Dec 23, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The latest installment in the ‘Battle of Connecticut’ between the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Islanders took place on Friday night at the XL Center. Ryan Carpenter led the way for the Wolf Pack, scoring two goals in the team’s 4-3 victory over Bridgeport. It was Hartford’s first win in the rivalry this season.

Carpenter scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third period, his second marker of the night. Turner Elson sent a backwards pass to Carpenter, who snapped the puck off the crossbar and into the goal to push the score to 4-2. It was Carpenter’s second two-goal game since joining the Wolf Pack earlier this month.

For the second night in a row, and fourth game in a row, the Wolf Pack broke the ice. This time it was Cristiano DiGiacinto who found twine for his first tally of the year at 5:51. DiGiacinto took a backhand pass from Bobby Trivigno and fired a one-timer past Jakub Skarek to put the Pack in front. It was the first time this season that Hartford opened the scoring against the Islanders.

The Islanders evened the score by capitalizing on a powerplay ten minutes later. Trivigno blocked a shot from Chris Terry, but the puck bounced right off the leg of Andy Andreoff and to Arnaud Durandeau in the slot. Durandeau quickly collected the puck and fired home the equalizer at 15:08.

Bridgeport took their first lead of the night at 2:42 of the second. Forward Erik Brown took a shot that bounced off the skate of defenseman Andy Welinski. Paul Thompson was in perfect position for the rebound, and promptly beat Garand to put the Islanders in front.

The Pack answered back just over a minute later. Matthew Robertson fired a shot from the blue line that Skarek denied. Carpenter found the loose puck in the blue paint and gave just enough of a push to send it into the Bridgeport net, evening the game once again.

Zac Jones reinstated the Hartford lead for good during a four-on-four period in the final frame. Jones took a pass from Ty Emberson in the Bridgeport zone, skated towards the right face-off circle, and beat Skarek with a wrist shot to put the Pack on top, 3-2.

Carpenter lit the lamp for the second time on the night at 9:28, putting the game out of reach.

The Islanders would not go down without a fight. Andreoff drew Bridgeport within one, finding twine at 16:10 with his team-leading 15th of the year. Terry would send a cross-ice pass to Andreoff, who beat Garand from the left-wing circle.

However, the Wolf Pack held on for the final four minutes, earning their first victory in the ‘Battle of Connecticut’ this season.

The Wolf Pack hit the road for a rematch with the Islanders on Tuesday, December 27th. Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm.

The Wolf Pack return to the XL Center on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, for a matchup with the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 5:30 pm. To get tickets, visit 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.  

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