Late Phantom Goal Nips Wolf PackMar 4, 2017
By Chris Kohler
Matt Carey scored for a third straight game for the Wolf Pack Saturday at the XL Center, and Brandon Halverson made 30 saves, but Wethersfield, CT native Colin McDonald’s goal with 1:56 left in the third period was the game-winner in a 3-1 Lehigh Valley Phantoms victory.
Chris Conner also scored for the Phantoms and Scott Laughton added an empty-netter with 1.9 seconds remaining. Alex Lyon got the win in net with 32 stops.
Although neither team could find the back of the net in the first frame, the Wolf Pack came out firing early in the contest, peppering Lyon with shots, including an Adam Tambellini deflection off of the post.
At 6:32 of the second, Lehigh Valley was finally able to score the first goal of the game, on a quick-developing play. T.J. Brennan moved the puck through the neutral zone to Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who fed cross-ice to Conner for a tap-in, and a 1-0 Lehigh Valley lead.
Not long after the goal, the Wolf Pack were awarded a power play when Laughton was found guilty of boarding at 8:03. Taylor Beck, who was playing in his first game with Hartford since being acquired from Edmonton, had an excellent opportunity to score but was denied by a tremendous glove save by Lyon.
The Wolf Pack finally solved Lyon at the six-minute mark of the third. Beck and Tambellini combined to find Carey on Lyon’s doorstep and Carey got two whacks at the puck, banging his own rebound past Lyon for a 1-1 tie.
With the game appearing possibly headed for overtime, McDonald came up with an excellent finish at 18:04. Cole Bardreau worked the puck away from Steven Kampfer on the left side and handed across to McDonald. His sharp-angle shot perfectly found a small window of room over Halverson’s left shoulder, and rocketed up under the crossbar.
The Wolf Pack got Halverson to the bench for an extra skater shortly thereafter, but Laughton was able to ice the game at 19:58, putting the puck into the empty net after blocking a Nicklas Jensen pass attempt high in the Phantom zone.
After the game, Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander said, “There were opportunities when we could’ve said enough is enough, and we could’ve pushed a little harder to get ourselves back in the game.”
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Sunday afternoon, hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3:00 PM game. That another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40. Also, at every Sunday Wolf Pack home game this season the first 2,000 fans will receive a “hockey bingo” card. The spaces on these cards contain possibilities that might happen in the game, and if they do, fans can fill in the spaces to win Wolf Pack bingo prizes.
Tickets for all remaining Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - XL Center
Lehigh Valley 0 1 2 - 3
Hartford 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Kampfer Hfd (hooking), 18:27.
2nd Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Conner 19 (Aube-Kubel, Brennan), 6:32. Penalties-Knight Lv (delay of game), 3:36; Laughton Lv (boarding), 8:03; Laughton Lv (tripping), 12:08; Beck Hfd (high-sticking), 13:07.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Carey 15 (Tambellini, Beck), 6:00. 3, Lehigh Valley, McDonald 20 (Bardreau), 18:04. 4, Lehigh Valley, Laughton 13 18:58 (EN). Penalties-Noonan Hfd (holding), 3:21; Graves Hfd (cross-checking), 13:14.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 10-7-16-33. Hartford 7-15-11-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 4; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Lyon 22-10-3 (33 shots-32 saves). Hartford, Halverson 9-13-0 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Evgenii Romasko (39), Guillaume Labonte (35).
Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (81), Nick Briganti (58).