Rangers Roundup: Wolf Pack eliminated, and Brennan Othmann one win away
The Hartford Wolf Pack were swept by the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night and have been eliminated from the 2023 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.
This puts an end to an impressive run that saw them eliminate the Springfield Thunderbirds and Providence Bruins in their two previous best-of-five series.
Veteran forward Tanner Fritz led the Pack in playoff scoring with 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists) in 9 games. Lauri Pajuniemi paced the team in goals with 4 and Zac Jones led all defensemen in scoring with 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists).
Wolf Pack eliminated
The best news to come out of these playoffs was the play of goalie Dylan Garand.
After a pedestrian regular-season where he posted a GAA of 3.01 with a .894 save percentage, the 20 year-old found a whole new level in the postseason.
In 8 starts, Garand went 5-3 and was clutch with a .935 save percentage. That led to a 1.76 GAA and two shutouts. The Pack were underdogs in every series.
“This league can be really rough on a young goalie,” AHL writer Patrick Williams told Forever Blueshirts. “What really strikes me is that he learns from his mistakes and doesn’t tend to let them pile up. That’s what young goalies usually struggle with. However, he’s able to shut it down and move on. He’s very mature and has a real strong head on his shoulders.”
Meanwhile, forward prospect Will Cuylle struggled at times with the extra level of attention the opposition put on him. He finished with just 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 9 playoff matches.
Despite a difficult postseason, the 21 year-old should be ready to make an impact on the Rangers next season.
“He plays a very simple up and down game,” Williams explained. “I think that translates easier to the NHL when you don’t add too much complication to your game. He’s a great candidate to play for the Rangers with a great shot at camp to make the team.”
Brennan Othmann one step closer
When Brennan Othmann was traded from the Flint Firebirds to the Peterborough Petes, he stated it was due to his desire to win an OHL title.
After the Petes took it to the London Knights in Game 4, they are just one win away from winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
“It’s what I set out to do at 16 years old,” Othmann said after the move via a Petes’ FB video. “For me, it’s about learning how to be a pro and I want to play in the NHL next year. Right now, I’m a Pete and the goal is to win a championship and a Memorial Cup.”
The Rangers’ first-round pick in 2021 has been instrumental this postseason in the Pete’s success. The 20 year-old leads the team with 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points in 21 playoff games.
Game 5 is Friday night in London with a 7:30 pm et puck drop.