Belleville, Ontario, October 19, 2018 – Alexandar Georgiev made 25 saves for the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night, in his first AHL action of the season, helping the Wolf Pack to a 4-3 win over the Belleville Senators at CAA Arena.
The win was a major bounce back for the Wolf Pack from their previous effort, a 5-2 loss at Laval on Wednesday night. Hartford outshot the Senators 23-8 in the first period and, after surrendering an early power-play goal, scored three straight to take control of the game.
“We liked our start,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “I thought our leadership group did an excellent job, starting with [Thursday’s] practice, having more of battle drills in it. I thought they did a good job responding to that, did a good job in the (locker) room, and I thought, to a man, we played the game the right way.”
The Senators got the jump on the game’s first power play, with Rob O’Gara in the box for cross-checking. Jack Rodewald scored his second goal of the season at 5:16, as Drake Batherson passed the puck from the left circle, with both Balcers and Rodewald headed to the front of the net, and Rodewald easily deflected it past Georgiev.
The Wolf Pack equalized only 1:42 later, at 6:58, when Lias Andersson buried his own rebound. After Michael Lindqvist kept the puck in near the blue line, Senator netminder Filip Gustavsson (39 saves) stopped Andersson’s first try, but Andersson followed his shot and rapped the second chance off of Gustavsson and in.
Belleville then got into penalty trouble, and the Wolf Pack took the lead on a two-man advantage at 16:14. Bobby Butler got the goal on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle, off a pass from Chris Bigras.
Despite the lopsided shot total in the first period, Georgiev had to rise to the occasion several times, including breakaway stops on Batherson and Balcers.
“There were a couple of Grade A’s that we gave up,” said McCambridge of the chances Georgiev faced. “We didn’t give up a lot of shots, but the ones in the first, especially, that we gave up were high-quality chances, and he made some nice saves for us.”
Ty Ronning scored an unassisted goal at 6:08 of the second, to make it a two-goal Wolf Pack lead. Ronning grabbed the puck on the left-wing side in the Belleville end, after Chase Balisy had knocked it away from him, and cut toward the net. Ronning made a move to the forehand and put a shot past Gustavsson low on the glove side.
The Senators got that goal back 53 seconds thereafter, at 7:01, with Francois Beauchemin cutting the margin to 3-2. After former Wolf Pack Adam Tambellini had the puck knocked away near the left boards, it came to Beauchemin in the circle, and he unloaded a quick, hard shot that got by Georgiev’s catching glove.
Then, at the ten-minute mark, Hartford’s Cole Schneider made it 4-2 with his second goal of the season. Peter Holland handed the puck ahead to Schneider, who had beaten his check, and Gustavsson got a piece of Schneider’s close-in shot, but could not keep it out of the net.
That turned out to be the game-winner, as Eric Burgdoerfer brought Bellville back to within one with 5:07 remaining in the third. The Senator captain drove a shot from just below the right point through a Balisy screen and past Georgiev.
The Wolf Pack wrap up their only Canadian road trip of the season Saturday in Toronto, with a 4:00 PM game vs. the defending Calder Cup-champion Toronto Marlies. All of the action of that battle can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The next Wolf Pack home game is this Wednesday, October 24, a 7:00 PM contest vs. the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. That is another opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack 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. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2018-19 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, or click here to request more info.