On Saturday afternoon the Wolf Pack finished their two game season series with the Toronto Marlies. Hartford lost the game in overtime, 4-3. Alexandar Georgiev recorded 35 of 39 saves in the loss. Ryan Gropp (2), Vinni Lettieri recorded tallies for the club. The Marlies late push resulted in Hartford notching only a point. They were close, but not close enough on winning in regulation.
The first period was scoreless. Toronto was sluggish to start. Hartford was playing better with the upper hand. The Marlies had a few chances, while the Pack had stellar chances throughout the period. Both clubs had two power plays apiece in the first. Hartford was handling the top American Hockey League club well. After twenty, shots favored Hartford 11-6.
The second had action as Toronto woke up. However, the Pack matched their energy and found ways to convert in opportunities. The Marlies had struck first, 4:38 in the frame. They crashed the net and pressured Hartford. 1-0 Toronto. Then the frame settled down for a bit. Both clubs traded impressive chances. Alexandar Georgiev was busy in net, and he was standing tall. At 10:44 Ryan Gropp tied the game at one. He had a nice shot and a good pass from Dan Catenacci. Dan DeSalvo recorded the secondary assist. The Pack were buzzing for a brief time, then it calmed down. Toronto picked it up and both clubs continued to trade chances. At 18:40 Vinni Lettieri recorded a power play goal to give Hartford a 2-1 lead. Cole Schneider and Peter Holland recorded the assists. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Hartford ended the frame on a solid note. They were up in the game. Shots favored Hartford 26-24.
The third was intense and Toronto was pushing back. Hartford on the power play, once again notched a power play 1:31 in the frame to extend their lead to 3-1. Ryan Gropp notched his second goal of the game, while Scott Kosmachuk and John Gilmour recorded the assists. The Pack were in a good spot. Defensively they tried to hold off the Marlies. It worked in a few moments. Alexandar Georgiev was the man in net, stopping opportunities produced by the Marlies. Then late in the game, Toronto found opportunities to convert on. At 14:22 Hartford gave up a power play goal to make it a one goal game, 3-2 Hartford. The rest of the frame was close. Then Filip Chytil was boarded and left the game. That changed the game. Despite Hartford getting a five-minute major power play, they seemed shaken up and fell apart. Toronto tied the game at 18:06. That was a bad break for Hartford. The game was going into overtime at three. Shots favored Hartford 36-35.
Overtime flew quick. Hartford only had one chance while Toronto had four. The Marlies ended the game early on the three on three overtime. At 2:56, Toronto had a nifty play and back hand goal to end it. The Marlies win it 4-3. Shots favored Toronto 39-37.
For majority of the game the club played well. The late chances costed Hartford the additional point. Despite the situations, they had to work through it. This game was winnable and they were close to pulling it off. I am not worried with the club because they have shown strides this past weekend.
Hartford returns to action on Friday against the Providence Bruins. Game time is at 7:05pm in Providence.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Ryan Gropp
- Vinni Lettieri
- Anthony DeAngelo
- Filip Chytil is day-to-day with Hartford since his injury on Saturday.
- Hartford notched two power play goals in seven tries.
- The penalty kill was successful in four of five opportunities.
- The lineup was the same as Friday’s game.
- Healthy scratches: Joe Whitney, Eric Selleck, and Ryan Sproul.
- Injured scratches: Steven Fogarty.