Oct 21, 2023

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack squared off against the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their second of two home games this weekend at the XL Center. In a game with a heavy number of penalties, the Wolf Pack would pull away in the third period, scoring three times on their way to a 5-1 victory. It is their best start since 2004-05 and marked the franchise’s 1,000th victory. They are the ninth team in league history to accomplish that feat.

The Wolf Pack got off to a hot start in the first period, registering the first five shots of the game. Brett Berard would record his second goal of the season at the 5:59 mark of the period as he ripped a shot from the right-wing circle past Cal Petersen. Nikolas Brouillard had the lone assist, his first point with the Wolf Pack.

As the shots began to come for Lehigh Valley, an interference call on Garrett Wilson gave the Wolf Pack their first powerplay of the evening. The Phantoms put together a strong kill as they kept Hartford on the perimeter of the offensive zone, all while a stickless Ronnie Attard did an effective job clearing the crease.

With 3:15 left on the clock, Alex Belzile buried a rebound off a Jonny Brodzinski point shot to put the Wolf Pack up two. Riley Nash and Brodzinski were credited with the assists, with Brodzinski earning his team-leading fifth point of the season. The goal was Hartford’s fourth powerplay marker of the campaign.

The middle stanza saw two powerplay opportunities for the Phantoms, of which the latter saw five shots from seemingly every angle, including a breakaway opportunity from Tanner Laczynski that was robbed by the glove of Garand. A strong individual effort from Bobby Trivigno along the boards in the Phantoms’ zone drew a hooking call one defenseman Adam Ginning, but Lehigh Valley stood tall with the kill.

The Phantoms cut Hartford’s lead in half at the 18:58 mark of the period, as Olle Lycksell netted his fourth goal of the season off a rebound from a Laczynski bid. Lycksell notably recorded a hat-trick in Lehigh Valley’s 5-2 win over Springfield last night, making this his fourth goal in two contests.

Garand made crucial saves early in the third period, including a robbery on a Lycksell one-timer. The Wolf Pack responded with a Brouillard tally at 6:53 that created some breathing room. Brouillard buried a nifty cross-ice feed from Jake Leschyshyn that left him a wide open net. Defenseman Brandon Scanlin recorded his first point of the season with a secondary assist.

The goals would not stop there, as Trivigno netted his first goal of the season with 9:27 to go by waiting out Petersen with a deke on a breakaway to put Hartford ahead 4-1. Ben Harpur and Ryder Korczak recorded the assists, with Korczak notching his first professional point.

In the waning minutes, Brodzinski converted on a stretch pass from Belzile, extending Hartford’s lead to 5-1 with 4:07 left in the contest. Brodzinski has now scored in three straight contests.

Garand made 32 saves in what was a strong performance, with several key saves keeping the Wolf Pack ahead early in the final frame as the Phantoms fired everything towards the next year netminder.

The Wolf Pack next play host to the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday, October 27th, before traveling to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for another duel with the Penguins on Saturday night. Tickets for next week’s contest at the XL Center are available on 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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