Apr 8, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack scored twice late in regulation time on Friday night, but the comeback bid was not enough as the Wolf Pack dropped a 3-2 decision to the Charlotte Checkers in the second of three straight games at Bojangles’ Coliseum.  

Alexander True ballooned the Checkers lead to 3-0 just 1:52 into the third period, putting the dagger into the Wolf Pack’s heart with a shorthanded goal. True took a pass from Chase Priskie and darted into the Hartford zone while killing off carry over time from a Matt Kiersted penalty late in the second period. True danced around a defender, then slipped a backhand shot through Keith Kinkaid for his 16th goal of the campaign. Little did the Checkers know, the goal would prove crucial and stand as the eventual winner.

For the fourth straight game, the Wolf Pack surrendered the icebreaker. Tonight, it was Cole Schwindt who did the honors. Dennis Cholowski fired a shot that Kinkaid was able to deny, but the rebound popped to Serron Noel. Noel’s follow up chance was denied by Kinkaid, but the third time proved to be the charm as Schwindt stayed with it and knocked home the rebound for his 19th goal of the season 9:27 into the hockey game.

The Checkers extended their lead 4:26 later on another rebound. Aleksi Heponiemi intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and gained the Hartford zone before dishing off to Logan Hutsko on the right wing side. Hutsko’s shot went in and out of the glove of Kinkaid, creating a rebound chance that Luke Henman deposited for his fifth goal of the season at 13:54.

The Wolf Pack had a pair of powerplay chances in the middle frame but were unable to solve Charlotte starter Joey Daccord.

Late in the second period, Kiersted was whistled for slashing. The Wolf Pack would start the third period with 1:58 of powerplay time, but that’s when disaster struck. True buried his shorthanded marker just 1:52 into the final period, putting the Checkers out of reach on this night.

The Wolf Pack would not quit, however. Nick Merkley scored at 15:56 of the third period to draw Hartford within two. Zach Giuttari’s shot from the point missed the net but bounced off the end wall right to Merkley in front of the goal. His 15th of the season gave the Pack their first true glimpse of life on this night.

Anthony Greco kept the momentum going just 1:13 later, scoring his 18th goal of the season. Zac Jones fired a shot that Daccord denied, but the rebound popped right to Greco who had a wide-open goal to cut the deficit to one at 17:09.

The Wolf Pack would have chances with the empty net, but ultimately ran out of time on this night, coming up just short in the second of three straight games in Charlotte.

The loss pushes the Wolf Pack to 2-12-1-0 in their last 15 games and marks the club’s first seven-game losing streak since February of 2019.

The Wolf Pack continue their seven-game road trip with the miniseries finale on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The Wolf Pack will conclude the road trip next week with stops in Belleville, Toronto, and Rochester.

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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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