Fontaine nets two as Pack explode for seven goals in win
Hartford Wolf Pack 7, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3
By Ben Harff
Hartford, CT, December 15, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack exploded for a season-high seven goals Friday night at the XL Center, in a 7-3 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The win was the Wolf Pack’s third straight, and stretched a streak of games with at least a standings point to six (4-0-1-1).
John Gilmour and Gabriel Fontaine led the way with two goals apiece, and Scott Kosmachuk had a goal and two assists. Peter Holland added three assists, and Marek Mazanec made 31 saves, for his second victory in two Wolf Pack starts.
Hartford opened the scoring 6:52 into the game. Cole Schneider and Holland exchanged the puck on a two-on-one, and Schneider found Ryan Graves, who was trailing the play. Graves received the pass and ripped a shot, beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton starting netminder Casey DeSmith top-shelf, for Graves’ second goal of the season.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored next, at 13:29. Thomas DiPauli scooped up the puck in his own zone, exited with speed, and created a partial breakaway. With just one hand on his stick, DiPauli shoved the puck past Mazanec, earning DiPauli his ninth goal of the season. Teddy Blueger and Kevin Spinozzi assisted on the goal.
The Wolf Pack, however, pounced on their next chance, scoring on the game’s first power play. A nice passing play involving Steven Fogarty and Ryan Gropp resulted in Gropp finding a wide-open Kosmachuk, who netted his sixth of the year at 15:58.
Hartford came out with commanding control in the second period, scoring three quick, early goals and forcing the Penguins to change goalies before the midway point of the frame.
Only 1:05 into the period, Gilmour ripped a shot past DeSmith, with assists given to Kosmachuk and Fogarty.
Just 2:32 later, at 3:37, with the Wolf Pack on a 4-on-3 power play, Gilmour received a perfect pass from Kosmachuk at the top slot and slammed home a one-timer for his second goal of the night.
Following that goal, the Penguins replaced DeSmith with Sean Maguire. The Wolf Pack greeted him with another goal just 16 seconds later, though, at 3:53. This time it was Fontaine scoring, on the rebound of a Dawson Leedahl shot.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fought hard to eat into Hartford’s lead, but weren’t successful until the 10:08 mark. In a delayed-penalty situation, Frank Corrado’s shot bounced off Mazanec’s pads and the rebound went right to Blueger, who scored his sixth of the season. Adam Johnson also assisted on the goal.
The third period had a similar theme as the others, as the Wolf Pack outshot the Penguins 19-6, and outscored their opponents 2-1. The first third-period action came from Fontaine again. At 7:21, he received a pass from Gilmour and scored his second of the night.
Only 48 seconds thereafter, at 8:09, the Wolf Pack struck one more time. Anthony DeAngelo scored his first Wolf Pack goal, burying the rebound of a shot by Holland, who posted his third assist of the contest.
The last goal of the game came at 9:20 and was off the stick of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Daniel Sprong. Sprong scored his 15th goal of the season, tops among AHL rookies, on a shot from between the hash marks. Gage Quinney and former Wolf Pack Chis Summers assisted.
“We liked the pace and speed that we played at,” said Wolf Pack Head Coach Keith McCambridge. ”We thought we had good structure in all three zones.”
When asked about his team’s most explosive game of the year so far, McCambridge replied, “We felt there were some areas we could give ourselves some chances to score some goals, and the group did a real good job with that.”
The Wolf Pack now head up to Springfield for a Saturday-night date with the Thunderbirds. Faceoff is 7:05, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is next Friday, December 22, when they host the Providence Bruins in a 7:15 PM contest, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 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 2017-18 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.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 7
Friday, December 15, 2017 – XL Center
W-B/Scranton 1 1 1 – 3
Hartford 2 3 2 – 7
1st Period-1, Hartford, Graves 2 (Schneider, Holland), 6:52. 2, W-B/Scranton, DiPauli 9 (Blueger, Spinozzi), 13:29. 3, Hartford, Kosmachuk 6 (Gropp, Fogarty), 15:58 (PP). Penalties-Dea Wbs (roughing), 7:55; Fogarty Hfd (roughing), 7:55; Dea Wbs (double minor – high-sticking), 12:32; DeAngelo Hfd (interference), 12:32.
2nd Period-4, Hartford, Gilmour 3 (Kosmachuk, Holland), 1:05. 5, Hartford, Gilmour 4 (Kosmachuk, Fogarty), 3:37 (PP). 6, Hartford, Fontaine 3 (Leedahl, Chapie), 3:53. 7, W-B/Scranton, Blueger 6 (Corrado, Johnson), 10:08. Penalties-DiPauli Wbs (roughing), 1:44; Crawley Hfd (roughing), 1:44; Johnson Wbs (tripping), 2:22.
3rd Period-8, Hartford, Fontaine 4 (Gilmour), 7:21. 9, Hartford, DeAngelo 1 (Sproul, Holland), 8:09. 10, W-B/Scranton, Sprong 15 (Quinney, Summers), 9:20. Penalties-Pedan Wbs (interference), 15:53; Smith Wbs (roughing), 18:57; Leedahl Hfd (roughing), 18:57.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 13-15-6-34. Hartford 8-11-19-38.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 0; Hartford 2 / 3.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, DeSmith 10-3-1 (11 shots-7 saves); Maguire 1-1-0 (27 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 2-0-0 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Corey Syvret (42).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Brent Colby (7).