Apr 15, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack saw their special teams cost them in a big way on Friday night. The club surrendered two shorthanded goals and a powerplay goal in an eventual 4-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies, closing the two-game season series.

Nick Robertson scored the first shorthanded goal of the night for the Marlies 80 seconds into the middle frame. The Wolf Pack struggled to gain the offensive zone while on a four-minute advantage due to a double-minor for high-sticking taken by Josh Ho-Sang late in the first period. After finally gaining the Marlies’ zone, Toronto forced a turnover along the left wing wall. The puck popped to Robertson at the blueline, who walked in alone on a breakaway and beat Keith Kinkaid for his 12th goal of the season.

The goal, which made it 2-0 at the time, would stand as the game winning tally.

The Wolf Pack surrendered the first goal for the fifth time in six games on this seven-game road trip. Hartford fired the first eight shots of the hockey game, but it was Toronto’s first bid that found twine. Brett Seney sent the puck towards goal, where it hit off the knee of Joseph Blandisi and beat Kinkaid just 4:37 into the contest. The goal was Blandisi’s eleventh of the season.

Late in the period, the Wolf Pack would get a four-minute powerplay when Ho-Sang clipped Maxim Letunov with a high-stick. Harford had a few looks in the final 49 seconds of the first period but carried the advantage into the middle stanza. That’s when trouble struck, as Robertson’s shorthanded goal made it 2-0 just 80 seconds into the period.  

The Wolf Pack were able to respond on the powerplay, striking back just 87 seconds later. Anthony Greco fired a shot from an angle that fooled Marlies’ starter Michael Hutchinson, finding the back of the net at 2:47. Nick Merkley would collect the primary assist on Greco’s 20th goal of the season. It was the 100th assist of his AHL career. Kinkaid, meanwhile, would collect the secondary helper. It was his first in the AHL since the 2013-14 season.

The Wolf Pack pushed hard for the equalizer but found themselves in penalty trouble late in the period. First, Brandon Scanlin was whistled for holding at 17:12 of the period. Just 31 seconds later, Matthew Robertson flipped a puck up and out of play for a delay of game, giving the Marlies a five-on-three.

The Marlies powerplay made the Wolf Pack pay.

Alex Steeves took a cross-ice pass from Seney and buried his 22nd goal of the season at 18:57, ballooning the Toronto lead to 3-1.

In the third period, the Marlies painted a perfect defensive picture as they held the Wolf Pack to just four shots on goal. Bobby McMann would turn the lights out at 17:40, firing the Marlies’ second shorthanded goal of the night into an empty net.

The Wolf Pack conclude their seven-game road trip tomorrow night when they visit the Rochester Americans. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.  

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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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