Skapski Shuts out Norfolk for Wolf Pack SweepJan 17, 2015
Mackenzie Skapski made 19 saves for his second shutout of the season Saturday night at Norfolk Scope, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Norfolk Admirals 3-0, for a sweep of a back-to-back series between the two teams.
The Wolf Pack had won the first of the two Friday night at Scope, 3-2 in overtime.
Chris Bourque’s second-period power-play goal was the only offense the Wolf Pack would need, and Marek Hrivik scored early in the third. Chris Mueller created the final margin with an empty-net goal. Jason LaBarbera, the former Wolf Pack star, had a strong night in the Admiral net, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.
“I would say it’s one of our best in a while,” Skapski said of the Wolf Pack’s team effort. “Our defensive game, they closed guys out and made it easy, and the stops I needed to make, in timely situations, I made. Our defense played really well tonight, as well as our forwards.”
The Wolf Pack controlled most of the play in the first period, outshooting the Admirals 10-3, but were thwarted by LaBarbera, who made several challenging saves.
Hartford finally solved LaBarbera on a power play at 13:06 of the second period, with ex-Connecticut Whale defenseman Brendan Bell in the penalty box for hooking. Oscar Lindberg passed from the top of the right circle across to Bourque in the left circle, and Bourque’s snap shot went past LaBarbera’s stick side, off the goal post and in.
The Wolf Pack doubled the lead at 1:47 of the third period, on Hrivik’s fourth goal of the season. After taking a pass from Ryan Haggerty, Hrivik carried into the Norfolk zone and fired a shot that hit Admiral defenseman Nathan McIver’s stick and deflected high into the net past LaBarbera.
Norfolk had more pressure in the third, with 12 shots on goal, than in the first two periods but couldn’t crack Skapski, and, after the Admirals pulled LaBarbera with over three minutes remaining, Mueller iced the game with an empty-netter at 18:46, hitting the open net from the right-wing boards inside his own zone.
With the win, the Wolf Pack improved to a season-best ten games over .500, at 22-12-3-2 for 49 points. Hartford has at least a standings point in five straight games (4-0-1-0), tying a season high, and is 11-3-1-2 in its last 17.
The Wolf Pack’s next game is back home at the XL Center this Wednesday, January 21, when the Providence Bruins visit for a 7:00 game. All Wolf Pack Wednesday home games are “Winning Wednesdays”. If the Wolf Pack win, each fan can get a free ticket to the next Pack home game (some restrictions apply). Also, Wednesday is the next chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”. The Family Value Pack features two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for only $35.
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 3 at Norfolk Admirals 0
Saturday, January 17, 2015 - Norfolk Scope
Hartford 0 1 2 - 3
Norfolk 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Hartford, C. Bourque 17 (Lindberg, Kostka), 13:06 (PP). Penalties-C. Bourque Hfd (hooking), 0:39; Spinell Hfd (roughing), 4:04; Winchester Nor (roughing), 7:24; Kristo Hfd (hooking), 8:24; Bell Nor (hooking), 12:44.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Hrivik 4 (Haggerty, Brown), 1:47. 3, Hartford, Mueller 4 18:46 (EN). Penalties-Spinell Hfd (roughing), 2:11; Kurtz Nor (roughing), 2:11; Leblanc Nor (checking to the head), 2:11; Heatley Nor (slashing), 5:47; Wagner Nor (slashing), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-8-9-27. Norfolk 3-4-12-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Norfolk 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 10-7-1 (19 shots-19 saves). Norfolk, LaBarbera 5-6-1 (26 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Tom Chmielewski (43), Jason Rollins (37).
Linesmen-Tom George (61), Luke Murray (92).