Wolf Pack Win First Shootout of Season

Nov 26, 2014

Mackenzie Skapski made 36 saves, including one on a penalty shot in overtime, and went 3-for-3 in the shootout, as the Wolf Pack pulled out a 4-3 shootout win over the Albany Devils Wednesday night at the Times-Union Center in Albany.

The Wolf Pack led 3-1 in the third period, but a pair of Joe Whitney goals, the second with only 1:58 left, tied the game for Albany. 

Danny Kristo scored in regulation for the Wolf Pack, and also had the only goal of the shootout.  The Wolf Pack also got goals from Justin Vaive and Joey Crabb.  Chris Bourque had two assists.  Darcy Zajac scored the other Albany goal, and Raman Hrabarenka had two assists.

“Moving forward, we’re going to have to manage our games better when working with a lead, because you don’t want to give opportunity to a good club,” Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said.  “But thankfully [Skapski] was big again in net again tonight, and we were able to get a shootout win.”

The victory was the Wolf Pack’s second straight after an 0-4-1-0 drought, and improved Hartford’s record to 10-7-2-0 for 22 points.

The Wolf Pack got the game’s first goal at 5:48 of the first period, just two seconds after a Hartford power play expired.  Great Wolf Pack pressure kept the Devils pinned in their own end and, just as Albany’s Ben Thomson was stepping out of the penalty box, Vaive jammed the rebound of an Oscar Lindberg shot past a sprawling Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid (29 saves).

The Devils answered that goal just over four minutes later, at 9:51, shortly after a power play of their own expired.  Graham Black was able to work the puck away from the Wolf Pack’s Mat Bodie in the right-wing corner, and Black found Zajac all alone in front of the net.  Zajac snapped a close-in shot past Skapski for a 1-1 tie.

Hartford got the lead back with 1:20 left in the period, on Kristo’s fifth goal of the season.  A shot from the right point by Steve Spinell deflected right to Kristo’s stick at the left side of the slot, and, with Kinkaid having overcommitted to the original shot, Kristo had plenty of time to bang the puck into the net.

The Wolf Pack were outshot 13-7 in the second period, but they got the only goal.  At 6:12, Crabb, jamming the middle, rapped in the rebound of a shot from the right point by Michael Kostka, widening the Wolf Pack’s lead to 3-1.

That remained the score until the 14:40 mark of the third, when Whitney cut the lead to one with a power-play goal, just six seconds after J.T. Miller was assessed a double minor for high-sticking.  Whitney’s shot from the left-wing side beat Skapski high to the stick side.

The Wolf Pack killed the rest of the penalty, but Whitney struck again to tie the score at 18:02.  Skapski made a kick save on Hrabarenka’s shot from high in the slot, but Whitney was able to sweep in the rebound as he was falling to the ice.

Skapski then faced a penalty shot at the 4:56 mark of overtime, after Chris Bourque hooked Mike Sislo, who had stepped past Bourque on a partial breakaway.  Skapski foiled Sislo’s penalty-shot try, and then denied Sislo, Paul Thompson and Whitney in the shootout.

After Kinkaid stopped Chris Bourque and Miller on the Wolf Pack’s first two shootout tries, Kristo scored on a forehand shot, and the Wolf Pack were victorious in their first shootout of the season.

The Wolf Pack are back on home ice for their next game, this Friday, November 28, with the Norfolk Admirals visiting the XL Center for a 7:00 game.  Once again this season, every Friday night home game features $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, and November 28 is also “Flashback Friday”, with the Wolf Pack wearing “throwback”, 1997-98-era jerseys.  Plus, there will be “Black Friday” giveaways of some of the holiday season’s hot gift items, as well as Wolf Pack merchandise and ticket specials.

Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the XL Center ticket office, 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.


Hartford Wolf Pack 4 (SO) at Albany Devils 3
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Times Union Center

Hartford 2 1 0 0 - 4
Albany 1 0 2 0 - 3

1st Period-1, Hartford, Vaive 5 (Lindberg, C. Bourque), 5:48. 2, Albany, D. Zajac 2 (Black, Thomson), 9:51. 3, Hartford, Kristo 5 (Spinell, C. Bourque), 18:20. Penalties-Thomson Alb (interference), 3:46; Hrivik Hfd (tripping), 7:41; Matteau Alb (high-sticking), 14:36.

2nd Period-4, Hartford, Crabb 2 (Kostka, Jackson), 6:12. Penalties-served by Kristo Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 9:30; Spinell Hfd (tripping), 12:38.

3rd Period-5, Albany, Whitney 6 (Hrabarenka), 14:40 (PP). 6, Albany, Whitney 7 (Hrabarenka, Timmins), 18:02. Penalties-Sislo Alb (hooking), 0:20; Potulny Hfd (hooking), 7:19; Miller Hfd (double minor - high-sticking), 14:34.

OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout - Hartford 1 (Bourque NG, Miller NG, Kristo G), Albany 0 (Thompson NG, Sislo NG, Whitney NG).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 14-7-7-4-1-33. Albany 10-13-12-4-0-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 3; Albany 1 / 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 5-3-0 (39 shots-36 saves). Albany, Kinkaid 5-1-2 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Rich Patry (52).

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