If there’s one thing about this particular Connecticut Whale team it’s that they can lull you to sleep and then suddenly snap out of it and look like world beaters. Friday night they never woke up dropping a 3-2 decision to the Portland Pirates. That comatose-like effort carried through the first two periods Sunday afternoon, but when they finally did awaken, they scored three unanswered goals in a mere 3:37 at the Verizon Wireless Arena and then held on for a 3-2 behind some spectacular goal tending from Chad Johnson over the Manchester Monarchs.
Tag Archives: Verizon Wireless Arena
The Whale (33-26-2-6, 74 pts.) split four games over the past week, beginning with a 5-2 road win over the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday. Connecticut then returned to the XL Center for a pair of games, as they were narrowly edged by the Hershey Bears, 2-1, on Friday, before defeating the Worcester Sharks, 4-2, on Saturday. The Whale wrapped up their weekend with their final game of the regular season against the Sharks at the DCU Center in Worcester on Sunday, falling by a 5-4 final. Whale team scoring leader Kris Newbury (14-38-52 in 57 GP) paced the club in scoring during the week, with a total of four goals and three assists for seven points in the three games.
“One night we maybe play 52 (of 60) minutes, then the next night we only play 20. That’s what’s costing us hockey games.” Justin Williams told reporters after the Hartford Wolf Pack once again failed to put a full 60 minute effort on the ice in their 4-3 loss to the Manchester Monarchs in front of a special school day matinee at the Verizon Wireless Arena Wednesday afternoon.
“Most of our shots and (scoring) chances came on our power play until the third period, when we started getting a little bit generated five-on-five, but not enough.” Head Coach Ken Gernander said to reporters afterwards. When asked his view on three of the four goals that were scored came on power plays, the fourth year Head Coach replied, “The penalty kill was a bit disappointing.”
Justin Azevedo, Viatcheslav Voynov and Alec Martinez feasted on Wolf Pack mistakes as each put a goal and an assist on their scorecard. Meanwhile left winger Bud Holloway added two helpers for the Monarchs. With the win Manchester was able to leapfrog over the idle Springfield Falcons into second place and closed to within five points of the first place Portland Pirates.
For the Wolf Pack, leading scorer Justin Williams continued his hot hand adding two goals to lead the Pack with ten. Kris Newbury, second on the team with thirteen points, supplied two assists. Pavel Valentenko had his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack who at 4-10-2-2 find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.
Unlike games past where the Wolf Pack dug themselves an early hole, they jumped out early on their hosts as just 28 ticks into the game. Kris Newbury won an offensive zone faceoff to starter Jeff Zatkoff’s right. The Wolf Pack center won the faceoff cleanly back to Pavel Valentenko behind him. Valentenko then slid to the left and uncorked a missile that hit Zatkoff (6-5-1, 22 saves) for a 1-0 lead.
Things seemed to be going the Pack’s way when the Monarchs followed up the goal at 1:37 with David Kolomatis going to the box for tripping Devin DiDiomete. However the Wolf Pack power play, which finished the game at 1-of-5 (including a 1:34 of 5-on-3) were unable to do anything with their man-advantage. The strong performance by the Manchester penalty killers woke the Monarchs from their early game malaise.
The Monarchs began to push the play at he Wolf Pack and they obliged by surrendering a goal at 6:08. With pressure in the offensive zone coming from the home team and shots were being unloaded on the Wolf Pack’s Chad Johnson (3-10-1, 28 saves), Jyri Niemi was unable to clear Jordan Nolan from the crease. After Holloway put the puck on net, Nolan, on the left side of the crease, was able to whack away at the puck and slid it under Chad Johnson to knot the score and put his first AHL goal on the books.
Then things got kind of strange.
With 3:42 remaining referee Mark Lemelin called Wolf Pack defenseman Jared Nightingale for an interference call. Nothing strange about that, except that the guy he supposedly “interfered” with, wasn’t even moving. Sixteen seconds later, Williams was moving the puck out of the Pack end and bobbling the puck with his head down. Corey Elkins put a HARD shoulder to shoulder hit on the right winger and sent him crashing hard into the boards right in front of the Pack bench. Newbury would have nothing to do with that as his teammate was down on the ice and promptly attacked Elkins and the two dropped their gloves. No penalty was called on the hit on Williams.
Then 16 seconds later and with 2:46 to go, Tim Kennedy was whistled for a phantom cross-check on a guy who was already going down. The call gave Manchester a 1:27 5-on-3 power play.
