Charlotte, NC, February 14, 2018 – Lias Andersson had a goal and an assist for the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday night, but Warren Foegele had the game-winning goal and an assist for the Charlotte Checkers in a 3-2 win at Bojangles’ Coliseum, giving the Checkers a sweep of a pair of games between the two clubs in Charlotte.
The Checkers had blanked the Wolf Pack 6-0 the night before, in the Wolf Pack’s first-ever visit to Bojangles’ Coliseum.
Ryan Graves had the other Wolf Pack goal, and Brandon Halverson made 21 saves in the Hartford net, in his third straight start. Aleksi Saarela and Marcus Kruger had the other Charlotte goals, and Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 25 shots.
"I liked our game a lot better (than Tuesday night’s)," Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. "I thought we generated a lot more scoring chances, as a group we did a better job managing the puck. I still feel that we could have been a little stronger with our stick placement, and not letting that power play that Charlotte has on the ice. But the areas that we wanted to address from the previous night, I thought the group as a whole did a good job making those corrections. And the players that are filling in in different positions, to play different roles, for the guys that are up with the New York Rangers right now, did an admirable job making those adjustments."
Charlotte opened the scoring at 6:17 of the first period, with one second left in the first power play of the game, created by a high-sticking penalty on Brandon Crawley. After Janne Kuokkanen deflected the puck into the Wolf Pack zone, Foegele dropped it off to Saarela, and his shot from the right-wing side hit the Halverson’s blocker and went into the net.
The Checkers added another tally with only 15.3 seconds left in the first, Kruger’s first goal in three games since being assigned to Charlotte by the parent Carolina Hurricanes. After Andrew Poturalski won a faceoff, Trevor Carrick had a shot blocked, but Poturalski picked up the carom and worked the puck around the net to Halverson’s right. After Poturalski shoved it toward the goal crease, Kruger was able to direct it into the goal.
It remained a 2-0 Checker lead until the 16:16 mark of the second period, when the Wolf Pack finally got a goal past Nedeljkovic, who came into the game with back-to-back shutouts.
Andersson got Hartford on the scoreboard with his second goal in ten games since joining the Wolf Pack, snapping a centering pass from behind the net by Gabriel Fontaine past Nedeljkovic’s catching glove.
Charlotte got that goal back only 44 seconds later, though, at the 17-minute mark, on Foegele’s 23rd of the season, which is tops among AHL rookies. After Graves had a pass get through his defense partner Hubert Labrie on the left side, Halverson stopped shots by both Josh Jooris and Foegele, but Foegele grabbed his own rebound and connected from the left circle.
That goal would turn out to be the winner, as Graves cut the margin back to one with his fourth goal of the season with 3:41 remaining in the third period. Andersson won a draw in the circle to Nedeljkovic’s right back to Graves on the point, and Graves drove a slap shot into the net on the long side.
The Wolf Pack continue a six-game road trip this Saturday night, February 17, with a visit to Allentown, PA to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Faceoff is 7:05 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is next Friday, February 23, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the Hershey Bears at the XL Center. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Charlotte Checkers 3
Wednesday – Bojangles’ Coliseum
Hartford 0 1 1 – 2
Charlotte 2 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Saarela 19 (Foegele, Kuokkanen), 6:17 (PP). 2, Charlotte, Kruger 1 (Poturalski, Carrick), 19:44. Penalties-Crawley Hfd (high-sticking), 4:18; Kosmachuk Hfd (high-sticking), 6:51; Chelios Cha (slashing), 10:19.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Andersson 2 (Gropp, Fontaine), 16:16. 4, Charlotte, Foegele 23 (Jooris), 17:00. Penalties-Roy Cha (high-sticking), 7:28; Zborovskiy Hfd (holding), 18:07.
3rd Period-5, Hartford, Graves 4 (Andersson), 16:19. Penalties-Chelios Cha (high-sticking), 2:08; Andersson Hfd (holding), 9:25; Miller Cha (slashing), 10:43.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-14-7-27. Charlotte 11-8-5-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 4; Charlotte 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Halverson 1-2-0 (24 shots-21 saves). Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 22-9-2 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Kenny Anderson (66), Conor O’Donnell (6).
Linesmen-Tim Lyons (33), Charlie O’Connor (29).
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