Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Utica Comets 2
Utica, NY, November 20, 2015 – The Hartford Wolf Pack snapped an 0-6-1-0 drought with a 3-2 win over the Utica Comets Friday night, in the Wolf Pack’s first-ever visit to the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Luke Adam had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, and Travis Oleksuk’s second-period goal was the game-winner. Mat Bodie opened the scoring with an early first-period power-play goal. Magnus Hellberg got the win in goal, but had to leave the game in the second period due to an apparent injury.
Brendan Gaunce scored both Utica goals, and Richard Bachman made 21 saves in the Comet net.
“I thought we had a really good start,” Adam said. “It was a big momentum booster to score that power-play goal, our power play has been struggling quite a bit. To get a power-play goal early in the game, and then I think it was the following shift, we got another one. So it was quite the start, and we just kind of built off that.”
The Wolf Pack were outshot 15-7 in the first period, but came out of it leading 2-1, courtesy of a pair of early goals 31 seconds apart by Bodie and Adam.
Bodie scored on the game’s first power play at 4:51, with the Comets’ Alex Friesen off for roughing. Tanner Glass worked the puck around the boards to Adam, who tipped it to Bodie at the right point, and Bodie’s slap shot beat the catching glove of Bachman.
Adam then made it a 2-0 lead at 5:22. Bachman failed to cover the puck in the crease and Adam jumped in and poked it underneath him.
Gaunce got the Comets on the board, though, at 13:38, taking a lead pass from Jordan Subban, putting on a burst of speed on the left side and firing a low shot through Hellberg.
The Wolf Pack scored the only goal of the second period, increasing their lead to 3-1 at 6:10. Chad Nehring won a faceoff in the Utica end and Ryan Bourque fed the puck off the right-wing boards to Oleksuk, who was alone in front of Bachman. Oleksuk deflected the puck up under the crossbar for his second goal of the season.
Hellberg had to leave the game at the 12:15 mark, after stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced. He was replaced by Mackenzie Skapski.
Skapski held the Comets off the board until only 1:03 remained in the third period, when Gaunce scored with Bachman on the bench for an extra attacker, off the rebound of a shot by Hunter Shinkaruk. Skapski finished with ten saves.
The Wolf Pack are back on home ice on Saturday night, taking on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a 7:00 PM game. The first 2,000 fans into the XL Center will receive a free, full-color 2016 Wolf Pack team calendar, presented by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare. There will also be a Thanksgiving food drive at that game, and at the Pack’s home game the next day, Sunday, November 22 vs. Utica. Any fan who donates five or more non-perishable food items will receive a buy-one-get-one-free voucher redeemable for any 2015-16 Wolf Pack home game.
Tickets for all 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Utica Comets 2
Friday, November 20, 2015 – Utica Memorial Auditorium
Hartford 2 1 0 – 3
Utica 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Hartford, Bodie 1 (Adam, Glass), 4:51 (PP). 2, Hartford, Adam 2 5:22. 3, Utica, Gaunce 4 (Subban), 13:38. Penalties-Friesen Uti (roughing), 3:50; Adam Hfd (cross-checking), 6:06.
2nd Period-4, Hartford, Oleksuk 2 (Bourque, Hughes), 6:10. Penalties-served by Tambellini Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 2:06; Summers Hfd (tripping), 9:53; Daniels Uti (cross-checking), 12:23; Skjei Hfd (roughing), 17:13; Friesen Uti (roughing), 17:13; Jensen Uti (interference), 18:58.
3rd Period-5, Utica, Gaunce 5 (Shinkaruk, Grenier), 18:57. Penalties-Bodie Hfd (roughing), 18:15; Hamilton Uti (roughing), 18:15.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-11-6-24. Utica 15-8-8-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Utica 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Hellberg 6-6-0 (20 shots-19 saves); Skapski 0-1-0 (11 shots-10 saves). Utica, Bachman 0-2-0 (24 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18).
Linesmen-Francois Dussureault (60), Rob Sauda (99).