WOLF PACK ELMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION WITH LOSS TO CHECKERSApr 22, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack scored first on Friday night at the XL Center but couldn’t hold off the Charlotte Checkers in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their division rivals. The loss, coupled with a 4-2 victory by the Bridgeport Islanders over the Springfield Thunderbirds, eliminated the Wolf Pack from playoff contention.
Special teams was the deciding factor for the second straight game, as the Checkers broke a 1-1 tie in the third period with a powerplay goal. Dennis Cholowski fired a shot into traffic that forward Scott Wilson got a piece off. The redirection was enough to beat Keith Kinkaid, making it a 2-1 game 9:32 into the third period. The goal would prove to be enough on this night and would be Wilson’s second game winner against Hartford this season.
For the second straight meeting between the sides, Hartford opened the scoring. Jarred Tinordi hit Tanner Fritz with a perfect stretch pass, transitioning the puck from the Hartford zone up to the offensive blue line. Fritz gained the zone, skated towards goal, and wired a shot over the glove of Joey Daccord that went off the post and in at 18:15 of the first period. The goal was Fritz’s 13th of the season, and second in as many meetings with the Checkers.
Hartford was unable to build on the lead, despite a strong start to the second period. The Checkers weathered the storm, then struck 9:30 into the middle stanza to even the affair. Chase Priske wandered into the high slot and fired a shot into traffic, beating Kinkaid cleanly. The veteran goaltender was perfectly screened by Henry Bowlby, who was stationed in front of the net.
Late in the period, Matt Lorito found the puck on his backhand with a golden opportunity to make it a 2-1 game for the Wolf Pack. With Daccord seemingly down and out, Lorito fired a backhand shot towards goal. Daccord, from his stomach, flung up his leg and was able to deny Lorito of what appeared to be a sure goal.
That proved to be a huge moment in this game, as Wilson’s redirection on the powerplay gave the Checkers a lead 9:32 into the third period.
The Wolf Pack were able to pull Kinkaid for the extra attacker and got a few looks towards goal but could not solve Daccord.
The Wolf Pack continue their three-in-three weekend tomorrow night when they visit the Bridgeport Islanders. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. from Total Mortgage Arena.
The season concludes on Sunday, April 24th, when the Wolf Pack host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on ‘Fan Appreciation Day’. Puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m.
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.