hockey players are a different bunch, that’s for sure. A very scary moment came for Jared Nightingale and he proved he has the heart of a lion. Just after the start of the third period, Nightingale was innocently passing through the crease defending in front of his own net. At the same moment, Holloway uncorked another hard shot that found the Jackson, Michigan native and hit him square in the face. Nightingale went right down and it looked like a VERY scary moment might have happened again for the Pack. Pack trainer, Damien Hess rushed out onto the ice and helped Nightingale off the ice. The Pack defenseman proved his metal when about ten or so minutes later, he was back on the ice and ready to go.

At 9:58, after another round of pressure that the Pack could not control, Manchester got what proved to be the game’s final tally. Elkins got his second assist of the night when he saw Dwight King had gotten away from Sauer in front of the net. So from behind the cage, Elkins put the puck right on King’s stick and the left winger beat Johnson to the stick side.

The Pack caught a minor break because just as the game ended, Walker would have scored as well, but the referees felt that the final buzzer had already sounded.

The Pack will have a healing day tomorrow and then regroup Tuesday and try and sort all this out. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s Gernander and his staff will get their team ready for Wednesday’s home tilt with the Norfolk Admirals.

Bob Crawford has the report from the broadcast booth at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  Manchester’s story is told by Ian Clark and can be found at UnionLeader.com.



1. Monarchs 47 27 14 2 4 60 132 110 1-0-0-0 4-3-1-2 706
2. Devils 48 27 17 3 1 58 153 126 0-1-0-0 6-3-0-1 881
3. Sharks 44 27 14 1 2 57 141 136 3-0-0-0 7-2-1-0 670
4. WOLF PACK 46 23 17 2 4 52 127 132 0-1-1-0 5-4-1-0 938
5. Pirates 44 21 16 5 2 49 130 124 0-1-0-0 5-4-1-0 817
6. Sound Tigers 47 22 20 2 3 49 116 125 0-1-0-0 3-5-1-1 1097
7. Bruins 46 21 22 3 0 45 111 125 1-0-0-0 3-5-2-0 730
8. Falcons 49 15 24 8 2 40 120 169 0-1-0-0 4-5-1-0 1010


* Valiquette has surrendered 12 goals on 56 shots in his two games this season against Manchester for a save percentage of .786 and a goals against average of 6.00.

* The Pack were shut out from the win column against Manchester in the Verizon Wireless Center going 0-4-0-0 on the Monarch’s home ice. They are 3-0-0-0 in the XL Center against the first place Monarchs.

* In January, the Pack have played ten games. They started with two consecutive wins on the 2nd and 3rd then on the 10th and 16th won back-to-back. Other than that it’s been win one, lose one. If they continue this trend they should win on Wednesday at home against Norfolk.

* Dale Weise leads the team with four game winning goals. Byers is second with three.

* Brodie Dupont, Evgeny Grachev and Corey Locke are the only players to have played in every game for the Pack this season.

* Locke’s goal was his first in five games.


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

Urquhart – Sauer 
Heikkinen – Schaeffer
Williams – Nightingale


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)


Tyler Doig – Healthy Scratch
Dale Weise – Hand – Day-to-Day
Bobby Sanguinetti – Lower Body – Day-to-Day
Corey Potter – Concussion – Indefinite 
P.A. Parenteau – Concussion – Indefinite
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Indefinite
Matt Zaba – On recall with the NY Rangers
Brent Henley – Knee  – Season
Mike Hoffman – Shoulder – Season


1. MCH – B. Holloway
2. MCH – C. Elkins
3. MCH – A. Campbell


Chris Cozzan (18)

David Spannaus (8)
Frank Murphy (29)


The Norfolk Admirals and AHL All-Star Blair Jones, with ex-Ranger Adam Hall and ex-Pack Mitch Fritz continue their northern states visit when they steam into the XL Center for a battle on the ice with the Wolf Pack Wednesday night. One could say this one would be a sea battle since the Admirals embrace the Navy and the Wolf Pack are named after a fleet of submarines. 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.


