Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
BY: Phil Oxnard, Hartford Wolf Pack
Hartford, CT, November 21, 2015 – Luke Adam had a goal and an assist, and Mackenzie Skapski made 23 saves for his first win of the season, as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3-1 Saturday night at the XL Center.
The Wolf Pack, fueled by a 3-2 win at Utica Friday night that snapped a seven-game losing streak, took hold of Saturday night’s game early and never let up, scoring only 29 seconds into the game when Brady Skjei buried a pass from Adam.
Hartford’s second goal came soon after, at 3:21, with Adam deflecting the puck off a long shot from Tommy Hughes, putting the Pack up 2 to 0.
Adam was humble about his goal, saying, “It was a great shot by him (Hughes), and I was just trying to go the net and either get a tip on it or get his rebound. Great shot by Tommy.”
The Phantoms had their first power play of the evening at 10:51 when Hartford’s Marek Hrivik was called for a hooking penalty though the field was evened out 15 seconds later when Lehigh Valley’s Chris Conner was called for holding. Neither team found a scoring opportunity for the remainder of the period, however leaving Hartford in the lead.
Lehigh Valley got on the scoreboard at 3:43 of the second, when a Petr Straka pass attempt went off of Wolf Pack defenseman Chris Summers’ skate and into the net. The goal was Straka’s AHL-leading 11th of the season, with assists from Nick Cousins and Mark Alt.
Skapski was playing only his fourth AHL game of the season, after recovering from an injury, and he said, “It’s a process. You have to take baby steps to hit the home run, and I’m starting to take those baby steps. Hopefully at some point this season I can hit that home run.”
At 16:47 of the second, Hartford’s Brian Gibbons was given a chance at a penalty shot after being hooked by Alt, but Lehigh Valley’s netminder Anthony Stolarz made one of his 23 saves on the night to keep it a one-goal game.
The third period was tightly played, with the two teams managing only five shots apiece.
The Wolf Pack got some breathing room on a power play at 17:22, with Cousins in the penalty box for slashing. Brian Gibbons was knocked down in the Phantom zone, but managed to get a pass to Tanner Glass, who beat Stolarz with a shot to the stick side for a two-goal Hartford lead.
Despite pulling Stolarz shortly thereafter, the Phantoms couldn’t generate any offense in response, and the game ended with the Wolf Pack coming out on top by a final score of 3-1.
Wolf Pack coach Gernander was happy to see his team rebounding from its recent doldrums, saying, “The way things have been going as of late, victories are most important right now. We’ve gotten two, and we’ve got a big game tomorrow to prepare for.”
The Wolf Pack finish a three-game weekend Sunday at the XL Center against the Utica Comets. Faceoff is 3:00 PM and the Wolf Pack will continue its Thanksgiving food drive at the game. Any fan who donates five or more non-perishable food items will receive a buy-one-get-one-free voucher redeemable for any 2015-16 Wolf Pack home game. Also, fans can take advantage of the “Click It or Ticket” Family Value Pack at Sunday’s game. That package includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for only $35.
Tickets for all 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Saturday, November 21, 2015 – XL Center
Lehigh Valley 0 1 0 – 1
Hartford 2 0 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Skjei 1 (Adam, Bodie), 0:29. 2, Hartford, Adam 3 (Hughes, Megna), 3:21. Penalties-Hrivik Hfd (hooking), 10:09; Conner Lv (holding), 10:25.
2nd Period-3, Lehigh Valley, Straka 11 (Cousins, Alt), 3:43. Penalties-McDonald Lv (checking to the head), 17:21; Morin Lv (closing hand on puck), 19:52.
3rd Period-4, Hartford, Glass 2 (Gibbons, Megna), 17:22 (PP). Penalties-Tarnasky Hfd (charging), 3:41; Padakin Lv (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:48; Glass Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:48; Cousins Lv (slashing), 16:12.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 10-9-5-24. Hartford 9-12-5-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 2; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 6-4-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Hartford, Skapski 1-1-0 (24 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Cameron Voss (78).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).