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 Hartford Wolf Pack

Wolf Pack Battle Penguins in Crucial Atlantic Division Tilt

February 4, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hartford Wolf Pack News Release


HARTFORD, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack continue their season-long five-game homestand tonight as they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to town for their final game before the All-Star break.

Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and coverage is available on both AHLTV and Mixlr.

Tale of The Tape:

This is the fourth of six meetings between the Wolf Pack and Penguins this season. It is the second of three meetings between the Atlantic Division opponents at the XL Center. The sides will meet again on March 26th in Pennsylvania before wrapping the season series up on April 14th in Hartford. That game will be Hartford's regular season home finale.

The Penguins have won two of the first three meetings between the foes, including a dramatic 4-3 overtime decision on January 7th. Hartford jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Brandon Scanlin, Will Cuylle, and Zac Jones, but the Penguins would storm back to shock the Pack.

Jonathan Gruden scored twice, first at 12:57 of the second period and then at 3:31 of the third period to bring the Pens within one. Corey Andonovski tied the game at 8:40 of the final period, before Alex Nylander capped off the comeback with a beautiful goal 1:24 into the three-on-three overtime.

Hartford does have points in four straight games against the Penguins, dating back to last season (2-0-1-1). The Pack are 1-0-1-1 against the Penguins this season, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 2-1-0-0 against Hartford. The Wolf Pack have the lone regulation win in the series, taking a 3-1 verdict on November 11th at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wolf Pack Outlook:

The Wolf Pack snapped a three-game home losing streak on Friday night with a comeback victory, 4-3, over the Utica Comets. Lauri Pajuniemi struck 23 seconds into the game, scoring the fastest goal to start a game for Hartford this season. Simon Nemec tied the game with a shot through traffic at 10:08, but Zach Giuttari put Hartford back ahead at 18:53.

Utica took a 3-2 lead in the middle stanza, getting a pair of goals from Brian Halonen at 1:06 and 3:40. Halonen's first goal was a redirection of a point shot at five-on-five, while his second goal came on the powerplay off a feed from Joe Gambardella.

Sammy Blais had the response for the Pack, scoring twice in the third period to propel Hartford to victory. He tied the game with a tap-in goal at 1:38 of the third period, then won it with a beautiful backhand move by the glove of Akira Schmid at 17:29.

The win was Hartford's first in regulation when trailing after two periods of play this season, and just their second win overall when down after forty minutes.

Turner Elson leads the Wolf Pack in scoring with 24 points (9 g, 15 a) in 44 games. Cuylle holds the team lead in goals with 14, while Tanner Fritz's 19 assists top the club in that category.

Penguins Outlook:

The Penguins opened their weekend with a 4-2 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center on Friday night, their second straight defeat. The T-Birds jumped out to a lead they'd never lose 4:03 into the game, as Keean Washkurak broke the ice. Matthew Highmore, Martin Frk, and Matthew Peca also tacked on goals for the T-Birds, while Nylander and Colin Swoyer lit the lamp for the Penguins.

The Penguins have lost four of their last five games. Their lone victory was a 3-1 decision over the Bridgeport Islanders on January 28th.

Nylander leads the Penguins in scoring with 37 points (19 g, 18 a) in 42 games. His 19 goals are also tops on the team, while Valtteri Puustinen (16) and Gruden (11) have also hit double-digits in goals.

Game Information:

WATCH: AHLTV

LISTEN: Mixlr

Play-by-play voice of the Wolf Pack Alex Thomas will have 'Wolf Pack Pregame' starting live at 6:45 p.m. on both AHLTV and Mixlr.

The Pack concludes their five-game homestand next Friday night when they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Join us for $2 beers and $1 hot dogs until the end of the first intermission! It's also Military Appreciation Night, where the Pack will don special military themed jerseys. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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