The 2017-18 campaign kicked off earlier today in Hartford as the Wolf Pack opened up against the Charlotte Checkers. Unfortunately, the game was a heart breaker at the end. The Pack played a good game, but fell short. The Pack played in a more structured style with speed. This is Keith McCambridge’s first season as head coach for the Pack. Hartford fell in the last minute of the game, 5-4. They get a crack at it again on Sunday evening.
The first twenty was interesting. Hartford came out with the jump, then Charlotte gained traction and evenly matched Hartford. Cole Schneider gave Hartford a 1-0 lead 54 seconds into the contest. Ryan Graves and Dan Catenacci recorded the assists. The Pack continued to generate chances and came close. Alexander Georgiev was playing good so far. At 14:15 the Checkers tied the game at one in a pretty play. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Charlotte began to pick up their play and tested Hartford. Shots favored Charlotte 10-6.
Hartford had the advantage in the second. They picked it up as well. ONce again they strike early for a goal, at 2:25. Ryan Gropp picked up a turn over from Charlotte and sniped a goal to give the Pack a 2-1 lead. The goal was unassisted. Then at 9:28 Captain Joe Whitney capitalized on an opportunity to extend Hartford’s lead to 3-1. Matt Puempel and Garrett Noonan recorded the assists. Then a few minutes later, Alexander Georgiev was caught off guard and a quick shot got past him to make it a 3-2 game, one goal game for Hartford at 11:20. The rest of the frame was scoreless. The Pack continued to generate chances and transition. Shots were tied apiece at 16.
The third began the Charlotte comeback as they had three straight goals. The Pack once again strike early, at 2:42 as Adam Tambellini extended the lead to 4-2 as he crash the crease. Scott Kosmachuk recorded the lone assist. All was well for the first eight minutes. Then the Checkers crept up, one by one. At 9:42 Charlotte converted on a quick opportunity to make it a 4-3 game. Then a few minutes later at 13:06, the game was tied at 4 as the Checkers converted on their power play. Both clubs began to play tighter. The Pack had good puck movement. Both clubs registered good chances. Then with one minute left in the game, the unthinkable happened. The Checkers converted on a defensive breakdown and on the open net to take a 5-4 lead. Hartford had one minute to tie the game. They had one last strong chance but was unable to do it. Shots favored Hartford 28-24.
There are areas to work on. Others were good. Overall they played not bad. They came up short at the end. Alexander Georgiev wished he had a goal or two back, but it is a learning process. The defense helped out, but broke down in moments. The offense showed up tonight. There is a lot to like about the game, but definitely room for improvement.
The next game is on Sunday evening at 5pm in Hartford as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms visit.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Adam Tambellini
- Joe Whitney
- Dan Catenacci
- Alexander Georiev was aggressive in net. He played the puck in the restricted area once. He also jumped out of his crease often.
- The power play was zero for four.
- The penalty kill was four for five.
- Scratches: Vince Pedrie, Malte Stromwall, and Steven Fogarty.