Penguins Down Tired Wolf Pack, 4-1Feb 22, 2015
The Wolf Pack absorbed a loss at home on Sunday to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, by a score of 4-1. It was just the fifth time in the last 20 games (12-5-2-1) that the Wolf Pack were unable to gain a point in the standings. The team seemed to be visibly suffering from their grueling travel schedule of late, something Coach Ken Gernander pointed to as the reason for several miscues.
“Once you go down against a team like that, they’re solid defensively,” Gernander said after the game. He expressed that his team was worn down from their late arrival last night in Hartford but, like every team in the American league, they had to find a way to grind through the hard traveling schedule.
The Penguins got the first goal of the game with 5:48 elapsed in the first. Scott Wilson was able to slip a pass across the slot to Andrew Ebbett, who put it away on the backhand. It was Ebbett’s 11th goal on the season and put Wolf Pack keeper Yann Danis on the ropes early.
Then with 1:41 remaining in the period, Nick Tarnasky was able to re-direct the shot of Justin Vaive from the point and sneak it past Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Zatkoff appeared to have control of the puck but couldn’t get a firm handle as it rolled over the goal line. Tarnasky tallied his first goal of the season, and it came at a very opportune time as the Pack were about to head into the locker room down a goal.
His coach was not surprised that Tarnasky broke through for his first tally. “He’s been working hard in practice and he’s got great character,” said Gernander. “[The goal] was a product of that.”
The second period was scrappy with lots of battling. Dylan McIlrath delivered a massive hit to oncoming Penguins forward Bobby Farnham, which immediately ignited tensions between the already frustrated teams. From there on, after most whistles there were a few extra words exchanged. The lone goal of the second was scored by Pierre-Luc Leblond of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, also his first of the season, helped by Matia Marcantuoni and Adam Payerl. Marcantuoni found Leblond from the right-wing boards as the Wolf Pack defense collapsed on him, giving Leblond an easy opportunity to pop the puck past Danis.
The third period started off poorly for the Wolf Pack when they gave up a goal immediately following the drop of the puck. Just ten seconds had passed before Ebbett scored his second of the game, beating Danis through the legs and putting the Penguins up by two goals. Ebbett notched his total goal tally up to 12 on the year, assisted by Tom Kostopoulos and Conor Sheary.
The nail in the coffin came when the Penguins added a late power-play goal with 3:09 remaining in the game. Carter Rowney recorded the tally, helped by Tom Kuhnhackl and Jayson Megna. Kuhnhackl fired a pass across the slot, which Rowney buried off the one-timer to Danis’ left.
The next action for the Wolf Pack is this Friday night, February 27, when they make their first visit of the season to Manchester to take on the Monarchs. Faceoff is 7:00 PM, and 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 Wolf Pack’s next home game is a rematch with the Penguins this Saturday night, February 28 at 7:00 PM. That is the Wolf Pack’s “Salute to Heroes Night”, honoring the 35th anniversary of the USA’s “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Gold Medal triumph, as well as the public service heroes who keep local communities safe on a daily basis. The Wolf Pack will wear a specialty Miracle on Ice-themed jersey, and the jerseys will be auctioned off in the XL Center atrium during the second intermission. Fans will also have a chance to meet 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medalists Dave Silk and Steve Janaszak, and the first 2,000 fans into the game will receive a Wolf Pack flag. Additionally, all military personnel, both active-duty and veterans, can receive free tickets to the February 28 game, by presenting their military ID at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center. The offer is for one complimentary ticket per ID.
Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now 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. 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.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Sunday, February 22, 2015 - XL Center
W-B/Scranton 1 1 2 - 4
Hartford 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Ebbett 11 (Wilson, Kostopoulos), 5:48. 2, Hartford, Tarnasky 1 (Vaive), 18:19. Penalties-Marcantuoni Wbs (tripping), 3:06; Harrington Wbs (interference), 11:57; McIlrath Hfd (roughing), 12:20; Bourque Hfd (interference), 15:20.
2nd Period-3, W-B/Scranton, Letourneau-Leblond 1 (Marcantuoni, Payerl), 6:55. Penalties-Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:23; Payerl Wbs (fighting), 9:23; Vaive Hfd (fighting), 9:23; Bourque Hfd (roughing), 14:14.
3rd Period-4, W-B/Scranton, Ebbett 12 (Kostopoulos, Sheary), 0:10. 5, W-B/Scranton, Rowney 6 (Kuhnhackl, Megna), 16:51 (PP). Penalties-Harrington Wbs (holding), 3:54; Lindberg Hfd (tripping), 8:01; Bodie Hfd (slashing), 15:44.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 7-12-9-28. Hartford 12-2-9-23.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 5; Hartford 0 / 4.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 13-10-3 (23 shots-22 saves). Hartford, Danis 9-11-1 (28 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Peter MacDougall (57), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Paul Simeon (66).