DYLAN GARAND MAKES 31 SAVES AS WOLF PACK EDGE COMETS 3-2Nov 4, 2023
UTICA, NY – The Hartford Wolf Pack used a third period goal and a strong performance from netminder Dylan Garand on Saturday night to extend their point streak to three games as they knocked off the Utica Comets 3-2. Garand made 31 saves in the victory, including 25 in the final 40 minutes.
Adam Edström jumped on a rebound 3:40 into the third period, sending a backhand shot by Erik Kallgren to give the Wolf Pack a lead they would not lose on this night. Matthew Robertson fired a shot from the point that Kallgren denied, but Edström found the loose change and buried his third goal of the season. The goal was the first game-winning marker of Edström’s AHL career.
The Comets opened the scoring 16:31 into the contest, as T.J. Friedmann buried the first goal of his AHL career. The Wolf Pack turned the puck over in their own zone, with Timur Ibragimov being the recipient. Ibragimov slid a pass over to Friedmann in the left-wing circle, where he quickly collected the puck and fired it by a diving Garand to break the ice.
Moments later, however, the Wolf Pack would respond. Xavier Parent was whistled for slashing at 18:49, and the Pack needed just eleven seconds to make them pay. Mac Hollowell blasted a one-timer from the left-wing circle that blazed by Kallgren for his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack. The goal, scored at 19:00, gives Hollowell a league-leading nine-game point streak (1 g, 9 a, 10 pts).
Hartford gained their first lead of the hockey game 13:51 into the middle stanza, as Zach Berzolla notched his first goal of the season in his debut. Berzolla activated down the right-wing side and fired a puck from the short side towards Kallgren. The puck slipped by the Comets goaltender, giving Berzolla his third career AHL goal.
The lead only lasted 1:14 however, as an unfortunate bounce gifted the Comets the tying goal. Joe Gambardella flung a dump-in from the neutral zone that struck the stanchion and bounced into the slot. With Garand out to play the puck, Ryan Schmelzer had a wide-open goal to deposit his second of the season at 15:05.
Edström’s goal would give Hartford the lead for good, but the final stanza wasn’t without drama. The Comets were awarded back-to-back powerplays at 7:42 and 9:44 when Jake Leschyshyn and Blake Hillman were whistled for tripping and high-sticking, respectively.
The Pack killed both penalties off, with Garand making 13 saves in the final stanza to preserve the victory. The Wolf Pack penalty kill would end the night five-for-five overall.
The Wolf Pack’s season-long five-game road trip concludes Friday night when they visit the Bridgeport Islanders. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m., with ‘Wolf Pack Pregame’ starting live at 6:45 p.m. on AHLTV and Mixlr.
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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.