WOLF PACK WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT AS SPECIAL TEAMS HELP POWER PAST PHANTOMS 7-3Dec 1, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack welcomed the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to town for the first of two games at the XL Center this weekend. The Wolf Pack entered tonight on a four-game win streak, while the Phantoms came to town riding a six-game point streak. The Wolf Pack notched a season-high five special teams goals to upend the Phantoms by a final score of 7-3.
Riley Nash’s second goal of the game proved to be the game-winner, as he buried Hartford’s third powerplay goal of the contest at the 5:51 mark of the second period to make it 4-0 Wolf Pack. Brennan Othmann found Nash in his office at the back post for his ninth of the year. The goal gave Nash his third multi-goal outing of the season.
The Phantoms came out swinging offensively, outshooting the Pack 8-1 in the first half of period one, but Louis Domingue stood tall. Matt Rempe went off for tripping at 13:24 just as Lehigh Valley killed off an Emil Andrae penalty.
With under 30 seconds left on the Phantoms' powerplay, Nash sped down the right-wing wall to retrieve an unoccupied puck, before cutting to the middle and slipping the puck by the pad of Cal Petersen to make it 1-0 Wolf Pack. Nash’s tally was his eighth of the season and Hartford’s second shorthanded goal of the year.
The Wolf Pack special teams units stayed busy, getting another crack on the powerplay less than a minute after the Nash goal. As the powerplay was set to expire, Adam Sýkora found the puck in a scrum in front of the Phantoms’ net and beat Petersen low to make it 2-0 Wolf Pack with his third tally of the season.
That wouldn’t be all, as Anton Blidh netted his fourth goal of the season at the 19:36 mark to make it 3-0 Hartford. Ryder Korczak recorded his second assist of the game on the goal. All three first-period goals came from the Wolf Pack’s special teams units.
Hartford’s powerplay continued to get reps in the middle stanza, as Nash’s backdoor tap-in for his second goal of the game made it 4-0. The Phantoms started generating some offense of their own in the ensuing minutes, as JR Avon got them on the board at 10:51. He waited out a defender before beating Domingue up high to make it 4-1.
Just over a minute later, the Phantoms struck again, this time courtesy of defenseman Ronnie Attard, who trailed the rush to the top of the right-wing circle and buried a setup feed from Cooper Marody making it 4-2.
Lehigh Valley found themselves in the box again at 15:38, giving Hartford their fifth powerplay of the evening. As the powerplay time expired, Othmann found a lane into the slot and roofed a shot to make it 5-2 Wolf Pack. The Pack hit their stride in the second period, as Sýkora put them up 6-2 with his second of the game, backhanding a rebound by Petersen that came off a shot from Blidh.
On their fifth powerplay of the game, Korczak netted his second goal of the year at the 11:35 mark of the third period, making it 7-2 Wolf Pack. Korczak recorded his career-high third point (1 g, 2 a) of the night on the play.
A late powerplay for Lehigh Valley led to a Samu Tuomaala goal that made it 7-3 at the 13:00 mark.
Seven Wolf Pack players recorded a multi-point game, two of which were multi-goal games.
The Wolf Pack face off against the Phantoms once again tomorrow night on the backend of their weekend series at the XL Center. The puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available on www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
# # #
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.