Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch
The Wolf Pack came up short in overtime tonight as the Hershey Bears pulled a 4-3 victory to extend Hartford’s losing streak to six straight. The group battled back to tie the game multiple times, but were unable to pull out a successful ending. Jeff Malcolm stopped 22 of 26 shots in net. Matt Carey, Dan Catenacci, and Nicklas Jensen recorded goals. Hartford will get back at it tomorrow night as they take on the Hershey Bears once again.
The first twenty was strong for Hartford. They had early pressure and generated plenty of chances. The Pack were buzzing in stages. They came up close but was unable to produce a goal. Jeff Malcolm was not busy in net, but he stood up to the challenge when needed. The Bears had limited chances, but had quality opportunities. The penalty kill for Hartford was getting it done early as well. Shots favored Hartford 10-5. So far so good.
The second frame was even for both clubs, then the Bears got the advantage late in the frame. The first half was scoreless. Both clubs buckled up on defense. There was good back and forth action. Then at 10:06, Matt Carey broke the tie on the power play to give Hartford a 1-0 lead as he screened Hershey’s goalie in front and capitalized on the deflection. Taylor Beck and Ryan Graves recorded the assists. Unfortunately the lead did not last long as at 10:50, the Bears tied it at one with a quick release that got past Jeff Malcolm. The rest of the frame had good pace as both clubs continued to generate chances and got close. Hartford had a few defensive breakdowns. They were in the game against Hershey. Then a late defensive breakdown costed them the tie at 19:57 as the Bears passed the puck in front of the net with a lose Bears player to give Hershey a 2-1 lead. Jeff Malcolm was all alone and helpless on the sequence. Just like that, Hartford found themselves down. Shots were tied apiece at 14.
The third had back and forth action as Hartford fought back in the game to tie it twice. The scoring started early in at 4:52. Michael Paliotta passed to John Gilmour, then on a two on one Dan Catenacci burried an opportunity to tie the game at two. It was a pretty play. Then a short time later at 6:21 the Bears regained the lead of 3-2. The rest of the frame was calmer. Both clubs were generated solid chances. The energy level of Hartford was on par with Hershey. Both clubs were working hard. Then late in the frame at 16:06 Nicklas Jensen tied the game at three with a terrific shot. Marek Hrivik and Taylor Beck recorded the assists. Jeff Malcolm came up huge when needed. After sixty, it was going into overtime. Shots favored Hartford 25-24.
Overtime only lasted fifty-nine seconds. A quick release of a shot beat Jeff Malcolm and the game ended by the final of 4-3 Hershey. Shots favored the Bears 26-25.
Hartford fought hard in the game to play against Hershey. In moments they did well. They had a few costly defensive errors which caused them to lose. They responded good with tonight’s game despite getting eliminated from the playoffs. They can play the spoiler role at least. They almost pulled that off tonight. The back to back game with Hershey concludes tomorrow night.
The Pack face the Bears tomorrow night at 7 pm for a rematch.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Taylor Beck
- Nicklas Jensen
- Dan Catenacci
- Healthy scratches: Garrett Noonan.
- Injured Scratches: Adam Tambellini, and Cristoval Nieves.
- Taylor Back now have points in two straight games. He recorded one goal and two assists.
- Hartford was eliminated from post-season contention on Monday, per the American Hockey League Playoff Premier.
- The penalty kill was strong, killing four for four penalties.
- The power play converted in one of three opportunities.