Bridgeport, CT - Taylor Beck and Marek Hrivik had a goal and an assist each for the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at Webster Bank Arena, but three Bridgeport Sound Tiger power-play goals were too much for the Wolf Pack to overcome in a 5-2 loss
John Landry, Michael Dal Colle and Andrew Rowe all scored on Bridgeport man advantages, and Devon Toews and Josh Winquist had two assists apiece for the Sound Tigers. Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves.
“We definitely improved from the last two games,” said Beck, a former Sound Tiger, of the Wolf Pack, who had suffered an 8-1 defeat at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday night and a 5-2 setback in Springfield Saturday. “We did a lot more good things, but we’re still having breakdowns that are just really costing us. And it doesn’t seem like, when we get our chances, we’re putting it in right now. So it’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
The Wolf Pack had a strong start, but Halak denied several good scoring chances in the opening minutes, and the Sound Tigers would draw first blood with 1:07 remaining in the first, on their second power play of the game.
With Tommy Hughes off for roughing, Winquist sent the puck to Landry at the right point, and Landry moved in a couple of steps before slamming a slap shot past the catching glove of Wolf Pack netminder Mackenzie Skapski (31 saves).
The Sound Tiger power play clicked again at the 7:55 mark of the second period for a 2-0 Bridgeport lead, after Chris Summers picked up an extra roughing minor out of a tussle with Kyle Burroughs at 7:00.
After a strong Wolf Pack shorthanded rush, the Sound Tigers broke back, and Skapski stopped a Winquist shot. The rebound came right out into the slot, though, and Dal Colle, driving the middle, rifled it into the net.
The margin grew to 3-0 only 53 seconds on another rebound goal, this one by Bridgeport scoring leader Bracken Kearns. Kane Lafranchise fired a shot from the middle of the blue line, and Kearns was able to fight off a check in front of the net and bury the puck, after Skapski made the initial save.
The Wolf Pack got on the scoreboard at 14:40 of the second, with Hrivik scoring his 13th goal of the season. Beck played the puck off of the left-wing boards to Michael Paliotta at the right point, and Halak stopped his slap shot. The rebound dropped to the ice, though, and Hrivik lifted it into the net from the right side of the goal mouth.
The Sound Tiger man-advantage unit scored a killer goal with only 1.7 seconds left in the period, though, after Dan Catenacci received a double minor at 19:52, two minutes for slashing and two for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After Kearns won a draw to Skapski’s right, Toews passed the puck from the right point down across the slot, and Rowe knocked it past a diving Skapski and just inside the opposite post.
Hartford answered that with Beck’s second goal in five games with the Wolf Pack at 6:37 of the third period. He carried the puck into the Bridgeport zone on the left side and cut towards the middle, before having a pass blocked. Beck then re-gathered the puck, stepped out higher in the slot and turned for a hard snap shot, which cleanly beat Halak on the stick side.
“It’s always nice to score against your old team,” Beck said, “but wish I could have scored a couple more times, helped the team out a little more.”
The Wolf Pack could get no closer after that, and Darren Nowick put the game out of reach at 16:11, with his first career AHL goal. Playing his second game with the Sound Tigers, Nowick got to the rebound of a Kellen Jones shot and slid it just underneath Skapski’s catching glove. That made the final 5-2.
The Wolf Pack are now off until this Friday night, March 17, as they travel to Hershey, PA for the first of back-to-back road games against the Bears. Faceoff is 7:00 PM, and 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 Wolf Pack home game is Friday, March 24 vs. the Providence Bruins. That is a 7:15 PM game, 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.
Tickets for all remaining Wolf Pack 2016-17 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 2016-17 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.