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 Hartford Wolf Pack

Wolf Pack Host Checkers in Potential Playoff Preview

April 14, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hartford Wolf Pack News Release


HARTFORD, CT - There is a playoff buzz in the air around the Connecticut capital after the Hartford Wolf Pack clinched a berth in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday night. Today, a potential First Round preview takes the stage as the Pack welcomes the Charlotte Checkers to the XL Center.

The puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m., and coverage is available on AHLTV and Mixlr.

Tale of The Tape:

This is the eighth and final meeting between the Wolf Pack and Checkers this season. It is the fourth and final meeting between the foes at the XL Center.

The Checkers have won each of the first seven meetings in the season series and have won eight straight games head-to-head dating back to last season.

Last weekend, the Checkers swept a back-to-back set from the Wolf Pack at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. After taking a 4-0 decision on April 6th, the Checkers completed the sweep with a 4-1 victory on April 7th.

Mitchell Vande Sompel's shot through traffic 7:14 into the hockey game gave the Checkers a lead they would not lose, while Wilmer Skoog's tally at 5:13 of the second period proved to be the eventual game-winner.

Both Will Lockwood and Mackie Samoskevich tacked on insurance markers, extending the lead to 4-0. Brett Berard got Hartford on the board at 19:56 of the third period, but it would not be enough to spark a comeback. Berard's goal snapped a shutout streak of 271:44 for the Checkers against the Wolf Pack.

The Checkers are 3-0-0-0 at the XL Center this season. They claimed regulation victories by scores of 4-2 on January 31st and 3-0 on March 27th. On February 28th, it was a 2-1 overtime victory in the Connecticut capital, with Samoskevich scoring the winner.

Wolf Pack Outlook:

The Wolf Pack snapped a six-game losing streak on Friday night, clinching a Calder Cup Playoff berth with a 5-3 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Riley Nash opened the scoring 3:55 into the hockey game, firing home a rebound for his eleventh goal. Mathias Laferriere evened the tilt at 17:27, scoring from the left-wing circle after a turnover.

It was all Hartford in the middle frame, as the Pack jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Alex Belzile's long-range shot beat the glove of Colten Ellis at 6:41 to put the Pack ahead for good. Jake Leschyshyn tipped in a point shot from Nikolas Brouillard at 10:30, while Blake Hillman fired home the game-winning goal through traffic at 18:18.

Two T-Birds goals in 81 seconds at 6:34 and 7:55 of the third period made it a 4-3 game, but Louis Domingue would steal the show with an empty net goal at 19:37 to seal the deal.

Domingue's tally was the first of his career and the second goalie goal in Wolf Pack history.

Berard leads the Wolf Pack in goals with 24 on the season. Belzile leads the club in points with 49 (19 g, 30 a), while Mac Hollowell leads the way in assists with 38.

Checkers Outlook:

The Checkers won their third straight game on Saturday night, knocking off the Thunderbirds 6-3 at the MassMutual Center.

Patrick Giles opened the scoring 2:41 into the game, giving the Checkers a lead they never lost. Ben Steeves scored his first career goal at 8:08, making it 2-0 before Adam Gaudette got the T-Birds within one at 13:49.

An early goal 37 seconds into the second period from Samoskevich restored the two-goal lead for the visitors, making it 3-1 on the powerplay. Gerry Mayhew then buried the game-winning goal at 5:27 of the middle stanza, making it 4-1.

Lockwood and Rasmus Asplund tacked on insurance markers in the third period to help the Checkers push the T-Birds to the brink of elimination.

Samoskevich leads the Checkers in both points with 49 (21 g, 28 a) and goals with 21. Asplund's 34 assists lead the club in that category.

Game Information:

WATCH: AHLTV

LISTEN: Mixlr

Play-by-play voice of the Wolf Pack Alex Thomas will have 'Wolf Pack Pregame' starting live at 2:45 p.m. on both AHLTV and Mixlr.

Join us this afternoon for 'Star Wars Night', as guests from a galaxy far, far away will be in attendance!

The Pack has once again partnered with the Miracle League of Connecticut to help foster an environment that is safe for everyone to enjoy. Today's sensory-friendly game will include softer music at lower volumes, a quieter goal horn, and a sensory area for those needing a quiet space. This room will include sensory-friendly activities for all of those in attendance to partake in.

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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