WOLF PACK END SEASON WITH 6-3 VICTORY OVER VISITING PENGUINSApr 24, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack closed out the 2021-22 season on a victorious note Sunday afternoon, knocking off the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a final score of 6-3 at the XL Center.
Bobby Trivigno gave the Wolf Pack a lead they would not lose 5:46 into the third period. Drew O’Connor couldn’t collect a loose puck just inside the Penguin blueline, allowing Maxim Letunov to gain possession. Letunov tapped the puck down the wall for Lauri Pajuniemi, who quickly turned and fed Trivigno with a centering pass. In alone, Trivigno went backhand to forehand and stuffed his first professional goal through the five-hole of Tommy Nappier to make it a 4-3 game.
The Wolf Pack opened the scoring for the second time this weekend as Alex Whelan jammed home a rebound for his seventh goal of the season 1:58 into the game. Tim Gettinger fired a puck on goal that Nappier denied, but Whalen was able to locate the rebound and stuff home his second goal in as many nights. It was the first time in Whelan’s professional career that he scored goals in back-to-back games.
The Penguins responded at 11:34, tying the game 1-1. Alex Nylander gained the offensive zone with possession, then dished off a pass to a streaking Filip Hallander on the right wing side. Hallander blew by a defenseman, then went backhand to forehand before beating Adam Húska for his 13th goal of the season.
The Penguins would take their first lead of the hockey game just 3:34 into the second period. Pierre-Olivier Joseph fed Nylander with a pass at the blueline, giving the forward possession of the puck with tons of real estate to work with. Nylander took two strides, then fired a shot that whistled by Húska for his team-leading 22nd goal of the season.
Hartford responded just under ten minutes later, evening the affair on Whelan’s second goal of the afternoon. Whelan cruised to the front of the Penguin net and caught a piece of Hunter Skinner’s point shot. The deflection was enough to fool Nappier for Whelan’s second of the game and eighth of the season. The goal gave Whelan his first career multi-goal game at the professional level.
Just under three minutes later, however, the Penguins retook the lead on Hallander’s second of the game. Off a turnover deep in the Hartford zone, Sam Poulin fired a shot that Húska denied. The rebound popped to Hallander, however, and he was able to score on a third chance opportunity at 15:04.
The Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble in the final minute of the period, as the Wolf Pack got a full two minute five-on-three advantage. With the extra two skaters, Hartford wasted no time tying the game 3-3. Pajuniemi and Zac Jones played catch in the high-slot, before Pajuniemi eventually took the position. The rookie forward glided into the slot and labelled a wrist-shot by Nappier for his 12th goal of the season at 19:39.
Tied after forty minutes, the Wolf Pack dug deep in the final twenty minutes of their season to earn two points.
Trivigno broke the tie at 5:46 of the third period with his first career goal, beating Nappier through the five-hole. Just under five minutes later, at 10:41, the Wolf Pack would get the insurance from Pajuniemi. The Finnish forward was gliding through the slot when he caught a piece of Hunter Skinner’s point blast. The goal, Pajuniemi’s second of the night, would effectively end the proceedings.
The Wolf Pack put the exclamation point on this victory at 16:53, as Jarred Tinordi banked the puck off the wall from his own zone and hit the empty net for his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack and first in the AHL since April 3rd, 2019.
The win gives the Wolf Pack back-to-back wins for the first time since March 5th and 6th. The victory also gives the club a record of 32-32-6-2 to end the 2021-22 season.
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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.