David LeNeveu made 35 saves, and Darroll Powe’s second-period goal was the game-winner Wednesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, as the Wolf Pack won their sixth straight game, a 2-1 victory over the Worcester Sharks.
Marek Hrivik also scored for Hartford, and Aaron Johnson had two assists. Adam Schmidt had the only Worcester goal, his first as a pro, and Troy Grosenick made 29 saves.
The victory kept the Wolf Pack, who were outshot 36-31 in the game and 15-6 in the third period, alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Hartford improved to 34-31-1-6 for 75 points and moved to within seven points of the last playoff spot.
“A win’s a win, no matter how it comes,” LeNeveu said. “I don’t know if we played our best hockey tonight, but neither did they. It was kind of back and forth, and we just happened to get one more (goal) than them.”
The only goal of the first period came with eight seconds left on the game’s first power play, with Worcester’s Rob Davison serving a cross-checking minor. Oscar Lindberg worked the puck back to Johnson on the left point, and Johnson’s shot was deflected by Hrivik and found its way past Grosenick.
The Wolf Pack doubled their lead at 15:14 of the second period, on Powe’s 13th goal of the year. Johnson sent T.J. Hensick into the Worcester zone with a lead pass, and Hensick carried down the left side before backhanding a feed across the slot to Powe, who quickly released a low shot that beat Grosenick.
The Sharks then dominated the third, though, and foiled LeNeveu’s shutout bid in a four-on-four situation at 10:45. Schmidt, playing in his tenth pro game out of nearby Holy Cross, pounced on a Wolf Pack turnover to create a two-on-none with fellow new addition Brock Higgs. Moving down the right-wing side, Schmidt used Higgs as a decoy and blasted a shot past LeNeveu’s catching glove to cut the margin to 2-1.
LeNeveu and the Wolf Pack faced heavy pressure late in the third, as Conor Allen was called for tripping at 17:01 and Johnson was sent off for interference 55 seconds later, creating a two-man advantage of 1:05 for Worcester. Dylan McIlrath and Danny Syvret did tremendous work helping LeNeveu on the kill, though, and Worcester was unable to convert.
The Wolf Pack play their last two road games of the regular season this weekend in St. John’s, Newfoundland, taking on the IceCaps Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s game faces off at 6:00 PM Eastern Time, and all 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.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is Friday, April 18, when the Springfield Falcons invade the XL Center for a 7:00 PM game. That is the last chance this season for fans to enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Marc’s Appliance Warehouse, located at 75 Prospect Ave., Hartford, CT.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Worcester Sharks 1
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - DCU Center
Hartford 1 1 0 - 2
Worcester 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Hrivik 11 (Johnson, Lindberg), 13:17 (PP). Penalties-Davison Wor (cross-checking), 11:25.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Powe 13 (Hensick, Johnson), 15:14. Penalties-Oleksuk Wor (high-sticking), 15:27.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Schmidt 1 10:45. Penalties-served by DaSilva Wor (bench minor - too many men), 4:39; Hayes Wor (slashing), 9:11; McCarthy Hfd (tripping), 10:04; Allen Hfd (tripping), 17:01; Johnson Hfd (interference), 17:56.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-15-6-31. Worcester 11-10-15-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, LeNeveu 10-8-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-13-0 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Scott Whittemore (96).