Pack Stretch Winning Streak to sixApr 17, 2015
The Wolf Pack earned their sixth straight win, and eighth in their last nine games on Friday night, capturing their regular season finale at the XL Center by a score of 3-2 over the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Oscar Lindberg had a goal and an assist to lead the Wolf Pack, and Marek Hrivik’s goal at 14:45 of the second period was the game-winner. Yann Danis made 30 saves. Dustin Jeffrey and Matt Carkner scored the Bridgeport goals, and C.J. Motte stopped 13 shots.
“We’re finding ways to get it done,” said Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander of the team’s recent hot streak. “It’s not the same cast of characters night in and night out getting on the scoreboard. We’re getting it from all sources.”
Forward Joey Crabb credited a solid defensive effort, particularly the play of Danis, as the reason for Hartford’s success. “Our main focus is to try and shut the other team down and play a defensive game,” Crabb said. “It’s awesome to have Yann step in and do such a great job.”
Danis, enjoying a hot streak of his own, cited the superior play of the defense in front of him for keeping the lanes clear and allowing him to see the puck.
“Bridgeport was trying to put a lot of pucks on net and I was able to smother most of them,” he said. “It’s a credit to our defense. They didn’t give up many second-chance opportunities tonight and they’ve been tremendous.”
The home team got off to a quick start when Lindberg scored his 27th goal of the season. Chris Bourque collected a bouncing puck at the top of the offensive zone and skated along the blue line waiting for an opportunity. He let fly a hard wrist shot that Lindberg was able to tip as it went through the slot, beating Motte on the stick side. Bourque utilized the screen created on Motte in front of the net to let one fly, leaving the rest to Lindberg. The goal came with 14:55 remaining in the first period, and Bourque got the lone assist.
Bridgeport evened the score with just 16.8 seconds remaining in the first period. On the power play Kael Mouillierat released a hard wrist shot from the left face-off dot that bounced off the pad of Danis. There were plenty of Bridgeport bodies in Danis’ face as the shot bounced back into play, and Jeffrey buried it home. The goal was his 24th of the season, helped by Mouillierat and Ryan Pulock, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of the Wolf Pack as they headed for the dressing room.
Hartford came out of the locker room trying to regain the momentum, which they were able to do at 4:26 of the second. Tommy Hughes held the puck at the point before firing a slap shot on net. There was plenty of traffic in front and, not unlike the first goal of the night, Crabb was able to re-direct the puck with his stick past Motte. It was Crabb’s 12th goal of the year, helped by Hughes and Lindberg.
“My line was having good cycles pretty much the whole game,” said Crabb. “Chris and Oscar were working it down low and I got to the front of the net. Lindberg found Tommy Hughes in the slot, and Tommy got a good shot off. I was lucky enough to get my stick on it and tip it in.”
The Pack got a break to increase their lead at 14:45. Hrivik carried the puck down the right boards in the Bridgeport zone, quickly turning and firing a pass into the slot area. Bridgeport’s Alan Quine attempted to break up the feed but was unable to cleanly handle, knocking it with his skate accidentally over the goal line. Motte was also out of the net trying to corral the puck on the play. It was Hrivik’s 12th goal of the year, and it turned out to be the game-winner.
The Sound Tigers responded with 3:13 remaining in the second period, bringing the Sound Tigers back to within one. Matt Carkner put a shot on net that, unusually, Danis was not able to track all the way to the net.
“It hit my mask,” said Danis of the goal. “I lost track of it for a split second and it was kind of a floater. I totally missed it and it kind of dropped on me a little bit.”
Carkner netted his second goal of the season, assisted by Johan Sundstrom and Chris Langkow. Although it momentarily breathed new life into the Sound Tiger attack, Carkner’s goal would be the last of the night.
Danis stood tall in the face of several quality chances created by Bridgeport in the third period, in particular on a Johan Sundstrom breakaway in the early minutes that could have completely switched the course of the game.
The Wolf Pack take to the road Saturday, visiting the Albany Devils for a 5:00 PM game. All of the action 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. Hartford then finishes the regular season Sunday in Bridgeport, taking on the Sound Tigers at 3:00.
Tickets for the Wolf Pack’s first home playoff game 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.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Friday, April 17, 2015 - XL Center
Bridgeport 1 1 0 - 2
Hartford 1 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Lindberg 27 (Bourque), 5:05. 2, Bridgeport, Jeffrey 24 (Mouillierat, Pulock), 19:43 (PP). Penalties-Mayfield Bri (tripping), 12:16; Hughes Hfd (hooking), 15:02; Bodie Hfd (interference), 18:46.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Crabb 12 (Hughes, Lindberg), 4:26. 4, Hartford, Hrivik 12 14:45. 5, Bridgeport, Carkner 2 (Sundstrom, Langkow), 16:47. Penalties-Mayfield Bri (delay of game), 5:43.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Mouillierat Bri (slashing), 1:23; Mueller Hfd (goaltender interference), 3:35; Bodie Hfd (tripping), 15:39.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 9-12-11-32. Hartford 7-6-3-16.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 / 4; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Motte 1-2-0 (16 shots-13 saves). Hartford, Danis 17-12-2 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Cameron Voss (78), Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).