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 Hartford Wolf Pack

Wolf Pack Weekend Preview: April 18th, 2024

April 18, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hartford Wolf Pack News Release

HARTFORD, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack conclude the 2023-24 regular season with three games this weekend. The club wraps up the home portion of their schedule with a potential First Round preview on their hands.

The season's final two games will come on the road against regional rivals who will potentially be playing for seeding and their playoff lives.

Friday, April 19 th , 2024, Vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7:00 p.m.): The most likely opponent for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the First Round of the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs is the Charlotte Checkers. Their next most likely opponent? The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who come to town on Friday night.

This will be the sixth and final meeting between the sides this season and their first since February 2 nd . That night, the Wolf Pack won a wild game by a final score of 5-4 in overtime.

Tied 1-1 through 20 minutes, the Wolf Pack stormed out to a 4-1 lead in the second period on goals from Alex Belzile, Matthew Robertson, and Brennan Othmann. The Pens got one late in the second period, with Peter Abbandonato cutting the lead to 4-2 at 17:06.

Vinnie Hinostroza then struck at 6:43 and 17:55 of the third period to stun the Pack and send it to overtime.

In the extra session, Brett Berard rifled home his 14 th goal of the season just 49 seconds in to snap the team's three-game losing streak against the Penguins.

The home team is 5-0-0-0 in the season series, with Hartford's 5-4 overtime win on February 2 nd being the only game to go beyond regulation.

The Wolf Pack opened the season series with a 5-0 victory on October 20 th at the XL Center. The Penguins claimed victories of 4-2 on October 28 th , 2-1 on January 7 th , and 4-1 on January 24 th at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Saturday, April 20 th , 2024, @ Springfield Thunderbirds (7:05 p.m.): The Wolf Pack clinched a spot in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs last Friday night when they defeated the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-3 at the XL Center.

Depending on the results of Friday night's action, the Wolf Pack could end the T-Birds season on Saturday night in Western Massachusetts.

This is the tenth and final meeting of the season between the foes. The Thunderbirds hold an edge of 5-4-0-0 in the season series thanks to four straight victories on December 27 th , February 3 rd , February 23 rd , and March 29 th .

The T-Birds took a 6-3 decision in the last meeting at the MassMutual Center on February 23 rd . They went three-for-four on the powerplay in the victory, while Adam Gaudette scored twice.

The Pack took the last meeting, however, winning 5-3 last Friday night in Hartford. Louis Domingue scored the second goalie goal in Wolf Pack history to seal the deal at 19:37. Blake Hillman's goal at 18:18 of the second period was the game-winner.

Sunday, April 21 st , 2024, @ Providence Bruins (3:05 p.m.): Although it's unlikely at best, the Wolf Pack and Bruins could meet in the First Round of the Calder Cup Playoffs depending on how this upcoming weekend plays out.

This is the tenth and final meeting of the season series between the foes. The Wolf Pack, thanks to back-to-back victories in early March, hold an edge with a record of 5-3-1-0. The Bruins, meanwhile, are 4-3-1-1 in the first nine games of this series.

The Pack claimed a 5-2 victory on March 3 rd in their last visit to the Amica Mutual Pavilion. Bryan Yoon scored his first career goal in the victory, while Brett Berard was credited with the game-winner in his home state.

The Pack then blasted the Bruins 7-4 at the XL Center in the most recent meeting on March 8 th . Hartford jumped out to a 6-0 lead in that game, opening the scoring just 3:48 in when Blade Jenkins deflected in his second goal of the season. Berard's goal at 2:35 of the second period would be the eventual game-winner.

Quick Hits:

- The Wolf Pack could face the Penguins, Checkers, or Bruins in the First Round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The team's matchup will be determined this weekend.

- Berard currently sits in second place in the AHL in goals by a rookie with 25. He is one behind Tucson's Josh Doan, who is currently with the NHL's Arizona Coyotes.

- Berard and Othmann are tied for fifth in the league in points by a rookie with 46 each. They are tied with Doan and Milwaukee's Zach L'Heureux. They'll both look to earn a top-five finish in the club's final three games this weekend.

- The Wolf Pack will look to be one of only potentially three teams to finish with a powerplay and a penalty kill in the top ten in the AHL. Currently, only the Hershey Bears (4 th ranked PP, 1 st ranked PK) and Syracuse Crunch (8 th ranked PP, 8 th ranked PK) are in the top ten in both categories. The Wolf Pack are ninth on the powerplay and 12 th on the penalty kill.

- Hartford's penalty kill was a perfect seven-for-seven over the weekend with a shorthanded goal. They are 22-for-23 over their last four games.

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