Pack can't Solve Pirates' McKenna in 1-0 LossFeb 24, 2016
By Chuck Packard
Portland Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna stymied the Wolf Pack Wednesday night at the XL Center, making 35 saves in a 1-0 Portland win.
Sena Acolatse’s first-period goal was the only scoring in the game, as Portland improved to 30-20-2-0 for 62 points on the season and moved to six points ahead of the 27-25-2-0 Wolf Pack in the Atlantic Division playoff race.
Magnus Hellberg stopped 25 out of 26 shots in the Hartford net.
“It was two really important points that they got, so, we just have to bounce back”, said Hellberg. “It’s two big games coming up this week, and so we have to keep at it.”
Acolatse’s goal came with 6:10 left in the first. Wayne Simpson registered his 17th assist of the season, feeding the puck back to Acolatse on the left side. Acolatse moved below the top of the faceoff circle and blasted a drive that Hellberg got a piece of, but could not stop.
The goalies both controlled the rebounds well for the extent of the game. “We generated quite a few shots, but the actual (scoring) chances, we’ll have to see,” said Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander.
The Wolf Pack had an 11-6 shots advantage in the third period, but were never able to crack McKenna. His shutout came after the Wolf Pack had won the previous three meetings between the two teams by a combined margin of 14-3.
“It was a Wednesday night, so I appreciate the fans who came out tonight” said Hellberg.
The Wolf Pack are back in action this Friday night, February 26, visiting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for a 7:00 PM game. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Sunday, February 28, a 5:00 rematch with the Phantoms. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to that game, as there will be a free postgame skate on the XL Center ice. Sunday games also feature the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $35.
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.
Portland Pirates 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 0
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - XL Center
Portland 1 0 0 - 1
Hartford 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period-1, Portland, Acolatse 5 (Simpson, Racine), 13:50. Penalties-Knight Por (hooking), 15:36.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Megan Por (slashing), 6:51; Paille Hfd (slashing), 15:31.
Shots on Goal-Portland 10-10-6-26. Hartford 11-13-11-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 1; Hartford 0 / 2.
Goalies-Portland, McKenna 24-11-0 (35 shots-35 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 20-15-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18), Peter Tarnaris (17).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Robert St. Lawrence (10).