WOLF PACK BLANK ROCKET 4-0 ON THE STRENGTH OF TWO AUSTIN RUESCHHOFF GOALS

WOLF PACK SURRENDER THREE STRAIGHT GOALS, FALL 3-1 TO PHANTOMS IN RETURN TO XL CENTER

Dec 17, 2021

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack drew first blood on Friday night at the XL Center, but ultimately couldn’t build on it in a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their first home game in 21 days. The loss gives Hartford their first three-game losing streak of the 2021-22 season.

Logan Day dropped a pass back to Connor Bunnaman, who gained position in the offensive zone and fired a hard, heavy shot on Wolf Pack starter Adam Húska. The bid beat Húska, giving the Phantoms their first lead 17:56 into the second period. The goal would prove to be the difference in the Phantoms’ third straight victory.

The Wolf Pack opened the scoring 1:49 into the second period. Lauri Pajuniemi faked a pass to Matthew Robertson at the point, and instead fed Anthony Greco just off the far wall. Greco worked his way into the slot and fired a shot by Pat Nagle for his sixth of the season.

The Wolf Pack, however, were unable to build on the lead. The Phantoms tied the game 59 seconds later, as Hayden Hodgson tipped a Cal O’Reilly pass home for his fourth goal of the season at 2:48. Just under five minutes later, the Phantoms had a glorious chance to wrestle the lead away from Hartford.

Forward P.C. Labrie was called for four minutes of penalties, taking a two-minute minor for elbowing and another for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Wolf Pack penalty kill, ranked top-ten in the AHL, stood its ground and kept the game tied at 1-1.

The Phantoms would gain the lead at 17:56, however, as Bunnaman rifled home his second of the year from Day and Gerry Mayhew.

In the third period, the visitors locked it down, preventing the Wolf Pack from generating many high-quality scoring chances. The game was cemented at the 18:00 mark, as Maksim Sushko got a fortuitous bounce to hit the empty net for his third goal of the season.

The Wolf Pack return to action tomorrow night when they visit the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Pack is back at the XL Center on Sunday, December 19th, to conclude their home-and-home with the Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 3:00 pm. Tickets 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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