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Hartford faces steep climb in 2014

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The Hartford Wolf Pack finished a dismal December going 1-7-0-2. It is quite a contrast from their record for October which was 7-2-0-1. What has been the difference?

The Wolf Pack finished their last game of 2013 losing to Manchester 5-2. Manchester scored twice early and then made it 3-0 on a power play goal at 14:25 of the first period. That would be the end of Dov Grumet-Morris's night in net, 6 saves on 9 shots. He was replaced by Jeff Malcolm who made 12 saves on 14 shots.

The Pack got a goal from Jesper Fast who scored with just over 4 minutes left in the third period to spoil a Manchester shut out bid. Danny Syvret scored just 30 seconds later to make it 4-2 but that was as close as Hartford would get to a come back. The loss kept Hartford in last place with only 26 points.

They have an 11-16-0-4 record and have the least amount of points in the AHL. They are also owners of the second most penalty minutes in the league, they average over 24 minutes of penalties per game. Hartford is 21st in attendance only 9 more people per game than Springfield which is a much smaller arena.

The Wolf Pack have never missed the playoffs in back to back seasons. They are headed that way though if they do not recover enough ground to grab a playoff spot. That playoff spot is not out of reach but it's not a gimme either.

The Wolf Pack are currently 9 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot which doesn't sound too bad. They'd also have to jump over 7 teams to get that playoff spot. The question for the new year is; Can Hartford erase 9 points and do that much score board watching?

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