Hartford Wolf Pack 1 At Manchester Monarchs 6 – Status: Final

Jan 24, 2010 – Verizon Wireless Arena

Hartford 0 1 0 – 1

Manchester 2 3 1 – 6

1st Period-1, Manchester, Holloway 13 (Walker, Meckler), 4:15 (pp). 2, Manchester, Holloway 14 (Campbell, Kolomatis), 9:45 (pp). Penalties-Sauer Hfd (boarding), 2:31; Martinez Mch (holding), 6:50; Crowder Hfd (boarding), 9:06; Byers Hfd (fighting), 17:59; Nolan Mch (fighting), 17:59.

2nd Period-3, Manchester, Gauthier 8 (Clune, Kroll), 5:54. 4, Manchester, Campbell 2 (Holloway, Westgarth), 6:54. 5, Hartford, Locke 18 (Roche, Sauer), 13:39. 6, Manchester, Elkins 15   16:51. Penalties-Westgarth Mch (boarding), 7:54; Kolomatis Mch (tripping), 11:27; Kroll Mch (tripping), 14:48.

3rd Period-7, Manchester, King 3 (Elkins, Meckler), 9:58. Penalties-Couture Hfd (fighting), 2:58; Clune Mch (fighting), 2:58; Nightingale Hfd (roughing), 17:08; Rheault Mch (roughing), 17:08.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-12-3-23. Manchester 13-9-12-34.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 4; Manchester 2 of 2.

Goalies-Hartford, Valiquette 4-5-1 (22 shots-17 saves); Johnson 14-8-2 (12 shots-11 saves). Manchester, Bernier 19-11-4 (23 shots-22 saves).



Pack Puck Standing     VERSUS      Devils

The Hartford Wolf Pack scored two goals within 3:28 to erase a third period deficit but Nick Palmieri’s second goal of the game with just 59.3 seconds remaining as Lowell beat the New York Ranger’s top farm club 3-2 in a special contest held at the Devils parent’s arena, the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey, Wednesday night.

Tim Sestito fed Palmieri as he entered the offensive zone. Evgeny Grachev forced Palmieri wide and deep into the right side of the face off circle. The Devils right-winger unloaded a shot from a near impossible angle. Steve Valiquette, who had a solid game up to that moment, went down to one knee while hugging the post facing Palmieri. When he split his legs like that it created a five-hole opening that almost miraculously, Palmieri’s shot found it’s way through.

In the first period, the Pack played the game evenly with their host, but played with no spark.

Brodie Dupont took a holding call 2:13 into the second period and put the league’s best power play unit on the ice against their 21stranked penalty kill. The old adage about a good defense would beat a good offense…well, it didn’t quite apply.

Just 24 seconds into their man advantage, defenseman Matt Taormina launched a hard shot from the high slot with plenty of traffic in front of Valiquette (23 saves, 4-4-1). The shot appeared to hit a Pack player as it clearly redirected past the Pack netminder. Ben Walter and Vladimir Zharkov put assists onto their stat sheets on the play.

3:54 later the Pack hole grew just a bit deeper as Palmieri tallied his first of the game and 13th of the season when Valiquette was victimized by another weird goal. Palmieri was high at the right point. Corey Potter charged up at the Utica, NY native who fired a shot on goal. It’s hard to tell, but it appeared as if Valiquette was screened as the shot flew right past him into the net. The Pack had surrendered two goals on three shots.

As he did in the previous game, Devin DiDiomete sparked his teammates out of another poor performance. Against Syracuse he did it with his fists. In this one he did it with his body and his hands. DiDiomete broke in on Devils netminder Jeff Frazee (28 saves, 9-7-0) and almost tallied his first of the season, but a nice save by the Edina, Minnesota native kept the Pack off the board, but woke them from their slumber.

Valiquette made a magnificent save at 16:50 when a shot by Zharkov bounced off the Pack goaltender into the crease and Nathan Perkovich jumped all over it and went to raise it into the top corner. Valiquette flashed the glove and robbed him from deep in the red zone. It was Valiquette’s best save since being sent down by the Rangers to Hartford in early December.

The Pack broke through for their first goal at 3:15 of the third period. Ilkka Heikkinen, playing his most noticeable game of the season, fired a shot from the right point that went right on net into a crowd. Derek Couture then slid the puck over to Paul Crowder who fired the puck past Frazee for his eighth of the season.

