Jan 26, 2024

CLEVELAND, OH – The Hartford Wolf Pack got both a shorthanded and powerplay goal on Friday night, as the club evened the season series with the North Division-leading Cleveland Monsters thanks to a 4-2 victory at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Carson Meyer was whistled for a cross-checking minor 13:44 into the third period, giving the Wolf Pack their eighth powerplay of the hockey game. Brennan Othmann fed Brett Berard down low, who made a power move to the net. Berard’s initial attempt banked off the leg of a Monsters defenseman and sat in the crease, where Berard jammed it home for his eleventh goal of the season at 14:26.

The goal was Berard’s third game-winning goal of the season.

The sides played a relatively uneventful first period, as neither side was able to find the back of the net. The Wolf Pack held a 7-5 edge in shots, but Jet Greaves slammed the door shut to keep the game without a goal through 20 minutes.

The Wolf Pack would strike 5:26 into the middle frame, opening the scoring with a five-on-five goal after the sides combined to go 0-for-six on the powerplay through the first 25:26. Artem Anisimov shielded the puck behind the Monsters’ net, then sent a backhanded pass to Anton Blidh in front. Blidh quickly ripped a shot over the shoulder of Greaves for his fifth goal of the season.

The Monsters responded at 9:44, grabbing a five-on-five goal of their own. Brendan Gaunce took a pass from Mikael Pyyhtia and walked into the slot, where he fired a low shot that beat Dylan Garand for his ninth goal of the season. The goal snapped a 119:46 shutout streak for Garand, the longest by a Wolf Pack goaltender this season.

The Monsters would get their third powerplay of the night at 12:31, as Bobby Trivigno was whistled for slashing. Just 13 seconds into the powerplay, however, it was the Wolf Pack who took a 2-1 lead.

Matthew Robertson fired a puck down the ice, clearing it behind the Cleveland net. Adam Sýkora beat Nick Blankenberg to the puck, collecting possession for Hartford and then driving to the net. Sýkora was denied twice by Greaves but refused to quit and jammed home his third opportunity at 12:44. The goal was Sýkora’s fourth of the season, and his first shorthanded in the AHL.

The Cleveland powerplay got its revenge 6:08 into the third period, as they tied the game 2-2 on their fourth attempt.

Blankenburg fired a shot from the left-wing point that was denied by Garand, but the rebound sat in front of the crease. Carson Meyer located it and sent a backhander toward the goal that evaded Garand for the forward’s team-leading 16th goal of the season.

Berard’s response on Hartford’s eighth powerplay gave the Wolf Pack the lead for good, however, as they shut the Monsters down in the final moments.

Berard tacked on his second goal of the night and 12th of the season at 19:23, hitting an empty net to cement the victory. The empty net goal gave Berard his first career two-goal game.

The Wolf Pack conclude their road trip tomorrow night when they once again take on the Monsters. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and coverage will be available at 6:45 p.m. on AHLTV and Mixlr.

The Pack is next back at the XL Center on January 31st when the Charlotte Checkers come to town. Tickets are available at

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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s inception in 1997. The Wolf Pack are the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and play at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack has been home to some of the Rangers newest faces including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.  

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