Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch
Hartford was unable to get it done tonight as the Hershey Bears pull out a 4-2 victory against the Wolf Pack. The Pack took a step forward, then two steps backwards for majority of the night as they never caught up with the Bears. Brandon Halverson takes the loss in net, stopping 18 of 21 shots. He had a great game, giving Hartford opportunities to stay in the game with little to no help on defense. Nicklas Jensen and Chris Summers recorded tallies on the night.
Defensive errors cost Hartford in the first twenty. The Pack were on par with Hershey. Brandon Halverson kept them in with nifty saves throughout the first. The Bears pressured but the Pack did not buckle. Hartford eventually generated chances. At 7:57, Brandon Halverson misplayed the puck and the Bears converted on the empty net to make it 1-0 Hershey. The defense and Brandon Halverson could not stop it due to their poor positioning. Miscommunication was huge. The Pack eventually settled down. They continued to be on par with Hershey, matching them in chances. The Bears had the upper advantage periodically and surged. After plenty of pressuring, the Bears extended their lead to 2-0 at 18:11. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Shots favored Hartford 10-8.
The second frame was defensive, but the Pack’s defense could not get it done. They stepped forward by one, then go right back. There was good back and forth action early on. The Bears buzzed periodically. Brandon Halverson was bailing out Hartford’s defense as they spent too much time in their own zone. Then at 8:28, Nicklas Jensen had a beam of a laser shot to make it a one goal game from around the blue line to make it 2-1 Hershey. Justin Fontaine and John Gilmour recorded the assists. The Pack had a brief surge but was unable to do more damage. They eventually cooled off and the Bears surged once again. They got close, but the Pack were getting lucky. Then late in the frame after Hershey spending a lot of time in the Pack’s defensive zone, the Bears extended their lead to 3-1 at 17:38. Brandon Halverson was unable to do much on a quick-moving play. After forty, Hartford was once again down by two. Shots favored Hartford 19-14.
The third was the same as the second. Get close, then step back. The Pack early on were pressuring Hershey. The hard work eventually paid off at 4:54. The Pack crashed the crease and it slid in to make it 3-2 Hershey. Chris Summers was credited with the goal while Allan McPherson and Robin Kovacs recorded the assists. The score remained unchanged until the late stage of the game. Hershey was still pressuring in surges. The Pack had chances, but could not convert. It was fast paced third with good back and forth action. Brandon Halverson continued to bail out the Pack’s defense. Time was running low and Hartford was unable to tie the game. At 18:59, the Bears notched an empty net goal to make it 4-2 Hershey. That was game. Shots favored Hartford 25-22.
The Pack were never fully in tonight’s game. They were always one or two steps back from Hershey. Brandon Halverson did well, but the defense did not fully help him. The Bears had the upper advantage for majority of the night. The Pack were doing just enough to make it interesting. It is what it is. This late in the season its tough to climb up in the standings, or let alone get “easy games”. The story line of the season has been losses and no defense.
The Pack visit the Phantoms in Allentown next weekend for games on Friday and Saturday. Both game times are at 7:05 pm.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Brandon Halverson
- Nicklas Jensen
- Robin Kovacs
- The power play had two opportunities. They were zero for two.
- The penalty kill was successful, killing three of three calls.
- Hartford never led into tonight’s contest.
- Brandon Halverson had a great game in net despite the loss. This weekend he had two sharp games, giving Hartford at least a chance to win games. It is unfortunately he had no help this weekend.
- Injured scratches: Matt Bodie, Michael Paliotta, and Cristoval Nieves.
- Healthy scratches: Garrett Noonan and Malte Stromwall.