Sharp-Shooting Wolf Pack Topple Checkers
Hartford, CT - Danny O'Regan scored twice, and Vinni Lettieri had a goal and three assists, Friday night at the XL Center, as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Charlotte Checkers by a score of 6-3.
The win extended a Wolf Pack win streak to six games, the team's longest of the season. Charlotte had won six in a row coming into the game.
Tim Gettinger had a goal and two assists for Hartford, and Boo Nieves, who centers a line with Gettinger and Lettieri, added a goal and an assist.
"That line has been really good for us," said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. "They're our shutdown guys. Good defense is good offense, and that's exactly what they've been able to do."
The Wolf Pack and Checkers combined for six goals in the first period of Friday night's contest, including the first five of the game in a span of 3:47.
After Clark Bishop gave Charlotte the game's first lead at 2:55, Lettieri responded only 27 seconds later, at 3:22. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde sent a beautiful cross ice pass to Lettieri that he would put home past Checker goaltender Anton Forsberg.
Julien Gauthier put Charlotte up 2-1 at 5:29, but it took the Wolf Pack only 1:03 to respond, with O'Regan scoring his first of the game at 6:32.
It only took 10 seconds after that for the Wolf Pack to take their first lead of the game, as Darren Raddysh led a strong odd-man rush into the offensive zone and found a wide-open Matt Beleskey in the high slot. As he was falling to the ice, Beleskey ripped the puck into the net at 6:42.
Then it was the Checkers' turn to come back, as they capitalized on the game's first power play at 10:49, on a goal by Morgan Geekie.
The only goal of the second period turned out to be the eventual game-winner, a power-play strike by O'Regan for his second of the game at 4:23.
"Danny was rewarded for his hard work," commented Knoblauch. "He's been very important to us. His contributions have been outstanding, and he deserves those goals."
Gettinger doubled the lead 3:43 into the third period, after splitting the Charlotte defensemen and chipping the puck past Forsberg. Gettinger then set up Nieves for the goal that completed the scoring at 14:23.
"[Gettinger's] been awesome," said Nieves. "He uses his size and speed, and he's been doing everything. Excited to see what he grows into."
"They're great players, they're fun to play with," said Gettinger of his linemates.
"[Gettinger] is a guy that wants to win, and he's done it all year," Knoblauch said. "Some nights he's our best forward. He's been a team guy, and it's nice to see him get rewarded" said Knoblauch.
"I take pride defensively, but a lot of guys were blocking shots, it's fun to watch," noted Gettinger.
The Wolf Pack start a stretch of four straight road games Saturday night, traveling to Wilkes-Barre, PA for a 7:05 battle with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The next home game for the Wolf Pack is Friday, January 24 vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with faceoff at 7:15. That is "Pucks and Paws Night" at the XL Center, and all 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. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Charlotte Checkers 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 6
Friday - XL Center
Charlotte 3 0 0 - 3
Hartford 3 1 2 - 6
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Bishop 3 (Markison, Pritchard), 2:55. 2, Hartford, Lettieri 15 (Nieves, Gettinger), 3:22. 3, Charlotte, Gauthier 18 (Bean, McCormick), 5:29. 4, Hartford, O'Regan 7 (Geertsen, Di Giuseppe), 6:32. 5, Hartford, Beleskey 10 (Raddysh, LoVerde), 6:42. 6, Charlotte, Geekie 9 (Kuokkanen, Bean), 10:49 (PP). Penalties-Keane Hfd (holding), 10:10; Claesson Cha (tripping), 11:11.
2nd Period-7, Hartford, O'Regan 8 (Keane, Lettieri), 4:23 (PP). Penalties-Markison Cha (holding), 3:04; Smallman Cha (slashing), 7:30; Gibbons Cha (hooking), 15:35; Markison Cha (tripping), 16:25; served by Kravtsov Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 19:16; Geekie Cha (hooking), 19:56.
3rd Period-8, Hartford, Gettinger 10 (Geertsen, Lettieri), 3:43. 9, Hartford, Nieves 5 (Gettinger, Lettieri), 14:23. Penalties-Jones Hfd (tripping), 5:21; Ebert Hfd (holding), 10:41; Kuokkanen Cha (slashing), 10:50.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-9-11-31. Hartford 11-11-12-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 4; Hartford 1 / 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Forsberg 10-6-2 (34 shots-28 saves). Hartford, Huska 8-4-4 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Jordan Deckard (14), Alex Garon (64).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Brent Colby (7).
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