HARTFORD, Conn. – Tonight the Hartford Wolf Pack were back on the XL Center ice to face off once again against the St. John’s Ice Caps. Last night’s game against the Ice Caps didn’t start off the best for the Pack. Nonstop penalties, wasted power plays and missed shots plagued the Pack. Although they did catch up in the end and eventually won, the team commented that they needed to seriously get their act together, especially in terms of the power plays and taking shots on goal. Regardless, the comeback win was certainly a great one and the Ice Caps would no doubt be searching for redemption.
The Wolf Pack started out tonight’s game the same way they’d started in the previous: penalty after penalty. The Ice Caps were able to immediately capitalize, securing a relatively early lead about five minutes into the period with a goal from defenseman Yann Sauve. The Wolf Pack were losing energy, and more penalties followed. At 8:16 the Ice Caps gained another power play, this time resulting in a goal by Scott Kosmachuk. With the Ice Caps holding a 2-0 lead, the Wolf Pack desperately needed to step it up. However the Pack power plays were lacking again. Penalties on the Pack followed, and the Ice Caps kept gaining the man advantage which lead to another goal by Ice Caps’ Carl Klingberg. The Pack were really slipping in this one, the first period ended with a 3-0 lead for the Ice Caps.
One could just imagine the locker room talk for the Wolf Pack, and you’d think they’d be ready to come back and really be ready to fight in the second period. It didn’t take long for the Ice Caps to score again, leaving the Wolf Pack with their tails between their legs. The Wolf Pack seemed lifeless; there was no retaliation, no attempt at a comeback. Another goal pounded in by the Ice Caps pushed their lead to 5-0, and coach Ken Gernander pulled goalie Mackenzie Skapski for Jason Missiaen.
The Pack slowly began to pick it up half way through the period with a goal from Ryan Malone at 11:55. But the Ice Caps were quick to come back and immediately put another in the net. Gaining another power play near the end of the period, the Wolf Pack finally was able to capitalize with another goal by Chris Mueller. However, the period closed 6-2, the Ice Caps still far in the lead.
Going into the third period, the unnecessary penalties continued. A goal by Chris Bourque at 17:55 proved no satisfaction, and the Ice Caps scored again moments later. The final score was 7-3 Ice Caps, definitely not one of the Wolf Pack’s best games. “When you get behind 3-0 like that,” said Mueller after the game, “It’s really hard to make the comeback.”
Gernander seemed less than enthused post-game as well. He’s commented time and time again that the Wolf Pack needs to focus and work on the power plays and stop taking so many penalties. As for tonight the only comment he had was, “We can’t continue to do this.”
The Wolf Pack play the Syracuse Crunch next Friday night at the XL Center.
*Scratches Hartford: Cedrick Desjardins, Yann Danis, Ryan Potulny, Justin Vaive, Nick Tarnasky
*Scratches St. Johns: Keaton Ellerby, Brendon Kichton, Brandon MacLean, Ben Walker, Ralfs Freibergs, Patrick Holland, Mike Comell
Three Stars of the Game
1. Will O’ Neill – St. Johns
2. Scott Kosmachuk – St. Johns
3. John Albert – St. Johns