Jan 12, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack struck first on Wednesday night at the XL Center in Hartford but couldn’t hold off a late push from the Charlotte Checkers. Grigori Denisenko struck twice to give the Checkers a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory, becoming the first team to defeat the Wolf Pack this season when trailing after forty minutes.

Denisenko, who forced overtime, also ended overtime just 1:52 into the extra frame. Logan Hutsko fed Denisenko in the neutral zone, allowing him to gain the offensive end of the ice with possession. Denisenko displayed patience, cutting towards the goal while keeping both the shooting and the passing lanes open. Denisenko elected to shoot and labelled a shot over the shoulder of François Brassard to push the Checkers into the winner’s circle.

The sides played a rare scoreless first period, with both Brassard and Checkers’ starter Joey Daccord making numerous stops. Brassard made nine saves, while Daccord made ten. Hartford also had a key penalty kill late in the period following a hooking infraction on Zach Berzolla.

The Wolf Pack finally broke the ice 18:56 into the middle frame. Nils Lundkvist snapped a pass ahead to Tanner Fritz, who fed Austin Rueschhoff gaining the offensive zone. Rueschhoff walked into the near faceoff circle and fired a wrist-shot over the glove of Daccord for his fourth tally of the season. Lundkvist, making his AHL debut, collected his first career AHL point on the goal.

Hartford maintained the lead into the third period but couldn’t hang on for the victory. Denisenko took a pass from Max Zimmer and sprung free for a breakaway. His shot hit the goal post but bounced off the skate of Brassard and into the net at 10:28 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1.

In overtime, both Brassard and Daccord made two key saves in the first 90 seconds. Denisenko ended the game with his second of the night and ninth of the season at 1:52, giving the Checkers their second win at the XL Center this season.

The Wolf Pack return to action Friday night when they visit the Providence Bruins. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. on AHLTV. The Pack is back at the XL Center on Saturday night when they host the Laval Rocket. Join us for ‘Decades Night’ as we celebrate music from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s! Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at 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.  

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