After three years as the Connecticut Whale, the Hartford Wolf Pack is celebrating its return to a more predatory moniker by preying on the Hershey Bears. No offense to whales, but an entire pack of bloodthirsty wolves is much scarier than a pod of marine mammals, and Hartford lived up to its name change at Saturday’s game. Hartford battled through a second period deficit to come out of Giant Center with a 4-3 victory over Hershey.
Hoping for the first home win since last spring, 8,001 fans cheered on the Bears at the Giant Center. Lighting the lamp first, Bears’ Assistant Captain Taffe found the back of the net with a little help from Dmitry Orlov who tallied his fifth point in two games. Late in the first, by freak accident or sheer force from the 210-pound d-man, Orlov’s stick snapped in two allowing Wolf Pack Center Oscar Lindberg to score.
Hartford opened the second period by scoring on a Power Play, but Hershey answered with two consecutive goals. Blueliner Chay Genoway scored with an assist from Connor Carrick and Tyler Ruegsegger, followed by a goal from Michael Latta who got the assist from Tyson Strachan and Matt Watkins.
“We couldn’t seem to get any flow to our game and it definitely showed.”
The Chocolate and White strolled into the third period leading 3-2, which was about the same time that the Wolf Pack’s killer instincts kicked in. New York Rangers forward prospect Danny Kristo sunk one in on a power-play at the front end of the third, followed only five minutes later by a snap shot from Andrew Yogan. Although they had 11 minutes and 33 seconds to retaliate, this Bear Sleuth couldn’t muster the strength to tie the game. Holding last place in the East Division, Saturday’s loss dropped the Bears to a 1-3-1-0 record through five games.
“It’s just unacceptable coming out in the third period like that,” Genoway said after Saturday’s loss. “We’ve got to learn to react better when the other team scores or ties the game up… We talked a lot in the second period. All the right things were said. We just came out flat. We couldn’t seem to get any flow to our game and it definitely showed.”
“We took another lazy penalty and they score a goal on it,” Bears head coach Mike Haviland said. “We seemed to get back on our heels a little bit. And then, again, we decide to play the last four minutes and go after them a little bit.”
“We have to go after teams all the time. And it has to be in waves and it has to be everybody and it can’t be three or four guys. We had too many passengers tonight. You can’t play the game with passengers. We need everybody on board.”
Not All Heartache Last Night
While a rough night for the Bears, there are two happier occurrences to note about Saturday’s game. The first being that the super young anthemist totally nailed The National Anthem. And the second was Coco the Bear looking on as a Hershey fan get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend—she said yes! Now that your heart has warmed slightly, remember that the Hershey Bears close their weekend series by facing the Norfolk Admirals today at the Giant Center at 5pm.