Syracuse Holds Sway in "Sonar's Edu-skate", 3-1Nov 20, 2019
By Bryce Grundy
The Wolf Pack suffered just their second regulation loss in 18 games on the season the season Wednesday at the XL Center, falling 3-1 to the Syracuse Crunch in the Wolf Pack’s annual “Sonar’s Edu-skate” school-day game.
The Wolf Pack are now 11-2-0-5 on the year, 8-1-0-2 at home.
Lias Andersson scored the only Wolf Pack goal, in his first game since being assigned to the Wolf Pack by the parent New York Rangers Sunday, and Igor Shesterkin made 21 saves. Mitchell Stephens, Dennis Yan and Taylor Raddysh had the Syracuse goals, and Gemel Smith had two assists. Scott Wedgewood got the win in the Crunch net, with 25 stops.
Physicality and plenty of scoring opportunities made up for a blank scoresheet after the first period.
“We started pretty good,” said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. “It was an exciting first period with scoring opportunities.”
It remained a 0-0 standoff until deep into the second frame, before the Crunch scored twice in a span of 51 seconds.
Stephens broke the deadlock at 14:17, moments after Shesterkin had robbed Daniel Walcott on a point-blank chance. Smith worked the puck out from below the Wolf Pack goal line to Stephens, who was unguarded at the left side of the slot, and he put it into the top corner on Shesterkin’s glove side.
“The puck took a bad bounce on the first goal,” said Knoblauch, while noting the strength of Wolf Pack’s top defensive tandem of Darren Raddysh and Vincent LoVerde. “They’ve been our top pair of defensemen for most games.”
“We didn’t play our best and they did,” added Raddysh. “We won’t get good results when we don’t play our best. They were moving fast and created turnovers. But we have to move on.”
The Wolf Pack got an even worse break on Syracuse’s second goal, which came at 15:08. Dominik Masin sent the puck down the right-wing side in the Wolf Pack end, and, as Shesterkin moved behind the net to play it, the puck hit an imperfection in the boards and deflected to Otto Somppi at the side of the goal. He found Yan wide-open in front of the cage, and he easily buried the puck into the net as Shesterkin tried to scramble back into position.
The Crunch made it a 3-0 advantage 4:47 into the third period, with a beautiful three-way passing play. Defenseman Ben Thomas carried the puck into the Wolf Pack zone and peeled off to the left side, before feeding to Smith in the middle. He immediately dished to Taylor Raddysh (Darren’s younger brother), who had an open net to put the puck into to Shesterkin’s left.
Andersson answered that only 30 seconds later, at 5:17, stopping Wedgewood’s shutout bid. Steven Fogarty stickhandled niftily near the Crunch net and found Phil DiGiuseppe in the slot with a pass. He spun and put a backhand shot on net, and Andersson was able to reach in and poke the rebound past Wedgewood’s left pad.
“It was nice to see Lias play hard,” Knoblauch commented. “I thought he played well. His enthusiasm and attitude is great and what we expected. We thought it was a good step for him.”
“Tough game today, but we’ve got to keep going,” said Andersson. “They’re a good team with skill and hard workers. It’s fun that we play them again this weekend.”
A Wolf Pack-Crunch rematch Saturday night in Syracuse will be part of a stretch of five straight road games for the Wolf Pack. That starts this Friday night, November 22, when they travel to Rochester to take on the Americans. Faceoff is 7:05 PM.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is Saturday, December 7, when the Binghamton Devils visit the XL Center for a 7:30 game. That is “Star Wars Night”, as fans can rub shoulders with their favorite Star Wars characters, and win some awesome Star Wars prizes, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Wolf Pack 2020 calendar, presented by Hartford Distributors.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Syracuse Crunch 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - XL Center
Syracuse 0 2 1 - 3
Hartford 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Gaunce Syr (roughing), 12:42; Ebert Hfd (roughing), 12:42; Keane Hfd (tripping), 15:16; Smith Syr (hooking), 20:00.
2nd Period-1, Syracuse, Stephens 3 (Smith, Barre-Boulet), 14:17. 2, Syracuse, Yan 4 (Somppi, Masin), 15:08. Penalties-Ronning Hfd (slashing), 7:18; Volkov Syr (high-sticking), 16:59.
3rd Period-3, Syracuse, Raddysh 3 (Smith, Thomas), 4:47. 4, Hartford, Andersson 1 (Di Giuseppe, Fogarty), 5:17. Penalties-Walcott Syr (slashing), 8:24; Smith Syr (hooking), 17:36.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 8-10-6-24. Hartford 10-1-15-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 / 2; Hartford 0 / 4.
Goalies-Syracuse, Wedgewood 5-2-1 (26 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Shesterkin 7-2-2 (24 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Jim Curtin (90), Jordan Deckard (14).
Linesmen-Kevin Briganti (39), Nick Briganti (58).