But then Brandon Kozun was whistled by Lemelin for his own mysterious boarding call creating a 4-on-3.
58-seconds later, Martinez wristed a shot from above the right circle and beat a screened Johnson over the stick side blocker to give the 2-1 lead to the Monarchs with 1:25 to go in the first period.
But that wasn’t all.
With 40 seconds left in the period, Thomas Hickey took a high sticking call that gave the Wolf Pack a 17 second 5-on-3. Then, just ten seconds after the first 5-on-3 ended, Kozan went back to the box after slashing Williams creating another 1:33 of two-man advantage.
The first period ended with the Pack down 2-1 and 12-9 in shots.
The Wolf Pack were unable to do much of anything even with the two men up. Wade Redden hit a post 54-seconds into the man-up situation before Mats Zuccarello had the team’s best chance with a shot as the power play ended, but it went for naught. Chad Kolarik was stopped on a breakaway by a strong save by Zatkoff.
Johnson matched the strong play when he made a strong save on Nolan’s bid for his second goal off a 2-on-1 od man rush. He also flashed the leather to deny Voynov on a second odd man rush.
Evgeny Grachev made a strong move across the slot and was hooked by Richard Clune at 10:21 which sent the Wolf Pack to what would be their fifth and last power play of the game. It would also set up the Pack’s only power play goal of the game.
Kennedy fed Williams in the left circle and the Regina, Saskatchewan native blasted a one-timer that Zatkoff couldn’t get to and knotted the score at two.
But as has been their MO all season long, in a ying-yang kind of thing, it was Williams himself who overreacted after the ensuing faceoff and took a hooking call at 11:15 that would set up what would prove to be the game winner.
Andrei Loktionov made a magnificent across the crease pass that found a streaking Voynov down from the right point backdoor past Valentenko who had turned his back on the play. The goal was Voyonov’s third of the season.
The Monarchs were pouring shots on the net with the Pack applying virtually no pressure at all back the other way.
If there’s one thing that constant offensive pressure does to a team that’s struggling like the Wolf Pack are is it leads to penalties.
Valentenko complied by taking a high sticking call with 5:59 to go in the second.
With just 18 seconds left on the man advantage, Oscar Moller fed Azevedo coming in off his spot off the left point and into the circle and wristed it through the legs of Jared Nightingale and over Johnson’s glove for his fifth of the season.
In the final frame, Newbury set up Jeremy Williams from behind the net. The center found his winger free in the right circle. Williams then one timed it right past Zatkoff. Kelsey Tessier also got an assist on the goal.
Finally, with the Wolf Pack pressing and time running out, with 40.2 left in the contest, Zuccarello fired a wide open shot from low in the right face off circle only to have Zatkoff come back to make a big save and send the team into their final four games with another loss.
“I got a pretty good, quick shot, but it was an unbelievable save,” Zuccarello told the press assembled in the locker room. “A little higher and it would have been a goal, but I couldn’t believe I missed. I was trying to shoot as fast as I could because there were guys coming at me and a few in front of me, and I don’t know how he saw me. But on a day like this, it’s a tough break. It’s kind of the story of our season right there.”
Zatkoff told reporters that, “I was just trying to get over and fill space. It was a desperation save at that point, especially at that time in the game. I was fortunate enough that it hit me in the pad, and I was able to cover it.”
The team is currently on a 1-9-2-1 slide that could end their season in November if they don’t start putting some wins together.
* This is the first and last road School Day game for the Wolf Pack who have played a couple of them at the XL Center. They play another one on February 9th in Toronto but will be the Connecticut Whale by then.
* In an interesting note, and one that’s right on the money, the New York Rangers are making a West Coast trip without a 7th defenseman. John Tortorella told Steve Zipay, “There’s nobody ready in Hartford. But in an emergency, we’ll get someone there.”
* Of the ten games this team has lost already, nine of them were in one goal games the tenth really a one–goaler since there was an empty-netter in that one.
* More “un-fun” news to report is that this team is averaging an AHL-low 2.06 goals per game.
* Dale Weise reports that his surgically repaired wrist is back to 100% and he feels he could be returning to the ice with his teammates this weekend. “I’m close, real close,” Weise told Bruce Berlet. “We’ll have to see how things go the next few days.”
* Brodie Dupont left the game in the last minute after getting cut by a skate in a collision.
