3-2 Win in Toronto Keeps Pack in Playoff HuntApr 13, 2016
The Wolf Pack stayed alive in the AHL playoff race Wednesday, with a 3-2 win over the league-leading Toronto Marlies, in a morning-start game at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
The victory improved the Wolf Pack’s record to 40-31-3-0 for 83 points, two points behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the last postseason spot up for grabs in the Eastern Conference. It was just the 16th regulation loss of the season for the 52-15-6-1 (110 points) Marlies, who have already clinched first place overall in the AHL and had a streak of eight straight games without a regulation loss (7-0-0-1) snapped.
Luke Adam’s goal midway through the second period proved to be the game-winner, and Nicklas Jensen and Chad Nehring also scored for the Wolf Pack. Magnus Hellberg made 27 saves.
Connor Carrick had a goal and an assist for Toronto and Sam Carrick also scored. Antoine Bibeau stopped 26 shots in the Marlie net.
A regulation loss in the game would have eliminated the Wolf Pack from playoff contention.
“Any time you’re in a do-or-die situation, it really brings the character to the forefront,” said Adam, “and the guys did a great job today.”
The Wolf Pack came out of the gate slowly in the first period, giving up a goal on the first shot just 35 seconds in. It was Sam Carrick giving the Marlies the early lead, scoring his 16th of the year from the left side of the slot, off of a pass from the middle by Connor Carrick.
After Toronto had the four of the first five shots of the game, though, the Wolf Pack would get 14 of the next 16 of the period, and would draw even at the 15:31 mark.
The goal was an unassisted tally for Jensen, who picked off a Mark Arcobello pass at the left side of the slot and fired a snap shot past the stick side of Bibeau.
The Wolf Pack took the lead for the first time at 5:09 of the second period, as Nehring increased his team-leading goal total to 21. Adam Tambellini’s lead pass started Jayson Megna and Nehring out of the Hartford zone on a 2-on-1, and a Megna feed allowed Nehring to get behind the defense. Nehring’s low shot went through Bibeau’s legs for a 2-1 Wolf Pack advantage.
The Wolf Pack made it 3-1 at 9:49, with Raphael Diaz played the puck down low from the right point and Adam was able to poke it in from Bibeau’s right.
That goal would turn out to be the difference, and Adam said of it, “It’s hard to score goals any time of year, but especially right now. The games are so tight and points are so meaningful, it was nice to get that one.”
After Bibeau stopped Megna on a penalty shot at 15:28, a Toronto power-play goal cut the margin to 3-2. With Diaz in the box for cross-checking, a Connor Carrick shot from the center point flew through a crowd and eluded Hellberg.
The Marlies outshot the Wolf Pack 14-5 in the third, and pulled Bibeau for an extra attacker with nearly two-and-a-half minutes remaining. Hellberg yielded nothing, however, and the Wolf Pack pulled out a crucial win.
The Wolf Pack now head to St. John’s, Newfoundland for their last two games of the regular season Friday and Saturday nights. Friday’s game faces off at 6:00 PM Eastern time, and all of the action can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Toronto Marlies 2
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - Ricoh Coliseum
Hartford 1 2 0 - 3
Toronto 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Toronto, S. Carrick 16 (C. Carrick, Percy), 0:35. 2, Hartford, Jensen 18 15:31. Penalties-Lindberg Tor (holding), 9:25; C. Brown Hfd (high-sticking), 18:41.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Nehring 21 (Megna, Tambellini), 5:09. 4, Hartford, Adam 12 (Tarnasky, Diaz), 9:49. 5, Toronto, C. Carrick 11 (Arcobello), 16:33 (PP). Penalties-Andersson Hfd (holding), 11:21; Diaz Hfd (cross-checking), 15:55; C. Brown Hfd (cross-checking), 20:00; C. Smith Tor (roughing), 20:00.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-served by Adam Hfd (bench minor - delay of game), 3:49; served by Leipsic Tor (bench minor - too many men), 9:00.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 15-9-5-29. Toronto 6-9-14-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Toronto 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Hellberg 30-20-0 (29 shots-27 saves). Toronto, Bibeau 27-9-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Dave Lewis (46), Garrett Rank (48).
Linesmen-Shandor Alphonso (52), Devin Berg (87).