The Wolf Pack hit the Pirates like a volley of six pound guns. The Pack played a tenacious first period that kept their forwards and the puck in the Pirates defensive zone. Portland looked off balance and some of that must have come from the very physical play by the Pack.
Hartford's offense paid off at about seven minutes into the game. Defenseman Danny Syvret put the Pack on the board with a blast from the point that went past Pirate goal tender Louis Domingue. It was Syvret's seventh goal of the season and his thirtieth point on the season.
A second goal came with the same effort. It was T.J. Hensick who scored his sixth goal of the season putting the Pack up 2-0. Hensick has 21 points in 21 games, his play has really helped in the Packs recent turn around.
Hensick's night on the scoring sheet wasn't complete, he assisted on a third goal in the period. McIlrath scored his fifth goal of the season when he broke open on a rush to the net, Hensick was against the boards with the puck. Hensick saw McIlrath alone heading towards the far side of the net. He was able to thread a pass through Portland defenders and onto McIlrath's stick. The puck went into the net and McIlrath went down right on top of Domingue. Both players were fine but Domingue left the game after a Portland trainer took a look at him. Portland replaced Domingue with Mark Visentin who would hold down the Portland netminding duties the rest of the way. Visentin did his job as the Pack did not score another goal against him.
The rest of the game became a matter of defense for the Wolf Pack. Most of the pressure was dropped on Dov Grumet Morris shoulders. Grumet Morris faced 33 shots in the game 24 of them coming in the second and third period. Grumet Morris made save after save in the third period it wasn't until an empty net goal was scored by Arron Asham with 48 seconds left that Grumet Morris pumped his fist in victory. The Wolf Pack's top goalie improved to a 10-5-1-4 record with a 2.47 goals against average and a 91.8% save percentage. Grumet Morris is currently 15th in goals against average in the AHL.
The play of Grumet Morris and Hensick have helped the Pack win 8 out of their last 12 games, this was their fourth win in a row.
The Pack will deal with a rematch tomorrow when the travel to Maine to play the Pirates again. They will play at 4pm you can listen to the game on Fox Sports Radio 1410 or watch the game at WW.AHLLIVE.com.
The Pack's next home game is Friday against the Springfield Falcons the division leader whom the Pack have a hat trick of wins against recently.