SIX DIFFERENT PLAYERS SCORE AS WOLF PACK COMPLETE 7-5 COMEBACK WIN OVER ISLANDERSMar 15, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – Despite trailing three separate times in the contest, the Hartford Wolf Pack picked up a crucial victory over the Bridgeport Islanders on Wednesday night. Six different Wolf Pack players lit the lamp as the team earned a 7-5 comeback victory in ninth installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’.
Jonny Brodzinski completed the comeback bid for good about thirteen minutes into the final period. Playing in his first game since being assigned to Hartford by the New York Rangers on March 11th, Brodzinski took a feed from Jake Leschyshyn and blasted a one-timer from the left circle that Cory Schneider couldn’t stop. The goal was Brodzinski’s second of the contest and stood as the eventual game-winner.
The Islanders broke the ice just under two minutes into a wild opening period. Ruslan Iskhakov got the scoring started, collecting a loose puck at center ice, and dancing his way into the offensive zone before wrapping around the Hartford net and lighting the lamp just 1:56 into the contest. The tally was Iskhakov’s 15th of his rookie campaign and gave the Islanders the game’s first lead.
Fellow rookie Will Cuylle would find the equalizer just under a minute later. Cuylle, stationed in the slot, tipped a pass from Ty Emberson past Schneider to tie up the contest. The goal was Cuylle’s 20th of his rookie campaign, becoming the first member of the Wolf Pack to reach the 20-goal mark. The goal was also Cuylle’s 34th point of the season, good for the team lead.
Bridgeport reinstated the lead with a pair of goals in a four-minute stretch. Kyle MacLean put the Islanders back on top just over the five-minute mark in the period. MacLean grabbed the puck out of the air in the left-wing circle, rotated towards the goal, and sniped a shot from a sharp angle that squeezed by the glove of Domingue and into the net, putting Bridgeport back on top.
Andy Andreoff pushed the Isles lead to two just over four minutes later. Chris Terry fired a shot from the right circle that Domingue turned away. Andreoff pounced on the rebound and buried it into the Hartford net to give the Islanders their biggest lead of the night. The goal was Andreoff’s team-leading 26th of the campaign.
The Wolf Pack drew back within one late in the opening stanza. The Islanders had a powerplay killed, but before Paul Thompson could get back into the action, Lauri Pajuniemi sniped a long range shot past Schneider for his 17th goal of the season. Pajuniemi’s 17 goals are good for second on the team, and his tally sent the Wolf Pack into the second period trailing by one.
The Pack once again evened the score to start the middle stanza. Brodzinski took a shot from a sharp angle, and the puck deflected off the back of Schneider and into the net, tying the contest just 1:26 into the period. The Islanders protested, as the net was dislodged in the mayhem, but the officials ruled that the goal stood, officially giving Brodzinski his 13th tally of the campaign.
Bridgeport would grab the lead for the third time just over six minutes later. William Dufour kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired a shot from the blue line. Commotion in front of the net caused the puck to trickle by Domingue, putting the Wolf Pack in a 4-3 hole heading into the third period.
For the third time in the game, the Wolf Pack would draw even thanks to a goal early in the final stanza. Ryan Carpenter managed to keep the puck in the offensive zone with an impressive backwards pass, and Will Lockwood collected it. Lockwood skated to the right wall before firing a centering pass for Carpenter, who unleashed a shot from the slot that beat the blocker of Schneider. The goal was Carpenter’s 16th of the campaign and evened the score at four apiece.
Tim Gettinger gave the Wolf Pack their first lead of the night about five minutes later. Carpenter rimmed the puck around the boards, and Schneider went out to settle it. The puck took a wild bounce off the wall, and Gettinger corralled it before beating a diving Schneider to give the Pack a lead they would not lose. It was the twelfth time Gettinger has lit the lamp this season and gave him points in his last three games.
Will Lockwood earned the extra helper on Gettinger’s goal, his third point of the night. It was Lockwood’s first multi-point game since joining the Wolf Pack on March 8th.
Brodzinski found twine for the second time on the night at 12:59, putting the game out of reach for good. The goal gave Brodzinski three points (2 g, 1 a) in the game, he has seven points (4 g, 3 a) in his last two games against the Islanders.
Tanner Fritz added an insurance tally just over the seventeen-minute mark, scoring on the empty Bridgeport net. Cuylle and Brodzinski earned assists on the score, each earning their third point of the game.
Collin Adams would tack on an extra goal for Bridgeport with 50 seconds remaining in the contest, but the intrigue ended there, and the Wolf Pack picked up a 7-5 victory.
The Wolf Pack return to the ice on Friday, March 17th, hosting the Springfield Thunderbirds in the latest installment of the ‘I-91 Rivalry’. Join us for $2 beers and $1 hot dogs, and a specialty pint glass giveaway presented by Four Dads Pub! The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. 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.