Utica, NY - Cole Schneider scored his second goal of the game at 2:20 of overtime Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center, to give the Hartford Wolf Pack their third straight overtime victory, a 4-3 verdict over the Utica Comets.
The Comets had tied the game with 39.2 seconds left in the third, on a power-play goal by Reid Boucher. Zack MacEwen had the other two Utica goals, and Adam Tambellini and Adam Chapie also scored for the Wolf Pack. Filip Chytil had two assists.
On the winning play, Lias Andersson, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft by the parent New York Rangers, who was making his North American pro debut, won a defensive-zone faceoff, and John Gilmour carried the puck into the Comet zone on the right side. Gilmour passed to Schneider, who moved in tight on Utica goaltender Richard Bachman (30 saves) and put a backhander into the net.
“I thought we did a lot of good things right here tonight, as a team,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “Our structure, and the style of game we wanted to play against Utica, for the most part, was in place for the full amount of time in the game. And I thought that the players did a really good job when we were in trouble, especially at the end of the second period. We were able to defend better than we have in the past. Very nice for us to get the win, and a real nice play by [Schneider].”
The Wolf Pack got off to an excellent start in the first period, jumping out to a 2-0 lead, but the Comets would battle back into a tie by the time the period was over.
Schneider opened the scoring for Hartford at the 8:15 mark, just one second after a hooking penalty to Wacey Hamilton expired. A Neal Pionk pass deflected to Chytil, and he worked the puck to Schneider in the goal mouth. He got a couple of whacks at the puck to the left of Bachman, and eventually knocked it in.
Tambellini doubled the Wolf Pack just 1:55 later, at 10:10, with his seventh goal of the season. Ryan Graves pinched down from the left point toward the corner and snapped the puck to the middle, and Tambellini deflected it past Bachman.
Utica got on the board at 13:20, as MacEwen poked the puck away from Vince Pedrie in the center circle and went in alone on Wolf Pack goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (27 saves). MacEwen made a move to his forehand and just slipped the puck past Georgiev’s left skate.
MacEwen then struck again to tie the game at 17:32, with three seconds left on a slashing penalty to the Wolf Pack’s Steven Fogarty. MacEwen was able to get his stick free in the goal crease and poke the puck into the net, on the rebound of a try by Michael Carcone.
The Wolf Pack grabbed the lead back with the only goal of the second period, scored by Chapie at 14:27. After Chytil stole the puck in the Comet end and put a shot on net, Chapie buried the rebound from the right side of the slot, after the puck came off of Bachman’s pads.
The Wolf Pack nursed that lead all the way into the final minute of the third period, but were unable to pull off the regulation win. After Graves was called for tripping at 17:39, the Comets got Bachman to the bench for a 6-on-4 skater advantage, and Boucher capitalized for his 21st of the season at 19:20. Nikolay Goldobin passed across the high slot to Boucher on the right side, and his quick shot beat a sliding Georgiev.
Georgiev would stop all three Utica shots in the overtime, though, setting the table for Schneider’s game-winner. Three straight wins ties a Wolf Pack season high.
“I thought overall we had lots of speed to our game tonight,” McCambridge said. “We were able to have a real good start to get up the two goals, but some adversity at the end. In the past we’ve let those points slip away, and we were able to get the two points to have our three wins in a row here.”
The Wolf Pack are back home at the XL Center this Friday, January 26, when the Charlotte Checkers visit for a 7:15 PM contest. The first 2,000 fans into the game will receive a free Wolf Pack winter hat, courtesy of Aetna, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 (OT) at Utica Comets 3
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - Adirondack Bank Center
Hartford 2 1 0 1 - 4
Utica 2 0 1 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Schneider 8 (Chytil, Pionk), 8:15. 2, Hartford, Tambellini 7 (Graves, Kosmachuk), 10:10. 3, Utica, MacEwen 5 13:20. 4, Utica, MacEwen 6 (Comrie, Carcone), 17:32 (PP). Penalties-Graves Hfd (boarding), 2:28; Hamilton Uti (hooking), 6:14; Fogarty Hfd (slashing), 15:35.
2nd Period-5, Hartford, Chapie 2 (Chytil), 14:27. Penalties-Holm Uti (holding), 5:37; Sautner Uti (cross-checking), 14:50.
3rd Period-6, Utica, Boucher 21 (Goldobin, Holm), 19:20 (PP). Penalties-Cassels Uti (high-sticking), 9:03; Cherniwchan Uti (double minor - high-sticking), 9:09; Gilmour Hfd (interference), 9:59; Graves Hfd (tripping), 17:39.
OT Period-7, Hartford, Schneider 9 (Gilmour, Andersson), 2:20. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-12-10-2-34. Utica 10-7-10-3-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 6; Utica 2 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Georgiev 7-11-5 (30 shots-27 saves). Utica, Bachman 4-7-4 (34 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (7), Furman South (44).
Linesmen-Jason Brown (44), Frank Murphy (29).