Hartford Wolf Pack hit bump in the road after hot start
The Hartford Wolf Pack picked up two losses in the final weekend of October after a hot start winning their first four games. They struggled in each contest getting outscored 5-2 against Springfield, followed by a 4-2 loss against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
On Sunday, Hartford salvaged the weekend by posting a 4-1 win against Lehigh Valley, securing just two out of six points. Through three weeks of the season, Hartford is 5-2 with 10 points as the club is ranked second in the Atlantic Division, third in the Eastern Conference, and seventh in the AHL.
Despite the losses, Hartford showed some fight in each game thanks to a roster built with the experience to face adversity. There’s plenty of hockey left and the next two games on the road will be another opportunity for the club to get on a roll once again.
Hartford Wolf Pack Weekly
In Hartford’s first loss of the season against Springfield, specialty teams were the ultimate difference. The Thunderbirds recorded two power play goals on four chances to achieve victory as the Pack went 0 for 6 and allowed a shorthanded goal. On that play, Louis Domingue strayed out of the crease to play the puck and the Thunderbirds capitalized on an empty net off a turnover.
Saturday’s game saw the Wolf Pack in a deep hole as they were down 4-0 after the first period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored on a power play added a shorthanded goal, plus outshot Hartford 18-5. Turner Elson returned to the lineup and recorded his first goal of the season late in the second period. Captain Jonny Brodzinski converted on the power play to get within two, but the opening period was just too much to overcome.
Sunday’s game against Lehigh Valley featured a superb 4-1 win that displayed a strong power play, that bounced back after two abysmal performances. Additionally, the Wolf Pack played well on defense and controlled play from the start.
Brennan Othmann Snaps Four Game Drought
Othmann, 20, recorded his second multiple point game of the season in Sunday’s win against the Phantoms with 3 assists (2 on the power play). Despite not being on the scoresheet nightly, he’s still providing value to the roster. Othmann is a hard to play against and is not afraid to get physical. In addition, he is strong at both ends of the ice and can adopt to any situation. This, Othmann has 2 goals and 4 assists through 7 games. He leads the Wolf Pack rookies in points and is seventh among rookies in the AHL for production.
Riley Nash Heating Up
After registering his first two points of the season in the prior weekend, Nash found the back of the net twice on Sunday. He also recorded one assist to get his second multiple point game of the season. The veteran is another strong offensive addition from the offseason and is beginning to find his game. Through 7 games, the 34 year-old has 3 goals and 3 assists.
Hartford’s Top Three Offensive Producers
The Wolf Pack’s top offensive players continue to roll despite recent struggles. Captain Jonny Brodzinski, Alex Belzile, and Mac Hollowell are key cogs for production. These players nightly continue to be on the spreadsheet and often. Let’s take a further dive on each player.
First up is Hartford’s captain, Jonny Brodzinski. He leads the team in points (11) which is good for 6th overall in AHL scoring. Through 7 games, Brodzinski has 6 goals and 5 assists. He’s currently riding a seven game point streak.
Alex Belzile is leading by example similar to Brodzinski. The 32 year-old forward is on a six game point streak after being held off the scoresheet in the first game of the season. Belzile has two multiple point games. Through 7 outings, the forward has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points.
On the blueline, Mac Hollowell has points in seven straight. The dynamic defenseman is strong addition to the power play. He handles the puck well and helps produce goals with the man advantage. Defensively, he is sound and utilizes his speed well. On the season, he’s registered 7 assists in 7 games.
- There is an update on prospect Karl Henriksson. According to Alex Thomas of the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday’s broadcast, the forward is listed as week to week.
- The Wolf Pack front office had a good start to the season for attendance. Hartford’s third home game of the season drew 3,838 on Halloween weekend. In past seasons, Hartford had under 3,000 for Halloween weekend. Their average attendance is 5,389.
- November has potential to draw big as upcoming home games feature a school day game, Military Appreciation Night, and Hockey Fights Cancer.
- Turner Elson scored his first goal of the season on Saturday against the Penguins when returned to the lineup.
Hartford Wolf Pack Schedule
Hartford completed October with a record of 5-2. The group will continue their five game road-trip next weekend with two games on the docket.
Friday, November 3rd vs Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia) at 7:05pm, PPL Center
- This is the third of six meetings in the season series. Hartford is 2-0 against the Phantoms. The fourth and fifth meetings will be in Hartford on December 1st and 2nd.
- Entering the week, Lehigh Valley is 3-4 for 6 points. That ranks the group 6th in the Atlantic Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference. The Phantoms are on a two game skid.
- Experienced forward Tanner Laczynski leads the Phantoms in points with 7 (one goal, six assists) . Flyers prospect Olle Lycksell is ranked second on the team for points with 6 goals. Lycksell has a goal in each game against Hartford.
- Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.
Saturday, November 4th vs Utica Comets (New Jersey) at 7pm, Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium
- This is the first of two meetings in the season series. Last season Hartford split the season series, 1-0-0-1 and notched three of four points. Utica will visit Hartford on March 16th.
- Entering the week, Utica is 1-2-2 for 4 points. That ranks the group 6th in the North Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference.
- Experienced forward Max Willman leads the Comets in points with 6 (three goals, three assists). Devils rookie Xavier Parent is second for points with 5 (one goal, four assists).
- Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.