WOLF PACK STRIKE THREE TIMES IN THE THIRD, BUT FALL 6-3 TO ISLANDERSNov 23, 2022
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack battled to the bitter end on Wednesday night, scoring three times in the third period, but the Bridgeport Islanders were able to hold off the late rally to preserve a 6-3 victory in the latest installment of the ‘Battle of Connecticut’.
Otto Koivula potted his second goal of the evening 15:27 into the third period, ripping the momentum back from the Wolf Pack after two straight Hartford goals. Wolf Pack starter Dylan Garand lost the puck behind his own goal, with Andy Andreoff finding possession. Andreoff sent a pass in front for Koivula, who had a wide-open net for his fourth goal of the season. The tally made it a 4-2 game at the time and would stand as the game-winning marker.
Koivula also opened the scoring on this night, lighting the lamp just 1:21 into the game. A Wolf Pack clearing attempt was intercepted by Arnaud Durandeau just inside the blueline. Durandeau quickly fed a pass to Koivula, who snapped a shot by Garand from the right-wing circle to open the scoring.
The Islanders would extend their lead to 3-0 with two quick goals in the second period. C.J. Smith was denied by Islanders starter Cory Schneider at one end, with the puck quickly finding Durandeau and moving the other way. On a two-on-one, Durandeau hit Jeff Kubiak with a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone. Kubiak quickly settled the puck and fired it home at 14:11 to make it a 2-0 game. 43 seconds later, a fire drill in the Hartford zone saw the puck bounce back to the blueline for Samuel Bolduc, who rifled home his third goal of the season at 14:54.
The Wolf Pack refused to go quietly on this night, making things interesting in the third period. Bobby Trivigno opened the scoring for the Hartford side at 1:24, speeding to the Islander goal and tucking home a backhand shot for his third goal of the season.
At 7:49, Will Cuylle cut the deficit to 3-2 with his fourth goal of the campaign. Cuylle attempted a backhand pass in the offensive zone, but the puck hit an Islander and ended up right back on Cuylle’s stick. Cuylle elected to shoot on his second chance, and he cleanly beat Schneider to further tighten the game.
Koivula would convert on the Hartford turnover at 15:27, however, putting the game out of reach for good.
Ben Harpur did get the Wolf Pack back within one at 15:52, as a dump attempt from center fooled Schneider and found the back of the net for the defenseman’s third goal of the season.
Chris Terry and Cole Bardreau would tack on goals at 17:25 and 18:38, respectively, to put the game away and cement the Islanders 6-3 victory.
The Pack will return to the XL Center on Friday, November 25th, for a rematch with the Hershey Bears. Be sure to join us for $2 beers and $1 hot dogs! Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. 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.