The Wolf Pack came back from a 3-1 deficit with three third-period goals Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, defeating the Springfield Falcons, 4-3.
Andrew Yogan scored the game-winner at 8:14 of the third period, and also added an assist, and T.J. Hensick also had a goal and an assist. The Wolf Pack also got goals from Kyle Beach and Marek Hrivik, and David LeNeveu made 28 saves. Ryan Craig, J.F. Jacques and Austin Madaisky scored for Springfield.
It was the Wolf Pack’s third consecutive win in the season series against the Falcons, after Hartford went 0-4-0-2 in the first six games between the two teams.
“We came back to the locker room and went back to our game plan,” Yogan said of the third-period comeback by the Wolf Pack, who had lost a 3-2 lead late in the third period of their 4-3 home defeat to Bridgeport the night before. “We all talked about it, hard on the forecheck, and when we’re playing in the offensive zone and we’re protecting the puck and cycling, there’s not too many teams that can skate with us and handle our physical attributes, and we were able to capitalize on that.
“Whenever I can help out and contribute offensively, I’m going to do that, and I’m proud of the guys the way they responded in the third period.”
After a second period in which they were outshot 16-7, and trailing 3-1 going into the third, the Wolf Pack erupted for three scores in a span of only 2:57 in the third, starting with a goal by Hensick at the 5:17 mark.
Aaron Johnson headmanned the puck out of the Wolf Pack zone to Justin Vaive on right wing in center ice, and Vaive handed it off beautifully to Hensick. Hensick got behind Andrew Joudrey, who was covering for the Springfield defense, and beat Falcon goaltender Mike McKenna (19 saves) on the glove side with a move to the backhand.
Just 2:26 later, at 7:43, Hrivik tied the game with his second goal in as many games, and his fourth in the last six games. Hensick intercepted a Madaisky breakout pass on the right-wing boards and found Hrivik all alone in front, and Hrivik was able to make a move to the forehand and slip the puck past McKenna.
Then, only 31 seconds after that, at 8:14, Yogan scored what turned out to be the winner, after he jumped on a fumble by Joudrey. Moving laterally at his own blue line, Joudrey coughed the puck up to Yogan, who burst down the left side and gunned a shot that McKenna got a piece of but could not stop. The goal was Yogan’s fourth of the season, all of which have been game-winners.
The Wolf Pack controlled much of the play in the first period, and outshot the Falcons 8-6, but Springfield got the only goal.
Craig put the Falcons on top at 13:42, firing a high shot off of left wing past LeNeveu on the stick side, after Trent Vogelhuber worked the puck away from Shawn O’Donnell just outside the Wolf Pack blue line.
The Wolf Pack tied the game at 7:32 of the second period, taking advantage of Falcon goaltender Mike McKenna losing his stick. Yogan worked the puck to Beach in the left-wing corner, and Beach got it past McKenna, as the Falcon netminder scrambled to try to recover the stick.
Springfield came back with a pair before the end of the period, though, the first on a power play at 11:49. With Dylan McIlrath off for interference, Tim Erixon moved down the left-wing boards and fed a pass into the slot to Jacques, who ripped a shot past LeNeveu for a 2-1 Springfield lead.
Madaisky then made it 3-1 at 16:53, with an unassisted goal. Madaisky prevented a Wolf Pack clearing attempt at the right point, and then unloaded a slap shot that deflected off the Pack’s Darroll Powe and past LeNeveu on the glove side.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is this Tuesday night, February 25, when they travel to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine to take on the Portland Pirates. 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 Friday, February 28, a 7:00 PM contest against the Hershey Bears. All Wolf Pack Friday-night home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Marc’s Appliance Warehouse, located at 75 Prospect Ave., Hartford, CT.
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 4 at Springfield Falcons 3
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - MassMutual Center
Hartford 0 1 3 - 4
Springfield 1 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Springfield, Craig 8 (Vogelhuber), 13:42. Penalties-Miller Hfd (fighting), 0:02; Boyce Spr (fighting), 0:02; Marchessault Spr (slashing), 10:52.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Beach 6 (Yogan, Lindberg), 7:32. 3, Springfield, Jacques 9 (Erixon, Marchessault), 11:49 (PP). 4, Springfield, Madaisky 3 16:53. Penalties-McIlrath Hfd (interference), 10:42.
3rd Period-5, Hartford, Hensick 5 (Vaive, Johnson), 5:17. 6, Hartford, Hrivik 9 (Hensick), 7:43. 7, Hartford, Yogan 4 8:14. Penalties-Miller Hfd (hooking), 8:59; St. Denis Spr (holding), 14:27.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-7-8-23. Springfield 6-16-9-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Springfield 1 / 2.
Goalies-Hartford, LeNeveu 4-6-0 (31 shots-28 saves). Springfield, McKenna 15-7-0 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Luke Galvin (2).