Jones, Goaltending Help Pack Nip BridgeportSep 27, 2019
Nick Jones scored both Wolf Pack goals, and goaltenders Adam Huska and Tom McCollum combined to stop 37 out of 38 shots, Friday at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center, in a 2-1 AHL preseason victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Patrick Newell assisted on both of Jones’ goals, and a Connor Doherty shorthanded score was the Sound Tigers’ only marker.
The win evened the preseason slate at 1-1 for the Wolf Pack, who dropped their preseason opener, 4-2, to the Springfield Thunderbirds Wednesday night at the Danbury Ice Arena.
“We had another strong start, which is nice, but we need to work on some things to maintain that pressure,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “And the goaltending, I think that’s a big story today, was how well both goaltenders played. It could have been a different situation, but Adam and Tom were really good for us.”
Jones opened the scoring at 13:46 of the first period, on a strong individual effort. He battled the puck out of the left-wing corner and threaded his way to the front of the Bridgeport net, before stuffing a close-in bid underneath the left pad of Sound Tiger goaltender Jakub Skarek.
Shots favored the Wolf Pack by a margin of 8-4 in the first, and the second period was scoreless, despite a 16-4 shots edge for Bridgeport.
Jones clicked for his second of the game only 26 seconds into the third period, making it a 2-0 Hartford lead.
A Matt Beleskey pass from the right-wing corner found Jones alone to the right of Linus Soderstrom, who had relieved Skarek at 11:01 of the second period, and Jones easily flicked the puck past Soderstrom on the glove side.
“He’s a guy that’s just continued to impress,” Knoblauch said of Jones. “Obviously he has some skills, but I think what separates him is his determination. He works so hard. He’s not the fastest guy, not the most skilled guy, but he just wins a lot of puck battles. He goes into the corner and comes out with the puck so often.”
That goal loomed large, as Doherty cut the lead in half for Bridgeport at 6:06, while the Wolf Pack were on their first power play of the game. Doherty and Kyle Thomas moved into the Hartford zone on a 2-on-1, and Thomas sent the puck across from the right side to Doherty, who shot back against the grain to beat McCollum.
McCollum, who made 25 saves in just 28:59 of work, and the Wolf Pack shut the door the rest of the way, though, including a stretch of 1:21 at the end of the contest during which the Sound Tigers had Soderstrom on the bench for an extra attacker.
The Wolf Pack open their 2019-20 regular season next Saturday, October 5, with a home-ice contest vs. the defending Calder Cup-champion Charlotte Checkers. Faceoff is 7:00 PM. Tickets for that game, and all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games, are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Friday, September 27, 2019 - Koeppel Community Sports Center
Bridgeport 0 0 1 - 1
Hartford 1 0 1 - 2
1st Period-1, Hartford, Jones 1 (Dmowski, Newell), 13:46. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Murray Bri (fighting), 1:21; Beleskey Hfd (fighting), 1:21; Taylor Hfd (slashing), 6:11; Quenneville Bri (holding), 8:11; Thomson Bri (fighting), 12:20; Geertsen Hfd (fighting), 12:20.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Jones 2 (Newell, Beleskey), 0:26. 3, Bridgeport, Doherty 1 (Thomas), 6:06 (SH). Penalties-Durandeau Bri (tripping), 4:47; served by Durandeau Bri (bench minor - delay of game (faceoff violation)), 7:19; Pond Bri (holding), 11:17; Cornell Bri (fighting), 12:31; Beleskey Hfd (slashing, fighting), 12:31; Zerter-Gossage Hfd (slashing), 16:15.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 4-16-18-38. Hartford 8-4-4-16.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 4.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Skarek 1-0-0 (9 shots-8 saves); Soderstrom 0-1-0 (7 shots-6 saves). Hartford, Huska 0-0-0 (12 shots-12 saves); McCollum 1-0-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Conor O'Donnell (41), Patrick Hanrahan (52).
Linesmen-Kevin Briganti (39), Nick Briganti (58).