Game PreviewFeb 9, 2018
Game Day Info:
Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Syracuse Crunch
Puck Drop: Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
This is the Wolf Pack’s lone visit of the regular season to Syracuse, and the second of two games on the season between the Wolf Pack and Crunch. Syracuse took the first meeting of the year January 6, winning 3-2 at the XL Center.
Since winning 20 out of 23 games from November 22 through January 15, Syracuse (26-17-2-2, 56 pts., .596) has dropped six of its last eight (2-5-1-0). The Crunch currently occupies fourth place in the North Division, just one point behind third-place Utica and 14 points clear of fifth-place Belleville.
The New York Rangers announced changes to the Wolf Pack roster this week, with the parent organization recalling Neal Pionk and John Gilmour, while also reassigning Brendan Smith to the Wolf Pack. In addition, the Wolf Pack signed defender Desmond Bergin to a PTO.
Last Time Out:
The Wolf Pack are riding an eight-game point streak, and are coming off a 5-4 overtime win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Wednesday. Goals were provided by Lias Andersson, Scott Kosmachuk, Ryan Sproul (2) and Filip Chytil. Alexandar Georgiev made 33 saves on 37 shots and is 7-0-1-0 with two shutouts since January 19.
Thus far, the Pack are 22-20-4-3 on the season with a .520 win percentage, which places them sixth in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division with 51 points from 49 games played. The Pack are currently two points out of playoff position, trailing the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Charlotte Checkers, who both have 53 points.
Players to Watch:
#28 Lias Andersson
Lias Andersson has one goal and four assists for five points in six games with the Wolf Pack. The forward skated in 22 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this season, registering seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. He also helped Sweden win a silver medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, as he recorded seven points (six goals, one assist) in seven games during the tournament. Andersson was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected seventh overall.
#27 Alexander Volkov
Alexander Volkov has 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points this season, including a goal in the Crunch’s last game. The rookie forward was a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Moscow, Russia native skated in 16 games with SKA St. Petersburg in the MHL, the Russian Junior League, last season, posting six goals and 11 points to go along with 12 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1, 191-pound forward also appeared in 15 games with Neva St. Petersburg, scoring three goals and logging four penalty minutes.
Coming Up Next:
The Pack will be back home at the XL Center for Hockey Heritage Weekend on February 23 and 24 to face the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins. The first 5,000 fans to the game on February 24 get a Gordie Howe bobblehead, presented by Xfinity. For tickets and information, visit the Hartford Wolf Pack ticketing site or call 866-762-6451.