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Hartford Wolf Pack Update - February 10 to 17

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

With a 2-1-0 mark in three games this past week, the Hartford Wolf Pack currently sit at 24-21-7-4 with 59 points in 56 games, positioned as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League playoff race.

The Pack received solid performances from John Tripp and Roman Lyashenko this past week. Tripp recorded a hat trick to help the Pack skate past the Worcester Ice Cats on Wednesday, while Lyashenko netted four goals along with a pair of assists in three games. Tripp leads the team with 24 goals this season, while Lyashenko is tied for third on the club with 37 points. The Pack get set for three games in three nights this upcoming weekend - Friday vs. Bridgeport, Saturday at Albany and Sunday vs. Manchester.

Worcester, February 12, 2003 -- John Tripp recorded a hat trick to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-3 victory over the Worcester IceCats. Tripp, who scored with 1:18 remaining in the first period, tied the game at 3-3 with 3:53 left in regulation and notched the game-winning goal only 44 seconds later. Dixon Ward and Benoit Dusablon each had a pair of assists and Johan Holmqvist stopped 32 shots for Hartford, which has recorded a point in eight of its last 11 games. Jame Pollock scored two goals and Curtis Sanford posted 19 saves for Worcester, which has won just two wins its last 12 games.

Hartford, February 14, 2003 -- Roman Lyashenko scored a pair of goals and added an assist as the Hartford Wolf Pack doubled up the Milwaukee Admirals, 6-3. Lyashenko opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the first period with his 11th goal of the season and gave Hartford a 3-1 advantage 6:11 into the second with his first multi-goal game of the year. Jay Henderson had a goal and an assist and Nils Ekman added a pair of helpers for the Wolf Pack, who have won two in a row. Johan Holmqvist made 24 saves in the win. Former Wolf Pack defenseman Peter Smrek scored a goal and added an assist for Milwaukee, which is winless over its last eight games.

Hartford, February 15, 2003 -- Jeff Toms, who played for Hartford last season, recorded his first hat trick this season to help the San Antonio Rampage defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack, 6-2. Toms opened the scoring 3:50 into the game with his 17th of the season. Just 2:42 later, he gave his team a 3-0 lead before completing the trifecta with 1:27 left in regulation on an empty-net goal. Juraj Kolnik added a goal and an assist and defenseman Jamie Rivers chipped in with a pair of assists for San Antonio, which was 0-for-5 on the power play. Chris Mason made 30 saves for the win. Roman Lyashenko tallied and Chris Pittman netted his first of the year for Hartford, which dropped to 2-2-1-1 in the month of February. Johan Holmqvist surrendered four goals on 20 shots before being replaced by Jason LaBarbera in the second period.

Defenseman Mike Wilson was reassigned to Hartford on February 17 to make room for Pavel Bure on the roster. Wilson was acquired by the Rangers on February 10 from the Pittsburgh Penguins and has spent this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. He has skated in 45 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, registering four goals and five assists for nine points, along with 89 penalty minutes.

The Wolf Pack signed center Chris Pittman to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement on February 11. The 6-2, 215-pound forward had been skating in the East Coast Hockey League with the Columbia Inferno. In 51 games with the Inferno, the 26-year-old had registered 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points

Toronto Roadrunners join the AHL
Springfield, February 12, 2003 -- The Toronto Roadrunners have officially been welcomed as the American Hockey League's 29th active franchise, to begin play in the 2003-04 season. The Roadrunners name, logo and uniform were unveiled at a press conference today on the construction site of the new Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.

The Roadrunners will serve as the top development team of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, and play their home games at the Ricoh Coliseum, located at the National Trade Centre on the grounds of Canadian National Exhibition Place. The historic Coliseum, which opened in 1922, is undergoing a $38-million renovation to become a state-of-the-art 10,000-seat facility.

"We're proud to add one of the world's foremost hockey cities into the American Hockey League," said AHL President and CEO David Andrews. "The Roadrunners bolster our Canadian Division and will instantly create some great on-ice rivalries."

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