Dupont – Kennedy – Zuccarello
Grachev – Newbury – J. Williams
DiDiomete – Kolarik – Tessier
Donati – Garlock – McKelvie
Redden – Nightingale
Valentenko – Niemi
McDonagh – Kundratek
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
Dale Weise – Wrist Surgery – Three to Four Weeks
Justin Soryal – Facial Injury – Day-to-Day
Nigel Williams – Healthy Scratch
Lee Baldwin – Healthy Scratch
1. MCH – A. Martinez
2. MCH – V. Voynov
3. HFD – J. William
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Mark Lemelin (84)
Landon Bathe (80)
Scott Whittemore (96)
The Wolf Pack visit are in Springfield at 7:30pm on Friday night with just 4 games to go till the rebranding. They then travel to Binghamton (7:05pm) on Saturday and Sunday its off to Hershey (5:00pm). The last game as the Wolf Pack is next Friday in Bridgeport (7:00). Friday Bob Crawford will have the late pregame at 7pm.
To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.
For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Manchester Monarchs 4 – Status: Final
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 – Verizon Wireless Arena
Hartford 1 1 1 – 3
Manchester 2 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Valentenko 1 (Newbury), 0:28. 2, Manchester, Nolan 1 (Holloway, Azevedo), 6:08. 3, Manchester, Martinez 5 (Voynov, Holloway), 18:35 (PP). Penalties-Kolomatis Mch (tripping), 1:37; Dupont Hfd (tripping), 11:02; Nightingale Hfd (interference), 16:42; Newbury Hfd (fighting), 16:58; Elkins Mch (fighting), 16:58; Kennedy Hfd (cross-checking), 17:14; Kozun Mch (boarding), 17:37; Hickey Mch (high-sticking), 19:20; Kozun Mch (slashing), 19:47.
2nd Period-4, Hartford, Williams 9 (Kennedy, Dupont), 10:42 (PP). 5, Manchester, Voynov 3 (Loktionov, Moller), 11:50 (PP). 6, Manchester, Azevedo 5 (Mullen, Martinez), 15:43 (PP). Penalties-Clune Mch (hooking), 10:21; Williams Hfd (hooking), 11:15; Valentenko Hfd (high-sticking), 14:01; Kolarik Hfd (roughing), 17:42; Kolomatis Mch (roughing), 17:42.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, Williams 10 (Newbury, Tessier), 5:10. Penalties-Zuccarello Hfd (slashing), 19:59.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-7-9-25. Manchester 12-17-3-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Manchester 3 / 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 3-10-1 (32 shots-28 saves). Manchester, Zatkoff 6-5-1 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (84).
Linesmen-Landon Bathe (80), Scott Whittemore (96).
The old saying goes, “When it rains; it pours.” That’s the best phrase to describe the Wolf Pack 13 games into the season.
The team continues to find themselves in holes that they don’t have the offensive strength to dig their way out of. Friday night they did manage to score four goals, unfortunately two of them were for their opponent, and they lost 3-2 on the road in Manchester to the Monarchs for a franchise record eighth straight defeat.
Hartford did manage to score two in the net they were shooting at for only the second time in the last eight games. However they also managed to put two into their own as shots from Jake Muzzin, in his first AHL game, in the first period and David Kolomatis in the second hit Jeremy Williams and Ryan Garlock respectively en route towards Chad Johnson (2-8-1, 37 saves). The redirects changed direction enough that they surprised Johnson and wound up in the back of the net.
26 seconds into the game, Kris Newbury took a roughing call and put the Wolf Pack down a man early. Muzzin’s shot from above the right circle put the Pack down 1-0 at 2:02.
“We can’t afford to do some things like the unnecessary first penalty,” Head Coach Ken Gernander told reporters afterwards. “We give them a goal right off the get-go, and that’s not the way to start the game.”
The first six shots of the contest all went to Manchester, playing in front of a home crow of 3,772 at the Verizon Wireless Center.
The period ended with shots relatively even at 14-13 with an edge to the home team, but other than the poor start, the period was played evenly.
A solid start to the second frame was negated by Garlock’s holding call at 10:25. The Pack’s tenth ranked penalty killers did their job again and kept Manchester off the scorer’s sheet and 12 seconds after the penalty expired drew a Thomas Hickey holding call of their own.
With just seven seconds left in their third man advantage of the contest, excellent perimeter passing from the power play unit tired out the Monarch penalty killers and it drew dividends.
