Pack Doubled up by Hershey in Home Finale
Hartford, CT - Nathan Walker had two goals and an assist, and Steve Whitney also scored twice, Friday night at the XL Center, as the Hershey Bears defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 6-3, in the Wolf Pack's last home game of the season.
Jake Elmer scored his first two pro goals, and had an assist, for the Wolf Pack, and Mike Sgarbossa added a goal and two assists for the Bears. The Wolf Pack finished their 38-game home slate 17-15-5-1.
"I haven't been here long, but it's been fun, guys are super good," Elmer said. "I try to use my speed, play fast, use my strengths and bring it every shift. It wasn't the result we wanted tonight. They're a good team, they made us pay for our mistakes. If we played our game, it would be a different game."
"I thought our youth gave us lots of energy, lots of chances," Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. "But you give a team like that time and space, they'll take advantage of it."
The first two goals of the game came in a span of nine seconds, starting with Whitney putting Hershey on top at 6:51. Wolf Pack starting goaltender Brandon Halverson made a stick save on a shot from the right point by Connor Hobbs, but the rebound came to Whitney at the right side of the slot and he flicked it in.
Elmer tied it right back up at 7:00, with his first pro goal. Elmer, playing his third game since joining the Wolf Pack out of the Western Hockey League, poked the puck down the right side in the Hershey end and got back to it near the boards. Elmer fired a sharp-angle shot from almost below the hash marks, and it got by Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek (32 saves) on the short side.
The Bears jumped back on top at 9:18, just eight seconds into their first power play of the game. With Ryan Dmowski off for tripping, Devante Smith-Pelly fed the puck from the right point to Aaron Ness on the left point, and he sent Sgarbossa up the left side of the slot. His snap shot beat Halverson high on the stick side.
The Hershey man advantage clicked again at 14:12, to make the score 3-1. After Gabriel Fontaine was sent off for hooking at 13:49, Walker deflected a shot from the left point by Ness past the catching glove of Halverson.
The Bears increased their lead to 4-1 at 7:42 of the second period, on Whitney's second goal of the game. Joe Snively dug the puck out of the right-wing corner, and Sgarbossa fed a perfect pass across the goalmouth to Whitney on the left side, setting him up with an open net.
The Wolf Pack got one back on a power play at 13:03, after Liam O'Brien was assessed a major penalty at 8:41 for a hit that injured Wolf Pack defenseman Ryan Lindgren. A Sean Day pass sent Elmer towards the net on right wing, and he sent a shot on net that Vanecek stopped. Ville Meskanen followed up and jammed the rebound past the Hershey backstop.
Hershey restored the three-goal margin at 16:46, chasing Halverson from the game. Walker threw the puck out of the right-wing corner towards the front of the net, and it hit the skates of Hartford defenseman Darren Raddysh, deflecting through Halverson and into the net.
Adam Huska took over in the Hartford net at that point, and the Wolf Pack would pull back within two only 1:42 into the third period, with Elmer scoring his second of the game. Day worked the puck to Patrick Newell in the left-wing corner, and Elmer knocked his centering pass in behind Vanecek from in front of the goal.
The Bears answered only 1:25 later, at 3:07, completing the scoring on a goal by former Wolf Pack defenseman Ryan Sproul, set up by another ex-Wolf Pack, Jayson Megna. Walker knocked Raddysh down near the right-wing corner and played the puck to Megna along the goal line. He passed to Sproul just below the left point, and he drove a slap shot past Huska on the stick side.
The Wolf Pack finish the regular season with road games Saturday night at Lehigh Valley and Sunday in Hershey against the Bears. Saturday's game faces off at 7:05, and all of the action can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com, and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
Information about all of the Wolf Pack's many attractive ticketing options can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a Wolf Pack representative, call (855) 762-6451.
Hershey Bears 6 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Friday - XL Center
Hershey 3 2 1 - 6
Hartford 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hershey, Whitney 8 6:51. 2, Hartford, Elmer 1 7:00. 3, Hershey, Sgarbossa 30 (Ness, Smith-Pelly), 9:18 (PP). 4, Hershey, Walker 15 (Ness, Sgarbossa), 14:12 (PP). Penalties-Dmowski Hfd (tripping), 9:10; Pinho Her (delay of game), 9:49; Fontaine Hfd (hooking), 13:49; Hobbs Her (tripping), 17:55.
2nd Period-5, Hershey, Whitney 9 (Sgarbossa, Snively), 7:42. 6, Hartford, Meskanen 12 (Elmer, Day), 13:03 (PP). 7, Hershey, Walker 16 16:46. Penalties-O'Brien Her (major - charging, fighting, game misconduct - charging), 8:41; Crawley Hfd (instigating, fighting, misconduct - instigating), 8:41.
3rd Period-8, Hartford, Elmer 2 (Newell, Day), 1:42. 9, Hershey, Sproul 10 (Megna, Walker), 3:07. Penalties-Jones Hfd (delay of game - faceoff violation), 18:07; Megna Her (roughing), 19:47; Raddysh Hfd (roughing), 19:47.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 10-13-8-31. Hartford 14-6-15-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 2 / 3; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hershey, Vanecek 20-10-6 (35 shots-32 saves). Hartford, Halverson 8-8-3 (21 shots-16 saves); Huska 1-4-1 (10 shots-9 saves).
Referees-Beau Halkidis (48), Peter MacDougall (45).
Linesmen-Kyle Richetelle (47), Paul Simeon (66).
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