The Wolf Pack outshot the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 33-27 Friday night at the XL Center, but Anders Nilsson stopped all 33 Hartford shots, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Anders Lee had a goal and an assist each, as Bridgeport defeated the Wolf Pack, 3-0.
The loss dropped the Wolf Pack to 9-15-0-3, and to five points behind the fourth-place Sound Tigers in the Northeast Division.
Mike Halmo also scored for Bridgeport. Dov Grumet-Morris made 24 saves for Hartford.
“We need to continue working towards consistency,” Grumet-Morris said. “Every team goes through struggles, in the NHL and the American League, but we need to continue to keep working.”
The Wolf Pack got the first four power plays of the game but were frustrated by Nilsson, and then the referees awarded four consecutive man advantages to the Sound Tigers in the second period.
Bridgeport finally ended the scoreless tie on the last of those four straight power plays, with Pack captain Aaron Johnson in the penalty box for slashing. After several fine saves by Grumet-Morris, Lee set Halmo up with an open net, feeding a pass across the slot to the left-wing side, and Halmo easily finished the play at 12:59 for a 1-0 Bridgeport lead.
Bouchard then made it 2-0 at 4:46 of the third period, scoring his first goal in four AHL games on the season on a breakaway. Scooter Vaughan threw a long pass to Bouchard, who was well behind the Wolf Pack defense, and Bouchard put a forehand shot past Grumet-Morris’ stick side.
The Sound Tigers then capitalized on a five-on-three man advantage at 11:36 to complete the scoring. Bouchard carried the puck down the left-wing side and sent it into the goalmouth, and Lee reached out and deflected it into the net.
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Saturday night, hosting the Springfield Falcons at 7:00 PM. That game features the Liberty Honda Teddy Bear Toss, benefitting the Joy of Sharing and Toys for Tots. Fans are invited to bring new soft toys to heave out on to the ice when the Wolf Pack score their first goal.
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.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 0
Friday, December 20, 2013 - XL Center
Bridgeport 0 1 2 - 3
Hartford 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Mayfield Bri (delay of game), 0:57; Lowry Bri (fighting), 3:20; Kantor Hfd (fighting), 3:20; Kabanov Bri (slashing), 18:05; Keenan Bri (delay of game), 18:37.
2nd Period-1, Bridgeport, Halmo 11 (Lee, Jackson), 12:59 (PP). Penalties-Halmo Bri (goaltender interference), 0:25; Jean Hfd (closing hand on puck), 3:08; Aliu Hfd (high-sticking), 8:08; McIlrath Hfd (interference), 9:20; Johnson Hfd (slashing), 11:13; Keenan Bri (slashing), 13:45; Mayfield Bri (roughing), 13:45; Beach Hfd (roughing, misconduct - abuse of officials), 13:45; Bruton Bri (roughing, fighting), 16:15; Johnson Hfd (fighting), 16:15.
3rd Period-2, Bridgeport, Bouchard 1 (Vaughan), 4:46. 3, Bridgeport, Lee 11 (Bouchard, Donovan), 11:36 (PP). Penalties-Fast Hfd (hooking), 5:29; Asham Hfd (boarding), 10:02; Allen Hfd (slashing), 11:25.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 11-9-7-27. Hartford 16-7-10-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 2 / 7; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Nilsson 5-7-1 (33 shots-33 saves). Hartford, Grumet-Morris 1-8-2 (27 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Tom Chmielewski (43).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (24), Luke Galvin (2).