Archive for Prospects
Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
Allentown, PA, November 26, 2016 – The Hartford Wolf Pack finished the first quarter of their season with a 3-1 win Saturday night over the Atlantic Division-leading Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center.
The Wolf Pack (6-10-3-0, 15 pts.) built a 3-0 lead on goals by Nicklas Jensen, Matt Carey and Chris Brown, and Magnus Hellberg only allowed a late second-period goal by Phantom defenseman Samuel Morin.
Albany Devils 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (OT)
By Henry Lucey
Hartford, CT, November 25, 2016 – Miles Wood’s goal at 1:43 of overtime completed an Albany Devil comeback Friday night at the XL Center, in a 4-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The Devils fought back from a 3-1 third-period deficit on goals by Kevin Rooney and Ben Sexton.
In front of a crowd of 4,909, Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander’s squad came out attacking in the game’s opening frame. After an early power play saw the Pack land five shots but ultimately come up empty-handed, Hartford’s Chris Brown finally broke the stalemate at the 9:55 mark. The right-winger found himself unmarked at the bottom of the left circle and sent a snap-shot off of Mackenzie Blackwood’s glove and into the back of Albany’s net, for Brown’s fourth tally of the year.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Providence Bruins 3 (SO)
By Henry Lucey
Hartford, CT, November 20, 2016 – For the second time in as many home games, Steven Fogarty notched the shootout winner for the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at the XL Center, in a 4-3 win over the Providence Bruins.
After a slow start saw Harford land just one shot in the first five minutes of play, the Pack’s offense caught fire at the 8:32 mark. Chris Brown put the Wolf Pack on the scoreboard when he collected Ryan Graves’ rebound that was bouncing in front of the net and swiftly deposited the puck past the near side of Providence goalie Anton Khudobin.
Just sixty-one seconds later, Matt Carey added to the Wolf Pack’s lead, corralling a Providence turnover and firing a snap shot over Khudobin’s blocker at 9:33. On the opposite end of the ice, Hartford’s defense was dominant, surrendering just six shots, all of which were saved by Magnus Hellberg.
Binghamton Senators 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Binghamton, NY, November 19, 2016 – A four-goal second period carried the Binghamton Senators to a 6-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Marek Hrivik and Tanner Glass had a goal and an assist each for the Wolf Pack, but Francis Perron scored twice for Binghamton, Jack Rodewald had a goal and two assists, and Kyle Flanagan chipped in three assists.
“We’ve got to find a way to come out of our own zone cleaner,” said Glass of the Wolf Pack’s second-period difficulties. “We had the puck in full possession a few times there and were not making the good first pass that it takes to come out cleanly, especially against a team that was forechecking the way they were.”
Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Springfield Thunderbirds 2 (SO)
By Henry Lucey
Hartford, CT, November 16, 2016 – After falling behind 2-0, the Hartford Wolf Pack stormed back to beat the Springfield Thunderbirds, 3-2, Wednesday night at the XL Center. Nicklas Jensen scored twice for the Wolf Pack, and rookie center Steven Fogarty provided the shootout winner.
Both teams struggled to develop any offensive rhythm in the opening period. Hartford did not land their first shot on goal until the 4:25 mark, while it took Springfield just over six and half minutes to get a shot on Brandon Halverson’s net.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
By Henry Lucey
Hartford, CT, November 13, 2016 – The Hartford Wolf Pack were unable to recover from a 3-0 first-period deficit Sunday at the XL Center, falling 4-1 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Reid Gardiner put the Penguins on the board just a minute and thirty-nine seconds into the contest when he blocked a Michael Paliotta shot and deposited the ensuing breakaway attempt into the back of Magnus Hellberg’s net.
At 7:22, Hartford’s Chris Summers was booked for tripping, sending the Penguins on the first power play of the afternoon. Less than a minute into the penalty, Dominik Simon buried a rebound attempt created by Chad Ruhwedel’s slap shot, to stretch the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead to 2-0 at 8:02.
Utica Comets 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (OT)
Utica, NY, November 12, 2016 – Darren Archibald’s second goal of the game at the 34-second mark of overtime sent the Utica Comets to a 3-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
The Wolf Pack had four power plays in the third period, including two minutes of 5-on-3, but could not break a 2-2 tie against Comet rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko, who earned his first pro win with 29 saves.
Tanner Glass scored in the first period for the Wolf Pack, and Mat Bodie scored his first of the year on an early third-period power play, the Wolf Pack’s only goal on eight man advantages on the night. Curtis Valk had a goal and two assists for the Comets.
Rochester Americans 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Rochester, NY, November 11, 2016 – Defenseman Taylor Fedun had four points, with a goal and three assists, and Justin Kea scored twice Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial, as the Rochester Americans defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack, 5-2.
“We definitely thought we had that one,” Brown said. “It should have been a win, and it was tough. We had too many big mistakes that cost us goals. We’ve got to sharpen up and be ready to play [Saturday].”
While the Rangers have started the season on fire offensively, the news is a little more mixed down in the AHL where several Ranger prospects are getting acclimatised to the pro ranks.
The Wolfpack, as a whole, have started poorly and are rooted to the bottom of the Atlantic division with a 3-6-1 record, all the while letting in more goals than the Titanic took on water (44 at last count). The poor play generally has seen McKenzie Skapski demoted to the ECHL and Brandon Halverson brought up in his place.
Looking at the prospects that are in Hartford, the most promising performances have come from a pair of defensemen in Ryan Graves and John Gilmour who both have five points thus far. Indeed, Graves has really stood out as he’s thrown a ton of rubber on net, leading the ‘Pack in shots (35). While Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen lead the team in points with 9 and 7 respectively neither players’ play thus far will have made the Rangers take much notice.
In light of Mackenzie Skapski’s recent struggles in the AHL (0-4-4, 5.17 GAA, .848 SV%), the Rangers have sent him to the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Brandon Halverson, the Rangers second round pick in the 2014 draft, has been recalled to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Halverson has a 3-1-0 record with Greenville, sporting a 1.70 GAA and a .943 SV%.
It’s a little troubling that Skapski has now been sent to the ECHL in each of the last two seasons. It was expected that he would be slow to return after major hip surgery in the summer of 2015, so starting slowly in the ECHL then may not have been too surprising. However the slow start to the season is worrying for the 22-year-old goalie.
Even with Skapski’s struggles, the Rangers have incredible depth at the goaltender position in the system. Hopefully, this is just a blip on the radar for Skapski.