McIlrath's First Downs Syracuse in OT, 3-2Jan 9, 2015
Dylan McIlrath’s first goal of the season gave the Wolf Pack a 3-2 overtime win over the Syracuse Crunch Friday night at the XL Center.
McIlrath scored at 2:34 of the OT, after Dylan Blujus had tied the score for Syracuse early in the third period. Chris Bourque and Shawn O’Donnell had the other Wolf Pack goals, and Yann Danis made 24 saves in his first Wolf Pack appearance. Henri Ikonen also scored for Syracuse, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 stops.
The Pack struck first while on a five-on-three power play, at the 12-minute mark of the first period. It was Chris Bourque who fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat Vasilevskiy over his blocker to give Hartford a 1-0 lead.
“I think power play was especially good because we’ve been under a little fire lately,” Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said. “Just the first goal in general seemed to kind of boost our team and give us a little bit of spark. I thought we were a little slow at the start. Took two penalties and we got two big kills and that was important too. The special teams I think played a big part tonight, you could see that.”
With 17:02 left in the second period, Chad Nehring fired a shot on net from just inside the right faceoff dot and O’Donnell was there to bang the rebound in from the side of the net.
“It was one of those things, it sat there. It was a gift,” said O’Donnell. “I was the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time.”
Syracuse bounced right back with a goal of their own only 58 seconds later, to cut the Pack lead to one. The Crunch came in on a two-on-one and Ikonen one-timed in a pass from Joel Vermin.
The Crunch power play unit was able to tie the game up 3:58 into the third period, when Blujus fired a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle and beat Danis five-hole.
The game went to overtime, and McIlrath ended it by firing in a loose puck from the slot. Marek Hrivik was the man who fired the puck at the net from below the goal line that caused the chaos in front of the net.
“That was a good goalie we faced,” said McIlrath. “We wanted to get as many chances as we could, and I’m just glad we got the win.”
The Pack have three games this weekend, and are off to a good start by defeating the second place team in the Northeast Division.
“We haven’t had a 3-in-3 in a little bit, so it is obviously great to get the first win out of the way,” said McIlrath. “Tomorrow is going to be a big game against Springfield, another great team.”
The Wolf Pack travel to Springfield to battle the arch-rival Falcons Saturday night, with faceoff at 7:00 PM. All of the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, and on-line at www.foxsportsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home action for the Wolf Pack is this Sunday, January 11, as they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 3:00 game. The Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” is again featured on Sundays this year, and has been expanded to Wednesday and Thursday home games as well. The Family Value Pack features two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for only $35.
Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the XL Center ticket office, 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.
Syracuse Crunch 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (OT)
Friday, January 9, 2015 - XL Center
Syracuse 0 1 1 0 - 2
Hartford 1 1 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, C. Bourque 15 (Kostka, Lindberg), 12:00 (PP). Penalties-Jackson Hfd (tripping), 4:06; Tarnasky Hfd (goaltender interference), 8:22; Ikonen Syr (hooking), 11:13; served by Richard Syr (bench minor - too many men), 11:42.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, O'Donnell 2 (Nehring, Spinell), 2:58. 3, Syracuse, Ikonen 3 (Vermin, Angelidis), 3:56. Penalties-Neilson Syr (fighting), 3:06; Tarnasky Hfd (fighting), 3:06; Angelidis Syr (fighting), 8:35; O'Donnell Hfd (fighting), 8:35; Kristo Hfd (high-sticking), 11:15; Allen Hfd (delay of game), 14:33; Koekkoek Syr (slashing), 18:15.
3rd Period-4, Syracuse, Blujus 1 (Namestnikov), 3:58 (PP). Penalties-Allen Hfd (hooking), 2:37; McIlrath Hfd (double minor - high-sticking), 5:14; Richard Syr (interference), 8:40; Kunyk Syr (tripping), 8:57; Haggerty Hfd (interference), 10:26.
OT Period-5, Hartford, McIlrath 1 (Hrivik, Kristo), 2:34. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 7-8-10-1-26. Hartford 8-10-16-4-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 1 / 8; Hartford 1 / 5.
Goalies-Syracuse, Vasilevskiy 10-3-0 (38 shots-35 saves). Hartford, Danis 6-6-0 (26 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Olivier Gouin (66).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Brent Colby (7).