Hartford, CT - The Rochester Americans battled back from a 2-0 third-period deficit to defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-2 in a shootout Sunday at the XL Center, denying the Wolf Pack a fourth straight win to start the season.
Zach Redmond scored with 12.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game for the Americans, and Tage Thompson, who assisted on both Rochester goals, scored the only goal of the shootout. Filip Chytil and Boo Nieves scored for the Wolf Pack, both in the second period.
“There are going to be some growing pains, everything won’t be easy,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “The lesson tonight was, we have to keep pressing even though we have the lead. We have to play smart and keep putting the pressure on.”
“We played a good game, unfortunately we just couldn’t score in overtime,” Chytil added.
The first period saw a large number of shots but no goals. Adam Huska stood strong for the Wolf Pack, stopping all 12 shots he faced. Across the ice, Andrew Hammond was also perfect, stopping all 10 of the Wolf Pack’s shots.
The second period looked like it would be more of the same, as both goalies continued to stand strong, until Chytil banged in a shot from up close for his second goal of the year at 9:47. Chytil has now scored in two consecutive games. Danny O’Regan got the lone assist on the goal.
The Pack struck a second time with just under four minutes left in the period. Nieves scored his first goal of the year on a breakaway, slapping in his own rebound. Matt Beleskey and Vitali Kravtsov got the assists. For Kravtsov it was his first point of the year. The Wolf Pack would carry the two-goal lead into the second intermission.
“I thought that Nieves’ goal was a good team play,” said Knoblauch. “Both Beleskey and Kravtsov made impressive passes on the breakout to make it happen.”
The Americans jumped onto the board with 15:18 left in the third, when Remi Elie scored his first of the season. Thompson got the assist, bringing Rochester to within one.
In the dying minutes of the period, momentum had fully swung to the Americans’ side. Rochester pulled Hammond in the final two minutes and were able to pin the Wolf Pack in their own zone, setting the stage for Redmond’s tying tally. Elie and Thompson both assisted on the goal.
Rochester maintained possession of the puck for the much of the extra period. Thanks to the spectacular play of Huska to deny several up-close chances, the Wolf Pack were able to push the game into a shootout.
Thompson was Rochester’s leadoff man in the shootout, and he beat his ex-UConn teammate Huska to the glove side.
“The shootout is 50-50” said Huska. “Hopefully I’ll make the save next time.”
The Wolf Pack are now off until this Friday night, October 18, when they play their last of five straight home games to start the season, hosting the Springfield Thunderbirds. Faceoff is 7:15 PM, and once again this season, Friday-night Wolf Pack home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Nomads Adventure Quest.
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 (877) 522-8499. 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.
Rochester Americans 3 (SO) at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - XL Center