Wolf Pack Lose a Close one to Syracuse, 3-2Jan 6, 2018
By Ben Harff
Connor Ingram stopped 31 Wolf Pack shots, including a late-third-period penalty shot, Saturday night at the XL Center, as the Syracuse Crunch defeated the Wolf Pack, 3-2.
Mitchell Stephens scored the game-winner late in the second period for Syracuse, and Dennis Yan and Erik Condra had the other Crunch goals. Joe Whitney and Ryan Gropp scored for the Wolf Pack, and Marek Mazanec made 28 saves.
The Wolf Pack outshot the visitors 16-8 in the third period, but could never get the equalizer past Ingram, who stopped Cole Schneider on a penalty shot with 3:30 left.
“We were able to get ourselves back in that game with a big power play goal,” said Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge after the game, “and I loved our compete. Work ethic was there, just not able to bury at the end.”
Yan opened the scoring at the 6:04 mark of the first, batting the puck out of mid-air in the high slot, past Mazanec’s stick side. Syracuse’s leading point scorer, Matthew Peca, and Daniel Walcott both assisted on the play.
Only 49 seconds into the second period, Hartford got their second power play opportunity, as Adam Erne received two minutes for interference. This man-up chance would prove successful for the Pack, as Whitney buried home a rebound chance off a shot from Scott Kosmachuk at 2:49. John Gilmour also assisted on the goal.
Just 1:31 later, at the 4:20 mark, Gropp beat Ingram with a shot from the half-wall to Ingram’s left. Adam Tambellini picked up the lone assist.
Unfortunately for the Wolf Pack, the Crunch responded well and scored two quick goals late in the period. The first came at 16:11, when former Wolf Pack captain Matt Bodie let a shot go from the point and Condra was in front for a tip, Kevin Lynch also assisted.
Only 1:28 after that, at 17:39, Stephens drove to the net and beat Mazanec high on the glove side to regain Syracuse’s lead. Erik Cernak earned the sole assist on the play.
The third period brought plenty of action, but both goalies were perfect in the final frame. Schneider was awarded the Wolf Pack’s first penalty shot of the season at the 16:30 mark, after he had broken into the clear and was upended by Ben Thomas, but Ingram made a pad stop on Schneider’s bid.
“I thought we had a good push in the third, and he (Ingram) came up with some big saves,” said Gropp. “He’s a good goalie, so we need to take the positives from that game and get ready for tomorrow.”
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center on Sunday, hosting the Utica Comets in a 5:00 PM game. That is another opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Syracuse Crunch 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Saturday, January 6, 2018 - XL Center
Syracuse 1 2 0 - 3
Hartford 0 2 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Syracuse, Yan 6 (Peca, Walcott), 6:04. Penalties-McNeill Syr (interference), 0:43.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Whitney 8 (Kosmachuk, Gilmour), 2:49 (PP). 3, Hartford, Gropp 8 (Tambellini), 4:20. 4, Syracuse, Condra 5 (Bodie, Lynch), 16:11. 5, Syracuse, Stephens 9 (Cernak, Volkov), 17:39. Penalties-Erne Syr (interference), 0:49; McBain Syr (slashing), 16:31; Herbert Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:31.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Leedahl Hfd (slashing), 2:39; Leedahl Hfd (hooking), 8:32; Lynch Syr (holding), 11:50; Holland Hfd (misconduct - abuse of officials), 19:50.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 9-14-8-31. Hartford 10-7-16-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 / 2; Hartford 1 / 3.
Goalies-Syracuse, Ingram 7-5-1 (33 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 5-2-1 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Chris Schlenker (48), Dave Jackson (8).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Kevin Briganti (39).