Heikkinen then made a great move to get around left winger Alexander Vasyunov at the right point. While the puck is on the way to the net, Dale Weise got away from Taormina in front and deflected it past Frazee from right in front of the net. The goal was Weise’s eleventh and third point in the last three games (2g, 1a).

Attendance was for the game was 3,276. While that draw might seem miniscule by most team’s standards, the Devils are the lowest drawing team in the American League averaging only 1,850 a contest. In the NHL, the parent Devils average 15,049 good for 23rd out of 30 teams. If you’re interested, the Rangers are 12th overall averaging 18,200 (a sell out).

Bob Crawford had yet another real strong game on the microphone calling the action and then before boarding the bus for home filed this report at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  For the Lowell perspective read about it at lowelldevilshockey.com.




1. Monarchs 39 24 11 1 3 52 108 86 1-0-0-1 5-4-0-1 546
2. Devils 39 22 14 3 0 47 129 109 2-0-0-0 7-3-0-0 717
3. Sharks 36 22 12 0 2 46 111 104 6-0-0-0 8-2-0-0 565
4. WOLF PACK 38 19 14 1 4 43 110 110 0-1-0-0 6-2-0-2 771
5. Pirates 37 18 13 4 2 42 108 104 2-0-0-0 6-2-1-1 690
6. Sound Tigers 39 19 17 1 2 41 97 101 0-3-0-0 5-4-1-0 932
7. Bruins 38 18 19 1 0 37 94 105 0-2-0-0 3-7-0-0 637
8. Falcons 40 11 20 7 2 31 94 142 0-2-0-0 1-6-3-0 900



* This game was the first for Wolf Pack in the home of a current NHL team since December 20, 1998, when they defeated the Fredericton Canadiens, 4-1, at what is now the Bell Centre in Montreal.

* The Pack lost ended their season high streak of 4-0-0-1 and a 2-0 record against the second place Lowell Devils.

* After winning two come from behind games, the Pack almost pulled it off a third time.

* The Pack are 8-5-1-4 in one goal games and 12-7-1-2 in games when they outshoot their opponents.

* Devin DiDiomete leads the team in PIM with 78



Byers © – Locke – Parenteau 
Grachev – Dupont – Weise
DiDiomete – Crowder – Couture
Ambϋhl – Tkaczuk – Nightingale

Heikkinen – Sanguinetti 
Urquhart – Sauer


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)



Justin Soryal – Facial Injury – Day-to-Day
Ryan Garlock – Upper Body Injury – Undisclosed
Mike Hoffman – Undisclosed injury – Day-to-Day
Chad Johnson – On recall with the NY Rangers
Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Three – Four weeks
Jordan Owens – Facial Injury – Indefinite
Brent Henley – Knee  – Season



1. LOW – N. Palmieri
2. LOW – T. Sestito
3. HFD – I. Heikkinen



Ryan Fraser (14)

Leo Boylan (97)
Matt McNulty (26)



The Wolf Pack will take their four game winning streak on the road for the next four games where they have struggled. On the road, the Pack are 6-10-0-2. The team’s last road game was a

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.



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

Jan 6, 2010 – Prudential Center

Hartford 0 0 2 – 2

Lowell 0 2 1 – 3

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Swift Low (slashing), 2:47; Couture Hfd (elbowing), 8:38; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 12:02; Robitaille Low (interference, fighting), 12:02; Corrente Low (boarding), 15:36.

2nd Period-1, Lowell, Taormina 8 (Walter, Zharkov), 2:37 (pp). 2, Lowell, Palmieri 13 (Corrente, Sestito), 6:31. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (holding), 2:13; DiDiomete Hfd (roughing), 7:30; Sauer Hfd (roughing, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 7:30; Robitaille Low (fighting), 7:30; Stoesz Low (roughing), 7:30; Davison Low (slashing), 12:49; Davison Low (high-sticking), 19:32.

3rd Period-3, Hartford, Crowder 8 (Couture, Heikkinen), 3:15. 4, Hartford, Weise 11 (Heikkinen), 6:43. 5, Lowell, Palmieri 14 (Sestito, Murphy), 19:00. Penalties-Sanguinetti Hfd (holding), 7:34; Dupont Hfd (roughing), 8:50; Palmieri Low (roughing), 8:50; Davis Low (holding the stick), 10:59; Corrente Low (delay of game), 19:54; Parenteau Hfd (roughing), 20:00; Frazee Low (roughing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-10-13-30. Lowell 6-12-8-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 of 7; Lowell 1 of 4.

