WOLF PACK USE FOUR DIFFERENT GOAL SCORERS TO KNOCK OFF ISLANDERS 4-1 IN ROUND NINE OF ‘BATTLE OF CONNECTICUT’Mar 6, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack completed a back-to-back weekend and a three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford when the rival Bridgeport Islanders came to town. Hartford used four different goal scorers to win for the sixth time in nine meetings over the Islanders, taking the final matchup in Hartford by a score of 4-1.
Nils Lundkvist continued to wield the hot hand, scoring his first goal and fourth point of the weekend 10:38 into the opening period. Justin Richards collected a loose puck along the near boards and threaded a pass to Lundkvist, who was darting towards the slot. Lundkvist walked into a dangerous area and fired home his third goal of the season. The marker broke a 1-1 tie and stood as the eventual winning tally.
For the fourth game in a row, the Wolf Pack opened the scoring. Hunter Skinner fired a shot from the far point that clipped the stick of forward Mike O’Leary, providing a screen in front of the net. O’Leary’s redirect was enough to beat Islanders’ starter Jakub Skarek 6:40 into the game to give the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead. The goal was O’Leary’s fifth of the season.
Hartford went to the powerplay 8:32 into the contest, with a chance to extend their lead on a Richard Panik elbowing infraction. The Wolf Pack committed multiple turnovers, however, and found themselves in a dangerous spot in their own zone. Cole Bardreau made them pay at 8:47, gaining possession off a turnover and firing a backhand shot over Adam Húska to tie the game 1-1. The goal was the eighth shorthanded marker allowed by the Wolf Pack this season.
Lundkvist’s goal at 10:38 gave Hartford the lead for good, as Húska would slam the door shut on the visitors from that point on.
Hartford gained insurance in the middle stanza, scoring twice to eventually gain a 4-1 advantage. Tanner Fritz would score his second goal in as many days, stinging his former team at 4:52. Ty Ronning placed a perfect pass onto the stick of Fritz in the near faceoff circle in the offensive zone. Fritz took the feed and quickly released a lethal shot that beat Skarek for his ninth goal of the season.
Abbott Girduckis, in just his second game with the Wolf Pack, would join the fun as well. Girduckis wandered into the slot with puck possession and fired a wrist-shot that fooled Skarek, clipping the goal post and going in for his first career AHL goal and point in his eleventh career game. The tally, scored at 13:46 of the second period, would punctuate the scoring on this afternoon.
Cory Schneider took over in goal for the Islanders following the fourth goal, replacing Skarek after 33:46 of gametime.
The Wolf Pack were able to suffocate the Islanders in the third period, allowing the visitors just six shots on goal and killing off both powerplay opportunities given to them. Hartford went four-for-four on the penalty kill in this affair and finished their homestand by killing off all ten infractions committed.
The Wolf Pack return to action next weekend with the first two of five straight games on the road. The Wolf Pack visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m., before concluding the weekend in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Penguins next Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m.
The Pack is next back at the XL Center on Wednesday, March 23rd, when they play host to the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and 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.