Archive for AHL – Hartford Wolf Pack

Renaissance For Ryan Potulny?


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Still only 30 years of age, there can be little question that experienced veteran Ryan Potulny would like to rediscover his goal-scoring form at the American Hockey League level and parlay that success into another yet another opportunity to skate in the vaunted National Hockey League. Last term, the one-time University of Minnesota Golden Gophers star set off for adventure and glory with Russian club Avangard Omsk of the high-paying Kontinental Hockey League but only found a serious shoulder injury which would require surgery. Now based professionally in New England with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack after spending a combined fine years skating in central and southeastern Pennsylvania for the Hershey Bears and Philadelphia Phantoms, respectively, it is, perhaps, only fitting that Potulny would net a goal on his debut at the brand new PPL Center in Allentown.

After all, the native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, has been a most reliable goal-scorer in the American Hockey League all throughout his career at that level before :

2006/07 … Philadelphia ……………….. 30 ga … 12 go … 26 pts
2007/08 … Philadelphia ……………….. 58 ga … 21 go … 47 pts
2008/09 … Springfield …………………. 70 ga … 38 go … 62 pts
2009/10 … Springfield …………………. 14 ga ….. 3 go ….. 5 pts *
2010/11 … Rockford / Binghamton …… 71 ga … 21 go … 49 pts
2011/12 … Hershey …………………….. 61 ga … 33 go … 65 pts
2012/13 … Hershey …………………….. 66 ga … 19 go … 41 pts
2013/14 … Hershey …………………….. 38 ga ….. 3 go … 10 pts

* Potulny spent most of the 2009/10 campaign turning out for the Edmonton Oilers in the National Hockey League and posted career highs of 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 64 NHL games that season … a national champion in 2004 and a NCAA (West) First Team All-America selection in 2006, the University of Minnesota product also appeared in all six games for the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Championships held in Germany where he was joint third-best scorer on the American squad with four points (two goals).

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Potulny signed a two-year deal with Russian club Avangard Osmk in late May of 2013 but then, in early August, injured his shoulder skating against fellow Russian / KHL side Metallurg Magnitogorsk during a pre-season exhibition contest in Fuessen, a town in the extreme south of Germany that is situated only five kilometers north of the Austrian border. Injured as well as homesick, the American import and Russian club soon terminated the contract by mutual consent with Avangard Osmk agreeing to pay for surgery & rehabilitation and Potulny waiving his right to collect any salary while out injured. Only a few days before Christmas, the NHL veteran inked a new AHL contract with his previous employers, the Hershey Bears.

As it was, Potulny’s goal against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms was, in fact, his very first strike in the sweater of the Hartford Wolf Pack … Undoubtedly, the New York Rangers’ top farm club are hoping for a scoring renaissance from the experienced veteran who now has 151 AHL goals (308 points, 417 games) to his credit.

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Hartford Wolf Pack’s Three-Goal Third Period At PPL Center Provides Understrength Lehigh Valley Phantoms With Third Straight Loss


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In spite of scoring the game’s first goal less than half a minute into Saturday night’s contest, surely an overall lack of professional experience as well as simple fatigue on the home team’s blue line played a significant role as the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack skated past the skidding Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-2 in the American Hockey League.

Phantoms center Kevin Goumas, the undrafted 22-year-old first-year professional who totaled 19 goals and 52 points in 40 NCAA games for the University of New Hampshire last term, notched his first goal of this 2014/15 AHL campaign only 28 seconds into the game but Lehigh Valley never really could sustain its attack throughout the whole contest. Highly touted rookie Scott Laughton, the first round pick (# 20 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2012 NHL Draft who netted five goals in his first five AHL games for the Phantoms this fall, was kept off the scoresheet on his a third consecutive outing. Second-year center Nick Cousins, the 21-year-old Canadian legionnaire who was Philadelphia’s third round selection at the 2011 NHL Draft and now leads the Flyers’ AHL farm club with 10 points (three goals) this season, added a late strike for Lehigh Valley but it was mostly cosmetic.

Former Flyers center Ryan Potulny, the 30-year-old veteran out of the University of Minnesota who was Philadelphia’s third round choice (# 87 overall) and does have 126 NHL games (22 go, 49 pts) under his belt, came good with a goal and an assist for the visitors in the third period at the $ 177.1 million dollar PPL Center on Hamilton Street in Allentown. Hartford broke Lehigh Valley’s back by scoring two goals within sixty-six seconds of one another in the latter half of the final frame. Wolf Pack left wings Justin Vaive, the fourth-year pro from the University of Miami (Ohio) whose father, Rick, was a bona fide goal-scorer at the NHL level for many, many years, and Chris Bourque, the 28-year-old veteran out of Boston University whose father, Ray, is a proud member of the prestigious Hockey Hall Of Fame, did the honors.

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Hartford rookie defenseman Mat Bodie (2), the undrafted 24-year-old Canadian legionnaire who had 31 assists in 40 NCAA games for national champion Union College last season, was directly involved in the game-winning tally while the Wolf Pack’s freshman netminder Mackenzie Skapski (70), the 20-year-old from Abbotsford, British Columbia, who was the sixth round choice (# 170 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2013 NHL draft, displayed fine form for the visitors at the new PPL Center in Allentown.
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November 1, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,114

Hartford Wolf Pack 4Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2

00:28 … LV – Goumas (Powe, Alderson)
24:35 … HRT – Lindberg (Fast, Hughes)
42:03 … HRT – Potulny (Bodie, Vaive)
53:12 … HRT – Vaive (Potulny)
54:18 … HRT – C. Bourque (unassisted)
57:00 … LV – Cousins (Flemming, Straka)

shots-on-goal : HRT 31 ( 10 + 9 + 12 ) – LV 29 ( 10 + 9 + 10 )

penalty minutes : HRT 9 – LV 9

power plays : HRT 0/2 – LV 0/2

fights : Mathers (LV) vs Tarnasky (HRT)

10-minute misconducts : none

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Lamarche ; Flemming – Leier, Laughton, Gordon ; Powe, Goumas, Alderson ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Fyten, Johnston, Mathers

Hartford : Skapski – Spinell, Hughes ; Allen, Nightingale ; Bodie, McIlrath – Vaive, Potulny, Crabb ; C. Bourque, Lindberg, Fast ; Tarnasky, Hrivik, Kristo ; R. Bourque, Miller, Haggerty

Notes — Phantoms defenseman Steven Delisle, the 24-year-old Canadian legionnaire from Levis, Quebec, who was the fourth round pick (# 107 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2008 NHL Draft and had all of four points (one goal) in 50 AHL games (76 penalty minutes, -10 defensive rating) for the Adirondack Phantoms last season, suffered an injury during the pre-game skate — having no other healthy rearguards on the active roster, Lehigh Valley were forced to go with just five players on the blue line against visiting Hartford.

Wolf Pack center Oscar Lindberg, the talented 23-year-old who had 44 points (18 goals) in 75 AHL games for Hartford as a rookie professional in North America last season, appeared in all ten games for gold medalist Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring; while skating for AIK Skelleftea, the second round selection (# 57 overall) of the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2010 NHL Draft had been the Most Valuable Player of the Swedish elite league playoffs in the spring of 2013.

Hartford center Marek Hrivak, the 23-year-old import who totaled 13 goals and 27 points in 74 AHL games for the Wolf Pack last season, made his senior debut at a major international tournament by skating in six of Slovakia’s seven games at the 2014 IIHF World Championships.

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