Oscar Lindberg’s goal at 3:15 of overtime gave the Wolf Pack a 3-2 victory over the Worcester Sharks Saturday night at the XL Center.
The win was the second straight for the Wolf Pack after an 0-7-0-2 streak, and the club’s first win in seven trips to overtime on the season.
First-period goals by Danny Kristo and Arron Asham staked the Wolf Pack to a 2-0 lead, but the Sharks rebounded with scores from Dan DaSilva and Freddie Hamilton, whose tally tied the game early in the third.
Dov Grumet-Morris made 34 saves in the Hartford net and Harri Sateri stopped 28 shots for Worcester.
“We tapered off a little bit, but I thought we regained our composure and gave a pretty decent effort,” Asham said. “Dover (Grumet-Morris) came up big for us again, he’s been playing great hockey for us, and as long as he’s playing good, we can put some pucks in and we’re going to win some games here.”
The Wolf Pack have now won the last seven meetings between the two teams, and have won eight straight home games against Worcester.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 17-11 in the first period, but came out of the period with a 2-1 lead.
Hartford struck on the game’s first shift just 18 seconds in, with Kristo, the team’s leading scorer, pumping in his 12th of the season. Lindberg prevented Worcester’s Daniil Tarasov from getting the puck out of the Shark zone, and Jesper Fast sent Kristo up the slot with a pass. Kristo finished the play with a shot past the right pad of Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri.
The Wolf Pack made it a 2-0 lead at 13:51, on Asham’s first goal in 15 AHL games on the season.
After an icing call against Worcester, the Sharks’ Hamilton was thrown out of the ensuing draw, and Brodie Dupont cleanly beat his replacement, DaSilva. Dupont got the puck back to Asham at the top of the right circle, and Asham blew a shot past Sateri on the stick side.
DaSilva rebounded, though, to get Worcester on the scoreboard at 19:01, with a fine individual effort. Carrying the puck down the left side, DaSilva froze the Wolf Pack’s Aaron Johnson with a faked shot and then walked around him, before deking Grumet-Morris and beating him with a move to the forehand.
After a scoreless second period, Hamilton drew the Sharks even at 4:02 of the third. Dylan DeMelo threw the puck at the net from the right point and, after it went off of Grumet-Morris, Tarasov deflected it to the left side of the crease to Hamilton, who had an open net with Grumet-Morris down and out.
In overtime, Sateri made a tremendous glove save on a point-blank chance for Johnson near the halfway point, but moments later, Johnson made a perfect pass off the left-wing boards to an unguarded Lindberg between the hash marks, and Lindberg’s quick shot cleanly beat Sateri’s catching glove for the winner.
With the victory, the Wolf Pack improved to 11-15-0-4 for 26 points and moved to within two points of fourth-place Bridgeport in the Northeast Division.
The Wolf Pack are back in action Sunday afternoon in Manchester, NH, taking on the Monarchs at 3:00 PM. All the action of that battle can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, and on-line at www.foxsportsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is this Friday, January 3, a 7:00 PM contest against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. All Wolf Pack Friday-night home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Marc’s Appliance Warehouse, located at 75 Pro-spect Ave., Hartford, CT.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. To speak with a representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.
Worcester Sharks 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (OT)
Saturday, December 28, 2013 - XL Center
Worcester 1 0 1 0 - 2
Hartford 2 0 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Kristo 12 (Fast, Hughes), 0:18. 2, Hartford, Asham 1 (Dupont), 13:51. 3, Worcester, DaSilva 2 (Schwartz, Reid), 19:01. Penalties-Beach Hfd (high-sticking), 5:29.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Lindberg Hfd (high-sticking), 3:55; Klassen Hfd (interference), 8:13; Bonneau Wor (interference), 12:00.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Hamilton 11 (Tarasov, DeMelo), 4:02. Penalties-Reid Wor (high-sticking), 0:39.
OT Period-5, Hartford, Lindberg 7 (Johnson, Nash), 3:15. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Worcester 17-8-11-0-36. Hartford 11-11-7-2-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 7-10-1 (31 shots-28 saves). Hartford, Grumet-Morris 3-8-3 (36 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Fred Leblanc (30).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Glen Cooke (6).