Wolf Pack Weekly, May 18-24May 18, 2015
The Wolf Pack advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, for the first time since 2004 and the fourth time in franchise history, with a 6-3 win over the Hershey Bears Friday, in Game Six of the teams’ best-of-seven second-round playoff series. Marek Hrivik led the way with a hat trick, the Wolf Pack’s first in postseason since April of 2000, and Chris Bourque had three assists. That was the third straight win in the series for the Pack, after a 5-4 overtime triumph in Game Five in Hershey Wednesday and a 3-1 Game-Four victory in an off-site home game in Worcester on Monday night. Chris Mueller’s second goal of the game was the shorthanded game-winner on Wednesday, and Oscar Lindberg had a goal and two assists to pace the Wolf Pack in Game Four.
Full Speed Ahead: “Full Speed Ahead” is the official Wolf Pack playoff slogan. This comes from the ship U.S.S Hartford, which served as Admiral David Farragut’s flagship during the Civil War. During the battle of Mobile Bay, while on the deck of the Hartford, Farragut famously said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”.
The Wolf Pack will battle the AHL regular season-champion Manchester Monarchs in the Eastern Conference Finals, and will travel to Manchester for the first two games of the series, this Thursday, May 21 and Saturday, May 23.
The series then switches to the XL Center for Games Three and Four, which will be played next Tuesday, May 26 and Wednesday, May 27. If a Game Five is necessary, it will be in Manchester Saturday, May 30, and Game Six would be at the XL Center Sunday, May 31. If the series requires a Game Seven, that would be in Manchester Tuesday, June 2.
Faceoff for all series games is 7:00 PM.
Game One Thu., May 21 Verizon Wireless Arena 7:00
Game Two Sat., May 23 Verizon Wireless Arena 7:00
Game Three Tue., May 26 XL Center 7:00
Game Four Wed., May 27 XL Center 7:00
Game Five (if necessary) Sat., May 30 Verizon Wireless Arena 7:00
Game Six (if necessary) Sun., May 31 XL Center 7:00
Game Seven (if necessary) Tue., June 2 Verizon Wireless Arena 7:00
This is the Wolf Pack’s first appearance in the Conference Finals since 2004, when they lost in seven games to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the fourth in the history of the franchise.
Wolf Pack playoff tickets are available at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Thursday, May 21, Game One at Manchester (Verizon Wireless Arena), 7:00 p.m.
This is the third all-time postseason meeting between the Wolf Pack and Manchester, and the Pack have taken the first two, both of which have gone the distance. Hartford won a best-of-five first-round series in five games in 2002, and knocked the Monarchs off in seven games in the first round in 2006.
The Monarchs took out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in five games in their Conference Semifinal series, after being taken to the limit in a best-of-five first-round matchup by the Portland Pirates.
Manchester was six points better in the regular season than the next most-successful AHL team, the Utica Comets. The Monarchs posted a 50-17-6-3 record for 109 points under first-year head coach Mike Stothers, finishing nine points ahead of Hershey for the Eastern Conference championship.
The Wolf Pack were 1-2-1-0 in their regular-season series with the Monarchs and lost both of their visits to Verizon Wireless Arena, 4-2 on February 27 and 5-3 March 8.
Chris Bourque is the Wolf Pack’s leading postseason scorer with 4-10-14 in 11 games, good for a tie for the AHL lead in assists and third in the league in points. Jordan Weal is the Monarchs’ leading point-getter, with 10-5-15 in 10 games. He ranks second among AHL skaters in both points and goals.
This series will match a pair of French-Canadian goaltenders who have seen all of their teams’ action in the 2015 postseason. Yann Danis is 7-4, with a 1.97 goals-against average and a 93.1% save percentage, for the Wolf Pack, and J-F Berube is 7-3, with a 2.33 GAA and an 89.8% save percentage, in the Manchester net.
Monarch forward Brian O’Neill, a former Yale Eli, won the regular-season AHL scoring title by a margin of ten points over Grand Rapids’ Andy Miele. O’Neill rolled up 22-58-80 in 71 regular-season games.
Saturday, May 23, Game Two at Manchester (Verizon Wireless Arena), 7:00 p.m.
The Wolf Pack are 3-2 on the road in the 2015 postseason, and won two of their three away games in their Conference Semifinal series against Hershey. All-time in playoff action, the Pack are 29-35 in enemy rinks.
The Monarchs are a perfect 5-0 at home through the first two rounds of postseason play, after logging a league-best 30-7-1-0 home record during the regular season.
Wolf Pack Community Appearances: The Wolf Pack have the following appearances scheduled this week. For further information on these, or any other Wolf Pack community initiatives, contact Wolf Pack community relations manager Frank Berrian, at (860) 541-4728:
Saturday, May 23, 5:00 PM, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxboro, MA: Sonar, the Wolf Pack’s lovable mascot, joins the likes of Slyde (New England Revolution), Pat (New England Patriots) and more, on the field at Gillette Stadium, to celebrate the Revolution’s Mascot Day.
Monday, May 25, Time TBD, East Granby Center, East Granby, CT: Sonar marches in memory of fallen heroes, in the town of East Granby’s Memorial Day parade.
Recent Transactions: None
Practice: All Wolf Pack practices at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell are open to the public. Schedule is subject to change.
Tue., May 19 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Champions Skating Center
Wed., May 20 10:00 – 11:00 AM, Champions Skating Center
Thurs., May 21 Game One at Manchester
Fri., May 22 1:00 – 2:00 PM, Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester
Sat., May 23 Game Two at Manchester
Sun., May 24 TBD, Champions Skating Center
Mon., May 25 10:30 – 11:30 AM, XL Center
Pack Tracks: The Wolf Pack’s first two home games in the Conference Finals vs. Manchester will be this Tuesday, May 26 and Wednesday, May 27, with faceoff at 7:00 PM both nights. Tickets for both of those 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.
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.