Steven Valiquette made 24 saves and Dale Weise scored at 1:15 of overtime to lead the Hartford Wolf pack to a 2-1 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday, breaking the Pack’s 7-game winless streak and moving the team into a tie for sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
I, meanwhile, was watching paint dry the Rangers lose to the Sabres at MSG, so I leave you with Brian Ring’s write-up, courtesy of the Wolf Pack.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 (OT)
By Brian Ring
Hartford, CT, December 12, 2009 – Dale Weise scored the overtime game-winner and Brodie Dupont had two assists, as the Wolf Pack beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a GEICO Connecticut Cup game Saturday night, 2-1, in front of 5,752 fans at the XL Center.
A tied-up Dupont passed to a wide open Weise, who one-timed the shot past Sound Tigers goaltender Scott Munroe for the winner at 1:15 of the extra session.
The goal, Weiseâ€™s ninth, snapped a six-game winless streak (0-4-1-1) for the Wolf Pack.
â€œWe played hard, we played smart,â€ said Hartford Head Coach Ken Gernander. â€œIt was a pretty good effort.â€
The Wolf Pack had jumped out to a first period lead at 13:33, as Evgeny Grachev recorded a power-play goal with Bridgeportâ€™s Tyler Haskins in the box on a holding the stick call.
Defenseman Matt Gilroy had passed across to Dupont, who quickly fed Grachev on the side of the net. Grachev was able to find an opening to the left of Munroe for his seventh goal of the year.
Gilroyâ€™s assist was his second in as many games since being assigned to Hartford from the New York Rangers.
Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette (25 saves), playing in Hartford for the first time since the 2006-07 season, made eight saves in the first, including a stop on a quality chance by Bridgeportâ€™s Matt Martin at 1:57.
The second period proved to be a scoreless affair, as Valiquette made 11 saves on Bridgeport to preserve the Wolf Packâ€™s 1-0 lead. Munroe made nine saves in the frame for the Sound Tigers, and stopped a great chance on a Hartford power-play opportunity by Weise midway through.
The Sound Tigers, however, capitalized on a Corey Potter turnover 9:03 into the third period, tying the score at 1-1 on Matt Martinâ€™s sixth goal of the season.
Potter lost the puck to Martin in front of the Hartford goal crease, and Martin lifted the puck over Valiquetteâ€™s catching glove for the equalizer.
The remainder of the third was scoreless, with Munroe turning away several chances that would have given the Wolf Pack the lead, including an opportunity when Gilroy sent a pass from behind the net across the crease.
Entering overtime tied at one, Hartford did not wait long to score the game-winner, as defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti gathered the puck and sent a pass to Dupont in the slot, setting up Weiseâ€™s goal.
â€œI more or less just threw it into an area,â€ said Dupont. â€œWe (he and Weise) have a pretty good chemistry, so whenever he yells, generally heâ€™s open.â€
The win bumped Hartford (14-12-1-2, 31 points) into a tie for sixth place in the Atlantic Division with the Providence Bruins.
The Wolf Pack will complete this weekâ€™s section of their five-game home stand with a 4:00 tilt Sunday against the Albany River Rats, before hosting the Toronto Marlies (Dec. 18, 7:00) and the Hamilton Bulldogs (Dec. 19, 7:00) next weekend.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 At Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (OT)
Dec 12, 2009 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Bridgeport 0 0 1 0 – 1
Hartford 1 0 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Hartford, Grachev 7 (Dupont, Gilroy), 13:33 (pp). Penalties-Byers Hfd (high-sticking), 3:31; Rechlicz Bri (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:16; Haskins Bri (holding the stick), 11:42; DiBenedetto Bri (roughing), 17:33; Gleed Bri (fighting), 17:33; Carroll Hfd (fighting), 17:33; Garlock Hfd (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:33.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Klementyev Bri (high-sticking), 2:05; Rechlicz Bri (fighting), 7:34; Hoffman Hfd (fighting), 7:34; Smith Bri (interference), 9:12; Weise Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct – abuse of officials), 10:35; DiBenedetto Bri (roughing), 17:44; Carroll Hfd (roughing), 17:44.
3rd Period-2, Bridgeport, Martin 6 9:03. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-3, Hartford, Weise 9 (Dupont, Sanguinetti), 1:15. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 8-11-6-1-26. Hartford 7-9-11-2-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 of 3; Hartford 1 of 3.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Munroe 8-7-1 (29 shots-27 saves). Hartford, Valiquette 1-2-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Paul Simeon (66).
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