Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pack Slap Tigers

Dane Byers dropping the gloves with Jason Pitton (Rich Stieglitz photo)

There were plenty of Bridgeport fans in the building yesterday, about as many as I've ever seen at Wolf Pack - Sound Tigers game in Hartford, and they went home frustrated, ugly, and miserable as always, as the Wolf Pack knocked off the Sound Tigers, 4-2.

The win was Hartford's fourth in a row, as well as their fifth in a row over the Sound Tigers this season, ending Bridgeport's own 3-game win streak. The Wolf Pack have now won 9 of their last 10 games.

Brad Isbister scored the Pack's first and fourth goals of the game-- the first on a quick shot from a tough angle that looked like it went behind Wade Dubielewicz's skates, the second on a deflection of a shot by Bryce Lampman late in the second period.

Brad Isbister on the doorstep (Chris Rutsch photo)

The second period saw most of the game's action, including goals by Dwight Helminen and Dane Byers within less than a minute (at 8:25 and 9:11), giving Hartford a 3-1 lead. A short while later, Jeff Tambellini of Bridgeport fired a shot that at first looked like it was in but was ruled no goal, with the replay showed that it ricocheted off both posts and then out. The Sound Tigers scored for real a few seconds later anyway, cutting the Pack lead to 3-2.

A few minutes after the goal by Bridgeport, Dane Byers fought Jason Pitton, with Byers getting in two big shots right off the bat. Pitton followed with a flurry of his own and then flipped Byers down to the ice, causing Byers to take a header face-first. Byers lay motionless on the ice for a few moments, but ended up finishing the game and seemed okay.

Immonen has Dubielewicz wondering, 'How can I leave
this behind?' (Chris Rutsch photo)

After Isbister's second goal of the night late in the second period gave Hartfod a 4-2 lead, neither team scored in the third period, though there were a couple of anxious moments for the Wolf Pack. The first one came when Montoya skated out to play the puck near the right-side boards, only to lose his footing and take a tumble flat on his back (which looked pretty funny, despite the game situation). The puck then sailed past Montoya and angled off the end boards to the front of the net, trickling to within a few inches of the unattended goal mouth. Luckily, Marvin Degon arrived to move the puck out of harm's away before anything further happened.

Then, during a last-minute flurry by the Sound Tigers, Bryce Lampman had to make the save on a shot that made its way past Montoya through heavy traffic and sat in the crease, inches away from going in..

Darius Kasparaitis made his return to the Wolf Pack, after being waived by the Rangers a couple of days earlier, and recorded an assist on the Pack's first goal. Defenseman Jake Taylor, back from an injury, also made his return to the Pack roster, with AHL All-Star Dan Girardi having been called up to New York.