Apr 1, 2024

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack have entered the final month of the AHL’s regulation season with a magic number of ten to clinch a spot in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Pack will play three games this week, all within the Atlantic Division, and all with massive playoff implications.

The club took to the ice on Monday morning for practice to start off the week following two defeats over the weekend.

Friday, March 29th, 2024, Vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (6-2 L): Things started off well for the Wolf Pack on Friday night, but quickly got off track in the latest installment of the ‘I-91 Rivalry’. Adam Edström put the Wolf Pack up 8:04 into the hockey game, tapping in a backdoor feed from Mac Hollowell during four-on-four play.

It was all T-Birds from there, however, as the visitors scored five unanswered goals to pull away. Ryan Suzuki tied the game at 13:05 of the first period, breaking in alone and snapping his eleventh goal of the season past Dylan Garand.

Hugh McGing jammed home a rebound 3:29 into the middle stanza, giving the T-Birds a lead they would not lose. Adam Gaudette popped home the eventual game-winning goal at 6:47, his league-leading 38th goal of the season at the time.

Two powerplay goals from Jakub Vrana midway through the period would cement Hartford’s fate. Jakub Vrana scored from the right-wing circle at 9:26 while on a five-on-three advantage, then 30 seconds later he’d tip home a Joseph Duszak shot while on a five-on-four to make it 5-1.

Nic Petan and Mikhail Abramov traded goals in the third period.

The win was the Thunderbirds’ fourth in a row in the season series, giving them a 5-3 edge through eight meetings.

Saturday, March 30th, 2024, Vs. Hershey Bears (2-1 SOL): The Wolf Pack turned in one of their better efforts of the season on Saturday night, controlling play through 60 regulation minutes against the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears.

Ethen Frank scored 4:29 into the hockey game, firing home his 25th goal of the season from the slot to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The lead lasted until early in the second period, when Brennan Othmann banked a shot off a defender in front and by Hunter Shepard on the powerplay. The goal, scored at 6:06, was Othmann’s 18th of the season.

The Wolf Pack outshot the Bears 32-21 during regulation, controlling the play. They couldn’t get a second goal past Shepard, however, and were pushed to overtime. In the overtime period, the club took two separate minor penalties, taxing their penalty killing units.

Olof Lindbom led the charge with five saves, as the Wolf Pack withstood two separate four-on-three situations and forced a shootout.

In the shootout, five of the six shooters found the back of the net. All three Bears scored, while two of Hartford’s three lit the lamp. Petan and Alex Belzile scored for the Pack, while Pierrick Dubé, Joe Snively, and Alex Limoges scored for the Bears. Limoges’ goal in the bottom of the third round proved to be the deciding tally.

With the win, the Bears claimed the season series with a 3-1-0-0 record. The Wolf Pack ended the season series with a 1-2-0-1 mark.

Quick Hits:

  • Thanks to his goal on Saturday night, Othmann is tied for fifth in the AHL in points among rookies. He’s tied with Mackie Samoskevich of the Charlotte Checkers with 45 points each. Othmann has recorded 18 goals and 27 assists.
  • Via his assist on Edström’s goal on Friday night, Hollowell now sits tied for sixth in the AHL in assists with 38. He is tied with Hershey’s Snively.
  • Hollowell’s 38 assists lead the league in assists by a defenseman.
  • The Wolf Pack’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is ten.

The Week Ahead:

  • Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024, Vs. Bridgeport Islanders (7:00 p.m., XL Center)
  • Saturday, April 6th, 2024, @ Charlotte Checkers (4:00 p.m., Bojangles Coliseum)
  • Sunday, April 7th, 2024, @ Charlotte Checkers (1:00 p.m., Bojangles Coliseum)

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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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