It wasn’t as convincing a defensive effort as they displayed against Providence on Wednesday, but thanks to strong specialty teams play and a 28-save performance by goaltender Miika Wiikman, the Hartford Wolf Pack were able defeat the Worcester Sharks 4-1 in Hartford on Friday night. Rookie defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti scored one of three power play goals for the Pack and added an assist, while P.A. Parenteau put up three helpers to help lead Hartford to their second win in a row.
The Pack never trailed in the game, despite a sloppy start in which they gave up five of the first six shots on goal while spending the majority of the first five minutes of play in their own zone. Yet they managed to get on the board first when Mike Ouellette carried the puck up the left wing boards and backhanded a pass to Pyatt between the hash marks. Pyatt wristed the puck past Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers for his fourth of the season and second in the last three games at 6:59 of the first period.
Two minutes later Hartford scored its first power play goal just ten seconds into its first power play opportunity. Off the face off Artem Anisimov got the puck deep in the right wing corner and fed a perfect pass across the crease to an unmarked Greg Moore, who was parked just off the left post. Moore’s first attempt hit the side of the net, but he gathered his own rebound and roofed his second shot for his eighth goal of the year. It came on only the fourth shot of the game for the Wolf Pack.
Hartford got into penalty trouble early in the second when Corey Potter put the team down by two men by shooting a clearing attempt over the glass for the delay of game call. The Pack’s PK, which hasn’t surrendered a goal in 4 games (14 attempts) came up big, killing off the 1:14 two man advantage.
The Wolf Pack then appeared to take a page from their parent club’s playbook when they surrendered a shorthanded goal at the tail end of a kneeing penalty that was whistled on Claude Lemeiux, who’s playing with the Sharks as he attempts an NHL comeback at the age of 43. Worcester wing Riley Armstrong picked off Michael Sauer’s pass along the Shark blue line and skated in alone on Wiikman, deking to his backhand and beating the Swedish-born netminder top shelf at 10:12 of the period.
The Pack power play got the opportunity to redeem itself less than two minutes later when referee Mark Lemelin granted it 1:39 of 5-on-3 time. Sanguinetti wasted little time, scoring his third of the season just 13 seconds into the two man advantage with a blistering slap shot from the right point off a feed from Anisimov. It was Anisimov’s second assist in the game after being kept off the scoreboard for only the third time in the last 17 games on Wednesday.
Defenseman David Urquhart topped off the scoring and iced the Pack’s second consecutive victory with another power play goal — a hard, low shot from the center of the blue line — with only 1:37 remaining in the game. Hartford finished 3-for-6 on the power play, while shutting the Sharks out on four attempts.
The Wolf Pack outshot the Sharks 31-29 in a fairly evenly played game with good opportunities for both sides. Wiikman came up big when needed, most notably in the opening minutes of the third period, when he stoned P.J. Fenton by getting across the crease to snag a rebound after a shot rang off the post 1:12 into the frame.
With the win the Pack moved back above the .500 mark to 12-11-1-2, leapfrogging over both Lowell and Springfield into fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They face off against Springfield Saturday night in Hartford. The Wolf Pack and Sharks meet again on Sunday in Worcester in a game that will be available online for free starting at 4:05pm as part of AHL Live’s free preview.
- Brandon Sugden returned to the line-up after two games as a healthy scratch. Matt Stefanishion took his place in the press box.
- Jared Nightengale earned himself another game with his good showing on Wednesday, sticking in the line up despite Potter’s return from New York. Ethan Graham was the healthy scratch on defense.
1. Pyatt (4) (Ouellette, Sanguinetti) 6:59
1. Moore (8) (Anisimov, Parenteau) 8:56 (PP)
2. Armstrong (10) 10:12 (SH)
2. Sanguinetti (3) (Anisimov, Parenteau) 11:59 (PP)
3. Urquhart (2) (Rissmiller, Parenteau) 18:23 (PP)
Dupont – Rissmiller – Parenteau
Soryal – Anisimov – Weise
Owens – Moore – DiDiomete
Pyatt – Ouellette – Sugden
Denisov – Nightengale
Sauer – Urquhart
Wiikman / Zaba
1. Bobby Sanguinetti
2. Greg Moore
3. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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