PRE-GAME REPORT: WOLF PACK HOST PHANTOMS IN ANNUAL TEDDY BEAR TOSS GAMEDec 2, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack will look to make the teddies fly early tonight at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The club again welcomes the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to town for the second half of a weekend back-to-back on Teddy Bear Toss night.
The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and coverage is available on both AHLTV and Mixlr.
Tale of The Tape:
This is the fifth of six meetings between the Wolf Pack and Phantoms this season and the final one at the XL Center. It’s also the second half of a back-to-back set. The season series wraps up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the PPL Center on Friday, January 12th, 2024, at 7:05 p.m.
The Wolf Pack have won three of the first four meetings between the clubs and have collected seven of a possible eight points. Last night, the Wolf Pack scored a season-high seven goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the Phantoms.
The Pack fired a single-period high 20 shots in the opening frame and took a 3-0 lead to the locker room. Riley Nash opened the scoring 14:56 into the game, beating Cal Petersen with a backhander for Hartford’s second shorthanded goal of the season. Adam Sýkora then jammed home a loose puck at 17:12 on Hartford’s second powerplay of the night. Anton Blidh notched a powerplay goal of his own when he stuffed a rebound by Petersen from the side of the net at 19:36.
Nash’s second goal of the night 5:51 into the middle frame made it 4-0, as the Pack collected their third powerplay marker.
Two goals in 1:19 from the Phantoms brought some intrigue to the table, as JR Avon (10:51) and Ronnie Attard (12:10) quickly struck to make it a 4-2 game. Brennan Othmann put things out of reach at 17:41 of the middle stanza, however, sniping his sixth goal of the season by Petersen from the slot.
Sýkora jammed home his second goal of the night just 45 seconds later to make it a 6-2 spread.
Ryder Korczak picked up his second career goal, and Hartford's fourth powerplay tally of the night, 11:35 into the third period. Samu Tuomaala notched a late powerplay goal of his own, scoring the fifth goal of his rookie season at the 13:00 mark.
The Wolf Pack now have points in six straight games (5-0-1-0) against the Phantoms dating back to last season.
Wolf Pack Outlook:
The Wolf Pack scored four powerplay goals in a game for the first time this season and for the first time since March 24th, 2023, against Springfield. They went 4-for-9 that night in a 6-5 victory over the Thunderbirds. Last night, the Wolf Pack went 4-for-6 with the man advantage. Hartford’s powerplay now ranks third in the AHL with a 25% success rate. They trail only the Phantoms (T-1st, 25.4%) and Texas Stars (T-1st, 25.4%)
Nash picked up his third two-goal outing for the Wolf Pack this season. It was his second against the Phantoms. He scored a pair of powerplay goals in the team’s 4-1 victory at Lehigh Valley on October 29th.
Both Sýkora (2 g, 2 a, 4 pts) and Korczak (1 g, 2 a, 3 pts) set career-highs in points in last night’s victory.
Hartford’s current five-game winning streak is their longest of the season. Their previous longest streak was a four-game stretch to open the season (10/13/23 – 10/27/23).
Jonny Brodzinski leads the team in goals with eleven and points with 25 (11 g, 14 a). His eleven goals are tied for fourth in the league, while his 25 points are tied for second. He was recalled by the parent New York Rangers (NHL) on Tuesday.
Mac Hollowell, meanwhile, leads the team in assists with 17. His 17 assists are good for the league lead among defensemen.
The Phantoms suffered their first regulation loss last night since November 11th when they fell 2-0 to the Hershey Bears at the PPL Center. Last night was also the club’s first regulation loss on the road since a 4-2 setback on November 8th against the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center.
The four powerplay goals allowed to Hartford last night were the most surrendered by the Phantoms in a single game since October 29th, 2022. That night, the Phantoms gave up four powerplay goals in a 6-3 loss to the Bridgeport Islanders at the PPL Center.
Olle Lycksell leads the Phantoms in both goals with 12 and points with 19 (12 g, 7 a). He has four points (3 g, 1 a) in four games against the Wolf Pack this season. Samu Tuomaala, meanwhile, leads the club in assists with 13. He has scored in each of the Phantoms’ last two games against the Wolf Pack.
Play-by-play voice of the Wolf Pack Alex Thomas will have ‘Wolf Pack Pregame’ starting live at 6:45 p.m. on both AHLTV and Mixlr.
Tonight is the night! The Wolf Pack host their annual Teddy Bear Toss Game at the XL Center! Be sure to bring a new or gently used teddy bear or stuffed animal to throw onto the ice following the Wolf Pack’s first goal of the hockey game! In addition, the Wolf Pack will be wearing specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off online at DASH auctions!
Tickets are available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s inception in 1997. The Wolf Pack is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and plays at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack has been home to some of the Rangers newest faces including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.