Pack Stage Furious Comeback, but Fall in OT to Bridgeport, 5-4Nov 4, 2016
By Henry Lucey
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ Adam Pelech scored fifty seconds into overtime Friday night at the XL Center, sending the Wolf Pack to 3-6-0-0 on the season with a 5-4 loss.
The majority of the game’s opening period proved to be painfully symbolic of the Pack’s recent struggles. Harford had difficulty getting shots through on net, and were unable to convert on multiple power play opportunities.
Following a Wolf Pack turnover, Bridgeport’s Michael Dal Colle put the Sound Tigers on the scoreboard with a vicious slap shot that beat a heavily screened Magnus Hellberg at 12:18.
Hartford was given a chance to respond when Kane Lafranchise was booked for tripping at 14:20, but once again, the Pack struggled to set up their power-play offense. With just under a minute remaining in the penalty, the Sound Tigers added a shorthanded goal when Connor Jones found a streaking Devon Toews, who fired a wrist shot past Hellberg’s glove at 15:42.
As the clock ticked down, it looked as if the Pack were destined for their fourth straight scoreless period. With just 2.7 seconds left in the frame, however, Nicklas Jensen slotted a wrist shot past the blocker of Bridgeport goalie Christopher Gibson, to cut the Sound Tigers’ lead to 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
As the Pack looked to build off of Jensen’s late score, Bridgeport was determined to deflate Hartford’s momentum. At 3:50 of the second, Sound Tigers center Tanner Fritz made this intention a reality, collecting a Wolf Pack mis-handle and depositing the ensuing breakaway attempt into the back of Hellberg’s net.
Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander’s squad refused to quit, however, answering with a goal of their own at 9:25. Once again, Jensen was the culprit, receiving a pinpoint pass from Boo Nieves and snapping a low wrist shot under Gibson’s out-stretched glove. Left-winger Adam Tambellini later tied the contest at 3-3, when he notched his second tally of the year at 17:59. Defenseman Chris Summers and forward Marek Hrivik assisted on the goal.
With the score tied at three apiece, Hrivik collected his second point of the contest, firing his own rebound past Gibson to give the Pack a 4-3 lead at 4:34. The Sound Tigers, though, were quick to respond. Just forty-five seconds after Hrivik’s score, Tambellini’s slashing penalty put Bridgeport on the power play at 5:19.
The Sound Tiger power play converted the opportunity, with Kane Lafranchise passing from the left circle and Steve Bernier deflecting the puck past Hellberg at 6:33.
Neither team could generate any more scoring in regulation, and the Wolf Pack looked to improve to 3-0 in overtime on the season.
That was not to be, however, as Pelech scored off of a 2-on-1 at the 50-second mark of OT. After receiving a Bracken Kearns pass on the left side, Pelech batted his own rebound through Hellberg’s pads for the winner.
The Wolf Pack are back in action on Saturday night, traveling to Providence, RI to take on the Bruins. Faceoff is 7:05, and all of the action of that contest 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 next Sunday, November 13 vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, with faceoff at 5:00 PM. Each of the Wolf Pack’s Sunday home games features the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5 (OT) at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Friday, November 4, 2016 - XL Center
Bridgeport 2 1 1 1 - 5
Hartford 1 2 1 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Dal Colle 5 12:18. 2, Bridgeport, Toews 1 (C. Jones), 15:42 (SH). 3, Hartford, Jensen 3 19:57. Penalties-Fritz Bri (high-sticking), 5:31; St. Denis Bri (interference), 9:54; Fontaine Hfd (high-sticking), 10:15; Lafranchise Bri (tripping), 14:20.
2nd Period-4, Bridgeport, Fritz 3 3:50. 5, Hartford, Jensen 4 (Nieves, Graves), 9:25. 6, Hartford, Tambellini 2 (Summers, Hrivik), 17:59. Penalties-Fritz Bri (high-sticking), 1:31; Johnston Bri (fighting), 10:25; McIlrath Hfd (fighting), 10:25; Mayfield Bri (hooking), 11:17; Carey Hfd (tripping), 15:06.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, Hrivik 4 (Graves, Bodie), 4:34. 8, Bridgeport, Bernier 2 (Lafranchise, Kearns), 6:33 (PP). Penalties-Tambellini Hfd (slashing), 5:19; Toews Bri (tripping), 11:42.
OT Period-9, Bridgeport, Pelech 1 (Kearns, Toews), 0:50. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 14-10-9-3-36. Hartford 10-10-11-0-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 / 3; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Gibson 6-0-0-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 3-2-1-0 (36 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (40), Guillaume Labonte (35).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).