Hartford Wolf Pack 2, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, January 6, 2017 – Magnus Hellberg made 31 saves, and Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Brown scored goals 1:23 apart in the second period Friday night at the XL Center, to carry the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The victory snapped a season-high streak of four straight regulation losses for the Wolf Pack.
The Phantoms got off to an early lead just a little more than a quarter into the first period, after the Wolf Pack tested Phantom goalie Anthony Stolarz with several shots. Jordan Weal netted the game’s first goal for the Phantoms at 5:43, assisted by Danick Martel and T.J. Brennan.
Hartford’s best opportunity came near the midpoint of the period, as winger Matt Carey ripped a shot that rebounded onto the stick of John Gilmour, who was ultimately denied by Stolarz. The Wolfpack used this opportunity as a chance to swing the momentum, as they began picking up their physical play. Defenseman Chris Summers was sent to the box with 2:21 remaining in the period for elbowing, but the Hartford man-down unit was able to fend off the Phantom attack in the last couple of minutes.
The Wolf Pack continued to use the momentum they built early in the second period. Lehigh Valley’s Mark Alt served two minutes in the box for high sticking 57 seconds in. Although unable to net a goal, the Wolf Pack seemed to take control of the game.
Several minutes later, the Wolf Pack received their second power play opportunity of the period, and this time they were able to capitalize at 8:59, on a one-timer from the right-wing side by Buchnevich, playing his first career AHL game after having been assigned by the New York Rangers earlier in the day.
Then, at 10:22, Brown scored what would prove to be the winning goal, flicking a shot past Stolarz’ catching glove, after Philip McRae won a draw from Andy Miele to Stolarz’ right.
That would prove to be the end of the scoring, as Hellberg frustrated the Phantoms the rest of the way. The Phantoms got Stolarz to the bench for an extra attacker with 1:30 remaining in the third, and came within inches of tying the game in the dying seconds of regulation, but a shot by Brennan went off the inside of the goal post to Hellberg’s right.
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Saturday night, January 7, hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 7:30 PM game. The Wolf Pack will “Red Out” the rink for that game, as the first 5,000 fans will receive a free red Wolf Pack t-shirt, courtesy of CT-DOT.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Friday, January 6, 2017 – XL Center
Lehigh Valley 1 0 0 – 1
Hartford 0 2 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Weal 11 (Martel, Brennan), 5:43. Penalties-Gilmour Hfd (holding), 9:56; Summers Hfd (elbowing), 17:49.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Buchnevich 1 (Bodie, Fontaine), 8:59 (PP). 3, Hartford, Brown 7 (McRae), 10:22. Penalties-Alt Lv (high-sticking), 0:57; O’Neill Lv (tripping), 7:56.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Alderson Hfd (tripping), 2:49; Glass Hfd (delay of game), 5:35; Weal Lv (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:08.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 9-12-11-32. Hartford 5-11-7-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 4; Hartford 1 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 6-3-0 (23 shots-21 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 9-8-4 (32 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Peter MacDougall (45).
Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (81), Kevin Briganti (39).