Wolfpack take down Tigers, 4-1

BRIDGEPORT, Conn – Danny Kristo had a goal and an assist, and Scott Stajcer stopped 27 out of 26 shots, Saturday night at the Webster Bank Arena, as the Hartford Wolf Pack snapped an 0-4-0-1 skid with a 4-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Kyle Jean, Andrew Yogan and Oscar Lindberg also scored for the Wolf Pack. Mike Keenan had the only Bridgeport goal.wolfpack

“I think we kind of turned things around last night (in a 3-0 home loss to the Albany Devils), although we didn’t get the win,” Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said. “It was a much better game last night, I thought we out-chanced them, and tonight we were just able to capitalize more so than last night. We got out front early and were able to play with the lead, which seemed to take a little bit of the pressure off,”

After being blanked in their two previous games, the Wolf Pack scored just 44 seconds into this one.

Kristo made a perfect rink-wide pass in the neutral zone to Jean on left wing, and Jean burst past the Bridgeport defense. Jean cut across the slot and beat Sound Tiger goaltender Anders Nilsson (22 saves) with a backhander.

The Wolf Pack then made it a 2-0 lead at 15:29 of the first, on Yogan’s second goal of the season. Yogan benefitted from a great effort by Ryan Bourque, who burst down right wing and slipped through Kirill Kabanov’s check, and fed the puck across the slot to Yogan, whose snap shot from the left circle found the top corner over Nilsson’s catching glove.

“I thought we had two real good plays on the first two goals,” Gernander said. “The cross-ice pass by Kristo was great, and then Jean’s move to finish it off was real nice. Then the second one, (Bourque) a little bit of hustle and perseverance to fight through the check on the wall, and Yogan showed more patience than I have, I know, and made a good shot, top corner, glove side.”

Hartford got an early goal again in the second period, with Kristo scoring his team-leading ninth of the year at the 1:01 mark. Marek Hrivik stopped a Bridgeport clearing attempt on the left-wing boards and passed the puck toward the front of the goal, and Kristo deflected it past Nilsson.

Keenan got the Sound Tigers on the board with 4:55 remaining in the period with a power-play goal. With Darroll Powe in the penalty box for high-sticking, Keenan one-timed a Johan Sundstrom pass from the center point, and the shot went off of Stajcer and in.

Leading 3-1 going into the third period, the Wolf Pack put themselves in trouble with penalties early in the final frame. Powe took a double-minor for high-sticking at 1:45, and the Wolf Pack were called for too many men on the ice at 3:35. That resulted in a two-minute five-on-three for Bridgeport, but Stajcer and the Pack penalty killers were able to kill it off.

Lindberg then put the game out of reach with 2:28 left, scoring off of a goalmouth scramble after Nilsson stopped a shot from the right point by Stu Bickel, but could not control the rebound.

The win improved the Wolf Pack’s season record to 8-6-0-2 for 18 points, and stopped a streak of four straight regulation losses.

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