Mar 5, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack surrendered a 1-0 lead in the third period for the second game a row on Saturday night at the XL Center, but this time were able to secure the two points. The Pack scored the game’s final two goals, coming away with a 3-1 decision over the Hershey Bears in the first of two games at home this weekend.

Matt Lorito fed Tanner Fritz along the boards on the nearside in the offensive zone. Fritz was attempting to send a pass back to Lorito, who set himself up in the faceoff circle on the far side of the zone. Fritz’s pass never made it to Lorito, however, as it banked off the skate of Mason Morelli and into the net at 4:11 of the third period. The goal broke a 1-1 tie and stood as the eventual winner.

The Wolf Pack and Bears skated to a scoreless first period, with minimal chances on both sides. The Wolf Pack held a 10-7 advantage in shots and did have two abbreviated powerplay chances. They couldn’t, however, beat Hershey goaltender Hunter Shepard.

Hartford’s powerplay would finally open the scoring 12:15 into the middle frame. Lorito fired home his third goal of the season, converting on a feed from Nils Lundkvist. Lundkvist took a pass from Zac Jones at the blueline and danced into the slot area before dishing off a pass to Lorito in the near circle. The veteran stepped into a one-time blast to extend his point streak to four-games.

For the second game in a row, the Wolf Pack led 1-0 after two periods of play. For the second game in a row, the club surrendered that lead. Mike Vecchione tapped a backhand pass into the near circle for Aliaksei Protas, who quickly released a shot that beat Keith Kinkaid for his fourth goal of the season just 55 seconds into the final stanza.

The 1-1 tie lasted just over three minutes, however, as the Wolf Pack answered with Fritz’s tally off the skate of Morelli that gave them the lead back for good. Austin Rueschhoff would provide the insurance just 3:08 later, scoring his 13th of the season on the powerplay. Lundkvist’s shot into traffic was redirected by Anthony Greco onto Shepard, who made the initial save. Rueschhoff tracked and found the rebound, however, tucking it by Shepard on the backhand to make it 3-1.

Lundkvist’s assist on the goal gave him three on the night. It was his first career three-point game in the American Hockey League. The win also pushed the Wolf Pack’s record to 4-1-0-0 in five games against the Bears. That clinches the regular season series for Hartford.

The Pack is back at the XL Center for the latest installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’ tomorrow afternoon! Puck drop takes place at 3:00 p.m. Join us to celebrate Sonar’s Birthday and ‘Mascot Madness’! Don’t forget, the CTDOT ‘Hat-Trick Pack’ is also available for purchase! The pack incudes three tickets to the game, three hot dogs and three fountain drinks. 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.  

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