Wolf Pack Tie Late, Beat Falcons in ShootoutMar 19, 2016
After tying the game with 54.1 seconds left in regulation Saturday night at the XL Center, the Wolf Pack went on to defeat the Springfield Falcons, 4-3 in a shootout.
The win was the Wolf Pack’s fifth straight and moved the club into a tie with the Portland Pirates for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Chad Nehring scored his second goal of the game, with goaltender Magnus Hellberg on the bench for an extra attacker, to send matters to overtime, and then Nicklas Jensen and Luke Adam scored in the shootout to get Hartford the win.
Jordan Szwarz had a goal and two assists for Springfield, and Falcon goaltender Marek Langhamer made 43 saves.
The Wolf Pack scored on the game’s first shot just 18 seconds in, and outshot the Falcons 18-4 in the first period, but came out of it trailing 2-1.
Raphael Diaz put Hartford ahead at the 18-second mark, after Daniel Paille worked the puck to him high in the slot. Langhamer got a piece of Diaz’ hard slap shot but could not keep it out of the net, and the Wolf Pack had the early lead.
Springfield responded, though, at 7:56, after the Wolf Pack were unable to execute a breakout. Calle Andersson had a pass picked off by Michael Bunting in the left-wing circle, and he passed across the slot to a wide-open Szwarz, who had the whole net to put the puck into.
The Falcons grabbed a 2-1 lead at 11:31, on a shot from the left point by Justin Hache. With Laurent Dauphin distracting Hellberg, Hache’s long blast got past Hellberg on the stick side.
The two teams then traded goals within a span of 30 seconds in the first 1:28 of the second period.
Nehring tied for the Wolf Pack at the 58-second mark, firing a shot from the top of right circle that went through Langhamer’s pads and in.
Springfield jumped right back in front at 1:28, however, on Dauphin’s 11th goal of the season. Stationed right in front of Hellberg, Dauphin deflected a drive from the right point by Dylan Reese past the Pack goaltender.
Langhamer and the Falcons made that lead stand up into the final minute of regulation, but after the Wolf Pack got Hellberg to the bench, Travis Oleksuk played the puck to Jensen below the goal line in the Springfield end, and Jensen fed it to the front of the goal for Nehring. His quick shot hit a Falcon defender and got by Langhamer at 19:05.
After a scoreless overtime in which Langhamer made five saves, Springfield’s Alex Grant scored on the first bid of the shootout, and Langhamer stopped Adam Tambellini on the first Wolf Pack attempt. Jensen fired a shot past Langhamer’s glove on the Wolf Pack’s second shot, though, and Hellberg stopped Bunting. Adam then got his shot through Langhamer, giving Hellberg a chance to end it for the Wolf Pack, which he did by denying Craig Cunningham.
The Wolf Pack and Falcons wrap up a home-and-home set Sunday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, with faceoff at 5:00 PM. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is this Wednesday, March 23, as the Providence Bruins visit the XL Center for a 7:00 game. That is the last “Winning Wednesday” of the season. If the Wolf Pack win, fans can show their Winning Wednesday ticket at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center and receive a free ticket to the next Wolf Pack home game, which is this Friday, March 25 vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (some restrictions apply).
Tickets for all remaining 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are 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.
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 (SO)
Saturday, March 19, 2016 - XL Center
Springfield 2 1 0 0 - 3
Hartford 1 1 1 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Diaz 6 (Paille, Jensen), 0:18. 2, Springfield, Szwarz 7 (Bunting), 7:56. 3, Springfield, Hache 2 (Szwarz, Bunting), 11:31. Penalties-Bunting Spr (roughing), 14:35; C. Brown Hfd (roughing), 14:35; Gibbons Hfd (cross-checking), 14:35; Megna Hfd (holding the stick), 18:35.
2nd Period-4, Hartford, Nehring 18 0:58. 5, Springfield, Dauphin 11 (Reese, Szwarz), 1:28. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-6, Hartford, Nehring 19 (Jensen, Oleksuk), 19:05. Penalties-Grant Spr (hooking), 14:10.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Springfield 1 (Grant G, Bunting NG, Cunningham NG), Hartford 2 (Tambellini NG, Jensen G, Adam G).
Shots on Goal-Springfield 4-6-3-2-0-15. Hartford 18-9-14-5-1-47.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 / 2; Hartford 0 / 1.
Goalies-Springfield, Langhamer 6-6-2 (46 shots-43 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 26-16-0 (15 shots-12 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Alex Garon (64).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Frank Murphy (29).