WOLF PACK SCORE LATE TO KNOCK OFF ISLANDERS 3-2Dec 29, 2021
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack had quite a different look on Wednesday night when they took the short trip south to Bridgeport to take on the Islanders in the latest installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’. With eight news faces on the roster, the Wolf Pack battled hard and claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory, extending their point-streak to three games (2-0-0-1).
Anthony Greco slid a pass to a streaking Justin Richards at center ice. Richards gained the Islander zone and blazed by defenseman Samuel Boduc, creating a chance in from of the goal. Richards tucked a backhand shot by starting goaltender Ken Appleby at 17:39 of the third period, giving the Wolf Pack a 3-2 lead that they would not lose.
The Wolf Pack and Islanders played a relatively uneventful first period, with neither side able to break the ice. François Brassard, in his AHL debut, made 12 saves in the opening period, while Appleby denied all five Wolf Pack bids.
In the second period, it was the Islanders who broke the ice. Kyle MacLean took a pass from Erik Brown and cut down the slot, eventually beating Brassard with a backhand shot for his third goal of the season. It was his second goal against the Wolf Pack on the campaign, and his first goal since November 10th.
The Wolf Pack weren’t deterred, however, and responded quickly to even the score at 1-1. Zach Berzolla, in his AHL debut, blasted home a shot from the blueline at 5:35 of the second period to get Hartford back on even footing. The goal came just 1:56 after MacLean’s tally.
Hartford continued to push, and eventually gained the lead late in the middle frame. Patrick Khodorenko fired a shot from the far-side of the ice that hit the end wall and popped out in from of the Islander goal. Cristiano DiGiacinto was perfectly positioned and deposited the puck into an empty net for his fourth goal overall on the season and his third against the Islanders at 15:27.
The Islanders brought the game back to even 5:34 into the third period with Collin Adams’ second of the season. Adams took a pass Arnaud Durandeau in the slot and quickly beat Brassard for the powerplay tally. Richards’ second marker of the season pushed Hartford ahead and gave the Wolf Pack their second victory in three visits to Bridgeport this season.
Brassard made 31 saves for his first AHL victory.
Be sure to ring in the New Year with us at the XL Center on Friday, December 31st, at 3:00 p.m. when the Pack take on the Providence Bruins! The first 1,500 fans will receive a 2022 Team Calendar courtesy of HDI! $2 beers and $1 hot dogs will also be available thanks to our friends at Nomads, while ‘First Night Out’ will be giving away pins to commemorate the night! In addition, post-game fireworks will take place at Bushnell Park at 6:00 p.m. This is also the annual ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ game! Please bring with you a teddy bear to toss out onto the ice when the Wolf Pack score their first goal!
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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.