Rangers Minor Leaguers Prepare For Regular Season

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It’s go time. The regular season for the Wolf Pack begins on Friday night. The club has finalized their roster, which has the potential to make noise in the American Hockey League. I’m excited about this season since the organization has stocked up for the farm and the youth movement has begun in the big club.

Preseason Outcome

Hartford defeated Bridgeport by the final of 2-1. Shawn St. Amant registered both goals for the Pack. Brandon Halverson started in net and stopped 21 of 22 shots.

“I really liked our compete to loose pucks,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We did a good job using our speed in the offensive zone to generate second and third opportunities.”

The Pack looked impressive in the outing as they had multiple chances and good transition. The players were playing with energy and precision from puck drop to the final buzzer and the Pack outshot Bridgeport 43 to 22.

Finalized Roster

The Pack have two goalies, eight defensemen, and 14 forwards.

Goalies: Marek Mazanec, and Dustin Tokarski.

Defense: Chris Bigras, Sean Day, John Gilmour, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Rob O’Gara, Brandon Crawley, and Vince Pedrie.

Forwards: Lias Andersson, Bobby Butler, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Tim Gettinger, Ryan Gropp, Peter Holland, Dawson Leedahl, Michael Lindqvist, Ville Meskanen, Shawn O’Donnell, Ty Ronning, Shawn St. Amant, and Cole Schneider.

Lines will be determined later in the week when they approach Friday’s game.

Who’s Cut?

The following players were sent down to Maine of the ECHL.

Goalies (3): Brandon Halverson, Chris Nell, and Connor LaCouvee

Defenseman (2): Derek Pratt and Scott Savage.

Forwards (6): Drew Melanson, Jason Salvaggio, Riley Bourbonnais, Alex Kile, Mike Marnell, and Brady Vail.

Upcoming Games

Week one of the AHL season features two home games for the Wolf Pack, and the first road game will be in the following week.

Friday, October 5th vs Providence Bruins (Boston) at 7:15 pm, XL Center

  • Hartford’s opening night.
  • Providence has lost a few powerful players in the off-season from free agency.
  • The first of ten games against the Bruins.  There are 20 points on the table in the season series.
  • The Pack play Providence three times in October.

Sunday, October 7th vs Laval Rocket (Montreal) at 3:00 pm, XL Center

  • Hartford plays Laval twice, one home and one away.
  • The Rocket struggled last season. The organization lost ten games to finish the 2017-18 season for 58 points. They had the least amount of points in the league.
  • The Pack will finish the season series within a ten-game span. The next outing will be on Wednesday, October 17th in Laval.
  • The Pack went 0-1-1 in the season series last year.

Watch and Listen

You can listen to the Pack on the iHeartRadio app on your mobile device. On the desktop, you can listen through here. The Pack is on News Radio 1410 WPOP Hartford.

To watch, there is a cheap way! Follow the action on AHL TV. Hartford’s package to watch every game is $59.99. For home or away games with Hartford, the pricing drops to $39.99. There is also a monthly pass of $19.99 or a daily pass for $6.99.

AHL Rule Changes

There are minor tweaks this season for the AHL. However, the biggest change is when a team takes a penalty. This raises the stakes higher.

76.2 – Apparently a late addition: When a penalty leads to a power play, they will still face off in the defensive end of the penalized team. But now, the team going on the power play will get to pick at which dot they’ll face off, and the defending team won’t get to change after that. (Even if that draw comes to the neutral zone, whether because the team going on the power play iced the puck, or because its defensemen joined a scrum below the dots, the team going on the power play still gets to pick the dot.)

The Pack has to be smart when taking penalties. Otherwise, this could bite them in critical moments in the game. This is being tried in the AHL, and if successful, it could be in the NHL down the road.