Dec 27, 2022

BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack made it two straight victories in the ‘Battle of Connecticut’ on Tuesday night, scoring a season-high seven goals to knock off the Bridgeport Islanders by a final score of 7-3 at Total Mortgage Arena. The win gives Hartford five victories in their last seven outings.

Lauri Pajuniemi scored his seventh goal of the season 14:13 into the second period, giving the Pack a response goal that would stand as the eventual game-winning marker. Off a faceoff immediately after a Samuel Bolduc goal, Pajuniemi located the loose puck and sprinted into the Bridgeport zone on a two-on-one. Pajuniemi elected to shoot the puck, snapping it by Jakub Skarek just six seconds after the Islanders got on the board. The goal made it 4-1 at the time and would be the difference in the end.

For the fifth straight game, Hartford scored the first goal of the night. Gustav Rydahl muscled his way towards the net with a power move but was denied by Skarek. The rebound sat in the crease, awaiting someone to find it. Cristiano DiGiacinto, attacking hard down the middle, would be that guy. The forward jammed home his second goal of the season 11:55 in to give the Wolf Pack a lead they would not lose.

Ryan Carpenter extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:38, firing his fifth goal of the season by Skarek. Austin Rueschhoff would feed Carpenter in the slot, providing him with a dangerous scoring chance that he would not miss.

Hartford ballooned the lead to 3-0 just 2:46 into the middle stanza, scoring a powerplay goal. After a wild sequence in the offensive zone, Pajuniemi sent a shot towards an empty net that grazed off Carpenter and in. It was Carpenter’s second goal of the night, and the third time this season that he scored at least two goals in a game.

The Islanders got a powerplay goal of their own at 14:07 of the second, as Bolduc sent a shot into traffic from the point that beat Dylan Garand. Just six seconds later, however, Pajuniemi would respond to restore Hartford’s three-goal lead.

Chris Terry drew the Islanders back within two at 16:04, as a centering pass from Andy Andreoff went off his skate and into the net. Once again, however, the Wolf Pack had the answer. This time, Zac Jones set up Bobby Trivigno for a one-time blast just 25 seconds later, putting Hartford ahead 5-2.

Carpenter would complete the hat-trick at 13:11, as he and Turner Elson teamed up to convert off a Skarek turnover. Elson found the loose puck and fed Carpenter, who lasered a shot by Skarek for Hartford’s first hat-trick since April 7th, 2021.

Andreoff would draw the Islanders within three at 14:56, but Karl Henriksson potted his first career AHL goal at 17:28 to end the intrigue in this game.

The Wolf Pack end their back-to-back set tomorrow night in Springfield when they visit the Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.

The Wolf Pack return to the XL Center on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, for a matchup with the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 5:30 pm. To get tickets, 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.  

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