Graves' two third-period Goals Fuel Pack ComebackMar 13, 2016
(Photo by Michael McSweeney)
Rookie defenseman Ryan Graves scored a pair of third-period goals Sunday at the Cross Insurance Arena, to bring the Wolf Pack back from a 3-2 deficit to a 4-3 win over the Portland.
Graves tied the game at two at 6:25 of the third, pounding a 55-foot slap shot past Portland goaltender Mike McKenna (25 saves). Graves then completed his first multiple-goal game as a pro at 11:16, when he took a feed from Chad Nehring on the left-wing side and snapped a shot that found the top corner of the net over McKenna’s right shoulder.
The win was the Wolf Pack’s third in a row and improved Hartford’s record to a season-best five games over .500, at 32-27-2-0 for 66 points.
The Wolf Pack jumped ahead on the game’s first shot, with Chris Summers scoring his first goal of the season 2:33 in. Summers beat his check up the slot and took a pass from out of the right-wing corner from Luke Adam, and flicked a close-in shot past McKenna.
Portland controlled much of the play for the rest of the period, outshooting the Wolf Pack 11-5, and evened the score on Matt MacKenzie’s first AHL goal of the season at 11:56. Rocco Grimaldi fed the puck to MacKenzie at the right point, and he walked in a fired a shot past the stick side of Wolf Pack goaltender Magnus Hellberg (29 saves).
Hartford grabbed the lead back at 6:02 of the second period, on a strong individual effort by Adam. Calle Andersson passed the puck from the left point to Adam at the side of the goal, and he headed around the net all the way to the slot, and put a snap shot into the net on McKenna’s stick side.
The Pirates would get the next two, though, starting at 11:45, when Rob Flick got Portland back into a tie. After the Wolf Pack failed to get the puck out of their zone near the blue line, Chase Balisy sent Flick up the middle. Flick worked his way to the right side of the goal mouth and stuffed a backhand shot into the net.
Then, on Portland’s first power play of the game, with Summers off for holding, Mackenzie Weegar scored at 14:53 to put the Pirates ahead for the first time. Cameron Gaunce prevented Hellberg from covering the puck, and he and Connor Brickley combined to find Weegar at the top of the circles. Hellberg was unable to stop Weegar’s one-timer.
The Wolf Pack’s next game is also against the Pirates, this Friday, March 18 at the XL Center. That contest faces off at 7:15 PM, and it being a Friday, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all remaining 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 at Portland Pirates 3
Sunday, March 13, 2016 - Cross Insurance Arena
Hartford 1 1 2 - 4
Portland 1 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Summers 1 (Adam, Megna), 2:33. 2, Portland, MacKenzie 1 (Grimaldi, Harper), 11:56. Penalties-Knight Por (hooking), 17:11.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Adam 10 (Andersson, O'Donnell), 6:02. 4, Portland, Flick 7 (Balisy, Gaunce), 11:45. 5, Portland, Weegar 6 (Brickley, Gaunce), 14:53 (PP). Penalties-Summers Hfd (holding), 14:31; T. Brown Hfd (tripping), 16:58.
3rd Period-6, Hartford, Graves 8 (Hrivik, Paille), 6:25. 7, Hartford, Graves 9 (Nehring, Tambellini), 11:16. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hartford 5-13-11-29. Portland 11-14-7-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 1; Portland 1 / 2.
Goalies-Hartford, Hellberg 24-16-0 (32 shots-29 saves). Portland, McKenna 25-14-2 (29 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Peter MacDougall (57), Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Brendan Blanchard (62), Alex Stagnone (7).