PRE-GAME REPORT: WOLF PACK HOST ISLANDERS IN MIDWEEK TILTJan 25, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack return to the XL Center for the latest installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’ tonight as they play host to the Bridgeport Islanders.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and coverage is available on both AHLTV and Mixlr.
Tale of The Tape:
This is the sixth of twelve meetings between the Wolf Pack and the Islanders during the 2022-23 season, and the second of six at the XL Center. The sides will again meet back in Hartford on February 17th in the seventh installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’.
The Wolf Pack have won each of the last two meetings, most recently taking a 7-3 decision on December 27th in Bridgeport. Ryan Carpenter notched a hat-trick in the victory, the first by a Wolf Pack player since April 7th, 2021. Cristiano DiGiacinto, Lauri Pajuniemi, Bobby Trivigno, and Karl Henriksson also lit the lamp in the victory. Henriksson’s goal was the first of his AHL career.
The Islanders hold a 3-2 edge in the season series thanks to three consecutive victories, all in Bridgeport, to start the season. They claimed victories on October 23rd (5-2), November 5th (5-3), and November 23rd (6-3).
The Wolf Pack won the only other meeting in Hartford by a score of 4-3 on December 23rd.
In addition to their lone meeting in February, the sides will meet four times in March and once in April to wrap up the regular season series.
Wolf Pack Outlook:
The Wolf Pack collected their second consecutive victory on Sunday, scoring a 4-3 comeback decision over the Bruins in Providence.
Jonny Brodzinski and Ty Emberson both lit the lamp in the first period, while Vinni Lettieri scored shorthanded for the home side. The Bruins took a 3-2 lead in the middle frame thanks to a powerplay goal by Lettieri and a five-on-five goal from Connor Carrick, their only even-strength marker of the game. Carpenter evened the score at 9:55 of the third period, pouncing on a rebound to force overtime for the second time in three meetings between the foes.
In overtime, Tanner Fritz fed Will Cuylle on a two-on-one and the rookie buried his first career overtime winner just 65 seconds in. The win was Hartford’s first this season when trailing after two periods (0-13-2-1). The win also snapped a six-game losing streak for the club in Providence.
Hartford completed their first three-in-three of the season with a 2-1-0-0 record thanks to wins on Saturday against Rochester (4-1) and Sunday in Providence.
On Tuesday, the Rangers recalled Cuylle while loaning forward Sammy Blais to the team on a conditioning stint. Blais will wear number 91 in Hartford.
Turner Elson leads the Pack in scoring with 23 points (8 g, 15 a) in 39 games. Cuylle leads the way in goals with 13, while Frtiz’s 18 assists top the club in that category.
The Islanders dropped a 3-2 decision to the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night. Sam Houde and Alex Nylander opened the scoring with goals a minute apart, striking at 15:51 and 16:51 of the opening frame. Samuel Bolduc would tie the game with a pair of goals, scoring at 17:58 of the first period and then at 3:31 of the second, but Drake Caggiula broke the tie with his ninth goal of the season 18:07 into the middle stanza. That goal would stand as the eventual game-winner.
On Sunday, the parent New York Islanders (NHL) recalled Bolduc. He made his NHL debut on Monday night in Toronto. On Tuesday, the Islanders recalled G Henrik Tikkanen from loan to ECHL Worcester.
Chris Terry leads the Islanders in points with 37 (11 g, 26 a), while Andy Andreoff leads the way in terms of goals with 19. Four different Islanders have scored double-digit goals this season.
Play-by-play voice of the Wolf Pack Alex Thomas will have ‘Wolf Pack Pregame’ starting live at 6:45 p.m. on both AHLTV and Mixlr.
The Wolf Pack return to the ice on Friday night when they visit the Providence Bruins at Amica Mutual Pavilion. The puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Pack is back at the XL Center on Saturday night when they welcome the Syracuse Crunch to town for their only visit of the season. Join us for New York Rangers night with special guest Stéphane Matteau! The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.; tickets are 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 is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and plays 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.