WOLF PACK COME UP SHORT IN FIRST OF THREE STRAIGHT AGAINST CHECKERSApr 7, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack battled hard on Thursday night in Charlotte, but surrendered a late powerplay goal before eventually falling 4-1 at the hands of the Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
Connor Carrick broke a 1-1 tie 10:21 into the third period on Thursday night, converting on the Checkers’ second powerplay chance of the evening. Chase Priskie held the puck at the top of the offensive zone before dishing off to Carrick, who was stationed in the far faceoff circle. Carrick stepped into a one-time blast that got through Keith Kinkaid for his ninth goal of the season. The goal would stand as the game winner.
For the third straight game, the Wolf Pack surrendered the first goal. Patrick Giles dropped a pass to Connor Bunnaman in the slot while in the offensive zone, but Bunnaman could only direct the puck back towards the near boards. The puck bounced off the boards and came to Priske, who stepped into a shot that grazed defenseman Brandon Scanlin and beat Kinkaid 2:48 into the hockey game.
The Wolf Pack would get two powerplay chances in the opening period but were unable to solve Checkers starter Christopher Gibson. The two unsuccessful tries continued the Pack’s powerplay drought, pushing them to just one for their last 20 chances.
Patrick Khodorenko finally beat Gibson in the middle stanza, evening the affair 1-1 at the 6:55 mark. Ty Ronning carried the puck through the neutral zone, firing a pass to Khodorenko just before the third year forward entered the Checkers’ zone. Khodorenko bobbled the puck in the high slot but was able to regain possession and quickly fire a shot that fooled Gibson for his tenth goal of the year. The tally also marked the third straight game with a goal for Khodorenko, the longest scoring streak of his career.
For the second game in a row, the Wolf Pack would enter the third period with the score tied. Unfortunately, also for the second time in a row, their penalty kill would give up the goal that broke said tie.
Carrick’s blast through Kinkaid at 10:21 would give the Checkers a lead they would not lose on this night. Hartford did get a powerplay at the 12:30 mark, as Dennis Cholowski took a two-minute slashing minor, but never truly got anything going.
Alexander True hit the empty net at 18:03 to end the intrigue, while Carrick poured salt into the wound with his second of the night, also into an empty net, at 19:16.
The loss pushes the Wolf Pack to 2-11-1-0 in their last 14 games and marks the club’s first six-game losing streak since March of 2019.
The Wolf Pack continue their seven-game road trip with the second of three straight against the Checkers tomorrow night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. The miniseries concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Wolf Pack will conclude the road trip next week with stops in Belleville, Toronto, and Rochester.
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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.