Wolf Pack Visits Islanders for Second Round of ‘Battle of Connecticut’
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack will be looking to shake off a loss last night and earn some of their back-to-back weekend when they visit the Bridgeport Islanders tonight at Total Mortgage Arena.
The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and coverage is available on AHLTV and Mixlr.
Tale of the Band:
This is the second of twelve meetings between the Wolf Pack and the Islanders this season, and the second of six in southern Connecticut. The teams will meet once again in November, with the Pack returning to Bridgeport on November 23. The Islanders will make their first trip to Hartford on December 23. Four of the first five meetings in the series will take place at Total Mortgage Arena, with the last meeting in 2022 taking place on December 27 in Bridgeport.
The Islanders won the first round of the “Battle of Connecticut” on October 23, earning a 5-2 victory. Kyle MacLean opened the scoring 61 seconds into the second period, scoring a shorthanded goal to break the ice for the Islanders. Will Cuylle would tie the game at 10:35 of the second with his second goal of the season, but Andy Andreoff’s power play goal at 14:18 would give the Islanders a 2-1 advantage going into the final stanza.
Lauri Pajuniemi would tie the deal with his second goal of the season 13:41 into the third with a hard shot from the circle, but the Islanders would take over from there. Paul Thompson hit home a one-timer at 2:29 to put the Islanders back in front, while Hudson Fasching and Cole Bardreau tacked on the insurance markers at 4:16 and 5:33.
Wolf Pack Outlook:
The Wolf Pack lost a 5-1 decision to the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night, ending a brief two-game winning streak. The T-Birds exploded for three goals in 5:01 early in the game, creating a lead the Wolf Pack couldn’t cut.
Matthew Kessel opened the scoring with his first career regular season goal 11:34 into the game, while Will Bitten extended the lead with the eventual winner at 15:58. Bitten’s goal was his third shorthanded goal of the season, leading the league, and the second abandoned by the Wolf Pack in 2022-23. 37 seconds later, Josh Leivo would make it a 3-0 game in his debut for the Thunderbirds.
Leivo extended the Thunderbirds’ lead to 4-0 just 44 seconds into the middle stanza, netting a two-on-one shot. Turner Elson got the Wolf Pack on the board at 8:34 of the third period, but Leivo completed the hat trick at 17:59 with a goal in an empty net.
Elson and Jonny Brodzinski lead the Wolf Pack with six points apiece in seven games. Both scored two goals and had four assists. Pajuniemi, meanwhile, leads the club with three goals.
The Islanders were off last night after claiming a 4-3 shootout win Tuesday morning over the Charlotte Checkers. Vincent Sevigny broke the ice with his first professional goal just 6:10 into the hockey game, but John Ludvig and Zac Dalpe both lit the lamp to give the Checkers a 2-1 lead at intermission .
Aatu Raty would level the matter 2:11 into the middle frame, but Ethan Keppen would hit back at 6:51 to push the Checkers in front again. Andreoff scored the last regulation goal at 18:09 of the second period, striking again on the power play for his fifth goal of the season.
After overtime solved nothing, the teams were forced to go to the shootout. There, William Dufour scored the only goal while Cory Schneider denied all three Checkers shooters to cement the 4-3 win.
Andreoff (5 g, 6 a) and rookie Ruslan Iskhakov (4 g, 7 a) lead the Islanders in scoring with eleven points each. Andreoff’s five goals also lead the club, while Iskhakov’s four are second. Fasching, Dufour and Simon Holmstrom have all scored three goals this season.
Schneider leads in goal with a perfect 5-0-0 record and .913 save percentage.
Wolf Pack voice play-by-play Alex Thomas will have “Wolf Pack Pregame” live at 6:45 p.m. tonight on AHLTV and Mixlr. Be sure to tune in all season for Hartford Wolf Pack hockey! To access Alex’s call on AHLTV, select the “audio absent” button after selecting tonight’s game.
The Wolf Pack will return to the XL Center on Wednesday, November 9 for a rematch with the Thunderbirds. Don’t want to miss a second of the “I-91 Rivalry” or the “Battle of Connecticut” this season? Check out the new “Rivalry Packs”, featuring five of the six matches between the opponents at XL Center this season! Single tickets for Wednesday night’s game are also available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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