WOLF PACK’S EIGHT-GAME POINT STREAK COMES TO HALT IN LAVALDec 9, 2023
LAVAL, QC – The Hartford Wolf Pack started strong on Saturday afternoon, scoring on their first shot of the hockey game. It wouldn’t be enough, however, as Riley Kidney collected the first three-point game of his career in a 5-1 victory for the Laval Rocket.
The special teams battle was won by the home side on this day, with a shorthanded goal proving to be the difference. With Emil Heineman in the penalty box for cross-checking, Brandon Gignac sprinted out of the defensive zone and eventually entered into the Wolf Pack zone on the left-wing side. Gignac came to the top of the left-wing circle and rifled a shot by Olof Lindbom for his first shorthanded goal of the season at 6:03 of the middle frame.
The goal was the Rocket’s league-leading seventh shorthanded goal of the season.
Things started well for the Wolf Pack, as they opened the scoring just 2:14 into the game. Defenseman Blake Hillman fired a shot into traffic that clipped a Rocket defender and snuck by goaltender Jakub Dobeš for his first goal of the season on the team’s first shot of the day.
Dobeš was perfect from there, however, denying the final 25 bids sent his way to stymie the Wolf Pack attack.
Just over two minutes after Hillman opened the scoring, Kidney scored his first goal of the night to even the affair 1-1. The goal, Laval’s teddy bear toss goal, came after a Logan Mailloux point bid hit the goalpost behind Lindbom. The rebound popped to Kidney, who buried his fourth goal of the season.
Gignac’s goal at 6:03 put the Rocket ahead for good. It was the third shorthanded goal surrendered by the Wolf Pack this season.
At 8:32, Kidney collected his second goal of the night when he burst down the left-wing side after receiving a pass from Philippe Maillet. Maillet absorbed a check from Matthew Robertson while dishing the pass to Kidney, who fired the puck by Lindbom to extend the lead to 3-1.
Nolan Yaremko made it a 4-1 game at 17:27 when he found the back of the net for the first time this season. Gignac entered the zone on a two-on-one with Yaremko, coming down the right-wing side. Yaremko took the pass and snapped the puck by Lindbom to complete a three-goal period for the home side.
The Wolf Pack would go on an extended five-on-three in the third period with Xavier Simoneau and Brady Keeper in the penalty box but were unable to find paydirt. As a result, the club’s ten-game powerplay scoring streak came to an end.
Moments after the penalties expired, the Rocket would go to the advantage when Nikolas Brouillard played the puck over the glass for a delay of game minor. Jared Davidson picked up his second goal of the season at 15:13 on the ensuing powerplay when he tipped Joshua Roy’s shot by Lindbom after winning a battle for net-front position.
The result snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Rocket and snapped an eight-game point streak (7-0-1-0) for the Wolf Pack.
The Pack returns home next Friday night to host the Rochester Americans. The 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.