WOLF PACK GAME RECAP - Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Charlotte Checkers 2
Hartford, CT, - Adam Tambellini and Filip Chytil scored shootout goals, and Boo Nieves had a goal and an assist in regulation, Friday night at the XL Center, as the Hartford Wolf Pack won their season-high fourth straight, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Charlotte Checkers.
Charlotte came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to tie the game, the first of a two-game series between the two clubs, but the Wolf Pack won the shootout, 2-1, with Alexandar Georgiev stopping two of three Checker shooters. A line of Nieves with Tambellini and Scott Kosmachuk combined for five points, with Tambellini scoring a goal and Kosmachuk contributing two assists.
Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said that the trio, "Had lots of speed, and real good awareness by Boo and [Kosmachuk], and a real nice finish by Tambellini."
"Our line has a lot of good chemistry," Nieves said. "We spend a lot of time off the ice, and I think that helps, and once we get into a real good flow in the game I think we're hard to stop."
After a scoreless first period, Nieves got the Wolf Pack on the board on a 5-on-3 power play at 7:20 of the second. A drive from the left circle by John Gilmour hit Nieves in front of the net, and he was able to corral the loose puck and slip it past Charlotte goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
"The shot (by Gilmour) actually hit me in the belly," Nieves said, "but, as the old cliché goes, good things happen when you go to the net."
The Checkers tied the score at 14:50, on defenseman Josiah Didier's first goal of the season. Didier took a drop pass from Andrew Poturalski and slapped a quick shot past Georgiev. Just 1:03 later, though, at 15:53, Tambellini gave the Wolf Pack back the lead with his eighth of the season. Nieves and Tambellini exchanged the puck, and Tambellini snapped a Nieves pass into the net on Nedeljkovic's stick side.
The Checkers would get the only goal of the third period, a power-play strike by Valentin Zykov at 4:20. With Gilmour off for delay of game, Andrew Miller fed a pass from the right circle across the slot to Zykov, and his lightning-quick release gave Georgiev no chance. The tie held up through the rest of regulation and overtime, and both of the shootout's first two attempts, by Tambellini and Zykov, found the net. Chytil then scored on the Wolf Pack's second shot, and that would turn out to be the difference, as neither Aleksi Saarela nor Nicolas Roy, the Checkers' last two shooters, could beat Georgiev.
Charlotte Checkers 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (SO) Friday, January 26, 2018 - XL Center Charlotte 0 1 1 0 - 2 Hartford 0 2 0 0 - 3
1st Period - No Scoring. Penalties-Zborovskiy Hfd (hooking), 3:48; Pedrie Hfd (tripping), 7:15; Chelios Cha (slashing), 10:04. 2nd Period -1, Hartford, Nieves 3 (Gilmour, Kosmachuk), 7:20 (PP). 2, Charlotte, Didier 1 (Poturalski), 14:50. 3, Hartford, Tambellini 8 (Nieves, Kosmachuk), 15:53. Penalties-Gauthier Cha (holding), 6:16; Chelios Cha (tripping), 7:09; Crawley Hfd (hooking), 10:18; Kichton Cha (kneeing), 11:50; Brown Cha (holding), 18:07. 3rd Period -4, Charlotte, Zykov 22 (Miller, Poturalski), 4:20 (PP). Penalties-Gilmour Hfd (delay of game), 2:58; Nieves Hfd (slashing), 7:54. OT Period - No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Charlotte 1 (Zykov G, Saarela NG, Roy NG), Hartford 2 (Tambellini G, Chytil G, Gropp NG). Shots on Goal-Charlotte 7-8-6-2-0-23. Hartford 5-12-3-1-1-22. Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 5; Hartford 1 / 5. Goalies-Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 17-7-1 (21 shots-19 saves). Hartford, Georgiev 8-11-5 (23 shots-21 saves). A-5,133 Referees-Alex Garon (64), Guillaume Labonte (35). Linesmen-Travis Gawryletz (67), Brent Colby (7).
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