Wolf Pack Knock off Marlies 5-2 for Second Straight Victory
HARTFORD, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack battled back and forth with the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The Pack finally pulled away for good in the third period thanks to a three-goal outburst on the way to a 5-2 victory.
Austin Rueschhoff scored his second goal of the night, and sixth goal in four games, 4:56 into the third period to break a 2-2 tie and give the Wolf Pack a lead that they would not lose. Rueschhoff gained the offensive zone and beat Filip Kral for inside position towards the Marlies' goal. He went backhand to forehand and snapped a shot by Erik Kallgren to make it 3-2 Wolf Pack. The goal would stand as Rueschhoff's second straight winning tally.
For the second straight game, the Wolf Pack opened the scoring with an early goal. Jonny Brodzinski, in his first game back with the Wolf Pack since December 22nd, collected a pass from Tim Gettinger and snapped home his team-leading eleventh of the season 7:21 into the hockey game. For the second game in a row, the Pack carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period saw a few odd bounces as the sides traded goals. First, the Marlies evened the contest 1-1 3:18 into the stanza. Curtis Douglas dumped the puck into the offensive zone, where Ryan Chyzowski went to work on the forecheck. He dug the puck free, then tried a wraparound that Keith Kinkaid initially stopped. The rebound bounced up, however, and Kinkaid lost sight of it. When it landed, the puck was in the back of the net and a scoreless streak of 78:41 was snapped.
The Pack needed just 40 seconds to counter, however. Patrick Khodorenko won a puck battle behind the Marlie goal and threaded a pass to the top of the crease for Rueschhoff. The red-hot forward quickly corralled the pass and roofed his shot over Kallgren to give Hartford the lead back at 3:58.
The Marlies once again tied it, this time at 11:27 off quite a bounce. Kral fired the puck in from center and missed the Hartford net. Kinkaid came out to play the puck, but when he did it took an awkward bounce off the boards and came into the slot. Bobby McMann was there and deposited his ninth goal of the season into the empty net.
The Wolf Pack were not deterred, however. Rueschhoff pulled the Pack back in front at 4:56 with his backhand to forehand goal, giving him back-to-back multi-goal games. Just under six minutes later, at 10:19, Alex Whelan gave the Pack the insurance they had been looking for all night with his fifth of the season.
Marlies defenseman Chad Krys bobbled the puck, and Whelan was able to steal it. Quickly in on a partial breakaway, Whelan snapped home the goal that officially put the Wolf Pack out of reach on this night.
Anthony Greco tacked on an empty-net goal at 19:07, his eighth of the season, to finish the scoring. The goal is Greco's 200th career AHL point.
The Wolf Pack return to action on Saturday night when they open a back-to-back set in Hershey against the Bears. The Pack is back at the XL Center next Wednesday night when the Springfield Thunderbirds come to town. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and tickets are still available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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