Utica, NY - A pair of rookies, Filip Chytil, with two goals, and Vinni Lettieri, with a goal and two assists, led the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-1 win over the Utica Comets Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Another first-year pro, Gabriel Fontaine, also scored for the Wolf Pack, posting his first pro point, as Hartford \snapped an 0-1-2-0 streak.
“I thought we were able to produce a lot of chances from our speed,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “I thought that game was probably one of our fastest, with regards to coming through the neutral zone, getting on the puck in the offensive zone, and our execution being cleaner on our breakouts. And the one thing that really jumps out is the third period, being able to do a real good job playing with the lead.”
The Wolf Pack controlled much of the play in the first period, outshooting the Comets 15-6, but Utica got the first goal of the game.
That came at 7:10, after Jalen Chatfield kept the puck in at the right point for Nikolay Goldobin along the boards, and Goldobin found Carter Bancks in the slot. Bancks’ shot from about 30 feet out beat Wolf Pack goaltender Chris Nell (31 saves) to the glove side.
That lead would last until Chytil struck for two Wolf Pack goals in the last 4:58 of the period.
Chytil, who had missed the previous five games due to illness, tied the game at 15:02, getting a backhanded feed from Cole Schneider off of the right-wing boards and deflecting the puck over Comet goaltender Thatcher Demko (25 saves).
Then, at 17:38 with the Wolf Pack on a power play, Chytil put the Wolf Pack ahead with a shot from the right side of the goal mouth. That was set up by a cross-slot feed by Lettieri, who had stolen the puck from Utica’s Jordan Subban.
The Comets had the big shots edge in the second period, 16-4, but the Wolf Pack would be able to add to their lead on a goal by Lettieri at 6:04. Chytil carried the puck up the middle in the Utica end and fed toward Schneider. He was not able to get a shot on net, but Lettieri tracked the puck down to Demko’s left and popped it in.
Fontaine created the final margin 4:54 into the third, picking up the rebound of a deflected shot from the left point by John Gilmour and ripping it past Demko, from almost along the goal line on the left side.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is this Friday night, November 24, when they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for a 7:00 PM game. All of the action of that battle can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next Wolf Pack home game is next Saturday, November 25, a 7:00 game vs. the Hershey Bears. That is a “Red Out” night at the XL Center, as the first 4,500 fans 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.