May 22, 2024

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack drew first blood in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Finals, but could not hold off a push from the Hershey Bears. The Bears scored four unanswered goals to pull away for a 4-1 decision in Game 3, sweeping the series 3-0 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.   

Garrett Roe played the hero on this night, notching his first career multi-goal Calder Cup Playoff performance. His second goal of the night proved to be the game-winning tally. Roe was on a two-on-one with Chase Priskie before his pass hit the skate of Priskie and trickled back to him. He collected the puck on his backhand and snapped his third goal of the playoffs by Dylan Garand at 7:29 of the second period, making it 2-1 at the time.

A late lineup addition in Matthew Phillips nearly put the Bears on the board in the opening seconds, striking iron with a one-time shot. Shortly thereafter, a delay of game penalty by Joe Snively at 25 seconds gave the Pack an early crack at the man advantage.

Hershey applied heavy pressure on the penalty kill, not allowing the Wolf Pack to register a shot. The two sides exchanged chances in the ensuing minutes, highlighted by a Brett Berard backhander that nearly trickled by Hunter Shepard.

It would be the Wolf Pack drawing first blood at 13:24, as Mac Hollowell fed a pass to the net front for Jaroslav Chmelař. The young forward waited out Shepard and stuffed home his second goal of the postseason at 13:24 to give Hartford a 1-0 lead.

The Bears equalized early in the second period, tying the game just 1:56 in. Hardy Häman-Aktell had some space at the blue line and elected to fire a shot into a crowd of bodies screening Garand. The shot caught the stick of Roe, who deflected home his second goal of the playoffs to even the score.

Roe’s second of the period just under six minutes later came off a fortuitous bounce and gave the Bears a lead they never lost. It was the second of three points on the night for Roe (2 g, 1 a).

Bogdan Trineyev was awarded a penalty shot at 16:49 of the second period after being hauled down on a breakaway. He could not convert on it, however, missing on a backhand deke.

The Wolf Pack had a late opportunity in the second period to find an equalizer on the powerplay, but the Bears' penalty kill again stood tall.

A second Wolf Pack penalty in the third period gave the Bears another opportunity to extend their lead. It was on this chance, their fourth of the night, that Hershey cashed in.

With just eight seconds left on the powerplay, Henrik Rybinski fed a net-crashing Matthew Strome from behind the net. Strome ripped home a one-timer to make it 3-1 at 11:52. The goal was his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal.

Down two, the Wolf Pack pressured hard with the extra attacker in the final minutes. A slew of chances in the offensive zone came up empty, however.

Mike Vecchione then landed the dagger, hitting the empty net to secure the 4-1 win and the sweep of Hartford. The goal was Vecchione’s first of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

To stay updated with the Wolf Pack during the 2024 offseason, please 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.  

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