Death By Chocolate
Alexandre Giroux's second-period goal (Chris Rutsch photo)
Last night's fast-paced Hartford Wolf Pack - Hershey Bears game was a fun one to watch for the first couple of periods, as the Wolf Pack stayed even-up with a pretty good Hershey team. The third period was a different story, though, with the Pack skating around aimlessly like they didn't have a clue what they were doing most of the time, and Hershey ended up winning, 2-1, snapping Hartford's 5-game win streak.
Frederic Cassivi was the main story, as the Bears' goalie made most of his 37 saves look easy. Cassivi was playing in his first game back after missing a month-and-a-half to an injury, and while he seemed a bit winded after Hartford put up a strong flurry to end the second period, it otherwise seemed like Cassivi hardly broke a sweat all night.
Hershey's first goal was practically gift-wrapped, as a Wolf Pack miscue midway through the second period left Alexandre Giroux and Chad Wiseman (both former Pack players) bearing down alone on Al Montoya, with nobody else between them and the net. Giroux's shot seemed to bank off the post and Montoya, and tied the game at 1-1.
Later on in the second period, it looked like the Wolf Pack had scored, but the red light stayed on for only a moment while play continued, with the call eventually being "no goal". From where I was sitting-- literally four seats away from the left-hand side of the net-- it seemed obvious that the puck hit the bottom of the net about two feet inside the left post and bounced out. Hardly anyone else saw it that way, though, and the goal judge told referee Terry Koharski (who basically had another sucky game, what else is new) that he had hit the button by accident.
It went in like this, I tell ya
Al Montoya seemed shaken up after being crashed into while making a stop in the third period, getting up off the ice slowly and then appearing a bit hobbled during the next two stoppages. In any case, Alex Westlund (Yale '99 and a Russian vet) was called up from Charlotte, perhaps as some insurance.
Al Montoya's engagement was announced on the video board during the game, which will probably mean the end of the free rides he's been getting from one or two you-know-who's that post on the Joker's board and AHLFans.net.
In other news, Fox 61's Rich Coppola aired a 2-1/2 minute segment on the Wolf Pack a couple of weeks back, which you can watch if you click on the link below.
Watch closely during the Ryan Callahan interview, and you'll see a clip of a great play that Brandon Dubinsky made against Providence in early January, freezing the puck down low against Hannu Toivonen before threading a nice pass to Callahan for the goal.