Goalies-Hartford, Valiquette 4-4-1 (26 shots-23 saves). Lowell, Frazee 9-7-0 (30 shots-28 saves).



 Charlotte Checkers      VERSUS      South Carolina Stingrays


Carroll & Wiikman lead Checkers to Victory over ECHL’s best

The Charlotte Checkers battled the South Carolina Stingrays once again and came out on top beating the division-leaders, 5-4, in a shootout on Wednesday evening at Time Warner Cable Arena. The victory now gives the Checkers a three-game win streak as they prepare for their first northern road trip of the season.

Andrew Carroll notched a goal and an assist while Miika Wiikman turned aside 27 of 31 shots for the win. Defenseman T.J. Reynolds picked up an assist and now has six points in his last five games.

Just under five minutes into the game, the Stingrays drew first blood as Michael Dubuc took the puck off the faceoff and beat Wiikman low on the blocker side. The goal was unassisted and was Dubuc’s sixth of the season.

The Checkers then went on the attack and threw 17 shots on the South Carolina net before the end of the period. Ex-Checker, and current Stingrays goaltender Parker Van Buskirk, however, turned them all aside helping South Carolina keep the one-goal lead heading to the locker room.

Early in the second, it was all Charlotte as they scored three quick goals in a span of 3:40.

Michel Leveille took a shot at Van Buskirk, collected his own rebound and fired it into the top corner for his 12th of the season. The goal was assisted by Steve Ward and Tyler Doig and came at the 3:27 mark of the period.

Just two minutes later, Carroll, doing an imitation of Leveille on the last goal, let a shot go on Van Buskirk and banged home his own rebound for his 12th of the season. Matt Schepke and Reynolds picked up assists on the play.

The Checkers then took a two-goal lead just over a minute later on a great individual effort by defenseman Julien Brouillette. Brouillette carried the puck down low, cut to the net and tapped a backhand shot past South Carolina’s netminder. Carroll added an assist on the play and the goal came at 7:07 of the second frame.

Charlotte held a 33-19 shot advantage through two periods of play.

South Carolina then cut the Checkers’ lead to one, only 50 seconds into the third period, on a fluky goal by Trent Campbell. Jake Hauswirth took a shot toward the Charlotte net and the puck bounced off a Checkers defender onto the stick of Campbell who beat a sprawling Wiikman for his eighth of the year.

The Stingrays would tie the game midway through the third on a turnover down low in the Checkers’ end. Matt Scherer took a pass from Rob Ricci and made no mistake, firing it home and setting the stage for an interesting final eight minutes.

With less than two minutes to play, Checkers forward Aaron Slattengren broke the tie as he circled the South Carolina net and took a backhand shot from a near-impossible angle that beat Van Buskirk between the legs.

The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Dylan Yeo took a shot through traffic that made its way to the back of the Charlotte net. The goal came with 41 seconds to play in the game and the teams headed to overtime.

After a scoreless overtime, the Zamboni cleaned the surface and paved the way for a shootout. After four rounds of shooters, Andrew Carroll had a chance to seal the win for the Checkers and made no mistake as he faked Van Buskirk and beat him with a wrist shot on the blocker side.

(Carroll’s shot in the shootout photo courtesy of gocheckers.com)


(Charlotte elected to have South Carolina shoot first)


Round Shooter (Team) Result
Round 1 Johnson (SC) Goal
Round 1 Slattengren (CHR) Goal
Round 2 Campbell (SC) No Goal
Round 2 Leveille (CHR) No Goal
Round 3 Dubuc (SC) Goal
Round 3 Marshall (CHR) Goal
Round 4 Ricci (SC) No Goal
Round 4 Burki (CHR) Goal
Round 5 Yeo (SC) Goal
Round 5 Carroll (CHR) Goal


