Hartford, CT - Defenseman Madison Bowey had both Hershey Bear goals Saturday at the XL Center, in a 2-1 Hershey win over the Hartford Wolf Pack, in the first game of a home-and-home between the two teams.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Wolf Pack, whose only goal was scored by Cole Schneider. Vitek Vanecek got the win in net for the Bears, with 26 saves, and Marek Mazanec made 20 stops for the Wolf Pack.
After a scoreless first period, the Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 6:30 mark of the second. The goal was Bowey’s first of the season, in his fifth AHL game of the year, as he took a pass from Jeremy Langlois and ripped a shot past Mazanec from the left circle, on the short side.
The Wolf Pack would respond only 1:57 later, at the 8:23 mark, with a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing transition through the neutral zone. Schneider would finish the play by dangling Vanecek and backhanding the puck through his legs. Schneider was assisted on the goal by Chris Bigras and Vinni Lettieri. The goal was Schneider’s fifteenth of the season, and he now has points in seven of the last eight games.
“[Bigras] made a great play up to me,” Lettieri said, “and obviously [Schneider] made a great goal there, made a nice move, went five-hole, and a great play by us.”
The Wolf Pack had ample opportunity to take the lead over the course of the next period, but bad bounce after bad bounce kept the Wolf Pack from denting Hershey’s net. Midway through the second, it looked as if the Wolf Pack had a sure fire goal when Vanecek was caught out of position, and John Albert had an open net to shoot on. Connor Hobbs, though, skated into the crease behind Vanecek, and when Albert fired, Hobbs took a shot to the face to keep the score tied 1-1.
The tie held until Bowey would strike again at 12:49 of the third period. Wayne Simpson picked up the puck in the left wing corner and passed cross-ice to Bowey moving down the right side. His high shot just got by Mazanec, and Hershey was in front again.
The Pack would get a power play with thirty-six seconds left and that, coupled with Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge’s decision to pull Marek Mazanec, gave Hartford a six-on-four opportunity to close out the third. Ultimately, however, the Wolf Pack could not convert, and Bowey’s second goal would prove to be the game winner.
“Put yourself in position to get those scoring chances is stage one, second is making sure you finish them,” McCambridge said. “So we gave ourselves the looks, but couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net.
“I thought we were able to create some grade A scoring chances tonight, but we got out of our structure a little bit in the second period. Gave up some odd man rushes, but got the momentum back on our side in the third period. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win that game, but Hershey played with a lot of jump.”
The Wolf Pack and Bears complete their home-and-home set Sunday at Giant Center in Hershey, with faceoff at 5:00 PM. All of the action 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 home game for the Wolf Pack is this Wednesday night, March 28, as the Springfield Thunderbirds come to the XL Center for a 7:00 PM game. That is the next opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
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.
Hershey Bears 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Saturday, March 24, 2018 - XL Center
Hershey 0 1 1 - 2
Hartford 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Hobbs Her (hooking), 8:03; served by Fontaine Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 8:03; Johansen Her (slashing), 15:02; Ness Her (hooking), 18:34.
2nd Period-1, Hershey, Bowey 1 (Langlois, Walker), 6:30. 2, Hartford, Schneider 15 (Lettieri, Bigras), 8:23. Penalties-Bowey Her (hooking), 11:16; Nieves Hfd (hooking), 12:31; Whitney Her (tripping), 17:57; Bigras Hfd (tripping), 19:33.
3rd Period-3, Hershey, Bowey 2 (Simpson), 12:49. Penalties-Ness Her (interference), 1:24; Kosmachuk Hfd (high-sticking), 14:27; O'Brien Her (interference), 15:28; Siegenthaler Her (hooking), 19:24.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 3-12-7-22. Hartford 7-14-6-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 7.
Goalies-Hershey, Vanecek 11-8-2 (27 shots-26 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 8-5-1 (22 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Guillaume Labonte (35), Jeremy Tufts (78).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Derek Wahl (46).