WOLF PACK ERUPT FOR SEASON-HIGH SIX GOALS, BEAT GRIFFINS 6-4Dec 16, 2022
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Hartford Wolf Pack collected their third consecutive win on Friday night, scoring a season-high six goals in a 6-4 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins. The win gives the Wolf Pack their first three-game winning streak of the season, and their first back-to-back road wins of the campaign.
Gustav Rydahl scored his third goal of the season at 19:51 of the third period, at the time giving the Wolf Pack a 5-3 lead. Rydahl took the puck on a lap through the offensive zone, eventually working his way into the left-wing circle. He then snapped a heavy shot over the glove of Jussi Olkinuora, providing the Pack with the eventual game-winning goal.
For the second time in as many meetings, the Wolf Pack would open the scoring. Ryan Carpenter popped home his first goal with the club 7:07 into the contest. Austin Rueschhoff chipped a loose puck in front of the Griffins net, and Carpenter was able to find it and beat a scrambling Olkinuora for the icebreaker.
After being shutout by the Wolf Pack six nights ago, the Griffins finally solved the puzzle at 17:44 and tied the game 1-1. Kyle Criscuolo gained the offensive zone after a Hartford turnover. He dropped a pass back to Dominik Shine, who ripped his fifth goal of the season by Louis Domingue.
The Griffins would take their first lead of the hockey game just 2:57 into the second period, scoring a four-on-four goal. Alex Chiasson fired a shot by Domingue, but the puck rocketed off the goal post and into the corner. The Griffins quickly fed Chiasson in the slot again, and this time he buried his second goal of the season.
The Wolf Pack would find a four-on-four goal of their own moments later, again drawing the game to a tie. Lauri Pajuniemi stole the puck from Simon Edvinsson and then worked his way deep into the Griffins zone. Pajuniemi eventually walked into the left-wing circle and lasered home his sixth goal of the season at 6:27.
Hartford regained the lead at 9:39, with Carpenter burying his second of the night. Cristiano DiGiacinto won a puck battle and then sent a cross-ice pass to Carpenter, who quickly one-timed the puck for his first multi-goal game in the AHL since March 25th, 2017.
The seesaw continued just 44 seconds later, when Joel L’Esperance fired a shot from the left-wing circle in the Hartford zone. His shot was deflected by Criscuolo, who did just enough to beat Domingue at 10:23 to tie the game 3-3.
Hartford finally wrestled the lead away for good at 6:32, with Carpenter continuing his hot night. This time, he sent a cross-ice pass to Turner Elson, who went top-shelf for his 99th career AHL goal and the second against his former team in as many outings.
Rydahl would cement the victory at 19:01 with his third tally of the season.
Taro Hirose did score with 6.9 seconds left to provide some intrigue, but Zac Jones would hit the empty net with one second remaining to send the Wolf Pack on the road with two more points in the bank.
The Wolf Pack conclude their Midwest trip tomorrow night when they visit the Rockford IceHogs for the first time in franchise history. Puck drop is set for 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Pack returns to the XL Center on Thursday, December 22nd, taking on the Springfield Thunderbirds in the latest installment of the I-91 Rivalry. To get tickets, please 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.