Feb 5, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack found themselves trailing 2-0 after the first period of play on Saturday night at the XL Center in Hartford against the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Wolf Pack exploded for five goals in the second period, completely flipping the script in a 6-4 victory over the Phantoms. The loss snapped a three-game losing streak for the Wolf Pack against the Phantoms.

Nils Lundkvist took a pass from Jonny Brodzinski at the far point in the offensive zone before gliding his way into the high slot area. Lundkvist fired a heavy, hard wrist shot into traffic that cleanly beat Garrett Metcalf for his first career AHL goal 14:24 into middle frame. The goal, Hartford’s fifth in the period, stood as the eventual winner.

The Wolf Pack fell behind by multiple goals in the opening period for the second straight meeting with the Phantoms. Hayden Hodgson opened the scoring with his team-leading 12th goal of the season just 7:37 into the game. Garrett Wilson set Hodgson up in the slot, and he pounded a one-timer by Keith Kinkaid for his second goal in as many games against the Wolf Pack.

The Phantoms extended the lead at 12:11, as Charlie Gerard scored his third goal of the campaign. Gerard found a loose puck in the slot area after Egor Zamula’s point shot was blocked. Gerard fired the puck into traffic, where it found its way into the back of the net.

Hartford responded in a big way in the middle frame, scoring a season-high five goals in the period. Austin Rueschhoff opened the scoring for Hartford 3:18 into the period with his eleventh goal of the season, converting on a feed from Patrick Khodorenko. The Wolf Pack tied the game just over three minutes later, this time striking on the powerplay. Lundkvist’s shot was denied by Metcalf, but the rebound bounced right to Tim Gettinger who fired the puck into the empty net at 6:33 for his ninth goal of the season.

The Wolf Pack took their first lead at 8:57, as Mike O’Leary joined the scoring party. O’Leary was cruising through the slot when he redirected a point shot from Matthew Robertson that beat Metcalf for his fourth goal of the season. The party was far from finished, as the Wolf Pack penalty kill was still yet to be heard from.

They got their moment at 12:10, extending the lead to 4-2 with a shorthanded tally compliments of Morgan Barron. Barron tipped a centering pass from Tanner Fritz through the five-hole of Metcalf for his second shorthanded tally of the campaign.

Lundkvist capped off the period with his first AHL goal at 14:24, punctuating a sequence of five goals in 11:06.

The Phantoms did cut the lead to 5-3 15:09 into the third period, creating some intrigue late. Wyatte Wylie’s blast form the point beat Kinkaid for his third goal of the season. Moments later, at 15:38, the Phantoms went to the powerplay as Zach Giuttari was called for high-sticking.

It was again Hartford’s penalty kill, not the Phantom powerplay, that scored, however. Metcalf bobbled a puck behind his goal that Brodzinski found. The captain stole the puck, then stuffed home his team-leading 16th goal of the season to cement the victory. Brodzinski’s tally gives him a nine-game scoring streak, which sets a new franchise record.

Isaac Ratcliffe did score at the 19:34 mark of the third period, but the Phantoms’ fate had already been decided at that point.

The Wolf Pack continue a four-game homestand on Friday night when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds. Join us for $2 beers and $1 hot dogs, courtesy of our friends at Nomads Entertainment! Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. The Pack is also home next Saturday night when they host the Rochester Americans on ‘Olympics Night’ at the XL Center. Puck drop is also set for 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for both games are still 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 are the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and play 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.  

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