Hartford, CT, January 25, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack battled back from 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 deficits against the Hershey Bears Wednesday night at the XL Center, but a Paul Carey goal with 3:01 remaining in the third period proved decisive in a 5-4 Hershey win.
Mat Bodie had a goal and two assists for the Wolf Pack. Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 shots in the Bear net.
Hershey’s captain, Garrett Mitchell, scored the first goal of the game at 5:21 of the first period, with a shot past the stick side of Wolf Pack goaltender Mackenzie Skapski, who saved seven of eight shots in the period.
The two teams then combined for six goals in the second period, three by each side.
The Bears’ Hubert Labrie was penalized for holding with 1.9 seconds remaining in the first period, to give Hartford a power play advantage to start off the second. Bodie capitalized on this opportunity to even the score, when he took a pass from Ryan Graves and ripped a slap shot over the far shoulder of Vanecek.
At 9:50, Hershey reclaimed the lead when Darren Dietz scored off assists from Carey and Nolan Zajac.
Just a 1:21 later, at 11:11, Allen McPherson collected a rebound of a Robin Kovacs shot and scored his first Wolf Pack goal, as he finished past the diving attempt of Vanecek.
It did not take long for Hershey to regain the lead, as Stanislav Galiev deposited the puck in the back of the net at 14:46, with assists credited to Nathan Walker and Zach Sill.
At 15:46, McPherson was whistled for slashing, which gave the Bears their fourth power play chance of the evening. They were able to convert for the first time, off the stick of Chris Bourque at 16:21, to go up two goals on the Wolf Pack, 4-2.
The Wolf Pack managed to add one more tally before period’s end, on their fourth man advantage. Bodie fired a shot from the same location as his goal, the left point, but this time Matt Carey got his stick on the puck and deflected it in, to cut the lead to 4-3 at 18:41.
The Wolf Pack continued to show tenacity and take advantage of their man advantages, as Nicklas Jensen cranked a slap shot top shelf to even the score at 3:54 of the third. That came with Nolan Zajac off for tripping and was Hartford’s third power play goal of the night.
Paul Carey would have the last word, though, at 16:59. Carey took the puck down the right side of the ice and utilized a backhand shot to beat Skapski over his left shoulder to make the final score 5-4.
“I thought we did a great job of battling back after not having a lead in the game and tying it three times,” Bodie. “It says a lot about the guys’ effort and everyone still caring.”