PRE-GAME REPORT: WOLF PACK RETURN HOME FOR COLOSSAL TILT WITH ISLANDERSMar 15, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack return home for a massive game in the Atlantic Division playoff chase. Tonight, the Wolf Pack play host to the Bridgeport Islanders in the latest installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’.
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 ninth of twelve meetings between the Wolf Pack and the Islanders this season. The sides will meet again on Saturday night in Bridgeport, their final matchup of the season at Total Mortgage Arena. The season series wraps up with two games back at the XL Center. The Isles make those final two visits on Wednesday, March 29th, and Friday, April 7th.
The Wolf Pack took a 9-0 decision in the last meeting between these foes on March 4th. Will Cuylle scored just 3:36 into the game, giving the Wolf Pack a lead they never lost. Ryan Carpenter scored twice in the victory, while Jonny Brodzinski recorded his second four-point (2 g, 2 a) outing of the season. Tim Gettinger also notched four points (1 g, 3 a), while Jake Leschyshyn scored his first goal with the Wolf Pack.
The win marked the fourth consecutive time in the season series in which the road team was victorious. That comes on the heels of the home team winning each of the first four installments of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’.
The last victory by a home team in the season series was on December 23rd, when the Wolf Pack took a 4-3 decision at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack are 3-5-0-0 in the season series, while the Islanders are 5-3-0-0.
Wolf Pack Outlook:
The Wolf Pack suffered their fourth consecutive defeat on Saturday, falling 3-2 in overtime against the Toronto Marlies. Will Lockwood opened the scoring with his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack 15:04 into the second period, but the Marlies would tie the game at 18:46 when Radim Zohorna batted home a rebound. Kyle Clifford put the Marlies ahead at 11:11 of the third, seemingly pushing them to victory. Jake Leschyshyn had other ideas, however, as he deflected an Adam Clendening centering pass home at 19:23 to tie the game and force overtime. Logan Shaw struck back for the Marlies, however, burying his 18th goal 2:39 into the extra session to push the Marlies to victory.
Saturday’s defeat marked the end of a stretch in which the Wolf Pack played eight out of nine games on the road. The Pack went 4-3-1-1, collecting ten of a possible 16 points. Hartford will play four of their next five games on home ice.
Cuylle leads the Wolf Pack in scoring with 33 points (19 g, 14 a) in 55 games this season. His 19 goals also lead the club in that category. Tanner Fritz, meanwhile, has the team lead in assists with 27 on the campaign.
The Islanders won a wild 4-3 shootout decision over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night in North Carolina. The Isles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals from Paul Thompson, Andy Andreoff, and Chris Terry, but couldn’t hold off a desperate push from the Checkers in the third period.
Zac Dalpe scored at 5:39 to get the Checkers on the board, then Cory Conacher scored on the powerplay at 12:16 to make it a 3-2 game. With the extra attacker out, Dalpe scored his second of the period to force overtime. After OT solved nothing, the sides headed to a shootout, where William Dufour and Ruslan Iskhakov both scored to give the Isles the second point.
Bridgeport wrapped up a three-game miniseries against the Checkers in Charlotte with a 2-1-0-0 record.
Terry leads the club in scoring with 56 points (18 g, 38 a) in 53 games played. Andreoff, meanwhile, leads the Isles in goals with 25 on the 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 play host to the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday, March 17th. Join us for $2 beers and $1 hot dogs at the XL Center! In addition, the Wolf Pack will be wearing special St. Patrick’s Day themed jerseys during the game, while the first 1,500 fans will receive a Wolf Pack branded pint glass courtesy of our friends at Four Dad’s Pub. 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.