Checkers win shootout 4-3 




1. South Carolina Sting Rays 37 24 8 1 4 53 128 113 1-0-0-1 7-2-0-1 543
2. Charlotte Checkers 32 18 10 3 1 40 116 104 3-0-0-0 5-4-1-0 684
3. Florida Everblades 35 17 13 2 3 39 113 102 1-0-0-0 5-4-1-0 695
4. Gwinnett Gladiators 31 15 12 2 2 34 110 111 0-2-0-1 4-5-0-1 565



* Ryan Munce (.922) ranks 2nd  in save percentage among all ECHL goaltenders…

* Tyler Doig ranks 5th in ECHL scoring with 38 points (9g, 29a)…

* Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in 11 games this season (7-1-2)…

* T.J. Reynolds has six points in his last five games, leads all ECHL defensemen with 137 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +20 rating…

* The Checkers are 10-3-1 in their last 14 home games…

* Charlotte has only one regulation loss in 17 tries when scoring first (12-1-4)…

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



Doig – Leveille ©Slattengren 
Burki – Harder – Schepke
Chabot – Taylor – Carroll

Graham -Ward
Berube – Reynolds
Brouillette – Schaeffer


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)



1. CHR – A. Carroll
2. CHR – A. Slattengren
3. CHR – T. Doig



Paul Depuydt

Mathieu Chenier (71)
Paul Reid (97)



Off to the road for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night with the Kalamazoo Wings (Second place, 19-9-4-0) and then on to Ohio Sunday to face the Toledo Walleye (Third place, 17-13-1-3).

You can 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.



South Carolina Stingrays 4 At Charlotte Checkers 5 (SO) – Status: Final SO

Jan 6, 2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena

South Carolina 1 0 3 0 – 4

Charlotte 0 3 1 0 – 5

1st Period-1, South Carolina, Dubuc 6   4:55. Penalties-Cascalenda Sc (interference), 2:33.

2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Leveille 12 (Ward, Doig), 3:27. 3, Charlotte, Carroll 12 (Schepke, Reynolds), 5:32. 4, Charlotte, Brouillette 6 (Carroll), 7:07. Penalties-Brouillette Chr (cross-checking), 12:56.

3rd Period-5, South Carolina, Campbell 8 (Hauswirth, Kiser), 0:50. 6, South Carolina, Scherer 10 (Ricci, Farrell), 12:33. 7, Charlotte, Slattengren 3 (Doig), 18:13. 8, South Carolina, Yeo 6   19:39. Penalties-Bruess Sc (hooking), 2:09; Brouillette Chr (hooking), 6:36.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – South Carolina 3 (Johnson G, Campbell NG, Dubuc G, Ricci NG, Yeo G), Charlotte 4 (Slattengren G, Leveille NG, Marshall G, Burki G, Carroll G).

Shots on Goal-South Carolina 8-10-10-3-0-31. Charlotte 17-16-13-4-1-51.

Power Play Opportunities-South Carolina 0 of 2; Charlotte 0 of 2.

Goalies-South Carolina, Van Buskirk 5-8-1-1 (50 shots-46 saves). Charlotte, Wiikman 7-1-1-1 (31 shots-27 saves).



Pack Puck Standing     VERSUS     Falcons

Scoring three goals in a span of 3:12 helped the Hartford Wolf Pack overcome a two-goal first period deficit en route to a 5-3 win over their hapless I-91 rivals, the Springfield Falcons at the XL Center Wednesday night.

P.A. Parenteau might have had his most dominant performance of the season with a goal and two helpers. He’s already had nine previous multi-point games prior to this one, but what made this one special was his level of his combat level. The Hull, Quebec native was flying all over the ice like a Scud Missile. Of the eight goals scored in the game, he was on the ice for five of them (Three for Two against).

But it was Ryan Garlock’s shorthanded tally at 3:37 in the third period that gave the Pack a lead that they would not relinquish insuring Springfield’s 17th game without a win. The Falcons are 0-12-4-1 over the span.

“I was putting pressure on the penalty kill,” said Garlock said afterwards. “I chased the guy (Springfield goaltender J.P. Levasseur) behind the net, and luckily I came out with the puck. I had an open cage and I put it in.” After Levasseur (31 saves, 0-8-0) mishandled the puck behind the net, as he did in the team’s previous meeting in Springfield on Sunday, Garlock stormed in and took the puck away from Bill Thomas and came around the left side and flipped it backhanded into the deserted net.

