After an icy week in Hartford, a second storm hit much of the state on Saturday night bringing high winds and snow. Those elements led to tough driving conditions. However all of that wasn't enough to keep the 4,547 Hartford hockey fans from showing up to see the Wolf Pack play the Manchester Monarchs.
There was plenty else going on besides the game to see tonight. The XL Center Atrium had a live band and a food tasting station. People were lined up to receive their very own Dylan McIlrath Bobble Head. McIlrath is known as a player who can have loose gloves on the ice. He is also the teams' leader in penalty minutes. The Bobble Head of McIlrath has fists that move instead of the head.
The concourse held another special guest for fans to see. The American Hockey League's Calder Cup was on display for fans to take pictures. Hartford last won the Calder Cup in the 1999-2000 season when Coach Ken Gernander played for the team. He might have wanted to lace up his skates one more time if he could have helped the Pack on special teams play tonight.
The game started and quickly went in favor of the Pack. Defenseman Tommy Hughes took a shot from the point that bounced of Manchester Monarch goalie Martin Jones. Wolf Pack forward Darrel Powe tipped the loose puck up and over Jones. The Puck landed behind Jones and slowly rolled across the goal line.
The first period play left an impression that the Pack could win their third game in a row. They didn't run into real trouble until they were down a man in the second period.
Monarch center Linden Vey scored to put the Monarch's ahead 3-1. The lead felt as though it were much larger as the Pack could not convert on any offensive chances including going 0 for 5 on the power play. The Pack put up a fight when Danny Syvret scored to make it 3-2 with just over a minute left in the game, but some more penalties and an empty net goal put the game far out of reach. In the end, it was special teams play that would win it for Manchester and lose it for Hartford.
The Wolf Pack have traveled to Providence to play the Bruins this afternoon. The haven't beaten the Bruins once this season so it will be a good test for them to get a road win. You can listen to Bob Crawford call the game on Fox Sports Radio 1410 or watch it on WWW.AHLLIVE.COM.
The next home game is February 21 against in state rival the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Today at the XL Center is a free open skate for the public from 4-7pm, for more details you can click on this LINK