The Utica Comets didn’t run with the Pack they shot right past them. This is not the first time in Wolf Pack history that the team has lost a game in this fashion. A quick start that was followed by a slow finish. The Pack did not look weary in this afternoon game even though they had played the night before. They beat Lehigh Valley 3-1 the night before. The Pack looked feisty and energized in the first period but they didn’t play well in the final two periods of play.
From the start it looked like the Wolf Pack would play a physical game. The Pack sent several Comet players crashing into the glass boards early. Those big hits along the boards led to the Wolf Pack’s first score. Nick Tarnasky took a shot on net that slipped through Comet goalie Richard Bachman’s pads and across the goal line. Almost immediately after the goal Utica was called for high-sticking. The Wolf Pack then scored a power play goal on their second shot of the game. Jayson Megna put some speed into a wrap around goal :58 after Tarnasky’s goal. Megan’s goal happened with such speed and good puck movement that it completely fooled Bachman. The Utica goalie did not get pulled, even though he was down 2-0 in the first few minutes and he had not made a save.
Bachman hung in and did not give up another goal to the Wolf Pack. He turned away the remaining even 16 Wolf Pack shots. The Pack could not hold the 2-0 lead and they also couldn’t put up enough shots to challenge Bachman(7-7-4-18). The Wolf Pack had six power play opportunities which is the same amount of shots they averaged per period. The chances to score a third or even fourth goal were there.
At the other end of the ice Mackenzie Skapski did his best to hold the lead in net for the Wolf Pack. He faced twice as many shots as the Wolf Pack were able to put up on offense(37 shots, 34 saves). Once Utica went up 3-2 just about five minutes into the third period you could tell that getting the equalizer would be even tougher for the Pack. They made it interesting just before the final buzzer, a shot went over the net and while Bachman was out of position the puck bounced off the boards behind the net and it landed right in front of the Utica net. In the scramble to shoot the puck both Luke Adam and Jayson Megna missed a split second moment to shoot but by the time the Pack could try again the final horn had sounded.
The Wolf Pack will have turkey week to figure it out, they next play the Friday after Thanksgiving against the Springfield Falcons. You can get tickets by going to http://www.hartfordwolfpack.com
Ray Bourque watched the game from his usual suite.
The Wolf Pack averaged only 6 shots a period in this loss.
The 3-2 win was Utica’s first victory in Hartford, the city, not the franchise.