PRE-GAME REPORT: WOLF PACK CONCLUDE WEEKEND WITH FIRST CLASH WITH BEARSNov 20, 2021
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack saw their three-game winning streak come to a halt last night in Providence, falling 2-1 in overtime to the Providence Bruins. Tonight, the Wolf Pack will look to extend their season-long four-game point streak and get back into the win column as they play host to the Hershey Bears for the first time this season.
Tonight’s puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
Tale of The Tape:
This is the first of six meetings between the Wolf Pack and the Bears during the 2021-22 AHL regular season. This is also the first of three meetings at the XL Center. The sides will meet back in Hartford on March 5th and 26th. Each of the next three meetings will take place in Hershey, coming on January 22nd and 23rd, and February 2nd.
This is the first meeting between the teams since a two-game set in Hartford back on March 6th and 7th, 2020. The Bears took a 4-1 decision on March 7th, 2020, with forward Philippe Maillet scoring the winning goal. They also took a 1-0 decision on March 6th, with defenseman Eddie Wittchow scoring the game’s lone goal.
The Wolf Pack last defeated the Bears on January 8th, 2020, in Hershey, with forward Vinni Lettieri scoring the winner in a 2-1 game. The Bears have won each of the last three games in this series.
Wolf Pack Outlook:
The Wolf Pack secured a point for the fourth straight game last night but saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with a 2-1 overtime loss in Providence against the Bruins. Forward Ty Ronning had the lone goal in the loss for Hartford, set up by veteran Tanner Fritz.
The Wolf Pack secured a wild 4-3 victory last time out on home ice on Wednesday night over the rival Bridgeport Islanders. Forward Justin Richards opened the scoring with his first of the season 2:48 into the game, but the Islanders scored each of the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Forwards Alex Whelan, Fritz and Morgan Barron all scored in a frantic second period to give Hartford the lead back for good.
Captain Jonny Brodzinski leads the team with 15 points (4 g, 11 a), while Barron holds the team lead in goals with six on the season. Veteran netminder Keith Kinkaid leads the way in goal with a 7-1-1-0 record. He is 9-1-1-0 as a member of the Wolf Pack over a two-season span. Fritz has points in seven of his last eight games. He’s scored four goals and five assists in that span.
The Bears enter tonight’s game with a 6-4-2-1 record following last Sunday’s 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Checkers. Forwards Garrett Pilon and Riley Sutter scored for the Bears, while forward Max McCormick scored the winner for the Checkers. The loss pushed the Bears to 3-2-1-0 in the month of November.
The Bears last victory came a week ago tonight on November 13th when they defeated the Syracuse Crunch by a final score of 5-4 in a shootout. Forward Joe Snively scored the winner in the shootout for the Bears, who scored on both of their attempts. Goalie Pheonix Copley collected the win with 34 saves in regulation and two in the shootout.
Pilon leads the Bears with eleven points (5 g, 6 a), but was recalled by the NHL’s Washington Capitals on November 15th. He scored his first career NHL goal the next night against the Anaheim Ducks. Forwards Mike Sgarbossa and Snively lead active skaters with ten points each. Both have five goals and five assists.
Tonight is also ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ night at the XL Center. Join us for a night to inspire hope as we recognize those who have fought and continue to fight this disease. Tickets are still available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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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.