Wolf Pack Weekly: Rangers prospect Huska gets 1st AHL win

Wolf Pack

As the season winds down, the Wolf Pack will finish up the remainder of their schedule and prepare for the anticipated off-season in April. There are ten games on tap before we conclude the 2018-19 season.

Recent Play Still Not Enough To Get Out From Last

Hartford has won three of their last five and six of the last ten. Unfortunately, Hartford is still in last place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 28-29-6-3 for 65 points. The positive for this season is the potential to finish above .500, a mark which the team has hovered around all season.

  • Springfield is ahead by one point for seventh.
  • Lehigh Valley is ahead by three points for sixth.
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is ahead by five points for fifth.

These teams are not far to reach for the group. If the Pack get hot enough, they have the potential to jump ahead of a few teams. Hartford is nine points out from a playoff spot as we enter the week.

Adam Huska Gets First Pro Win

Last Saturday in Utica, the Pack skated out with a 5-3 win over the Comets. Adam Huska stopped 25 of 28 shots for his first professional win as the young goaltender appeared in his second game of the season with Hartford.

Looking ahead in the organization, there are still developments to unfold regarding the goaltending situation in Hartford, as both Chris Nell and Brandon Halverson become RFAs at the end of the season.

As the season unfolded, Brandon Halverson has proven that he could play well at the AHL and ECHL levels. The Rangers prospect struggled continually up until this season where he has shown flashes of strong progress. In Hartford, the prospect has played well enough to give him the starting role with the Pack after Dustin Tokarski and Marek Mazanec were traded elsewhere. Brandon Halverson in 30 games with Maine had a 2.67 GAA with a .924 SV%, and a record of 15-13-1. In Hartford, the stats aren’t as good. His GAA bumped up to 3.06 and his SV% dropped to .898 in 15 games. His record is 7-5 for the season.

Ryan Gropp Finding His Game

Since joining Hartford after spending time in Maine, Ryan Gropp has found his game with the Pack. The forward has found ways to put the puck in the net and help set up creative plays to get the offense going for the group. Ryan Gropp’s name is becoming noticeable on the scoresheet as of late. Once he found a spark, he has found ways to play as a better forward. For a player such as him, this is a good way to end the season. Improve, regroup, and learn for the upcoming season to create more noise.

John Gilmour Establish New Franchise Record

Hey now, you’re an all-star! John Gilmour’s two-goal performance last Wednesday against Binghamton has set a new franchise record for a defenseman.

In a down season, John Gilmour was one of the bright spots on the young roster. As a result, he earned a much-earned call up to the big club.

Roster Moves

Since the last edition of Wolf Pack Weekly, the transaction wire continues to be busy. Let’s check out the latest moves here:

  • John Gilmour and Vinni Lettieri were called up on March 18th. Both players in Hartford were the most consistent and performed quite well on a struggling team. Best of luck to both!
  • Greg Chase was released from his PTO and assigned to Maine on March 18th.
  • Drew Melanson is back in Hartford once again through a call up on March 19th.
  • Nick Jones (Signed Standard Players Contract) and Matthew Register (PTO) joins Hartford on March 19th as well.

One Timers

  • Matt Beleskey has assists in back to back outings.
  • Ryan Gropp has points in four straight, and points in six of the last seven games. In the span of seven contests, the prospect produced five goals and three assists for eight points.
  • Sean Day recorded two assists on Saturday in Utica.
  • Dawson Leedahl is the last player on the roster who played in at least one game with Hartford that has yet to register a single point.

Upcoming Games

Hartford will finish up their four-game road trip on Sunday afternoon. Hartford has five home and away games remaining.

Saturday, March 23rd vs Charlotte Checkers (Carolina) at 6pm, Bojangles Coliseum
  • This is the sixth of eight meetings against Charlotte. Hartford is 1-4 in the season series.
  • Saturday’s contest begins a mini-series against the Checkers as Hartford faces the club three straight games.
  • Hartford has not won a game in franchise history at the current arena, Bojangles Coliseum and the Checkers former home, Spectrum Center. In the last two seasons, Hartford is 0-6. The franchise played games in Charlotte during the tenure as the Connecticut Whale in 2010. The total record is 0-8.
  • The Checkers are 41-15-7-1 for 90 points. That puts Charlotte first in the Atlantic Division, and first in the American Hockey League. The second best is the Syracuse Crunch with 88 points.
Sunday, March 24th vs Charlotte Checkers (Carolina) at 3pm, Bojangles Coliseum
  • This will be the seventh of eight meetings in the season series.
  • Hartford has won their last four games on the road.
  • The Pack will get to see former goaltender Dustin Tokarski. There is a chance he play against his old team.