Dec 15, 2023

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack welcomed the Rochester Americans to the XL Center for the first of two meetings this season in front of a crowd of 5,140. The Wolf Pack never trailed on this night, but some late-game heroics from Jiri Kulich would be enough to push the Americans to a comeback victory by a final score of 3-2 in overtime.

Kulich, Rochester’s leading scorer, secured the Amerks win in overtime with his team-leading 15th tally of the season. Kulich’s game-winner was his second of the night, with his winner coming on the powerplay. The goal came at 2:51 of the overtime period, snapping a three-game losing streak for the visitors.

It was a high-octane opening frame, with the teams exchanging 23 total shots. Both Louis Domingue and Devin Cooley stood tall on some grade-A chances between the clubs, treating fans to a little bit of everything on this night.  

Late in the period, Blake Hillman was able to save the puck from exiting the zone on the blue line, before making a nifty move along the right wall to create space. Hillman then found Karl Henriksson above the right-wing circle, and he buried a wrist shot above Cooley for his fourth of the year to make it 1-0 Hartford at 19:01.

The Pack got an early powerplay opportunity in the middle stanza as the Americans received a too-many men on the ice penalty. Rochester applied pressure on the penalty kill, preventing the Wolf Pack from getting set up in the offensive zone.

Brandon Biro then sped down the ice with the puck and evened the score with a pinpoint shot that crept above Domingue’s shoulder. The goal, Rochester’s fifth shorthanded tally of the season, made it 1-1 at 2:21.

The Americans found a spark following the tying goal, testing Domingue with several high-danger chances. After gaining an 11-1 stranglehold on shots, the Amerks were stunned late in the period when the Wolf Pack went to work and regained the lead.

Brett Berard had a handful of strong chances this evening and was finally rewarded with a crisp pass from Matthew Robertson at the top of the left-wing circle. Berard ripped his seventh goal of the season by Cooley to make it 2-1 at 17:05 of the second period.

It was a stalemate in the final frame, with each team getting their share of powerplay opportunities. The Pack failed to convert on back-to-back man advantages in the final ten minutes before a hooking penalty at 14:20 put Hartford on the kill late.

It would be Kulich who notched his 14th goal of the year mere seconds after the powerplay expired, beating Domingue up high through a screen to make it 2-2 at 16:27.

Kulich’s late tally would force overtime at the XL Center for the third straight home game.

Two early penalties in the overtime period led to some brief three-on-three hockey before Kulich would strike for the second time of the night to secure the 3-2 win on a four-on-three powerplay. The goal was rocketed from the right-wing circle.

Despite falling in overtime, the Wolf Pack extended their point streak at the XL Center to eight games (6-0-2-0).

The Wolf Pack are back at home this Sunday for an afternoon matchup against the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop is slated for 3:00 p.m., with coverage on AHLTV and Mixlr. Tickets are available on 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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