Hartford Wolf Pack Weekly: Recent struggles concerning during stretch run

Hartford Wolf Pack
Hartford Wolf Pack Ronning in action (Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Last weekend was tough for the Hartford Wolf Pack as the group was unable to secure points in their two outings. I

Hartford fell short against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms despite having a two goal lead dropping a wild game by the score of 6-5. Then on Sunday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Hartford was flat until the dying minutes to get back into the game but ultimately fell 4-2.

Hartford Wolf Pack look ahead

As we enter a new week, the Wolf Pack still maintain good positioning in the Atlantic Division. Hartford continues to hold third in the division with a record of 27-18-5-2 for 61 points (.587). The Providence Bruins are in second place in the division and dropped three straight games. The Bruins are 28-17-3-3 for 62 points (.608) and Hartford still has the ability to move up in the standings.

For the upcoming playoffs, keep in mind that Hartford will have a week off prior the start of the 2022 run as the regular season ends on April 30th. The Wolf Pack’s last game is on April 24th. A first or second play finish will extend the time off with a first round bye.

Hartford will have the opportunity to earn six possible points beginning on Wednesday to conclude their five-game road trip.

Pack Watch

Hartford Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack look to get back to playing (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Ty Ronning Continues Production

The experienced forward has found himself on the scoresheet in recent weeks. Ronning has points in three straight (two goals, one assist) and in the last eight of 12 games (five goals, six assists). Ronning heating up is great timing for Hartford as the regular season is winding down.

Ronning continues to be reliable piece for the Wolf Pack. As the season progressed, he is becoming more comfortable with bigger games coming up. Ronning has shown strides against tough opponents and in critical situations.

Anthony Greco’s Point Streak Continues

The 28 year old veteran had another productive weekend with points in both outings to extend his current point streak to eight games.

In that span, Greco recorded three goals and eight assists for 11 points. The forward continues to pepper shots against goalies and earns multiple scoring opportunities throughout each game.

While Hartford’s captain Jonny Brodzinski is still up with New York and Tim Gettinger returned recently to Hartford, Greco is the workhorse to make up for lost offense and has given Hartford opportunities to secure points in the standings. Greco is another reliable forward for the group, especially on offense. You will notice him in each contest.

Austin Rueschhoff Continues Development

The 24 year old Rangers prospect is nearing completion of his first full regular season in the American Hockey League. Through 42 games, Rueschhoff collected 14 goals and eight assists for 22 points. The forward has shown strides in his game, especially on offense.

While Hartford was depleted from the taxi squad, Rueschhoff took the opportunity and ran with it, generating strong offensive opportunities and converted on them multiple times. In recent weeks, the prospect continues to generate chances. His defensive aspect is solid as well, helping with the transitional plays and is reliable on all zones of the ice.

Rueschhoff is being rewarded with his offensive opportunities once again as the forward has points in four straight games (two goals, three assists). He also recorded a two point night last Saturday against Lehigh Valley. His strong efforts and determination continues his steady development in Hartford.

Hunter Skinner’s Physical Play

The 20 year old is also in his first full season in the AHL as well. Skinner provides a physical presence in the lineup and is playing well in recent weeks. The Rangers prospect has helped Hartford in the defensive zone, with blocking shots and pushing opponents away from high scoring areas.

Skinner keeps his plays simple and will occasionally appear on the scoresheet when the opportunities arises. Skinner is a gritter defenseman that Hartford needs and is not afraid to drop the gloves or play in the dirty areas. See below when Skinner dropped the gloves after a hit on Cristiano DiGiacinto.

One Timers

  • Nils Lundkvist has points in four straight games (one goal, five assists). The prospect has points in the last six of seven games as well (two goals, seven assists).
  • Matt Lorito has points in two straight games (two goals, one assist). The veteran has points in the last six of seven outings (four goals, five assists).
  • Tanner Fritz has points in the last three of four outings (two goals, two assists).
  • Lauri Pajuniemi recorded a two point night on Saturday against Lehigh Valley (one goal, one assist).

Playoff Primer

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Hartford’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot stands at 27. You can check the playoff primer here as it is updated every morning.

Wolf Pack Schedule

Wednesday, March 16th vs Syracuse Crunch (Tampa) at 7pm, Upstate Medical Arena at The Oncenter War Memorial

  • This is the first of two meetings between the clubs. The last time both clubs met was in the 2019-20 season. Hartford was 0-2 against the Crunch in the season series that season. Syracuse will visit Hartford on April 2nd.
  • Entering the week, Syracuse is 25-21-6-2 for 58 points (.537). That ranks the group sixth in the North Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference. The Crunch are on a point streak, collecting points in four straight games (3-0-0-1). Syracuse is 5-2-2-1 in their last ten outings.
  • Veteran Gabriel Dumont leads the Crunch in points (47). The forward collected 24 goals and 23 assists in 54 games. Dumont is ranked 17th in the AHL for points. Forwards Charles Hudon and Alex Barré-Boulet are tied for second in points with 35. Hudon recorded 21 goals and 14 assists in 45 games. Barré-Boulet collected eight goals and 27 assists in 37 games.
  • Listen – ESPN 1200 Syracuse. Watch – AHLTV.

Friday, March 18th vs Laval Rocket (Montreal) at 7pm, Place Bell

  • This is the final game in the season series against the Rocket. Hartford won the first outing by a score of 4-0. Keith Kinkaid recorded the shutout in the contest.
  • Entering the week, Laval is 26-21-3 for 55 points (.550). That ranks the group fourth in the North Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Laval lost their last two outings and are 4-6 in their last ten games.
  • Montreal prospect Rafaël Harvey-Pinard leads the Rocket in points with 30. The forward collected 13 goals and 17 assists in 47 games. Veteran Jean-Sébastien Dea is second in points with 28. Dea recorded 16 goals and 12 assists in 48 games.
  • Listen – 91.9 Sports (French broadcast). Watch – AHLTV.

Saturday, March 19th vs Belleville Senators (Ottawa) at 7pm, CAA Arena

  • This is the second of four meetings in the season series. Hartford dropped the first outing on March 2nd by a score of 3-2 in overtime. The third meeting will be on April 1st in Hartford. The last meeting of the season will be on April 13th.
  • Entering the week, Belleville is 27-22-1 for 55 points (.550). That ranks the group third in the North Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Senators are 6-3-1 in their last ten outings. Belleville will be in action on Tuesday against the Utica Comets, then face Hershey on Friday before playing the Wolf Pack.
  • Forward Jake Lucchini leads the Senators in points with 35. Lucchini collected 16 goals and 19 assists in 50 games. Prospect Egor Sokolov is second in points with 34. The forward collected 14 goals and 20 assists in 42 games.
  • Listen – 800 CJBQ. Watch – AHLTV.