This past weekend, like many this year, was a rough one for the Hartford Wolf Pack. They dropped back to back home games for the second time in as many weekends. While the team has played better recently, they just can not seem to get the offense clicking. Going back to November 10, 2013, a span of 20 games, the Wolf Pack have scored two goals or more just four times, and were shut-out five times. Unfortunately, the trend carried on this past weekend.
Friday, January 3rd
Despite a great effort from Dov Grumet-Morris, who played out of his mind, The Wolf Pack dropped a 2-1 shoot out to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, affiliate of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Sam Klassen scored the lone goal for the Wolf Pack; his first of the season.
The afore-mentioned goal, was a product of a lot of hard work from Oscar Lindberg, who won a battle in the corner and centered the puck for Klassen at the point. Klassen, got some puck luck as his slap shot went off Jeff Deslauriers’ shoulder and rolled a crossed the line. In the shoot out Danny Kristo scored the only goal for Hartford.
The real story of the game though was Dov Grumet-Morris, who stopped 35 of 36 shots including 16 shots in the third period. Grumet-Morris, stopped four of six shots in the shoot out but it wasn’t enough.
As a whole, this was one of the better games of the year for the Wolf Pack. They took a season low, three penalties, and went three for three on the penalty kill; both of which were major improvements from the season average.
Saturday January 4th:
The Worcester Sharks, affiliate of the San José Sharks, snapped a seven game losing streak against the Wolf Pack, and an eight game losing streak at the XL Center, winning 3-2. The two first period power play goals, where the difference for the Sharks. Darroll Powe had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack while Ryan Bourque chipped in a short-handed goal.
The continuing theme of offensive struggles was readily noticeable. Again the Wolf Pack failed to score more than two goals in a single game, and the lack of offense spoiled yet another solid goaltending performance; this time by Jason Missiaen, who stood tall with 37 saves.
After a season low three penalties on Friday, the Wolf Pack got back to their sloppy ways by taking eight penalties for a total of 19 penalties in minutes. The penalty kill unit was decent, despite allowing two costly goals.