WOLF PACK TIE GAME LATE, BUT CAN’T HOLD OFF ISLANDERS PUSH IN 5-2 DEFEAT IN BRIDGEPORTOct 23, 2022
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack got a late goal from Lauri Pajuniemi to tie their game against the Bridgeport Islanders 2-2 on Sunday afternoon, but the Islanders would soon after explode for three goals of their own to sink the Wolf Pack by a final score of 5-2.
Less than a minute after Pajuniemi tied the contest 2-2, Ruslan Iskhakov gained the offensive zone with possession for the Islanders and fed an unmarked Paul Thompson with a cross-ice pass. Thompson stepped into a one-timer that beat a sliding Dylan Garand to reinstate the Islanders lead, one they would not lose.
For the fourth time in four games, the Wolf Pack surrendered the first goal of the contest. After a scoreless opening period, the Wolf Pack found themselves on the powerplay to start the middle frame. Despite ample chances, a bobbled puck at the offensive blueline ended up on the stick of Kyle MacLean. MacLean darted down the ice and beat Garand for his first goal of the season. It was Hartford’s first shorthanded goal allowed this year.
The Wolf Pack were able to respond just over ten minutes later, tying the contest at 10:35. Andy Welinski’s shot was denied by Cory Schneider, but the rebound popped into the slot area. Jonny Brodzinski got a piece of the puck, steering it to Will Cuylle who blasted home his second of the season.
Hartford quickly took a penalty, however, and the Islanders made them pay. Less than a minute after Cuylle scored, at 14:18, the Isles took a 2-1 lead. Samuel Bolduc let a shot go from the point that was tipped by Andy Andreoff. The veteran’s second goal of the season was Bridgeport’s third powerplay tally of the year.
Pajuniemi scored his second of the campaign 13:41 into the final period, launching a missile from the circle. Gustav Rydahl won a faceoff, which Pajuniemi stepped up and sniped without hesitation. Again, however, the tie would not last. This time, the Islanders took only 48 seconds to regain the lead. Thompson potted his first goal of the season at 14:29 to make it a 3-2 game, effectively ending the back-and-forth contest.
At 16:16, Hudson Fasching would score his third goal of the season on a two-on-none with Otto Koivula. Fasching’s shot went in and out of the glove of Garand, but then hit a sliding defender and ricocheted into the goal to make it 4-2. Cole Bardreau would sink an empty netter in the wanning moments to cement the 5-2 decision.
The Pack will take the ice at the XL Center again next Friday night, when they host the Hershey Bears. $2 beers and $1 hot dogs for every Friday night home game returns for the 2022-23 season! 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.