Hartford, CT - Despite two scoreless periods to start the game, fans still got to see plenty of action between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday night at the XL Center, in a game the Sound Tigers won 2-1 in overtime.
Devon Toews’ second goal of the game made winners of the Sound Tigers with 4.3 seconds left in the extra session.
Both goalies were nearly perfect, allowing only one goal each in regulation. Alexandar Georgiev got the start for the Pack, stopping 27 shots. Meanwhile, Christopher Gibson started for the Tigers and stopped 35 shots. Both goalies were assisted heavily by their respective team’s defense and several blocked shots on each side.
Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge praised Georgiev’s play in goal, saying, “He’s what you need out of a goaltender at this level, and he’s giving us a chance to win games.”
McCambridge was also pleased with the team’s early efforts all the way to the game-tying goal, scored by Vinni Lettieri with 4:49 left in regulation. “[I] thought we came out real strong, created a lot of scoring chances, but were unable to execute fully on them,” said McCambridge. “We showed some real determination to be able to claw back in the game”
The Wolf Pack dominated much of the first period, controlling the play in their offensive zone and outshooting the Sound Tigers 14-7. The second period was almost a mirror image, with the Wolf Pack outshot 15-7, and it was the Wolf Pack regaining momentum in the third, outshooting Bridgeport 12 to 4.
The first goal came 3:55 into the third period, and it was Bridgeport striking first. In a delayed-penalty situation, Kyle Burroughs moved the puck to Tanner Fritz, who found Toews at the blue line. Toews one-timed a slap shot over Georgiev’s blocker.
The Pack attempted to respond and had a flurry of chances in the five minutes following Bridgeport’s goal. Gibson, however, continued to be a brick wall in net.
After a slashing penalty to Mitch Vande Sompel at 11:29 in the third, Hartford was given a chance to tie the game up on the power play. Despite holding the top power play spot in the AHL at 25.8% coming into the game, the Pack still could not beat Gibson.
Finally, at the 15:11 mark of the third, the Wolf Pack broke Gibson’s shutout bid to make it a 1-1 game. It was Lettieri receiving the puck near the top of the circles and beating Gibson to the stick side, with the assists credited to linemates Dan DeSalvo and Cole Schneider.
Lettieri said after the game he was very happy with the way his line played. “DeSalvo and Schneider played great tonight,” he said, “and without them I wouldn’t be getting chances.”
The overtime period started off with lots of action, both the Wolf Pack and Tigers hitting posts on excellent chances in their respective offensive zones.
After Lettieri had an apparent game-winner disallowed for the Wolf Pack having a man in the crease, and with the game appearing headed for a shootout, Toews was able to earn Bridgeport the win at 4:55. He and Fritz broke on a 2-on-1 and Georgiev stopped Fritz’ initial shot, but the rebound came right to Toews and he did not miss.
“Three on three is anybody’s game, and with not much time on the clock they made a nice play,” said McCambridge.
The Wolf Pack head to Rochester this Friday night, November 15 to take on the Americans in a 7:05 PM game. All the action can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next Wolf Pack home game is Saturday, November 25, a 7:00 game vs. the Hershey Bears. That’s a “Red Out” night at the XL Center, as the first 4,500 will receive a free red Wolf Pack t-shirt, courtesy of CT-DOT. Also, that’s the night of the Wolf Pack’s annual “Teddy Bear Toss”, presented by County Wide Mechanical Services. Fans are asked to bring soft toys to the game, to toss onto the ice when the pack score their first goal, and the toys collected will be donated to Operation ELF and Toys for Tots.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.