Game PreviewFeb 17, 2018
Game Day Info:
Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Puck Drop: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:05 p.m.
The Wolf Pack are 3-0-0-0 on the year vs. the Phantoms and have posted 5-4 wins in both of their first two visits to the PPL Center, in regulation on October 28 and in overtime on December 20.
The Phantoms are coming off a 8-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds last night, despite being outshot by the Thunderbirds, 38-25. Lehigh currently sits in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 32-14-3-3 record for 70 points and a 0.673 win percentage.
On the Hartford side, the Wolf Pack will be without goaltender Brandon Halverson, as the second-year pro got called up to the New York Rangers yesterday. The call-up adds to a string of recent reassignments for the organization.
Last Time Out:
The Wolf Pack’s 10-game point streak came to an end this week with back-to-back losses to the Charlotte Checkers. In Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Checkers, Lias Andersson and Ryan Graves scored, while Halverson made 21 saves in net.
Thus far, the Pack are 24-22-4-3 on the season with a .519 win percentage, which places them sixth in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division with 55 points from 53 games played. The Pack sit behind the fifth place Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who have collected 54 points from 51 games played for a 0.529 win percentage.
Players to Watch:
#10 Cole Schneider
In 53 games played, Cole Schneider has scored 10 goals and notched 21 assists for a tied team-leading 31 points for active players. The left wing is in his first season with the Wolf Pack, but he is no stranger to Connecticut, as he played collegiately for UConn. Schneider led the Rochester Americans last season in points (63), assists (39) and +/- (+9), and tied for fourth on team in PIM (45.)
#26 Phil Varone
Phil Varone has 12 goals and 37 assists for a team-leading 49 points this season. The center’s 49 points places him second in the league for points, as he trails Andrew Miller’s 51 points for the Checkers. The Ontario native is in his first season with the Phantoms, as he played 65 games for the Binghamton Senators last season, where he produced 51 points. Varone is an AHL veteran with 443 games under his belt with 101 goals and 246 assists for 347 points. Varone was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 NHL Draft at 147th overall by the San Jose Sharks.
Coming Up Next:
The Pack will be back home at the XL Center for Hockey Heritage Weekend next weekend to face the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins. The first 5,000 fans to the game on Saturday, 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.