May 13, 2023

HERSHEY, PA – The Hartford Wolf Pack struck on the powerplay for the second consecutive game on Saturday night, but ultimately the Pack couldn’t solve Hunter Shepard at five-on-five. The Hershey goaltender made 25 saves to preserve at 4-2 victory in Game Two for the Bears. The Bears now lead the Atlantic Division Finals 2-0 and can eliminate Hartford on Wednesday night.

Mike Vecchione scored his second goal of the Calder Cup Playoffs 8:48 into the second period, giving the Bears a 3-1 lead at the time. Ethen Frank fired a shot that Dylan Garand denied, but the rebound popped to Henrik Borgstrom. Borgstrom settled things down behind the Hartford net, then sent a centering pass to Vecchione in the slot. Vecchione fired a quick shot that beat Garand for the eventual game-winning marker.

The Bears struck just 3:12 into the game, taking advantage of an early powerplay. Joe Snively danced into the Wolf Pack zone, then floated a pass to Mason Morelli. Morelli sped his way to the net and slid a backhand shot under the pad of Garand for his third goal of the postseason.

Hartford’s powerplay would strike for the third time in the series, evening the tilt 1-1 at the 11:32 mark. Just seconds into the advantage, Ryan Carpenter hit Will Cuylle in the slot with a centering pass. Cuylle uncorked a shot that beat Shepard for his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal.

Just 72 seconds later, however, the Bears would regain the lead for good. Beck Malenstyn was fed on an odd man rush by Morelli and broke towards the goal unabated. Malenstyn ripped a shot by the blocker of Garand for his second goal of the playoffs.

Vecchione collected the only goal of the middle stanza, making it 3-1 at 8:48.

The Bears made it a 4-1 game, and ended the drama, 13:14 into the third period. Logan Day’s clearing attempt went off the stick of Ty Emberson but clipped the official in the neutral zone. The puck bounced to Aliaksei Protas, who fed Hendrix Lapierre in the offensive zone. Lapierre snapped a shot by Garand for his second goal of the playoffs, sending the crowd of over 9,500 into a frenzy.

Adam Clendening fired a point shot that snuck through a screen and beat Shepard at 15:09, but that would be as close as the Pack could get on this night. The Bears’ stout defense held Hartford off in the final moments despite a strong push with the extra attacker.

The Wolf Pack return to the XL Center for Game Three of the best-of-five series on Wednesday, May 17th. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. To get tickets, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com/tickets/playoff-information.

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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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