There was a chance Friday night for the Wolf Pack to climb out of the Eastern Conference 15th and final spot. The team has 44 points this season and was only five points behind Bridgeport in the standings. The Pack also could have gained ground on Adirondack and Portland, both are tied with 47 points.
Hartford fell behind early in the first period and played down 1-0 through most of the first period. It was Ryan Bourque scoring his 14th goal of the season that tied the game at 1-1. Bourque beat Bridgeport goalie Ander Nilsson with only three seconds left in the first period.
The Pack scored the only goal of the second period when Justin Vaive scored his first Wolf Pack goal. Vaive was the games second star, the goal gave the Pack a 2-1 lead. Hartford had played from behind, they had played tied and they played with the lead all before the third period even began.
Four of the games seven goals were scored in the third period. The first one came when Bridgeport Center Joel Broda tied the game at two just over six minutes into the period. The teams played deadlocked until Marek Hrivik scored a power play goal giving the Pack a 3-2 lead with less than five minutes remaining. The Wolf Pack were looking to kill of the last couple of minutes and take the win. Unfortunately it was going to be a long last five minutes for the Wolf Pack.
Bridgeport was awarded a power play when Wolf Pack Captain Aaron Johnson was called for interference at 16:12 of the third. Bridgeport left wing Anders Lee scored with only 2:25 seconds left in the game.
The collapse became complete when Lee scored again with 31 seconds left in the game, giving the Wolf Pack almost no time to attempt to tie the game. The Pack went through it all in this game, they held the lead, were tied and played from behind, but in the end they found themselves without a point.
The bad news?
The Wolf Pack hit the road to play the Springfield Falcons. The Falcons are leading the Northeast Division and have a 33-15-1-4 record. They have clinched a playoff birth and are sitting second in the Eastern Conference with 71 points. They are 7-2 against the Wolf Pack this season and 4-1 when at the Mass Mutual Center.
The good news?
The Wolf Pack have won the last two games against Springfield, one at home and one on the road. Both times the Pack won 5-2.
The question will be can they beat the Falcons for a third time in a row?
You can find out by listening to Bob Crawford call the game on Fox Sports Radio 1410AM.
You can also watch the games on WWW.AHLLIVE.COM.