Parenteau put the final nail in the Falcons’ coffin with just 48 seconds remaining when he was rewarded following up a Dane Byers shot that hit the right goal post from the slot. Parenteau pounced on it and fired it past defenseman Cody Wild who was protecting Lavasseur’s back. The Falcon netminder had come out just past the crease to try to cut down the angle for Byers. It didn’t work.

But the game didn’t start out that peachy for the Wolf Pack.

Despite a fast start by the Pack out of the gate, it was Ryan O’Marra who scored his first of two on the night at 6:01 of the first period. O’Marra followed a Colin McDonald shot that drew Pack netminder Steve Valiquette (25 saves, 4-3-1)too far out of the net to recover for the rebound.

O’Marra tallied his second of the contest with just 7.9 remaining in the first when he followed a Geoff Paukovich shot with the Pack defense out of position and busy running around in their own end.

Whatever Head Coach Ken Gernander said between periods obviously impacted his troops as the Pack came out on fire to start the second period.

First it was team Captain Dane Byers who got in front of the net for the rebound of a Parenteau shot and caught ex-Pack Dean Arsene and Alex Plante sight–seeing and buried it into the net.

Then just 17 seconds later, Derek Couture was crashing the net up the slot and took a great feed from Paul Crowder from the left wing and fired it past Levasseur to know the score at two.

The Pack got the go-ahead goal 2:55 after that when Parenteau flew around the Falcon offensive zone like a man possessed and kept finding the puck and taking it away from Falcon defenders. The Right winger brought the puck up to the right point looked off the defender and fed Michael Sauer out by the blueline near the high slot. With Byers screening and drawing traffic to himself, Sauer rocketed a missile of a slap shot and Levasseur never saw it.

With 3:41 left in the second period, the Falcons tied the score on a Rob Hisey goal/ The Oakville, Ontario native who was just brought up from the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL, scored his second goal in as many games as the centerman tracked down a Cody Wild shot and caught the Pack defensive tandem out of whack and put it over Valiquette for the equalizer. 

Brian Ring files this game report at Hartfordwolfpack.com.  Dan Hickling of The Republican was inside the Springfield locker room at MassLive.com



1. Monarchs 36 23 10 1 2 49 101 76 0-1-0-0 7-3-0-0 491
2. Devils 35 19 13 3 0 41 114 98 0-1-0-0 6-4-0-0 622
3. Sound Tigers 36 19 14 1 2 41 90 90 2-0-0-0 6-2-1-1 862
4. Sharks 33 19 12 0 2 40 99 98 3-0-0-0 7-2-0-1 528
5. WOLF PACK 35 17 13 1 4 39 103 104 2-0-0-1 4-4-0-2 688
6. Pirates 34 16 12 4 2 38 99 98 2-0-0-1 5-2-1-2 658
7. Bruins 35 17 17 1 0 35 89 97 1-0-0-0 4-6-0-0 597
8. Falcons 37 10 18 7 2 29 89 134 0-12-4-1 0-7-3-0 821



* The Falcons had NO WINS in December. The best they could muster was four overtime losses (Adirondack, Hartford and twice to Providence), The team has not won a game since just prior to Thanksgiving, a Nov 21 road win 3-2 against Hershey. Over the span Bridgeport, Portland and Worcester have each beaten the Falcons three times. The Pack have won twice as have Manchester and Providence with single game losses to Adirondack and Lowell.

* The win was the first for the Pack when trailing after one period 1-6-1-2. The team has still not won when trailing after two periods 0-11-0-2. When tied after two periods, the Pack are now 3-1-1-1.

* These two wins are the fist back-to-back victories for the Pack since November 25 (4-1 at Lowell) & 27th (4-3 overtime win at home over Portland)

* The Pack have only won four in their last thirteen (4-4-1-3)

* Ryan Garlock’s goal was his first game winner since joining the Pack.  Corey Locke has four victory clinching goals, including two against the Falcons. Dale Weise Has three, Dane Byers has two and Parenteau, Sauer, Dupont, Couture, Heikkinen Jordan Owens and Mike Hoffman all have on a-piece.

