Dov Grumet-Morris made 29 saves Friday night at the XL Center, and Marek Hrivik and T.J. Hensick scored shootout goals, as the Wolf Pack captured their third straight win, 2-1 over the Hershey Bears.
The Wolf Pack had not won three consecutive games since a five-game winning streak October 5-19, and now have at least a point in six of their last eight games (5-2-0-1). They have come from behind to win in the third period in each of the three victories in their current streak.
Peter LeBlanc scored a late second-period goal for Hershey, and Ryan Bourque replied for the Wolf Pack on a third-period two-man advantage. David Leggio made 34 saves in the Hershey net.
“Third periods have been pretty good to us this season,” Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander said. “We had some opportunities on the power play, our guys stuck with it. We got a big goal to send it to overtime and we picked up two points in the shootout.”
The two teams battled through nearly two full scoreless periods, before the Bears finally opened the scoring with 1:04 remaining in the second period, just 10 seconds after a Hershey power play expired. Matt Watkins wrapped the puck around the post to Grumet-Morris’ left, and it slid right to LeBlanc headed down the left side of the slot. Grumet-Morris could not move to his right fast enough, and LeBlanc’s one-timer found the back of the net.
The Wolf Pack then took advantage of some Hershey penalty trouble in the third period. The Bears took three minor penalties in quick succession starting at 7:34, and a boarding infraction against Julien Brouillette at 9:51 gave Hartford 1:35 of five-on-three time.
Near the end of that man advantage, Oscar Lindberg moved down the right-wing side and fired a shot that went off of Bourque, who was causing traffic to Leggio’s left, and deflected into the net at 11:15.
That was the end of the scoring through the rest of regulation and overtime, and in the shootout, Leggio stopped Jesper Fast on the Wolf Pack’s first attempt, but Hrivik and Hensick then scored on back-to-back shots. That proved to be enough, as, after Ryan Stoa connected on Hershey’s first attempt, Grumet-Morris stopped four straight, including a poke-check on Jeff Taffe to end the game.
The Wolf Pack are right back on home ice at the XL Center Saturday night, hosting the Portland Pirates in a 7:00 game. 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.
Hershey Bears 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (SO)
Friday, February 28, 2014 - XL Center
Hershey 0 1 0 0 - 1
Hartford 0 0 1 0 - 2
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Hershey, LeBlanc 12 (Watkins, Byers), 18:56. Penalties-Wellar Her (roughing), 5:54; Lindberg Hfd (tripping), 16:46.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Bourque 15 (Lindberg, Syvret), 11:15 (PP). Penalties-Wellar Her (slashing), 6:57; Beach Hfd (diving/embellishment), 6:57; Gazley Her (hooking), 7:34; Oleksy Her (kneeing), 9:26; Brouillette Her (boarding), 9:51.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Hershey 1 (Stoa G, Galiev NG, Potulny NG, Byers NG, Taffe NG), Hartford 2 (Fast NG, Hrivik G, Hensick G, Yogan NG, Asham NG).
Shots on Goal-Hershey 10-9-9-2-0-30. Hartford 6-15-12-2-1-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 1; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hershey, Leggio 15-14-3 (35 shots-34 saves). Hartford, Grumet-Morris 10-11-5 (30 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Ryan Murphy (5), Jarrod Ragusin (54).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Derek Wahl (46).