Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears AHL Playoffs Preview

Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)
Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

The Hartford Wolf Pack took down the heavily favored Providence Bruins and will continue their quest for the Calder Cup in the Atlantic Division Finals against the Hershey Bears.

On Friday night at the XL Center, Hartford secured a 2-1 overtime victory against the Bruins in Game 4 of their Best-of-5 series. Jake Leschyshyn scored both goals for the Pack, who won the series 3 games to 1.

After two impressive series victories, that began by beating the Charlotte Checkers, the Pack will have their hands full with the defending Calder Cup champions.

Related: Rangers disappoint in Game 5 vs Hurricanes

Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears Preview

Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)
Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack vs Hershey Bears (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Here’s the full series schedule:

  • Game 1: Thur, May 16th at Hershey, 7pm, Giant Center
  • Game 2: Sat, May 18th at Hershey, 7pm, Giant Center
  • Game 3: Wed, May 22nd vs Hershey, 7pm, XL Center
  • Game 4: Fri, May 24th vs Hershey, 7pm, XL Center*
  • Game 5: Sun, May 26th at Hershey, 5pm, Giant Center*

*if needed

Regular Season Series Recap

Previewing the series, Hartford will have a tough challenge ahead of them as they face the league leading Bears. During the regular season, Hershey posted a record of 53-14-0-5 for 111 points. The Wolf Pack posted a 1-2-0-1 record against the Bears in their regular-season series. Despite picking up just one win, they played Hershey tight and that should continue for this matchup.

Goaltending Preview

Leading the charge for Hershey is experienced goaltender Hunter Shepard. In the season series, Shepard appeared in three games against the Wolf Pack, posting a 3-0 record with one shutout. Through 34 regular \-season games, Shepard posted a 27-4-3 record with five shutouts.

For Hartford, Dylan Garand will remain the primary goaltender in net. His continues to be exceptional in the playoffs and has been one of their best players. In the second round against the Bruins, he stopped 125 of 137 shots faced.

Scouting the Opponent

The Bears have a powerful and talented forward group led by 28-year-old veteran Joe Snively with 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) in 69 games. That’s good enough for 16th in the League for scoring. During the season series, he potted two assists in four games.

Another player to keep an eye on is Alex Limogoes, who has the capability to score and set up teammates. He was noticeable in the season series, notching one goal and two assists in four games. On the year, he notched 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists) in 62 games.

On defense, Hartford will face a dynamic group as former Ranger Dylan McIlrath will be tough to play against. Furthermore, Logan Day and Aaron Ness are dynamic defensemen that are excellent on both sides of the puck.

Special Teams

The Bears were consistent on the power play throughout the season, ranking 6th in the League operating at 20.1%. The Wolf Pack have a less effectively power play, ranked 12th at 19.3%.

The penalty kill for Hershey was the best in the AHL, ranking 1st and operating at 87.7% efficiency. Hartford will be put to the test when given opportunities on the power play. Hartford’s penalty kill was ranked 14th, operating at 83%.

Hartford Wolf Pack Notes

  • Hartford lost forward Riley Nash due to injury early in the game on Friday. No status updated is provided.
    • Nash led the group in production with 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists).
    • He recorded a 3 point (2 goals, 1 assist) game in Game 3.
  • Jake Leschyshyn recorded 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in the series.
  • Brennan Othmann recorded 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the series.
  • Brett Berard recorded 2 assist in Game 1.
  • Tyler Pitlick recorded 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in Game 1.

Game Coverage

Live game coverage will be featured on X via Milliner06. For broadcast and radio, radio announcer Alex Thomas will have you covered on AHLTV and Mixlr. Broadcasts will begin 15 minutes prior to puck drop.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

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