RILEY NASH STRIKES TWICE AS PACK BLANK ISLANDERS 3-0Nov 10, 2023
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack completed their season-long, five-game road trip on Friday night with a 3-0 blanking of the Bridgeport Islanders in round one of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’. Riley Nash struck twice in the victory, while Dylan Garand made 37 saves to collect his first shutout of the season.
The Wolf Pack opened the scoring 12:25 into the tilt, as Anton Blidh followed the play to the net and buried a rebound for his second goal of the season.
Adam Sýkora won a battle for a loose puck deep in the Islanders zone, collecting it just outside of the right-wing corner. Sýkora muscled his way to the net but was denied by Islanders goaltender Jakub Skarek. The rebound sat to the left of Skarek, and Blidh was able to find it first. He collected the rebound and fired the puck by Skarek to give the Pack a lead they never lost.
The goal was Blidh’s first game-winning tally of the campaign.
Nash extended the lead 5:50 into the middle stanza, lifting a shot over the right pad of Skarek. Brett Berard entered the zone on the right-wing side, but had the puck knocked off his stick. The rookie forward never gave up on the play, however, and won the puck back from defenseman Aidan Fulp. Berard set a pass to Nash in front, who went from his backhand to his forehand and potted his fourth goal of the season.
The assist gives Berard a four-game point streak.
Nash ballooned the lead to 3-0 at 12:16, scoring an unassisted goal for his second of the night and fifth of the season. The veteran forward carried the puck into the zone on the right-wing side, danced into the faceoff circle, and fired a low shot that beat Skarek. It marked the second time this season that Nash has lit the lamp twice in a game. He scored twice in Hartford’s 4-1 win at Lehigh Valley on October 29th.
Garand slammed the door shut in the final stanza, making 15 saves to preserve both the victory and the shutout.
The Wolf Pack return to the XL Center tomorrow night to open a home-and-home set with the Providence Bruins. The puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m., and 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 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.