(Photo courtesy of John Wright)
Rookie goaltender John Gibson made 25 saves for his fourth shutout of the season Friday night at Norfolk Scope, and Chris Wagner’s third-period goal was the game’s only score, as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Wolf Pack, 1-0.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Wolf Pack, who fell to 17-24-0-5 (39 pts.) on the year.
After more than two-and-a-half scoreless periods, Wagner finally broke the 0-0 deadlock at 13:31 of the third, three seconds after a holding penalty to Hartford’s Jesper Fast expired. After Wolf Pack defenseman Aaron Johnson knocked the puck away from Wagner in the left circle, Kevin Gagne prevented Johnson from clearing. Gagne banged the puck at the net from the left point, and it hit Wagner and deflected past Wolf Pack goaltender David LeNeveu (13 saves).
The Wolf Pack outshot the Admirals 25-14 in the game, including 5-2 in the third period.
“I thought we outplayed them,” LeNeveu said. “I thought we outchanced them, we battled hard all game. We missed some open nets, and it’s just one of those games. One lucky bounce for them, and unfortunately that decides the game some nights.”
The Wolf Pack controlled much of the play in a scoreless first period, outshooting the Admirals 12-7 and forcing Gibson make several sharp saves.
Play was more even in the second period, with the Wolf Pack outshooting Norfolk 8-5, and the Admirals having two power plays to the Wolf Pack’s one, but again neither team could find the back of the net.
The Wolf Pack and Admirals tangle again Saturday night at Scope, in their last action before the AHL All-Star break, with faceoff at 7:15 PM. All 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 Saturday, February 15, a 7:00 PM contest against the AHL-leading Manchester Monarchs. The first 3,000 fans into the XL Center that night will receive their very own Dylan McIlrath bobblehead.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power 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 representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.
Hartford Wolf Pack 0 at Norfolk Admirals 1
Friday, February 7, 2014 - Norfolk Scope
Hartford 0 0 0 - 0
Norfolk 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Nash Hfd (interference), 9:22; served by Whitney Nor (bench minor - too many men), 11:37.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-O'Donnell Hfd (fighting), 0:55; Kurtz Nor (fighting), 0:55; Ezekiel Nor (tripping), 8:42; Hughes Hfd (hooking), 14:05; served by O'Donnell Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 17:34.
3rd Period-1, Norfolk, Wagner 6 (Gagne), 13:31. Penalties-Fast Hfd (holding), 11:28; Laganiere Nor (cross-checking), 15:29.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 12-8-5-25. Norfolk 7-5-2-14.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 3; Norfolk 0 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, LeNeveu 3-5-0 (14 shots-13 saves). Norfolk, Gibson 15-10-4 (25 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Jason Rollins (37).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Mark Hamlett (81).