David LeNeveu had the Wolf Pack’s first shutout of the season Saturday night at the XL Center, making 22 saves, and Ryan Bourque scored twice, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-0.
Conor Allen also had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, and Danny Kristo scored his 21st goal of the season. Danny Syvret had two assists.
“The way that they switched (the lines) up today seemed to work,” Bourque said. “We had some good chemistry going, with all four lines and the defense, and I think the mentality was a lot different too. We just tried to get the puck to the net as much as we could.
“To get off to a good start like we did, and get not only the first goal but the second goal as well, definitely gave us a big pep in our step.”
The Wolf Pack came out of the first period with a 1-0 lead, after a goal that was awarded to Bourque only after a video review.
After Allen banged the puck at the Bridgeport net, Bretton Stamler, pressuring down from the Wolf Pack defense, had a close-in shot turned away by Sound Tiger starting goaltender Philippe Trudeau, who was making his pro debut out of the Ontario Hockey League. The rebound went off of Bourque and slid toward the goal line, and referee Trevor Hanson initially indicated that the puck never went in.
Play was allowed to continue until the next stoppage, which came with 13:41 left on the clock, and Hanson checked the replay at that point. After taking a look at the overhead angle, Hanson decided that puck had gone in, and the clock was reset to the 4:42 mark.
The Wolf Pack would then chase Trudeau from the game with a three-goal second period.
Bourque got his second of the game to make it a 2-0 Wolf Pack lead at 1:55 of the second, on a double deflection. Syvret’s bid from the left point hit a Bridgeport defender, and then went off of Bourque and past Trudeau.
Allen scored off of a faceoff win by Marek Hrivik at 5:19 to make it a three-goal Hartford advantage. Hrivik beat Andrew Clark on a draw in the circle to Trudeau’s right and drew the puck back to Allen at the point, and Allen’s quick shot went underneath Trudeau’s pads and in.
Kristo ended Trudeau’s night at 10:50 with a breakaway goal, Kristo’s 21st goal of the year. Syvret threaded a perfect pass through the neutral zone, sending Kristo behind the defense, and Kristo’s shot hit Trudeau and slid into the net.
Kenny Reiter replaced Trudeau at that point, and Reiter prevented any further damage in the second and through the third, stopping all 14 shots that he faced.
LeNeveu, who had watched the injured Dov Grumet-Morris start the Wolf Pack’s last seven games and nine of the previous ten, did his best work in the third period, after facing a total of only ten shots in the first 40 minutes. The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 12-11 in the third, but were never able to penetrate LeNeveu’s defenses.
The Wolf Pack and Sound Tigers complete a home-and-home set Sunday in Bridgeport, with faceoff at 3:00 PM. All of the action of that battle 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.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is Saturday, April 5, a 7:00 PM contest vs. the Providence Bruins. 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 0 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - XL Center
Bridgeport 0 0 0 - 0
Hartford 1 3 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Bourque 18 (Stamler, Allen), 4:42. Penalties-Stamler Hfd (delay of game), 5:14; McIlrath Hfd (tripping), 14:36.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Bourque 19 (Syvret, Fast), 1:55. 3, Hartford, Allen 6 (Hrivik), 5:19. 4, Hartford, Kristo 21 (Syvret, McIlrath), 10:50. Penalties-Pedan Bri (hooking), 13:06; Johnson Bri (boarding), 18:32.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Powe Hfd (hooking), 5:16; Mayfield Bri (holding, misconduct - continuing altercation), 19:03.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 5-5-12-22. Hartford 9-12-11-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Trudeau 0-1-0 (18 shots-14 saves); Reiter 10-10-2 (14 shots-14 saves). Hartford, LeNeveu 5-8-0 (22 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Brent Colby (7).