Belleville Senators 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Belleville, Ontario, January 13, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack took a 2-1 lead in the third period Saturday night against the Belleville Senators, but the Senators responded with a pair of quick scores and defeated the Wolf Pack, 4-2.
Mike Blunden had the game-winner for Belleville, and added an empty-net goal, and Colin White and Jim O’Brien also scored for the Senators, in the Wolf Pack’s first-ever visit to Yardmen Arena. Scott Kosmachuk and Filip Chytil scored the Hartford goals.
After the game had been tied 1-1 for more than two-and-a-half periods, Chytil scored his sixth goal in 18 games on the year at 14:14 of the third, to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead. Neal Pionk stickhandled the puck from the right point down the boards and then set up Chytil in the slot, and Belleville goaltender Danny Taylor (30 saves) got a piece of Chytil’s shot, but could not keep it out of the net.
The Senators responded only two minutes later, however, with O’Brien tying the game on a rebound at 16:14. Christian Jaros’ shot from the right point went off the pads of Wolf Pack netminder Alexandar Georgiev (24 saves) and right to O’Brien, who buried it from the left side of the slot.
Then, only 15 seconds after that, at 16:29, Blunden would put Belleville ahead for the first time. Max McCormick snapped the puck toward the net from the left side, and Blunden deflected it in.
The Wolf Pack pulled Georgiev for an extra attacker with more than two minutes left, and had some good pressure, but Ben Harpur would eventually send Blunden away toward the Wolf Pack zone, and he flipped his second goal of the game into the vacated cage with 36.6 seconds left.
The Wolf Pack had faced some tough travel going into the game, having had their snowy ride from Laval, Quebec the night before take over six hours, but Head Coach Keith McCambridge was not using that as an excuse.
“It’s the American Hockey League, you’re going to have some travel,” McCambridge said. “Getting in at five in the morning, because of a snowstorm, is something that you have to find a way to deal with. We gave ourselves a chance to win that game, and then in pressure situations, we crumbled. On the road, with the lead in the third period, you just have to close those games out.”
Before the third period flurry, all the game’s scoring had come within a span of 2:04 early in the first period.
The Wolf Pack got on the board first just 1:32 into the game, on Scott Kosmachuk’s ninth goal of the season. Pionk intercepted a Belleville pass in neutral ice and carried across the middle in the Senator end, before dropping the puck off to Kosmachuk. His snap shot beat Taylor to the stick side.
Belleville answered at 3:36, though, as the Wolf Pack gave up a 2-on-1 into their zone. Francis Perron carried down the right side and slid the puck across to White, and Georgiev had no chance on White’s quick shot.
With 1:22 left in what would turn out to be a scoreless second period, White checked the Wolf Pack’s Cole Schneider hard, bloodying the Hartford winger, and received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. The Wolf Pack, however, could not capitalize on the opportunity, despite getting the first five shots of the third period.
The Wolf Pack finish a stretch of four straight road games with a Martin Luther King Day holiday matinee at Springfield on Monday. Faceoff is 1:05 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Friday, January 19, when the Utica Comets visit the XL Center for a 7:15 contest. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Belleville Senators 4
Saturday, January 13, 2018 – Yardmen Arena
Hartford 1 0 1 – 2
Belleville 1 0 3 – 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Kosmachuk 9 (Pionk), 1:32. 2, Belleville, White 8 (Perron, Jaros), 3:36. Penalties-Kosmachuk Hfd (fighting), 5:04; McCormick Bel (fighting), 5:04.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Holland Hfd (high-sticking), 2:10; White Bel (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 18:38.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Chytil 6 (Pionk, Leedahl), 14:14. 4, Belleville, O’Brien 9 (Jaros, Englund), 16:14. 5, Belleville, Blunden 3 (McCormick, Kelly), 16:29. 6, Belleville, Blunden 4 (Harpur, Kelly), 19:23 (EN). Penalties-Sproul Hfd (holding), 8:07.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-8-15-32. Belleville 10-8-10-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 1; Belleville 0 / 2.
Goalies-Hartford, Georgiev 4-11-5 (27 shots-24 saves). Belleville, Taylor 4-9-1 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (62).
Linesmen-Brett Du Puy (30), Kevin Hastings (61).