Mats Zuccarello at the right point passed down low to Tim Kennedy, who was playing in his first game after missing four games with a groin injury. Kennedy brought the puck out of the corner along the goal line and passed in front to Brodie Dupont who had position on Viatcheslav Voynov in front of Manchester starter Martin Jones (2-0-0, 25 saves). The pas hit Dupont’s stick perfectly and the fourth year pro redirected it past Jones for his first of the season.
The Pack only kept the game deadlocked for 3:26 as Kolomatis’s seemingly harmless shot from the right point hit Garlock and gave the home team back the lead. Shots were 26-22 by the end of the period and the Pack went to the lockers trailing 2-1 after two periods.
Bud Holloway scored what proved to be the game winner with just 6:37 remaining in the contest just seven seconds into a Manchester power play after rookie Ryan McDonagh took a tripping call at 13:16.
Alec Martinez came off the right half-boards and skated through to the center of the ice completely uncontested and fired a shot on net. Wade Redden, as has been the criticism of his play for a long time, left Holloway completely untouched on the left doorstep and had no difficulty taking his time to poke it in the net past Johnson.
The Pack made the score a bit closer by scoring a second tally with Johnson on the bench for a sixth attacker with just 1:10 remaining when he put a Kennedy set up pass into the net behind Jones for his third of the season.
Zuccarello had a goal and an assist while Kennedy was impressive with two helpers.
Gernander assessed Kennedy after the game. “I thought Kennedy helped, was strong in the middle, and gives us a bit more depth.”
Hartford was unable to get the puck out of their own zone after the goal so they never were able to even pull their goaltender for a shot at tying the game.
Gernander summed up the Wolf Pack situation succinctly stating, “They have to keep fighting, keep swinging.” He said. “It’s frustrating, but do you think anyone anywhere is feeling sorry for these guys?”
* According to Bruce Berlet, Dale Weise has had his cast removed after having wrist surgery and the Pack’s best player hopes to be back in the lineup by early December.
* Chad Johnson is tied for the league lead in losses and is fourth in total saves with 276.
* What must come as no surprise to anyone, the Wolf Pack do not have a single player on the roster showing up in any top offensive category anywhere.
* The Wolf Pack Power Play is ranked 18th of 29 and the Penalty Kill is 10th overall. The team has not scored or surrendered a shorthanded goal.
* The last win for the Wolf Pack was at Providence on October 17th. They are 0-6-2 since.
* Dupont’s power play goal ended a 0-25 drought with the man-advantage.
* The eight game winless streak 0-6-2-0 broke the previous worst runs from Feb. 20-March 9, 1999 when the team went 0-6-0-1 and Feb. 21-March 10, 2010 when they went 0-3-3-1.
Byers © – Newbury – J. Williams
Soryal – McKelvie – N. Williams
Dupont – Kennedy – Zuccarello
DiDiomete – Garlock – Tessier
Redden – Nightingale
McDonagh – Kundratek
Valentenko – Baldwin
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
Dale Weise – Broken Wrist – Four to Six Weeks
Jyri Niemi – Healthy Scratch
Tyler Donati – Healthy Scratch
Brandon Wong – Healthy Scratch
1. MCH – D. Kolomatis
2. MCH – A. Loktionov
3. HFD – C. Johnson
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Chris Ciamaga (41)
Ed Boyle (81)
Luke Galvin (2)
With two series of home-and-homes behind them, both defeats, the Wolf Pack will look to stop the worst skid in team history as they start a home-and-home series with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Tigers are struggling almost as badly as the Pack are. Both games this weekend start at 7pm with Bob Crawford and the pregame 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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Manchester Monarchs 3 – Status: Final
Friday, November 5, 2010 – Verizon Wireless Arena
Hartford 0 1 1 – 2
Manchester 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Manchester, Muzzin 1 (Loktionov, Elkins), 2:02 (PP). Penalties-Newbury Hfd (roughing), 0:26; DiDiomete Hfd (hooking), 9:58; Elkins Mch (interference), 12:26; Johnson Mch (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:29.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Dupont 1 (Kennedy, Zuccarello), 14:30 (PP). 3, Manchester, Kolomatis 1 (Loktionov, Moller), 17:56. Penalties-Azevedo Mch (high-sticking), 6:52; Garlock Hfd (holding), 10:25; Hickey Mch (holding), 12:37.
