Kristo is Latest Pack OT Hero in SpringfieldMar 28, 2015
(Photo by Chris Marion)
Danny Kristo’s second goal of the game at 1:48 of overtime completed a Wolf Pack comeback from a 2-0 deficit against the Springfield Falcons, and gave the Wolf Pack a 3-2 win Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA.
Kristo tied the game for the Wolf Pack at the 8:59 mark of the third period, and then scored his 20th of the season to give the Wolf Pack their 11th overtime win of the year, and their fourth in five visits to Springfield on the season.
On the winning play, Mat Bodie, who assisted on all three Wolf Pack goals, sent a pass to Kristo on right wing, and Kristo was able to knife through two Springfield defenders and fire a shot past Falcon goaltender Scott Munroe (20 saves).
“[Bodie] made a really good pass cross-ice to me and hit me in stride,” Kristo said. “I thought I had good speed coming down the wall and got the d-men crossing over, luckily cut to the middle and got some room, just found a little bit of room on the far side.”
Kristo, who is the Wolf Pack’s third-leading scorer with 20-19-37 in 63 games, had been in a slump, with no points in the previous five games, and had gone seven games without a goal.
“It hasn’t been pleasant lately, I’ve been fighting it a little it, but sometimes that’s just how it goes, especially me, I get hot and cold,” Kristo said. “I talked to my dad a little bit last night, he was in town (for the Wolf Pack’s 5-0 home win over Providence), and he said, ‘You had a couple of really good chances [Friday night], you get one (goal), and they’re all going to start going in.’ Sometimes that’s just how it goes. It was a great team win for our team."
Chris Bourque scored the other Wolf Pack goal, his 25th of the season, and Marek Hrivik had two assists. Mackenzie Skapski got the win in net with 27 saves. Dana Tyrell and Ryan Craig scored the Springfield goals.
The Falcons outshot the Wolf Pack 12-3 in the first period and scored two goals in a span of 61 seconds late in the session on Skapski, who had shut out the Bruins the night before in Hartford, in his first AHL action in nearly two months.
Springfield drew first blood at 15:18 of the first, when Michael Chaput’s centering attempt from the left-wing side hit the stick of Wolf Pack defenseman Michael Kostka and deflected toward the net. Tyrell, headed hard towards the goal, got a tip on the puck and directed it into the net past Skapski’s stick side.
Then, at 16:19, Skapski was victimized by another redirection. T.J. Tynan’s feed from the right-wing corner was blocked, but it came to Frederic St. Denis at the left point. St. Denis’ slap shot was deflected by Craig and got by Skapski on the glove side.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted,” Kristo said, “but we had a game plan going into the game, and I thought we really executed it in the second and third.”
The Wolf Pack got the only goal of the second period to cut the Falcon lead in half, and it was Bourque scoring on a power play to put Hartford on the board.
With Thomas Larkin in the penalty box for boarding, Bourque took a pass at the left point from Bodie and drove a shot that went through a Justin Vaive screen and beat Munroe.
The Wolf Pack survived nearly two minutes of man-disadvantage later in the period, as referee Trevor Hanson called minor penalties on both Kristo (slashing) and Steve Spinell (roughing) at 15:13. Then, shortly thereafter, the Wolf Pack found themselves with a pair of five-on-three advantages, one of 46 seconds and another of 1:07.
Neither team was able to capitalize on any of that power-play time, but a great individual effort by Kristo enabled the Pack to tie the score. He took a lead pass from Hrivik and carried down right-wing side, toe-dragging the puck away from a Springfield defender, and cut to the middle before firing a hard shot through Munroe.
The win lifted the 36-22-5-4 (81 pts.) Wolf Pack past the Portland Pirates and into a share of fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, two points behind the fourth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Next up for the Wolf Pack is a trip to Wilkes-Barre, PA to battle the Penguins this Wednesday, April 1. Faceoff is 7:05 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, April 3, when the Syracuse Crunch invade the XL Center for a 7:00 game. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the Agera Energy 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 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 (OT) at Springfield Falcons 2
Saturday, March 28, 2015 - MassMutual Center
Hartford 0 1 1 1 - 3
Springfield 2 0 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Springfield, Tyrell 13 (Chaput, Hoeffel), 15:18. 2, Springfield, Craig 15 (St. Denis, Tynan), 16:19. Penalties-Hrivik Hfd (tripping), 6:01.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Bourque 25 (Bodie, Lindberg), 6:14 (PP). Penalties-Larkin Spr (boarding), 5:13; McIlrath Hfd (fighting), 11:34; Larkin Spr (fighting), 11:34; Kristo Hfd (slashing), 15:13; Spinell Hfd (roughing), 15:13; Collins Spr (roughing), 17:10; Hoeffel Spr (high-sticking), 18:24; Craig Spr (closing hand on puck), 19:16.
3rd Period-4, Hartford, Kristo 19 (Hrivik, Bodie), 8:59. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-5, Hartford, Kristo 20 (Bodie, Hrivik), 1:48. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hartford 3-9-10-1-23. Springfield 12-7-9-1-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Springfield 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 14-7-1 (29 shots-27 saves). Springfield, Munroe 7-10-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Frank Murphy (29).