J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist in his return to the AHL Wednesday night at the XL Center, to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-1 win over the Portland Pirates.
The Wolf Pack, who had been shut out in their two previous games, and four of their previous five, also got goals from Danny Kristo, Brandon Mashinter and Ryan Bourque, and defenseman Stu Bickel had three assists. Former Yale Eli Jeff Malcolm got his first career AHL win in goal with 23 saves.
“The guys played real well in front of me and made it easy for me,” said Malcolm, who helped lead Yale to its first-ever NCAA championship last year and was recalled by the Wolf Pack from Greenville of the ECHL on Monday.
After the Wolf Pack’s Darroll Powe was stopped on a penalty-shot opportunity by Pirate goaltender Mark Visentin (24 saves) 1:57 into the game, the Wolf Pack jumped on top at 8:03 of the first, courtesy of Miller’s fifth goal in four AHL games on the year.
Miller fired a shot from the left side of the slot that went through a Kristo screen and past Visentin.
Kristo then doubled the Wolf Pack lead, and increased his team-leading goal total to ten on the year, at 15:15. Miller fed across the slot to Kristo in the left-wing circle, and Kristo’s snap shot cleanly beat Visentin over the catching glove.
The only goal of the second period came at the 2:27 mark, and it was Mashinter’s first of the year, making it 3-0 Wolf Pack. Aaron Johnson got the puck towards the net from the left point and it was blocked right into the slot, where Mashinter was perfectly positioned to backhand it into the net.
The refereeing tandem of Ryan Hersey and Terry Koharski awarded their second penalty shot of the game at the 1:00 mark of the third period, when Portland’s Tobias Rieder was hooked by Danny Syvret as Rieder broke in on Malcolm. Rieder was not able to convert his penalty-shot chance either, though, as his shot went off of the goalpost to Malcolm’s right.
The Pirates were able to foil Malcolm’s shutout bid with a power-play goal at 5:17, with Lucas Lessio banging in a pass from Brendan Shinnimin, but Bourque restored the Wolf Pack’s three-goal margin only 3:34 later.
Bourque won the puck on the right-wing boards in the Portland zone, accelerated past a defender and slapped a shot past Visentin’s catching glove at 8:51.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is on the road this Friday night, November 29, a trip to Bridgeport for a 7:00 PM game vs. the Sound Tigers. 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 next home game for the Pack is this Saturday night, November 30, as the Manchester Monarchs invade the XL Center at 7:00. The first 3,000 fans into that game receive a Wolf Pack ski cap, courtesy of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
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.
Portland Pirates 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - XL Center
Portland 0 0 1 - 1
Hartford 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Miller 5 (Bickel), 8:03. 2, Hartford, Kristo 10 (Miller, Bickel), 15:15. Penalties-Martinook Por (hooking), 3:14; Brodeur Por (fighting), 13:44; Kantor Hfd (fighting), 13:44; McIlrath Hfd (cross-checking), 19:36.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Mashinter 1 (Johnson), 2:27. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (slashing), 7:17; Malcolm Hfd (interference), 10:45; Mashinter Hfd (kneeing), 13:18; Veilleux Por (fighting), 15:54; Kantor Hfd (fighting), 15:54; Dziurzynski Por (roughing, fighting), 16:07; Hagel Por (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:07; Dupont Hfd (fighting), 16:07.
3rd Period-4, Portland, Lessio 4 (Shinnimin, Werek), 5:17 (PP). 5, Hartford, Bourque 3 (Jean, Bickel), 8:51. Penalties-Powe Hfd (charging), 3:42; Hagel Por (slashing), 12:06; Lindberg Hfd (tripping), 12:06; Hagel Por (fighting), 20:00; Allen Hfd (roughing, fighting), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Portland 6-8-10-24. Hartford 10-7-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 1 / 5; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Portland, Visentin 6-5-1 (28 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Malcolm 1-1-0 (24 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8), Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).