Wolf Pack’s Strong Special Teams Play Boosts Them by SpringfieldNov 5, 2017
By Ben Harff
The Wolf Pack broke a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over Springfield Sunday night at the XL Center, helped by strong goaltending from Alexandar Georgiev, and special-teams success.
The Wolf Pack, which leads the AHL in power play percentage, at 27.1 percent, scored on their first two power plays and went 3-for-9 overall. Meanwhile, the team successfully killed off Springfield’s first five man-up chances. Springfield’s power play ended 1-for-7.
Georgiev made 21 saves in the Wolf Pack net, and carried a shutout better than halfway into the third period, outdueling Springfield’s Samuel Montembeault, who stopped 30 shots.
Dan DeSalvo had a goal and an assist for Hartford, which also got goals from Scott Kosmachuk, Steven Fogarty and Vinni Lettieri. Anthony Greco had a goal and an assist for Springfield, and Denis Malgin also scored.
Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said of DeSalvo’s two-point night, “Dan has been generating chances from the first game, he just wasn’t rewarded for it. It’s nice to see him have success.”
The Wolf Pack started early with a power play goal just 1:46 into the game, after Springfield’s Josh Brown picked up an interference penalty at the 46-second mark. The goal came on a two-on-one rush, as Joe Whitney slid the puck to Kosmachuk, who had a wide open net. Neal Pionk also assisted.
Hartford’s second goal came at 17:49, again on the power play. DeSalvo received a pass high in the slot from Ryan Sproul and ripped a shot past Montembeault. Anthony DeAngelo had the second assist on the goal.
At 19:02, Springfield tested Hartford’s penalty kill, as the Pack was assessed two minor penalties to give Springfield a five-on-three power play. However, the Wolf Pack’s penalty kill held off Springfield.
The second period was scoreless until there were only 15.5 seconds left in it, when Fogarty ripped a shot over Montembeault’s glove. The goal was unassisted and gave the Pack a 3-0 lead going into the third period.
Early in the third, the Wolf Pack struck again on the power play, on a bench minor to Springfield that carried over from the second period. This time is was Lettieri with the goal, assisted by Schneider and DeSalvo, at 1:08.
Springfield ended Georgiev’s shutout bid at 10:16, as Alexandre Grenier set up Malgin at the left side of the slot.
Shortly thereafter, the Thunderbirds earned another 5-on-3 opportunity, after penalties to Eric Selleck at 11:35 and Brandon Crawley at 12:13. This time proved to be more successful for Springfield, as Greco buried a goal at 13:35, just as Selleck was stepping out of the penalty box, with the assist awarded to Chase Balisy.
“Our power play continued to be strong,” McCambridge said, “and on the penalty kill, we had that 5-on-3 in the first period and that was a huge momentum turning point for us.”
The Wolf Pack are now off until this Saturday night, November 11, when they travel to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers in a 7:00 PM game. 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 next home action for the Wolf Pack is next Sunday, November 12, as the new Laval Rocket make their first-ever visit to the XL Center. That game is a 5:00 faceoff, and each of the Wolf Pack’s Sunday home games features the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”. The Family Value Pack 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.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Sunday, November 5, 2017 - XL Center
Springfield 0 0 2 - 2
Hartford 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Kosmachuk 2 (Whitney, Pionk), 1:46 (PP). 2, Hartford, DeSalvo 2 (Sproul, DeAngelo), 13:49 (PP). Penalties-Brown Spr (interference), 0:46; Scarlett Spr (holding), 12:12; Balisy Spr (tripping), 14:59; Catenacci Hfd (high-sticking), 19:01; DeAngelo Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:01.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Fogarty 3 19:44. Penalties-Bereglazov Hfd (delay of game), 3:04; Farnham Spr (fighting, game misconduct - jersey), 13:18; Crawley Hfd (cross-checking, fighting), 13:18; Brown Spr (hooking), 17:05; served by Hawryluk Spr (bench minor - abuse of officials), 19:44.
3rd Period-4, Hartford, Lettieri 5 (DeSalvo, Schneider), 1:08 (PP). 5, Springfield, Malgin 1 (Grenier, Greco), 10:16. 6, Springfield, Greco 5 (Balisy, Erixon), 13:35 (PP). Penalties-Pionk Hfd (delay of game), 2:40; Selleck Hfd (roughing), 11:35; Crawley Hfd (hooking), 12:13; Brown Spr (fighting), 14:38; Haapala Spr (roughing), 14:38; Valk Spr (roughing), 14:38; DeAngelo Hfd (roughing), 14:38; Graves Hfd (roughing, fighting), 14:38; Erixon Spr (tripping), 14:59; Valk Spr (hooking), 19:17.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 8-5-10-23. Hartford 13-9-12-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 7; Hartford 3 / 7.
Goalies-Springfield, Montembeault 1-6-1 (34 shots-30 saves). Hartford, Georgiev 2-3-1 (23 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Cameron Voss (41), Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Derek Wahl (46).