3rd Period-4, Manchester, Holloway 2 (Martinez, Hickey), 13:23 (PP). 5, Hartford, Zuccarello 3 (Kennedy, Williams), 18:50. Penalties-Johnson Mch (roughing), 7:59; Kundratek Hfd (slashing), 9:07; McDonagh Hfd (tripping), 13:16; Byers Hfd (high-sticking), 19:55.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 13-9-5-27. Manchester 14-12-14-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Manchester 2 / 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 2-8-1 (40 shots-37 saves). Manchester, Jones 2-0-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (41).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Luke Galvin (2).
WOLF PACK/WHALE WEEKLY: November 1-7, 2010
The Wolf Pack (3-5-2-1, 9 pts.) saw a winless skein extend to six games (0-4-2-0) this past week, with a pair of regulation losses and an overtime defeat. The Albany Devils came into the XL Center on Wednesday night and skated off with a 3-1 win, before the Wolf Pack wrapped up a five-game homestand by dropping a 2-1 overtime decision at home to Springfield on Friday, despite outshooting the Falcons 42-25. The Wolf Pack and Falcons completed a home-and-home set in Springfield on Saturday, and the home club broke out to a 3-0 lead before hanging on to win by a score of 3-2. Tomas Kundratek registered his first pro point with a goal in that game, and Devin DiDiomete got his first point of the season with the other Wolf Pack score.
The Wolf Pack faces its first four-games-in-five-nights stretch of the season this week, with a pair of Atlantic Division home-and-home sets. The Manchester Monarchs visit the XL Center on Wednesday night at 7:00, before the two teams rematch in Manchester on Friday night (7:00). Then it’s GEICO Connecticut Cup action vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Saturday night in Bridgeport (7:00) and Sunday at the XL Center. That Sunday game is a special 7:00 PM start.
Wednesday, November 3 vs. Manchester at the XL Center, 7:00 PM
· The Monarchs (5-3-1-1, 12 pts.) are currently tied with Springfield for second place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind division-leading Portland.
· This is the first of eight meetings on the year between the Wolf Pack and Manchester. The Pack were 3-5-0-0 in an eight-game season series last year, and won three of their four home games against the Monarchs.
· David Meckler (6-3-9) and Brandon Kozun (5-4-9) are tied for Manchester’s scoring lead, and Kozun is tied for second among AHL rookie scorers.
Friday, November 5 at Manchester (Verizon Wireless Arena), 7:00 PM
· Manchester is 3-1-1-0 in five home games thus far this year.
· The Wolf Pack were 0-4-0-0 in action in Manchester last season, and were outscored by a combined margin of 17-3 in their last three visits.
Saturday, November 6 at Bridgeport (Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard), 7:00 PM
· This is the second of ten GEICO Connecticut Cup battles this season between the Wolf Pack and their GEICO Connecticut Cup rivals the Sound Tigers. The Wolf Pack took the first clash, 2-1, October 16 in Bridgeport.
· The Sound Tigers stopped a two-game losing streak with a win in their last outing, a 3-2 overtime triumph in Manchester on Friday night. Overall, Coach Jack Capuano’s club is 3-5-0-0 for six points, three points behind the Wolf Pack.
· Rookie goaltender Kevin Poulin got the win Friday with 25 saves, and has two of Bridgeport’s three victories on the year (2-1-0, 2.00 GAA, 93.1 save percentage), and defenseman Travis Hamonic, a fellow first-year pro, netted the overtime game-winner.
Sunday, November 7 vs. Bridgeport at the XL Center, 7:00 PM
· Please note the special Sunday starting time of 7:00 PM for this game.
· This is the first of five Sound Tiger visits to the XL Center on the year. The Wolf Pack were 3-2-0-0 in five home games against Bridgeport last season.
Evgeny Grachev – recalled from the Wolf Pack by the New York Rangers October 28.
The Wolf Pack will officially be re-branded as the Connecticut Whale on November 27 for a game at the XL Center vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Wolf Pack’s final home game at the XL Center will be on November 13 vs. the Springfield Falcons. There will be several events commemorating the 13-plus year Wolf Pack history that night. A “Hartford Distributors/Bud Light All-time Wolf Pack Team” will be announced at the November 13 game, and fans are invited to cast their votes for the team, at CTWhale.com and at various retailers, courtesy of Hartford Distributors and Bud Light.
Individual tickets for Wolf Pack/Whale home games are on sale now at the XL Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may also be charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.CTwhale.com.
For information on Wolf Pack/Whale ticket packages, group sales and VIP packages, call (860) 728-3366
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 AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale is operated by Whalers Sports and Entertainment, a Hartford-based sports marketing and event firm founded by Howard Baldwin. 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.
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