Graves Downs Bears With Overtime WinnerOct 26, 2016
By Henry Lucey
Ryan Graves connected on a slap shot from the right point at 2:35 of overtime to lift the Wolf Pack to thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the Hershey Bears Wednesday night at the XL Center.
Following an up-tempo start, the contest remained scoreless until Hershey’s Tyler Lewington fired a wrist-shot over Wolf Pack goaltender Magnus Hellberg’s right shoulder at 15:42 of the first period. Hartford finished the opening frame with seven shots, but were unable to capitalize, and went into the break trailing by a 1-0 score.
Hartford’s scoring drought came to end when Chris Brown crashed the Hersey net and deflected in a power play goal at 7:24. The goal, Brown’s first of the season, was assisted by Adam Tambellini and Calle Andersson. With the crowd still on its feet, Malte Stromwall notched his first North American professional goal just 55 seconds later, giving the Pack a 2-1 advantage.
However, Troy Mann’s gritty Hershey squad was quick to respond, as Paul Carey beat Hellberg to level the score at the 9:41 mark. It appeared that Matt Carey had reclaimed the lead for Hartford at 16:06, but the score was quickly waved off, because Robin Kovacs had been whistled for goaltender interference prior to the tally.
A high-scoring second period was followed by a defensive stalemate in the third. Hartford landed twelve shots on goal to Hershey’s eight, but neither Hellberg nor Hershey’s Joe Cannata could be beaten. The Bears were given a golden opportunity when Hartford’s Calle Andersson was booked for a delay of game penalty at 17:46, but the Wolf Pack penalty-kill unit held strong, sending the contest into overtime.
Just five seconds past the halfway point of the sudden death, three-on-three, overtime format, Graves hammered a slap shot into the lower right corner of Cannata’s net.
Following the on-ice celebration, Graves remarked, “I had quite a bit of time, and I walked into it, and I was just trying to get it past the first defenseman and hopefully beat the goalie.”
The win not only improved Hartford’s record to 3-2-0 on the young season, but also marked the 800th victory in franchise history.
The Wolf Pack continue a six-game homestand this Friday night, October 28, when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms visit the XL Center for a 7:15 PM game. It being a Friday, that night features $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Hershey Bears 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (OT)
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - XL Center
Hershey 1 1 0 0 - 2
Hartford 0 2 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hershey, Lewington 1 (Barber, Ness), 15:42. Penalties-Summers Hfd (interference), 9:17; Hughes Hfd (delay of game), 10:14; Williams Her (slashing), 16:11; Brown Hfd (hooking), 17:00.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Brown 1 (Tambellini, Andersson), 7:24 (PP). 3, Hartford, Stromwall 1 (Gilmour, Hrivik), 8:19. 4, Hershey, Carey 2 (Ness, Boyd), 9:41. Penalties-Williams Her (tripping), 3:00; Mitchell Her (tripping), 7:19; C. Bourque Her (slashing), 11:49; Kovacs Hfd (goaltender interference), 16:06.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Brown Hfd (slashing), 7:17; Williams Her (hooking), 14:32; Andersson Hfd (delay of game), 17:46.
OT Period-5, Hartford, Graves 1 (Jensen), 2:35. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hershey 6-8-8-1-23. Hartford 7-13-12-3-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 6; Hartford 1 / 5.
Goalies-Hershey, Cannata 1-1-1-0 (35 shots-32 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 3-0-0-0 (23 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Geoff Miller (28), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Derek Wahl (46).