Photo Credit: Jon Tenca/Puck Stopper Photography
The Wolf Pack came up short, once again. Tonight Hartford dropped a 3-2 shootout decision against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Magnus Hellberg takes the loss in net, stopping 22 of 24 shots. He also went two for four in the shootout. Chris Brown and Matt Carey recorded goals in regulation. Adam Tambellini recorded the lone shootout tally. On a positive note, Hartford collected at least a point for bringing it to the extra session.
The first twenty had decent pace. Both clubs generated chances and it was even. However, the Pack in the earlier stages of the first had the upper advantage. They were crashing the net and eventually notched the first tally of the game: 2:08 in. Chris Brown put the puck on net and it eventually slid in. Tanner Glass and Steven Fogarty recorded the assists. Afterwards, Hartford took four penalties in the first. They were doing a good job short-handed, until 14:12. It bit them as the Sound Tigers had a clean shot that beat Magnus Hellberg to tie the game at one. It was a power play goal for Bridgeport. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Both clubs continued to generate chances. Hartford lost their momentum a bit as the Sound Tigers made it even. They blocked and intercepted Hartford passes and offense. After twenty, it was deadlocked at one. Shots favored Hartford 11-5.
The second had the same pace as the first, but the roles were reversed. Bridgeport had the upper advantage, then Hartford began to work hard on defense while the offense goes missing. The Sound Tigers had chances right from the opening of the frame. Magnus Hellberg was busy in net, but was standing tall. Unfortunately, the Sound Tigers grabbed a 2-1 lead 4:17 in. They had a nifty play and the defense could not prevent the play in time. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Hartford was playing in their own zone too much. Magnus Hellberg was doing his best to keep them in. Eventually the Sound Tigers tapered off, but still had chances. After forty, Bridgeport had the 2-1 lead. Shots favored Bridgeport 16-13.
The third was interesting as the excitement picked up. The Sound Tigers were trying to defend their lead. Hartford began to pick it up and had a few chances. The Sound Tigers goalie had terrific saves. Magnus Hellberg was perfect when Bridgeport pressured. After good back and forth action, time was running low. The scrums picked up but nothing came out of it momentum wise. Late in the frame, Hartford tied the game at 15:12. Matt Carey had a power play goal as the puck once again found the back of the net. Matt Bodie and Nicklas Jensen recorded the assists. Towards the end, Hartford buzzed, but they were unable to get another goal. It was going to overtime after sixty minutes! Shots favored Bridgeport 24-23.
Overtime was fun as both club had chances and nearly ended it. However both goalies were on point. The three on three action was not enough. It was going into a shootout. Shots favored Bridgeport 25-23.
Hartford elected to shoot first. Steven Fogarty, then Nicklas Jensen were denied. Bridgeport scored in the first round, then was stopped in rounds two and three. Adam Tambellini scored in the third round. Marek Hrivik was stopped in the fifth round, then Bridgeport ended it with a conversion on their end. That was game. Hartford earned at least one point.
At least the Pack earned themselves a point. The game had changes. Hartford had the upper advantage, then Bridgeport, then back to Hartford. Both clubs had to adjust, and Hartford eventually did. They had good moments, and bad. It was not bad. It could have been better though. It is what it is at this point in the season, considering where they are in the standings.
The Pack return home tomorrow night to take on the Providence Bruins at 7 pm on Stick It To Cancer Night.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Magnus Hellberg
- Matt Carey
- Chris Brown