Just like any streak in any sport, it always comes to an end at some point. The Wolf Pack had won eight games in a row but eight was enough as they fell way short of a ninth win against Bridgeport tonight in front of 6,311 at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack were down 3-0 before they got a goal from Wolf Pack defenseman Chris McCarthy, his fourth of the season. That was the totality of their offense in what was a relatively uneventful 4-1 loss.
There wasn’t much drama or end to end action in this game. The Wolf Pack fell behind early and when they fell behind 2-0 by the end of the first period the crowd in the XL Center began to look as if they were watching a team that was down 5-0. The bad bounces and breaks continued when a Wolf Pack goal, that would have cut the Sound Tigers lead in half, was waived off after a quick scuffle in front of the net. The replay showed what looked like a certain goal but it was not to be. Head Coach Ken Gernander spoke to the media after the game and explained what he was told about the decision to disallow the goal. “He(Referee) said that he blew the whistle and that’s why they cannot review the play.”, Gernander spoke with some frustration in his voice. He was clearly not happy with the teams’ performance and expected more of a constant effort from his players. Gernander was as red hot as the color of his teams’ jerseys, to say he was not happy is a bit of an understatement. It was tough to ask him questions because his answers made him look even more frustrated with how his team played. Knowing that, Wolf Pack fans can probably count on a reaction from the team when they play St. John’s on Saturday night.
Even though the Wolf Pack lost this game they are in a bit of a turn around winning eight of their last ten. If they can continue to keep their record above water they can try and focus on getting a playoff spot. A playoff spot is something that looked less likely just ten games ago but then again it is probably a good idea to wait and see how they play the next ten games before talking about any post season play in Hartford.
Tonight’s 6,311 was almost the exact number of Hartford Hockey fans that UConn pulled in last Friday night for “Whalers Night”(6,442). Coincidence or is it because football season is almost over?
Poor Magnus Hellberg, the red hot Pack goalie had a 1.75 goals against average over this winning streak and he played well again but too many defensive miscues led to great scoring chances for the Sound Tigers.
Worst stat of the night? Take your pick.
Pack goes 0-5 on the power play or having Jayson Megna, Luke Adam, Brady Skjei end up a -3. Matt Bodie happened to end up a -4.
Tonight make sure you get to the game early. Geoff Sanderson will be signing autographs and talking with fans before the game. Historically Hartford Hockey has had some big crowds at the end of January so tomorrow night should be no different.