CRAWFORD: (FRI) PACK FINDING WAYS TO WIN
BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack
Syracuse, NY, February 9, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack stretched a streak of games with at least a standings point to nine straight, tying a team season high, Friday night, with a 4-3 shootout win over the Syracuse Crunch at the War Memorial Arena.
The Wolf Pack, who are 8-0-1-0 in their last nine games, improved to a season-best three games over .500, 23-20-4-3 for 53 points.
Alexandar Georgiev made 43 saves in the win, and stopped two of three shots in the shootout, to up his record to 12-11-6. Filip Chytil had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Gropp had a goal and the shootout winner. Mathieu Joseph had a goal and an assist for the Crunch, and Carter Verhaeghe had two assists.
The Wolf Pack, who were one player short of a full complement of 18 skaters, due to an afternoon trade that sent forwards Joe Whitney and Adam Chapie to the Washington Capitals organization, had leads of 1-0 and 3-1 in the game, but the Crunch battled back to tie, outshooting the Wolf Pack 46-22.
“I thought the group did a really good job trying to manage pucks through the front half of the game,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “I thought it got a little bit away from us, with low numbers, fatigue started to set in against a team that transitions really well. But we’ll continue to take the points, and the guys are doing a good job collecting them as we push forward through the season here.”
The Wolf Pack were outshot 18-12 in the first period but got the only goal of the frame, Adam Tambellini’s tenth of the year at 10:23.
Syracuse forward Olivier Archambault tried to drop the puck back to former Wolf Pack defenseman Mat Bodie in the Syracuse zone, but the puck went off of Bodie’s stick to Tambellini. He knifed quickly up the slot and put a shot past the catching glove of Crunch starting goaltender Connor Ingram.
The two teams combined for two goals in a span of ten seconds early in the second period, starting with Syracuse forging a brief tie at 1:04. Alexander Volkov scored on a quick shot from the slot, off of a pass from behind the net by Archambault.
The Wolf Pack grabbed the lead right back, though, at 1:14, with Chytil clicking for his ninth of the season. Chytil got a pass from Cole Schneider near the net and put a spinning backhander inside the goal post to Ingram’s left.
Hartford made it a 3-1 lead at 7:03, chasing Ingram from the game in favor of Eddie Pasquale. A Ryan Sproul lead sent Chytil and Gropp away on a 2-on-1, and Chytil handed to Gropp on the right wing for a close-in shot that got by Ingram on the stick side.
That remained the score until there were only 16.7 seconds left in the period when Mitchell Stephens cut the Wolf Pack’s lead to one with a power-play goal. With Brandon Crawley off for high-sticking, Stephens snapped a shot from the top of the right circle under the crossbar behind Georgiev.
Syracuse carried that momentum over into the third period, and Joseph scored at the eight-minute mark to lift the Crunch into a tie. The left-handed-shooting Joseph moved down the right wing, then got to his forehand and put a shot past Georgiev on the long side.
Georgiev shut the Crunch down after that, though, through the rest of regulation and an overtime session in which the Wolf Pack were outshot by a margin of 5-1.
Tambellini scored on the Wolf Pack’s first shootout attempt, and Georgiev stopped Volkov and Joseph on Syracuse’s first two shots. Chytil then lost the puck on the Wolf Pack’s second shot, with a chance to win it, and Verhaeghe scored to keep the Crunch alive. Gropp ended the game, though, on the Wolf Pack’s third attempt, beating Pasquale on a shot to the stick side.
The Wolf Pack continue a stretch of six straight games, and eight out of ten, on the road Saturday night, when they travel to Hershey, PA to battle the Bears. Faceoff is 7:00 PM and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and online at newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is also against Hershey, Friday, February 23, a 7:15 PM contest at the XL Center. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
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 hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found online at hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 (SO) at Syracuse Crunch 3
Friday, February 9, 2018 – Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
Hartford 1 2 0 0 – 4
Syracuse 0 2 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Tambellini 10 10:23. Penalties-Joseph Syr (slashing), 3:01; Selleck Hfd (hooking), 12:39.
2nd Period-2, Syracuse, Volkov 14 (Archambault, Cirelli), 1:04. 3, Hartford, Chytil 9 (Schneider), 1:14. 4, Hartford, Gropp 10 (Chytil, Sproul), 7:03. 5, Syracuse, Stephens 17 (Verhaeghe, Joseph), 19:43 (PP). Penalties-Andersson Hfd (tripping), 1:40; Cernak Syr (tripping), 11:02; Crawley Hfd (high-sticking), 18:41.
3rd Period-6, Syracuse, Joseph 9 (Verhaeghe, Thomas), 8:00. Penalties-Selleck Hfd (tripping), 2:48.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Hartford 2 (Tambellini G, Chytil NG, Gropp G), Syracuse 1 (Volkov NG, Joseph NG, Verhaeghe G).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 12-3-5-1-1-22. Syracuse 18-8-15-5-0-46.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Syracuse 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Georgiev 12-11-6 (46 shots-43 saves). Syracuse, Ingram 12-9-2 (15 shots-12 saves); Pasquale 6-5-5 (6 shots-6 saves).
Referees-Beaudry Halkidis (32), Alex Garon (64).
Linesmen-Brian Oliver (74), Andy Petrus (26).