Boo Nieves notches game winner for Hartford

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Toronto Marlies 2

Toronto, Ontario, December 3, 2016 – Marek Hrivik had a shorthanded goal and an assist, and Boo Nieves scored the third period game-winner Saturday night, as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-2, in the first of back-to-back games between the two teams at Ricoh Coliseum.

Magnus Hellberg made 27 saves in the Wolf Pack net, and Justin Fontaine also scored for Hartford. William Wrenn and Kasperi Kapanen had the Marlies’ goals, and Garret Sparks made 27 stops.

The win gave the Wolf Pack their first winning streak of the season, coming on the heels of Hartford’s 3-1 victory last Saturday at Lehigh Valley.

“We buried a couple of chances we had there early in the game, and we kind of held on,” Hrivik said. “We had a really good first period, a lot of shots, and they had a really good pushback the last two periods, but we held the lead and won the game.”

The Wolf Pack outshot the Marlies 15-9 in the opening period and scored a pair of special teams goals.

Fontaine gave the Wolf Pack the game’s first lead on a power play at 10:56, with Justin Holl in the penalty box for high-sticking. John Gilmour fed the puck from the right point to Hrivik at the bottom of the circle, and Hrivik found Fontaine streaking down the slot. Fontaine snapped a close-range shot past Sparks from close range.

Hrivik then scored the Wolf Pack’s second shorthanded goal of the season with 25.5 seconds remaining in the period and Tanner Glass in the box for boarding.

Nicklas Jensen blocked a pass in the Wolf Pack zone and then outraced the Marlies to the loose puck in the Toronto end. Rushing down the left side, Jensen passed the puck across the slot to a wide-open Hrivik, and Sparks had no chance on Hrivik’s one-timer.

After a scoreless second period, Nieves tallied his second goal of the season 3:33 into the third, on a fine individual effort. Nieves knocked the puck away from Viktor Loov at the left point in the Wolf Pack end, and then grabbed it and raced away through center ice. Inside the Toronto zone, Nieves got a step on a pair of Marlie defenders, cut across the slot and put a forehand shot past Sparks’ stick side.

That would turn out to be an important goal, as Toronto would recover to get the next two.

Just 2:01 after Nieves’ goal, at 5:34, Wrenn would ruin Hellberg’s shutout bid with his first Marlie point, a goal that would require a video review.

Wrenn got a feed from Kerby Rychel and put a close-in backhander on goal. Hellberg got a piece of the shot but it trickled through him and behind the Wolf Pack goaltender, before the puck was swept away by Hartford defenseman Ryan Graves. After the initial call was no goal, referees Ryan Hersey and Nick Gill reviewed the play on video, and ruled that the puck had gone just across the goal line before Graves got to it.

Then, on a power play at 11:53, with Malte Stromwall off for interference, Kapanen brought the Marlies to within one with his tenth goal of the season. Brendan Leipsic passed cross-ice to Kapanen at the left faceoff dot, and his hard, low shot cleanly beat Hellberg.

Hellberg and the Wolf Pack held strong after that, though, despite the Marlies getting Sparks to the bench for an extra attacker with nearly two minutes remaining.

The Wolf Pack and Marlies tangle again Sunday at the Ricoh Coliseum, in a 3:00 PM game. All of the action of that battle 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 Wednesday, December 7, a 7:00 contest vs. the Springfield Thunderbirds. That is another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.

Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 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 2016-17 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 3 at Toronto Marlies 2
Saturday, December 3, 2016 – Ricoh Coliseum

Hartford 2 0 1 – 3
Toronto 0 0 2 – 2

1st Period-1, Hartford, Fontaine 2 (Hrivik, Gilmour), 10:56 (PP). 2, Hartford, Hrivik 8 (Jensen), 19:36 (SH). Penalties-Johnsson Tor (interference), 3:19; Summers Hfd (delay of game), 6:55; Holl Tor (high-sticking), 9:29; Stromwall Hfd (high-sticking), 11:20; Rychel Tor (holding), 16:42; Glass Hfd (boarding), 19:05.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Cliche Tor (holding), 9:15; Graves Hfd (cross-checking), 10:22; Graves Hfd (roughing), 19:52; Kapanen Tor (roughing), 19:52.

3rd Period-3, Hartford, Nieves 2 3:33. 4, Toronto, Wrenn 1 (Rychel), 5:34. 5, Toronto, Kapanen 10 (Leipsic, Nielsen), 11:53 (PP). Penalties-Kampfer Hfd (boarding), 6:16; Jensen Hfd (delay of game), 7:07; Stromwall Hfd (interference), 11:19.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 15-8-7-30. Toronto 9-9-11-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Toronto 1 / 7.
Goalies-Hartford, Hellberg 6-4-3 (29 shots-27 saves). Toronto, Sparks 3-2-0 (30 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Nick Gill (65), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Michael Markovic (89), Jean Menard (12).

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  • Pumpel…???? Does not impress me…….

    Not sure why Marek Hrivik is not up with rangers…..leads hartford in goals and scoring, played well in limited time here……
    Big, fast player who plays center or wing and likes to take the body….

    MY Rangers best lineup..[after zib and buch returns….]

    Yup ….no stepan or fast….would love to trade them and save $ for grabner and the kids….miller, etc

  • The strength of the team was having four scoring lines. We lose two from top six and now we have fourth line players and scratched players in the lineup that is not working well. We need to promote Hrivik & Nieves both with speed and size. Lindberg has shown nothing so far this season and Fast is and always will be a fourth line player. We need to inject some size and speed back into the lineup until Buch returns. Send Lindberg down even if has has to pass thru waivers. Note:Jensen also deserves a shot with big club.

    • Agree David k…..

      Lindberg, had a great start last season, rookie year, then got hurt and played hurt most of year ……I want to see him for a full year at good minutes with good wings before I toss him aside…..I believe he can be a better scorer, hitter, defender than stepan because of his size, speed and aggressiveness…..
      Yeah, i want to see jensen too…….

  • They are playing again right now. Airing live on NHL Network. I’m checking it out in between snaps of the Giants game. 🙂

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