Another Wolf Pack Comeback Leads to Shootout WinApr 4, 2015
The Wolf Pack pulled off a third-period comeback for a second straight night Saturday at the XL Center, recovering from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 shootout win over the AHL-leading Manchester Monarchs.
Oscar Lindberg scored a pair of goals in the third period to bring the Wolf Pack into a tie, the first on a 5-on-3 power play with 5:05 remaining, and the second with goaltender Yann Danis on the bench for an extra attacker with only 39.4 seconds on the clock.
Danis made 41 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped all three Monarch shootout bids. Danny Kristo had the only goal of the shootout and also assisted on both of Lindberg’s goals, as did Chris Bourque. Nic Dowd and Michael Mersch scored power-play goals for the Monarchs, and Patrik Bartosak made 33 saves.
“We seemed to be dead in the water,” said Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander after the game. “A couple of penalties and the big goal at the very end, it’s hard to explain. But we do have a never say die attitude.”
“The team is showing a lot of character right now and finding ways to get back in games,” said Lindberg.
The Wolf Pack surrendered the first goal on a tally from Dowd with 13:23 remaining in the first period. Sean Backman released a wrist shot from about fifteen feet in front of the cage, and Dowd was able to untangle himself from Dylan McIlrath and put away the rebound for his eighth goal of the year. The assists were credited to Backman and Andrew Bodnarchuk.
Hartford struggled to produce in the second period, getting shots on net but unable to take advantage of their chances. They failed to capitalize on a five-minute major penalty when Scott Sabourin received a game misconduct for kneeing Justin Vaive on a hit in the offensive zone.
Things got worse when the Monarchs again struck on the power play, at 17:05 of the second. Jordan Weal put a shot on net that rebounded straight to Mersch. He carried the puck around the net and took a quick shot as he came above the goal line off the left post. The puck was tricky to find amongst all the bodies around the crease, and eventually rolled across the goal line between the legs of Danis. It was Mersch’s 19th goal this season, and assist credit went to Weal and Colin Miller, leaving a black mark on what had already been frustrating period for the Wolf Pack.
Hartford finally got on the board deep into the third frame with a power-play goal of their own. Bourque let fly a wrist shot that took a hard bounce off the pad of off Bartosak into the high slot. Waiting with open arms was Lindberg, who elected to go with the backhanded shot before Bartosak had the chance to get in position. The puck found the net, and suddenly what had been a stagnant offense all game had some life. Bourque and Kristo were given the assists. It was Lindberg’s 24th tally of the season, but he wasn’t finished yet.
“They wanted to play a puck possession game,” said Lindberg. “But we started to play more calm out there and not chase it around as much. Things looked way better when we started to do that.”
With 1:45 remaining Danis was pulled and the Wolf Pack set up their offense for one final stand. Kristo ripped a slap shot from the point, which was blocked by Backman. Lindberg, though, was waiting just above the goal line off the left post and put it home, for his second tally of the game and 25th of the season. Once again the Wolf Pack, down for almost the entirety of the game and without a goal until the latter half of the third period, did not show any quit and suddenly had forced overtime against the AHL-leading Monarchs.
Overtime showed the best of what both teams had to offer on offense, but both goaltenders stood fast, including some on-the-doorstep saves by Yann Danis. Overtime concluded without a goal, and in the first round of the shootout Kristo made a nice move to give the Wolf Pack a one-goal advantage. The second and third round passed scoreless, with Manchester hitting posts on both of their last two attempts, to give the Wolf Pack the eventual 3-2 victory.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is a home game this Friday night, April 10, with the Springfield Falcons visiting the XL Center for a 7:00 game. . As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all remaining 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now 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. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger.
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.
Manchester Monarchs 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (SO)
Saturday, April 4, 2015 - XL Center
Manchester 1 1 0 0 - 2
Hartford 0 0 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Manchester, Dowd 8 (Backman, Bodnarchuk), 6:38 (PP). Penalties-Vaive Hfd (slashing), 5:40; Auger Mch (tripping), 11:31; Allen Hfd (elbowing), 18:03.
2nd Period-2, Manchester, Mersch 19 (Weal, Miller), 17:05 (PP). Penalties-Sabourin Mch (major - kneeing, game misconduct - kneeing), 2:01; Bissonnette Mch (fighting), 16:33; McIlrath Hfd (interference, fighting), 16:33; Miller Mch (roughing), 17:05; Crabb Hfd (roughing), 17:05.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Lindberg 24 (Bourque, Kristo), 14:55 (PP). 4, Hartford, Lindberg 25 (Kristo, Bourque), 19:20. Penalties-Allen Hfd (holding), 11:08; Bartosak Mch (delay of game - restricted area), 13:17; Backman Mch (slashing), 14:18.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Manchester 0 (Weal NG, Weal NG, O'Brien NG), Hartford 1 (Kristo G, Lindberg NG, Crabb NG).
Shots on Goal-Manchester 18-11-8-6-0-43. Hartford 9-13-9-4-1-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 2 / 4; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Manchester, Bartosak 11-7-1 (35 shots-33 saves). Hartford, Danis 13-12-2 (43 shots-41 saves).
Referees-Dave Lewis (46), Cameron Voss (78).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Mike Baker (11).