Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
By Bryce Grundy
Hartford, CT, February 12, 2020 – A Hartford Wolf Pack franchise-record 12-game home winning streak came to an end Wednesday night at the XL Center, in a 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
It was only the second regulation defeat at home all season for the Wolf Pack, who are an AHL-best 20-2-0-2 on home ice.
Rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, who had scored only once in 39 previous pro games, tallied both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goals, and Casey DeSmith made 25 saves. Ryan Dmowski scored the only Wolf Pack goal, and Adam Huska stopped 17 Penguin shots.
“I don’t think there was much scoring chances either way,” said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. “I thought we turned the puck over, especially in the first period, and [Wilkes-Barre/Scranton] did a good job of denying the blue line.”
It was an uneventful first period, until the Penguins drew first blood with 1.6 seconds remaining in the period. An aggressive forecheck by Myles Powell and Kevin Roy led to a shot from Joseph at the point. Wolf Pack forward Vinni Lettieri blocked the initial shot, but Joseph was able to gather his own rebound and put his second shot past Huska.
The Wolf Pack responded only 2:08 into the second period, when Dmowski scored from a nearly impossible angle along the goal line. Persistent pressure in the offensive zone by Hartford’s fourth line led to a Penguins turnover in front of their own net, and Dmowski was able to capitalize. Shawn McBride and Vincent LoVerde were awarded the assists.
“I was just putting it to the net,” said Dmowski. “Goalie was mid-slide, but I was just trying to get it to the net. I was lucky I was right there for a perfect rebound.
“What we’ve been doing best is working down low, limiting turnovers, fore check hard and create opportunities off of that. That’s pretty much how we scored that goal.”
“I think our fourth line has been maybe our best line in the last three games,” Knoblauch said. “They’re very consistent, they work hard every shift. It’s tough when you play against a line that’s got three guys with that intensity.”
Joseph blasted the game-winning goal past a screened Huska with 5:09 remaining in the second period.
“I thought we defended really well…fewest scoring chances we’ve given up all year,” Knoblauch said. “We had to work harder to create more scoring chances.”
“Every team goes through this, where they might have a little slump,” commented Dmowski, “but the best teams come back, and they get the confidence back and find a way to win games, and that’s what we’re going to do moving forward.”
The Wolf Pack are back at the XL Center this Friday night, hosting the Laval Rocket at 7:15. That is “Love is Love Night” at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack will be wearing specialty pride jerseys, which will be auctioned off in the second intermission, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Collective, the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus and Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford. Also, all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Nomads Adventure Quest.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (860) 722-9425. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – XL Center
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 1 0 – 2
Hartford 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Joseph 2 (Powell, Roy), 19:58. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Dmowski 3 (LoVerde, McBride), 2:08. 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Joseph 3 (Lizotte, Cassels), 14:51. Penalties-Lucchini Wbs (delay of game), 5:26; Huska Hfd (interference), 8:43; Blandisi Wbs (holding), 19:40.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-LoVerde Hfd (slashing), 3:27; Keane Hfd (hooking), 11:04; Di Pauli Wbs (hooking), 19:57.
Shots on Goal-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 7-7-5-19. Hartford 7-13-6-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, DeSmith 17-12-2 (26 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Huska 10-7-5 (19 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Casey Terreri (75), Jim Curtin (90).
Linesmen-Jonathan Deschamps (84), Nick Briganti (58).