Barron on the draw (Photo: Kelly Shea / Wolf Pack)

The wolf pack put another good week in the books as the club got five out of six points.

Hartford’s points range has been extended to five games (4-0-1), a new season’s highlight. Through 16 matches, the group managed to collect points in 13 of them. This is not an easy task in the American Hockey League, given the abundance of quality teams and playing two or three in a row.

This coming weekend will feature two significant matches as the Wolf Pack begins a three-game series against the talented Springfield Thunderbirds.

Wolf Pack Watch: Hartford rolling

Position update

Within the week, Hartford came away with an 11-3-2 record for 24 points (0.750 point percent). It ranks the club number two in the Atlantic Division. The group is number three in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the American Hockey League.

Hartford are four points behind first-place Springfield Thunderbirds in the division. Wolf Pack will have the opportunity to take first place in the division as they face Springfield in three games in a row (two at home, one away).

Libor Hajek Conditioning Stint Ends

hajek
Shark (wolf pack)

The 23-year-old defender ended his five games with Hartford. Hajek managed to record two assists, including an assist on the game’s winning goal against the Providence Bruins on 13 November. He also scored six penalty minutes and was a +3.

Hajek showed rust and fights early, and then had a couple of good fights throughout the stint. But in his final last Saturday against the Hershey Bears, Hajek fought tremendously. He had a few hiccups on the top pair’s defender (with Zac Jones).

He was out of position and was unable to return until the late stages of the game as Hartford rose as a group. The young defender was inconsistent. Anthony Bitetto was the replacement.

Enforcer Pierre-Cedric Labrie provides more than gravel

The 35-year-old enforcer continues to play well in his time with Hartford. Despite being on the Wolf Packs fourth line, Labrie has shown a lot to his game this season. The striker brings gravel and toughness to the lineup with Kris Knoblauch and the coaching staff utilizing the veteran effectively.

Through 15 games, Labrie scored two goals and six assists for eight points. The striker played his best game of the season last Saturday against Hershey. He collected one goal and two assists in the match. Knoblauch rewarded him with more ice time, and Labrie took it in stride. The late signing ahead of the season has given paw for the group.

Labrie enters the week in eighth place in total points on the list (with Lauri Pajuniemi).

The outlook Lauri Pajuniemi continues the growth

The rookie continues to gain confidence as the season progresses at Hartford. In November, Pajuniemi collected six points in eight games so far. The striker finished last week with a streak of four match points (two goals, two assists). However, he had two amazing goals last Saturday against Hershey. Both goals were scored back to back in 64 seconds.

The 22-year-old enters the week draw as number 17 among rookies in the attacking group for points. He is also in eighth place in goals in the same class (five goals). The prospect continues to raise his game and utilizes his minutes well on ice (playing within the top two lines). He was paired with Ronning and Barron last week.

While Rangers fans believe he should get a shot in New York, the prospect should continue to evolve to play in top-line minutes. He still needs to evolve, making Barron the most likely call of the two.

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Wolf Pack Updates

Patrick Khodorenko returns from an injury

Khodorenko returned to the ranks on Friday after missing three games due to an injury from November 6. The striker scored his first goal of the season last Saturday against Hershey.

Tim Gettinger misses two matches

Gettinger is out from day to day and is expected to return to the ranks soon. The experienced striker missed two of three matches last weekend. Despite being out of line, Hartford continued to perform well without the striker. The roster has a good mix of attackers to fill the void.

Saturday’s wild ride

Wolf Pack built themselves a 2-0 lead through the first twenty minutes of play against the Hershey Bears. The first frame had an abundance of physicality from both sides. Wolf Pack converted options on Hershey’s error.

The second frame was tough as Hershey scored three goals in a row to take a 3-2 lead after two periods of play. Hartford’s defensive core was fighting, giving Hershey plenty of chances on Kinkaid.

In the final 20 minutes, the Wolf Pack came out obsessed, shooting on all cylinders and completely dominating the Bears. Hartford scored five unanswered goals, which included three in the first five minutes.

The group set the tone early and rose from another period that was tough. Wolf Pack has the ability to come back from shocking periods and it was in full view Saturday night. The group played as if they were a well-experienced roster, which speaks for a roster full of youth. That was a great sign. The wolf pack managed to win the match with the score 7-3. See the result list here.

One Timers

  • Jonny Brodzinski continues his production. The captain is a draw in fourth place (3-way draw) in the league for total points (17). The veteran scored two goals in the previous outing against Hershey. Brodzinski was kept without points in three of 16 matches. He leads the team in points with six goals and 11 assists.
  • Zac Jones also continues his production. The defender is right on an 18th place in the league among rookies in points (eight). Jones has points in the last eight of 11 games.
  • Tanner Fritz has points in the last eight of nine games. The veteran scored four goals and seven assists for 11 points. Fritz is number three on the team for points (12).
  • Ty Ronning has points in three straight and in the last four of five. On his current streak, Ronning produced one goal and three assists so far.
  • Pierre-Cedric Labrie has points in two of three games. During that period, the veteran scored one goal and three assists.
  • Keith Kinkaid is sixth in the league in minutes played (610: 38). The veteran goalkeeper has a record of 8-1-1 with 2.55 goals against the average and a save percentage of 0.918.
  • Adam Huska has the second lowest goal against the league average (1.81). Huska is 2-2-1 with a .938 save percentage.
  • Hartford is 7-1 at the XL Center so far. The away record is 4-2-2.

Upcoming games

Friday, Nov. 26 against the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis) at 6 p.m. 19, XL Center

  • This is the third of 12 meetings in the season series. The series is a draw as the Wolf Pack won the previous match with the score 6-4 on 12 November.
  • Springfield enters the week with a record of 13-2-2 for 28 points (0.824 point percent). The Thunderbirds won five in a row and are 8-2 in their last ten outings.
  • Matthew Peca leads the Thunderbirds in points (15). The experienced striker scored nine goals and six assists in 17 games. Peca is placed in a 12th place in the league for points. Logan Brown and Nathan Walker are in second place in points with 15.
  • Listen – Mixr. See – AHLTV.

Saturday, Nov. 27 against the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis) at 6 p.m. 14:05, Mass Mutual Center

  • This is the fourth of 12 meetings in the season series.
  • Springfield is 8-1-1 at home so far this season.
  • The fifth meeting of the season series returns to Hartford on Wednesday, December 1st.
  • Listen – News Radio 560 WHYN. See – AHLTV.
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