Wolf Pack Take Positive Vibe into All-Star Break

It’s still an awfully steep hill to climb, but the Wolf Pack went into the All-Star break definitely headed in a positive direction, winners of three out of four games, five out of seven and seven out of 11.

That was after a 3-1 win in Norfolk Saturday evening gave the Pack a split of a two-game series against the Admirals, who eked out a 1-0 shutout victory over Hartford on Friday night.  The Wolf Pack could have easily had four points on the weekend, having outshot Norfolk 25-14 in Friday’s loss, but Admiral rookie goaltender John Gibson was not to be beaten.  The Pack turned the tables on Gibson Saturday, chasing him from the game by just past the midway point of regulation with three goals on 16 shots.

It was the Pack’s goaltender, Dov Grumet-Morris, who held sway in Saturday’s game, taking a shutout into the third period and allowing only a power-play goal to Kevin Gagne on 22 Norfolk shots.  Grumet-Morris has now won his last four decisions, and is 6-4-3 since joining the Wolf Pack.

“The first couple of shifts, I thought they had some pretty good pressure, he made some good saves,” Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander said of Grumet-Morris after Saturday’s game.  “And then again late in the game, when they started to mount their comeback, I thought he made some timely saves as well.”

T.J. Hensick

T.J. Hensick

In addition to Grumet-Morris’ work, T.J. Hensick had easily his best game in a Wolf Pack uniform Saturday.  Hensick had a nifty assist on a Marek Hrivik goal, and had a good finish of his own off a beautiful, behind-the-back pass from Jesper Fast.  Hensick now has four goals and 14 points in 13 Pack games.

The Wolf Pack as a team are now off until Thursday, when they will return to practice for a Friday-night resumption of action in Springfield.  The Pack’s 41 points had them still 16 points out of a playoff spot coming out of Saturday’s action, but the recent results had the group in an upbeat mood as the team bus began its long ride back from Virginia.

“I hope we’ve started to swing the pendulum the other way,” Gernander said, in reference to the team’s play going into the break.  “It was a rough first half, but I think we’re kind of coming together right now, and it’s been some pretty good hockey, especially this weekend.”

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