Wolf Pack Weekly: Hartford looking for a strong stretch run

Hartford Wolf Pack
Hartford Wolf Pack win in OT (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Hartford played in two games last weekend at the XL Center earning a split. The group dropped a 4-2 decision against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday, giving the Wolf Pack their 13th regulation loss of the season. They rebounded with an overtime win on Saturday against the Rochester Americans by a score of 2-1.

This weekend features two games for the Wolf Pack. They will host the Providence Bruins on Saturday, then travel down to Bridgeport to face the Islanders.

Wolf Pack Weekly: Getting a split

Hartford has a rough night last Friday on special teams, as they gave up a shorthanded goal and two power play goals. In addition to those mistakes, the Wolf Pack gave up too many chances against the Thunderbirds.

Keith Kinkaid played well despite the issues in front of him. As the defense struggled, the offense was unable to generate quality scoring chances leading to the loss.

On Saturday, against another tough opponent, the Rochester Americans, the Wolf Pack’s defense was ready to play.

Matthew Robertson, Jarred Tinordi, and others were more engaged and gave the opposition a hard time in the defensive zone.

Adam Huska was the beneficiary of the the improved defensive effort. He was especially strong in overtime, where the 3 on 3 session yielded Rochester’s best scoring chances. Jonny Brodzinski scored his team-leading 17th goal in the extra session.

Jonny Brodzinski continues to shine

brodzinski
Jonny Brodzinski (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Hartford’s captain is now in the franchise record book after scoring goals in nine straight games. In addition to the goals, he collected six assists for a total of 15 points. While he was held off the scoresheet on Friday, the forward returned right back to help give Hartford two points against Rochester in OT.

Entering action this weekend, he’s recorded 17 goals and 17 assists in 31 games for 34 points. Good for 1.10 points per game.

Matt Lorito Debuts

Hartford’s new acquisition Matt Lorito played in both games last weekend. He’s currently on the second line with Tanner Fritz and Ty Ronning.

The forward has a Calder Cup on his resume and he is another player that you want to have around for a deep playoff run. The versatile veteran could play on wing or center, and in all situations. He’s currently signed for the remainder of the season, and could return next season depending on his performance.

Jarred Tinordi Boosts Defense

The 29 year-old defenseman returned to Hartford after spending a good portion of the season with New York.

While the veteran was scratched on Friday, he helped in Saturday’s bounce back game. The defenseman was playing well as he was physical and was very strong along the boards against Rochester. He also did a great job blocking the passing lanes, and was engaged on every shift.

Cristiano DiGiacinto Provides Grit

The 26 year-old forward brings the physicality and grit that Hartford needs this season. DiGiacinto joined the team at training camp and impressed Hartford’s staff throughout preseason. The forward is always engaged physically, from hits to scrums.

In 31 games, DiGiacinto has recorded four goals and five assists for nine points. While he is not known for offense, he contributes to the tenacity of the team and is a nice addition to the roster.

The forward will be a useful asset as Hartford continues the stretch run of the season by giving opponents a hard time.

Wolf Pack Lines

Hartford had adjustments to the lineup in the last two games. Kris Knoblauch rotates defenseman and has found a happy medium between development and playing time.

Friday’s Outing

Greco – Brodzinski – Gettinger
Ronning – Fritz – Lorito
Rueschhoff – Richards – Khodorenko
Whelan – O’Leary – Luchuk

Robertson – Jones
Bitetto – Lundkvist
Reunanen – Skinner

Kinkaid

Saturday’s Outing

Gettinger – Brodzinski – Greco
Lorito – Fritz – Ronning
Khodorenko – Richards – Rueschhoff
DiGiacinto – O’Leary – Whelan

Tinordi – Lundkvist
Robertson – Giuttari
Reunanen – Bitetto

Huska

One Timers

  • Anthony Greco recorded two assists last Saturday. The veteran has points in the last eight of 11 games (two goals and seven assists).
  • Tanner Fritz recorded two assists last Friday. The veteran has points in the last ten of 15 games (three goals and nine assists).
  • Ty Ronning snapped a five game drought without points last Friday. He recorded one goal and one assist.
  • Lauri Pajuniemi recorded points in the last two of three games (two assists).
  • Patrick Khodorenko recorded points in the last two of three games (two assists).
  • Zach Giuttari has points in three straight games (three assists).
  • Matthew Robertson recorded his first pro goal last Saturday against Rochester.
  • Adam Huska recorded his fifth win of the season last Saturday as he stopped 30 of 31 shots. Huska’s record improves to 5-5-3 with a 2.40 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

Transactions

  • Tyler Wall assigned to Hartford from Jacksonville on February 12th.
  • Zac Jones called up to New York on February 12th.
  • Morgan Barron called up to New York on February 10th.

Upcoming Games

The Wolf Pack have 30 games remaining on the docket before the playoffs.

Saturday, February 19th vs Providence Bruins (Boston) at 7pm, XL Center

  • This is the seventh of ten meetings in the season series. Hartford is 3-2-1 thus far against the Bruins. The eighth meeting will be a week from Saturday in Hartford, followed by the ninth meeting on Sunday in Providence. The season series concludes on Monday, April 4th.
  • Entering Thursday, Providence is 19-13-3-3 for 44 points (.579). That ranks the group fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are 4-4-0-2 in their last ten games. In the last five outings, Providence lost their last three of five in overtime or shootout.
  • Veteran Steven Fogarty and experienced forward Cameron Hughes co-leads in points on the team with 24. In 30 games, Fogarty recorded eight goals and 16 assists. In 34 games, Hughes recorded seven goals and 17 assists.
  • Listen – Mixr. Watch – AHLTV.

Sunday, February 20th vs Bridgeport Islanders (New York) at 3pm, Webster Bank Arena

  • This is the eighth of ten meetings in the season series. Hartford lead the series 5-1-0-1. Both clubs last met on December 29th (Hartford won 3-2). The ninth meeting will be in Hartford on March 6th while the last meeting will be on April 23rd in Bridgeport.
  • Entering Thursday, Bridgeport is 17-20-5-4 for 43 points (.467). That ranks the group eighth (last) in the Atlantic Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference.
  • Veteran Chris Terry leads the Islanders in points with 33. In 37 games, the forward collected 14 goals and 19 assists. Otto Koivula is ranked second in points with 32. In 38 games, the veteran collected ten goals and 22 assists.
  • Listen – Mixr. Watch – AHLTV.

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