Utica Rallies to Down Pack in Shootout
Utica, NY, November 9, 2018 - The Hartford Wolf Pack saw a 3-1 third-period lead slip away Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Utica Comets.
Ville Meskanen scored twice in the second period for the Wolf Pack, who also got a goal in the second from Tim Gettinger. Lukas Jasek and Petrus Palmu both connected in the final five minutes of the third period to bring the Comets back, though, and Jonathan Dahlen and Michael Carcone had shootout goals.
"Three-one lead with five minutes left in the third, there's no excuse for letting that game slip out of our grasp," Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 11-6 in the first period, but Hartford goaltender Marek Mazanec (27 saves) held the Comets at bay, despite a two-man advantage for Utica of 47 seconds starting at the 8:46 mark. That was when Gabriel Fontaine was called for high-sticking, with Shawn O'Donnell already off for slashing.
The Comets opened the scoring at the 7:29 mark of the second period, on Zack MacEwen's sixth goal of the season. Olli Juolevi got the puck past the Wolf Pack's John Gilmour at the right point, sending the Comets away on a 3-on-2. Dahlen carried into the Wolf Pack end on the left side before dropping the puck off for MacEwen in the middle, and he fired a shot past Mazanec on the stick side.
The Wolf Pack would get the next three, though, starting at 10:03, just 2:34 after MacEwen's goal. That was when Gettinger knifed the puck past Utica netminder Ivan Kulbakov (34 saves), after Michael Lindqvist had a point-blank chance blocked.
Meskanen then struck for a pair, the first at 13:55, putting the Wolf Pack in front. Libor Hajek cut off Kulbakov's clearing attempt at the right point and snapped the puck at the net, and Meskanen tipped it past Kulbakov's stick side.
With time winding down in the second, Meskanen made it a two-goal Wolf Pack lead with only 17.4 seconds left. Peter Holland intercepted a pass attempt by Tanner Kero on the right side and left the puck for Meskanen, who one-timed the puck past Kulbakov, with Matt Beleskey screening.
The Wolf Pack protected the lead solidly in the third, until Jasek cut the margin in half at the 15-minute mark. Tanner MacMaster dug the puck out from behind the Hartford net and fed across the goal mouth to an unguarded Jasek, who buried it from the left side.
Palmu tied the score with 1:27 left, getting his first North American pro point. Lindqvist's clearing attempt was blocked by Brendan Woods on the left-wing boards, and he put the puck towards the net. Mazanec made the save on a deflection by Jonah Gadjovich, but Palmu was able to shove the puck underneath the Wolf Pack goaltender and just over the goal line.
The Wolf Pack had a two-minute power play in overtime, after Carcone was penalized for tripping as time ran out in regulation, but they couldn't capitalize, and the game made it to a shootout despite a 10-4 shots advantage for Hartford in the extra frame.
In the shootout, both Dahlen and Carcone were able to score on Mazanec, and Kulbakov denied both Wolf Pack shooters, Ryan Gropp and Steven Fogarty.
After playing five straight games, and nine of the last 11, on the road, the Wolf Pack are back home on Saturday night, hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:00 PM. That is "Country Night" at the XL Center, and tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack 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. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack's 2018-19 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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Utica Comets 4 (SO) - Status: Final SO
Friday - Adirondack Bank Center
Hartford 0 3 0 0 - 3
Utica 0 1 2 0 - 4
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-O'Donnell Hfd (slashing), 7:33; Fontaine Hfd (high-sticking), 8:46; Carcone Uti (slashing), 16:39.
2nd Period-1, Utica, MacEwen 6 (Dahlen, Juolevi), 7:29. 2, Hartford, Gettinger 5 (Lindqvist, Fogarty), 10:03. 3, Hartford, Meskanen 3 (Hajek), 13:55. 4, Hartford, Meskanen 4 (Holland), 19:42. Penalties-Fogarty Hfd (fighting), 6:53; Arseneau Uti (fighting), 6:53; MacMaster Uti (cross-checking), 11:07.
3rd Period-5, Utica, Jasek 3 (MacMaster, Sautner), 15:00. 6, Utica, Gadjovich 1 (Woods, Juolevi), 18:33. Penalties-Lindgren Hfd (holding), 1:24; Carcone Uti (tripping), 20:00.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Hartford 0 (Gropp NG, Fogarty NG), Utica 2 (Dahlen G, Carcone G).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-12-9-10-0-37. Utica 11-8-7-4-1-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 3; Utica 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Mazanec 3-4-2 (30 shots-27 saves). Utica, Kulbakov 5-3-1 (37 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Mike Dietrich (15).
Linesmen-Tyson Baker (88), Neil Frederickson (68).
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