Hartford, CT - The Hershey Bears completed a sweep of a two-game set with the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night, defeating the Wolf Pack by a score of 4-1 at the XL Center.
Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who shut the Wolf Pack out in a 1-0 Bear win Friday night in Hartford, followed that up with an impressive 26-save performance on Saturday. Brian Pinho had a goal and an assist for Hershey, and Bobby Nardella contributed three assists. Nick Jones scored the only Wolf Pack goal.
“I thought the first period went as planned,” said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. “I thought we played really well. Almost had a goal on the power play, had some other good opportunities. J-F (starting goaltender J-F Berube) came up with some huge saves.”
“They’re a good team,” said Wolf Pack captain Steven Fogarty. “They’re going to have their puck possession and get their chances. We have to play down in their end, and we did not do enough of that.”
Hartford and Hershey refused to budge in the first period yet again. The first twenty minutes were a 0-0 stalemate, but Hershey broke the scoring drought in the second period, erupting for three goals in a span of less than nine minutes.
Matt Moulson buried a rebound of a Pinho shot to give the Bears a 1-0 lead just 52 seconds into the second frame.
“We let [up] that first goal and it took a lot of momentum away from us,” said Knoblauch.
“Once they got that first one it’s like we combusted, we weren’t doing the right things,” mentioned Fogarty. “The things that we can control, our effort and attitude, just weren’t there.”
Philippe Maillet followed up with a power play goal 2:56 later, at 3:48, to double the lead to 2-0. Nardella slid the puck along the blue line to Daniel Sprong, and Sprong’s shot would find Maillet’s stick for a deflection past Berube.
Hershey’s third goal came at 9:05, as Pinho ripped the puck past the catching glove a screened Berube. Adam Huska replaced Berube (15 saves) after that goal and would stop all 14 shots he faced.
“In the second period, we got away from what we needed to do,” said Knoblauch. “It started with that first goal against. It was tough for us to recover from that.”
Hartford would not go down without a fight. After Sprong blew a tire in the Hershey offensive zone, a line of Patrick Newell, Jones and Greg Chase quickly transitioned into their offensive zone. Continuous pressure opened up the slot for Jones, and his one-timer would cut the deficit to 3-1 at 12:03 of the third period. Newell and Chase both assisted on the play.
“We gave a little push at the end of the third there but obviously it was not enough,” said Fogarty.
“We need to be better,” stated Knoblauch. “We need to be more direct, be around the net a little more, and good things will happen.”
Hershey’s Tyler Lewington scored an empty net goal with one second remaining in the game to seal the 4-1 victory.
The Wolf Pack visit the Springfield Thunderbirds Sunday, for a 3:05 game. All of the action can be heard live on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The next home action for the Wolf Pack is this Wednesday night, March 11, a 7:00 battle with the Providence Bruins. That is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Hat Trick Pack”. The Hat Trick Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and one large popcorn, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (860) 722-9425. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Hershey Bears 4 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Saturday, March 7, 2020 - XL Center
Hershey 0 3 1 - 4
Hartford 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lewington Her (holding), 4:54; Jones Hfd (holding), 12:19.