* We’re wondering why Devin DiDiomete (0g, 1a 61PIM in 15 games) is getting so few minutes on the ice. DiDiomete has many of the same attributes to his game that Sean Avery adds to the NY Rangers. Besides the fact that DiDiomete at 5’11 and 200 pounds, has fought guys that are as much as thirty or more pounds heavy than himself and held his own we might add, in his last two seasons in juniors at Sudbury, the Stratford, Ontario native lit the lamp for 23 and 21 goals respectively. Even this season in Charlotte, while recovering from a broken arm in pre-season, in the six games he played there, he contributed two goals and an assist. Not to pick on Evgeny Grachev, but the 19 year old Russian has just a goal and an assist in his last thirteen games. The highly touted prospect has been getting FAR more minutes than his play seems to deserve and he’s getting time on the power play. Grachev will be a good player someday but at this point in his development, there really needs to be some sign of life to justify the time he’s getting or the team should look to other players to fill that role. DiDiomete and Derek Couture (5g, 3a, 8pts) should both be seeing more minutes and in expanded roles.



Byers © – Locke – Parenteau

Grachev – Dupont – Weise

Ambϋhl – Crowder – Couture

DiDiomete – Garlock – Nightingale

Heikkinen – Sanguinetti

Potter – Williams

Urquhart – Sauer


(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)



Mike Hoffman – Undisclosed injury – unknown

Chad Johnson – On recall with the NY Rangers

Mathieu Dandenault – Lower Body – Three – Four weeks

Jordan Owens – Facial Injury – Indefinite

Justin Soryal – Facial Injury – Indefinite

Brent Henley – Knee  – Season



1. HFD – P. Parenteau
2. HFD – R. Garlock
3. SPR – R. O’Marra


Ghislain Hebert (49)

Derek Wahl (46)
Luke Galvin (2)



The Pack will have New Year’s Eve off and will have time to evaluate their play as they’ll start the new year with a battle against franchise rival Bridgeport at the XL Center Saturday night. It’s very possible that Rick DiPietro will be in goal for the Sound Tigers. To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

The game is the last game of 2009. 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.



Springfield Falcons 3 At Hartford Wolf Pack 5 – Status: Final

Dec 30, 2009 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Springfield 2 1 0 – 3

Hartford 0 3 2 – 5

1st Period-1, Springfield, O’Marra 6 (McDonald, Taylor), 6:01 (sh). 2, Springfield, O’Marra 7 (Paukovich, Reddox), 19:52. Penalties-Wild Spr (hooking), 5:40; Grachev Hfd (cross-checking), 8:22; Williams Hfd (cross-checking), 10:25; O’Marra Spr (hooking), 13:10.

2nd Period-3, Hartford, Byers 9 (Parenteau, Locke), 1:35. 4, Hartford, Couture 5 (Crowder), 1:52. 5, Hartford, Sauer 3 (Parenteau, Locke), 4:47. 6, Springfield, Hisey 2 (Wild, Fretter), 16:19. Penalties-Potter Hfd (interference), 6:11; Taylor Spr (fighting), 18:30; Nightingale Hfd (fighting), 18:30; Williams Hfd (cross-checking), 19:17.

3rd Period-7, Hartford, Garlock 3   4:00 (sh). 8, Hartford, Parenteau 12 (Byers), 19:12. Penalties-Weise Hfd (high-sticking), 3:37.

Shots on Goal-Springfield 12-6-10-28. Hartford 9-14-13-36.

Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 of 5; Hartford 0 of 2.

Goalies-Springfield, Levasseur 0-8-0 (36 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Valiquette 4-3-1 (28 shots-25 saves).


Referees-Ghislain Hebert (49).

Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Luke Galvin (2).





Charlotte Checkers Had the night off and Don’t hit the ice again until Sunday afternoon January 3rd when they do battle at home for the first time in 2010 against the Gwinnett Gladiators at 2pm in the meantime the team has this going on:


Second Annual Checkers/Mites Game Is This Saturday

The Charlotte Checkers will play an outdoor game of their own this Saturday when they host the Charlotte Metro Hockey Association’s eight-and-under team at the WBT Holiday On Ice rink in Uptown Charlotte. The second annual event showcases hockey’s future stars against Charlotte’s own professional team.

The event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 @ 4pm at the WBT Holiday on Ice outdoor rink, across from the Convention Center and will feature Checkers players and CMHA youth hockey players.