WOLF PACK EARN POINT BUT SEE SIX-GAME WIN STREAK COME TO AN END IN 4-3 OVERTIME LOSS TO MONSTERSDec 6, 2023
HARTFORD, CT –The Hartford Wolf Pack welcomed the Cleveland Monsters to the XL Center for the first of four meetings this season. In a game that saw multiple lead changes, the Wolf Pack would see their six-game winning streak snapped in a 4-3 overtime defeat at the hands of the Monsters. The game was the first meeting between the Wolf Pack and Monsters since February 13th, 2009.
It would be Monsters rookie Luca Del Bel Belluz securing the win for Cleveland in overtime, notching his third goal of the season off a setup feed from Owen Sillinger. Sillinger recorded his third assist of the game on the goal, a season-high. The goal, meanwhile, was Del Bel Belluz’s first career overtime-winner in the AHL.
The Monsters were in sync in the opening minutes, controlling the flow of play. This led to an early goal for Cleveland, coming from Cameron Butler at 3:04. Butler deflected a point shot from Jake Christiansen passed Louis Domingue to make it 1-0 Monsters. The goal was Butler’s first career professional tally and point.
The Wolf Pack were unable to convert on their first powerplay opportunity of the night, but shortly thereafter got another shot at it as Carson Meyer was called for interference. The Pack made quick work of their second opportunity, as Brennan Othmann rifled a one-timer past Daniil Tarasov for his ninth of the season to make it a 1-1 game at 7:42. The goal gives Othmann tallies in four straight games and five of his last six appearances.
After a sequence of strong shifts by the Wolf Pack, they took their first lead just over two minutes after the Othmann goal. Alex Belzile found an open Brett Berard speeding down the middle, who roofed it over the shoulder of Tarasov for his sixth goal of the year to make it a 2-1 game at 9:54.
The opening several minutes of the middle stanza saw close chances from both teams, but Domingue and Tarasov stood tall. The Monsters, after a Tarasov denial of Anton Blidh, burst out of their zone with a three-on-two quarterbacked by Meyer. He quickly snuck a shot short-side to make it a 2-2 game at 8:56.
Just under four minutes later, Meyer got on the board for a second time after his pass out front was blocked back in his direction. Meyer batted the puck home, giving him his team-leading 11th goal of the season to make it 3-2 Monsters at 12:47. Tarasov made a slew of big saves to preserve the Cleveland lead through 40 minutes.
The clubs exchanged powerplay chances in the opening minutes of period three, but neither could convert. Hartford’s man advantage was highlighted by a glove save by Tarasov off a blistering Berard one-timer, keeping the Monsters ahead.
The Wolf Pack killed off their fourth penalty of the night, giving them a momentum boost as they strung together high-octane shifts in the ensuing minutes. Their effort was rewarded with a game-tying goal courtesy of a one-time blast from Brandon Scanlin, who rocketed his second goal of the season off of a setup feed from Matthew Robertson, making it a 3-3 hockey game at 10:36.
Their valiant third-period effort forced overtime, earning the club a point for the seventh straight game. Only three total shots were registered in the overtime period before Del Bel Belluz secured the Cleveland victory at 2:28.
The Wolf Pack hit the road for two games against the North Division’s Laval Rocket this weekend, with coverage available on both AHLTV and Mixlr. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon from Place Bell.
The Pack returns home next Friday night to host the Rochester Americans. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m., and tickets are 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.