CRAWFORD: (FRI) PACK BACK IN WIN COLUMN
BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack
The Wolf Pack are now 5-0-0-0 on the year against the Phantoms, who lead the Atlantic Division with a 40-16-3-5 record.
Dan DeSalvo had the only goal of the shootout and also scored in regulation, and Marek Mazanec made 28 saves and went 3-for-3 in the shootout, after having been out since January 19 due to an injury.
The Phantoms would strike first 2:16 into the first period. The Pack had a hard time clearing the puck out of their own zone, and Danick Martel took a shot from the right point that was deflected by Cole Bardreau past Mazanec’s left pad.
In the second period, Filip Chytil sparked an offensive surge for the Wolf Pack. Chytil blocked a pass at the blue line and finished the play with a top shelf goal to tie the game at one. The time of Chytil’s goal was 5:03.
Lehigh Valley would come right back down and regain the lead just a 1:10 later, at 6:13. Mark Friedman was able to race past a Wolf Pack defender and take a pass from Martel, to put a one-timer past, Mazanec.
Only 35 seconds after that, though, at 6:48, Scott Kosmachuk would put a shot on John Muse’s right pad, and the rebound found its way to the stick of Boo Nieves, who quickly found the back of the net.
Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said, “Boo had a strong game, lots of speed, and he had two chances to take the puck to the net and he did. When a player has those kinds of feet, he’s going to find those lanes like Boo did, so I thought that was one of his best games.”
The Wolf Pack’s first lead of the night was earned when DeSalvo ripped a slap shot past Muse at the 8:19 mark. DeSalvo was assisted on the goal by Lias Andersson and Simon Denis, and the Pack then led 3-2. “It all started with a great forecheck by Fontaine and Andersson, and Andersson used his strength down low, got the puck to Denis, and Denis found me in the slot,” said DeSalvo. “It was a great pass, great play and it felt good.”
Lehigh Valley would come out swinging in the third period and right-wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored an unassisted goal at the 55-second mark. The score was then tied 3-3. The rest of the third period and the ensuing overtime period failed to produce any more offense, necessitating the shootout.
Hartford would shoot first, and the first two rounds yielded no goals for either team. Then, DeSalvo would beat Muse for the second time on the night and put the pressure on the Phantoms. “I really didn’t know what I was going do when I got the call, but I went speed, changeup, speed and saw the opening low blocker, so I took a quick shot,” said DeSalvo.
It was all up to Mazanec, and he would stonewall Chris Conner to seal the win. “Tonight, when there were going to be breaks in the defense like there are going to be when you play against the number one offense in the American Hockey League, he was there to make the saves,” said McCambridge of his goaltender. “For a goaltender who’s been out for as long as he has to look controlled and poised, and not like he had too much rust on his game, it’s a credit to him to get himself back.”
The Wolf Pack now travel to Wilkes-Barre, PA, for a Saturday night date with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Faceoff is 7:05 PM and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and online at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Sunday, March 18, when they host the Rochester Americans in a 5:00 PM game at the XL Center. That is another opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, online at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4 (SO)
Friday, March 16, 2018 – XL Center
Lehigh Valley 1 1 1 0 – 3
Hartford 0 3 0 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Bardreau 9 (Martel), 2:16. Penalties-DeSalvo Hfd (tripping), 3:14; Vorobyev Lv (tripping), 4:01.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Chytil 11 (Schneider), 5:03. 3, Lehigh Valley, Friedman 2 (Martel, Vorobyev), 6:13. 4, Hartford, Nieves 6 (Kosmachuk), 6:48. 5, Hartford, DeSalvo 3 (Denis, Andersson), 8:19. Penalties-Willcox Lv (boarding), 9:02; Crawley Hfd (interference), 17:49.
3rd Period-6, Lehigh Valley, Aube-Kubel 18 0:55. Penalties-O’Neill Lv (high-sticking), 3:29; Bigras Hfd (high-sticking), 14:20.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Lehigh Valley 0 (Knight NG, Vorobyev NG, Conner NG), Hartford 1 (Kosmachuk NG, Chytil NG, DeSalvo G).
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 10-7-11-3-0-31. Hartford 4-13-14-3-1-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Muse 9-1-1 (34 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 7-4-1 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Troy Paterson (29), Chris Schlenker (48).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Luke Galvin (2).