WOLF PACK DROP OPENING WEEKEND FINALE TO CHECKERS 3-1Oct 15, 2022
CHARLOTTE, NC – The Hartford Wolf Pack and Charlotte Checkers played a tightly contested game at the Bojangles Coliseum on Saturday night. An even affair at five-on-five was decided by special teams, as the Checkers powerplay struck twice to propel the team to a 3-1 victory and a sweep of the two-game weekend series.
Riley Nash scored his first goal in his second stint with the Checkers at 6:52 of the third period, converting Charlotte’s second powerplay goal of the night. Nash pounced on a rebound and stuffed it by Wolf Pack starter Dylan Garand, pushing the Checkers lead to 2-0. The goal would stand as the winner on this evening.
For the second time in as many nights, the Checkers would strike first. Chris Tierney fired a shot on goal that Garand was able to deny, but the rebound sat in the crease with the netminder down on the ice. Connor Bunnaman was able to get inside position, and as a result was able to locate the rebound and stuff it home for his first goal of the season at 17:50 of the first period. The goal was also a powerplay goal, as Bobby Trivigno was sitting for two minutes due to a delay of game penalty.
Neither side was able to light the lamp in the second period, but not for a lack of chances. Both teams fired twelve shots on goal, but Garand and Charlotte starter Mack Guzda were up to the task. Among Guzda’s saves in this game was a stop on a partial Jonny Brodzinski breakaway, and a Julien Gauthier pointblank chance in tight.
Guzda’s strong play in net kept the Checkers ahead long enough for the powerplay to strike a second time. Nash pounced on the rebound at 6:52 to give Charlotte all the insurance they needed on this night. The rebound was created thanks to an Anton Levtchi shot, giving the Finn his first career AHL assist. Santtu Kinnunen would hit an empty net at 17:23 to make it 3-0. The goal was his first in North America.
Turner Elson would break the shutout at 19:56, scoring his first with the Wolf Pack on a feed from Will Cuylle. Tanner Fritz would also grab an assist on Hartford’s only marker of the night, tying him for the team lead with two helpers early in the season.
The Wolf Pack return to the ice at the XL Center next Saturday, October 22nd, for their home opener. Join us at 7:00 p.m. when the Pack hosts the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The first 1,500 fans will receive a 2022-23 Wolf Pack magnetic schedule, courtesy of Pepsi Zero Sugar. 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.