Wolf Pack Keep Coming, Edge FalconsJan 23, 2015
The Wolf Pack pulled out a come-from-behind victory Friday night at the XL Center, as they defeated the Northeast Division-leading Springfield Falcons, 4-3, in front of a crowd of 5,917, a lower-bowl sellout.
Hartford was led by Oscar Lindberg, who had two goals and an assist. Joey Crabb had a goal and two assists, and Dylan McIlrath scored the game-winning goal. Mackenzie Skapski stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced.
Springfield had Kerby Rychel score two goals, and add an assist, as well. Michael Chaput scored the other goal for the Falcons. Anton Forsberg allowed four goals on 28 shots.
Springfield was able to take advantage of a power-play opportunity for the first goal of the game, when Skapski lost track of the puck. There was confusion in front of the net when the puck was sent to Frederic St. Denis at the blue line. St. Denis fired a slap shot on net, that Skapski stopped, but Chaput was able to put in the rebound at 17:04 of the first period.
Just 1:12 into the second, Lindberg was able to sneak a bouncing puck past Forsberg to tie the game at one. Lindberg shot a backhander through the glove side arm of Forsberg for his 12th goal of the season.
After back-to-back penalties taken by the Wolf Pack, Rychel was able to capitalize to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 6:09. Rychel fired a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that trickled through Skapski’s five-hole.
“We know even when we’re down, we’re never out of the fight,” said McIlrath. “I think we have a belief in the room that it doesn’t matter if we’re down a goal going into the third, we know we can win every night.”
Lindberg struck again, this one just 1:35 into the third period. The puck was sitting on the side of the net after Joey Crabb tried to whack the puck in, when Lindberg was able to beat a helpless Forsberg.
“He’s a big goalie,. These kind of games, you have to get those greasy ones, the rebounds, and that’s the key way to go,” said Crabb.
Springfield answered back at 6:09, when St. Denis fired a slap shot from the blue line that Rychel was able to tip in for his second goal of the game.
The Wolf Pack drew even again, on a play that was started when Chris Bourque showed good patience near the blue line to find some room as he entered the zone. He was able to get the puck to his forehand and send a pass across the crease to Crabb, who finished it to tie the game at three, at the 13:14 mark.
“That’s not how I scripted it,” said Hartford coach Ken Gernander. “The guy [Chris Bourque] can do things like that, and it makes him hard to defend. When you can create offense, there’s manufacturing and then there’s creating, and he creates.”
McIlrath got in on the action just 1:02 later, when he came in to the zone and fired a wrist shot over Forsberg’s glove for his third of the season.
“That was awesome. Great play by him jumping up and obviously a perfect shot,” said Chris Bourque. “Not easy to score on that goalie. It seems like he’s had our number a little bit all year, so for him to make a nice shot like that it shows a lot about our team. Everybody is stepping up and it’s been a good little stretch here, and hopefully we can go into the (All-Star) break tomorrow with another win.”
With the victory, their fourth straight, the Wolf Pack improved to 24-12-3-2 for 53 points and moved to within three points of the Falcons.
The Wolf Pack are back in action Saturday night, traveling to Syracuse for a 7:00 PM battle with the Crunch. All of the action can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is next Friday, January 30, with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visiting for a 7:00 game. Friday nights feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, and the first 3,000 fans on Friday will receive a Hartford Hockey poster, presented by Toasted, as part of “Hartford Hockey Heritage Weekend.”
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.
Springfield Falcons 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Friday, January 23, 2015 - XL Center
Springfield 1 1 1 - 3
Hartford 0 1 3 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Chaput 2 (St. Denis, Rychel), 17:04 (PP). Penalties-Hoeffel Spr (high-sticking), 3:38; Ponich Spr (instigating, fighting, misconduct - instigating), 6:59; McIlrath Hfd (fighting), 6:59; Madaisky Spr (holding), 13:08; Brown Hfd (holding the stick), 16:00; Hoeffel Spr (hooking), 17:40.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Lindberg 12 (Crabb, Jackson), 1:12. 3, Springfield, Rychel 11 (Oystrick, Tyrell), 9:07 (PP). Penalties-Cornell Spr (fighting), 2:45; O'Donnell Hfd (fighting), 2:45; Brown Hfd (boarding), 5:47; McIlrath Hfd (tripping), 7:37; Malone Hfd (hooking), 17:13.
3rd Period-4, Hartford, Lindberg 13 (Crabb, Kostka), 1:35. 5, Springfield, Rychel 12 (St. Denis), 6:09. 6, Hartford, Crabb 6 (C. Bourque, Lindberg), 13:14. 7, Hartford, McIlrath 3 14:16. Penalties-Chaput Spr (delay of game), 2:14; Mueller Hfd (tripping), 3:45; Anderson Spr (roughing), 6:43; O'Donnell Hfd (roughing), 6:43; C. Bourque Hfd (slashing), 10:16.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 10-12-6-28. Hartford 8-9-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 2 / 6; Hartford 0 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Forsberg 18-6-0 (28 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Skapski 11-7-1 (28 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Paul Simeon (66).