Pack Lose in Albany, but Still Win Division TitleApr 18, 2015
The Wolf Pack had a season-high, six-game winning streak snapped Saturday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, in a 4-2 loss to the Albany Devils.
Despite the defeat, the Wolf Pack still clinched the Northeast Division title, as the Syracuse Crunch lost 4-2 at home to Bridgeport on Saturday. The Wolf Pack will be the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and will meet either the Providence Bruins or the Worcester Sharks in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Mike Sislo scored a pair of power-play goals, including the game-winner with 5:58 remaining in the third period, for Albany, and Joe Whitney and Reece Scarlett assisted on both of Sislo’s goals. Chris Bourque had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, and Oscar Lindberg scored his 28th goal of the season.
“It was a very good stretch of hockey,” Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said of the six-game streak, “and I don’t look at tonight’s game and think that it was a letdown. I thought we played well tonight.”
The Wolf Pack drew first blood at 5:51 of the first period, just 12 seconds into the game’s first power play. After former Connecticut Whale Chris McKelvie was whistled for tripping, Mat Bodie set Bourque up for a one-timer from the top of the right circle, and Lindberg was able to bury the rebound from right in front.
The Devils replied at 11:32, on Brandon Burlon’s eighth goal of the season. Stefan Matteau had a shot blocked by Lindberg, but the carom went right to Burlon at the left point, and his high shot beat the catching glove of Wolf Pack goaltender Yann Danis (22 saves).
The two teams then traded power-play goals in the second period, with Bourque scoring for the Wolf Pack and Sislo for Albany.
Bourque gave the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead just 52 seconds into the period, after Seth Helgeson took a slashing minor at the 20-minute mark of the first frame. Danny Kristo worked the puck to Bourque near the right point, and Bourque’s slap shot hit the stick of Devil defenseman Raman Hrabarenka and deflected past Devil netminder Scott Clemmensen (26 saves).
Sislo knotted the score back up at 13:52, just seven seconds after Dylan McIlrath received a double minor for cross-checking and roughing. Scarlett and Whitney combined to work the puck to Sislo at the top of the left circle, and Sislo’s quick, hard shot eluded Danis for a 2-2 tie.
The same threesome hooked up for the game-winner at 14:02 of the third period, on a nearly identical play, again only seven seconds after a Wolf Pack penalty, this time an interference minor against Bodie at 13:55. Scarlett found Sislo at the same spot, the top of the left circle, and Sislo gunned the puck past Danis, as another Devil player skated through his field of vision.
Reid Boucher added an empty-net goal at 18:56 to make the final margin 4-2 in favor of the hosts.
The Wolf Pack finish their 2014-15 regular season Sunday, traveling to Bridgeport for a 3:00 PM game. All of the action of that contest can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
Tickets for the Wolf Pack’s first home playoff game are 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.
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 2 at Albany Devils 4
Saturday, April 18, 2015 - Times Union Center
Hartford 1 1 0 - 2
Albany 1 1 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Lindberg 28 (Bourque, Bodie), 5:51 (PP). 2, Albany, Burlon 8 (Matteau, D. Zajac), 11:32. Penalties-McKelvie Alb (tripping), 5:39; Kostka Hfd (tripping), 12:36; Thomson Alb (tripping), 14:48; Helgeson Alb (slashing), 20:00.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Bourque 29 (Kristo), 0:52 (PP). 4, Albany, Sislo 19 (Whitney, Scarlett), 13:52 (PP). Penalties-Allen Hfd (delay of game), 9:22; McIlrath Hfd (cross-checking, roughing), 13:45; McPherson Alb (hooking), 16:40.
3rd Period-5, Albany, Sislo 20 (Scarlett, Whitney), 14:02 (PP). 6, Albany, Boucher 15 (Thompson, Sestito), 18:56 (EN). Penalties-Bodie Hfd (interference), 13:55.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-9-10-28. Albany 8-8-10-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 2 / 4; Albany 2 / 5.
Goalies-Hartford, Danis 17-13-2 (25 shots-22 saves). Albany, Clemmensen 12-11-1 (28 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Mike Emanatian (69).