WOLF PACK WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT, KNOCK OFF PHANTOMS 5-1Apr 1, 2023
ALLENTOWN, PA – The Hartford Wolf Pack won their fourth consecutive game on Saturday night, scoring three times in the third period to pull away from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in an eventual 5-1 decision. The win completed a weekend sweep for Hartford and lowered their magic number to eleven.
Will Lockwood pushed Hartford’s lead to 2-0 5:38 into the game, getting credit for his 16th goal of the season and fourth with the Wolf Pack. Ryan Carpenter curled into the left-wing circle and fired a shot toward the goal. The shot grazed off Lockwood’s stick, then hit the arm of Phantoms defenseman Louie Belpedio before hitting the twine.
Hartford opened the scoring just 2:18 into the game, as Lauri Pajuniemi was sprung in on a breakaway by Anton Blidh. Pajuniemi snapped a shot by Nolan Maier for his 19th goal of the season, giving Hartford a lead they never lost. Lockwood would deflect home the Carpenter shot 3:20 later, extending the lead.
Trailing 2-0 after one period of play, the Phantoms came out firing in the middle stanza. They outshot the Wolf Pack by a 12-5 margin, and got within one 7:33 in. Emil Andrae collected a pass in the slot and ripped a shot over the glove of Dylan Garand for the first goal of his AHL career in just his fourth game. The goal would be all the Phantoms could manage on this night, however, as Garand was terrific. He made eleven saves in the second period, and 34 overall on the night.
The Phantoms continued to push in the final stanza, but Hartford was able to find the insurance they needed to cement two huge points. Tanner Fritz made it a 3-1 game with his ninth goal of the season at 7:52, taking a pass from Tim Gettinger and beating Maier over the glove. The goal was reviewed but stood as called. Fritz finished the game with his second two-point (1 g, 1 a) performance of the weekend.
Jake Leschyshyn was sprung in on a partial breakaway but was denied by Maier. The puck ended up behind the net, where Jonny Brodzinski collected it. Brodzinski wrapped it around and stuffed home his 21st goal of the season at 9:31.
The scoring on this night was finished off by Carpenter, who fired a laser over the glove of Maier for his 19th goal of the season and second point of the night.
The Pack return to the XL Center on Wednesday, April 5th, hosting the Toronto Marlies for the only time this season. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. To get tickets, visit 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.