Former Pack Cracknell scores twice as Laval tops Hartford

Laval Rocket 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 2

Laval, Quebec, January 12, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack could not overcome a 3-0 first-period deficit Friday night at Place Bell, and lost 4-2 to the Laval Rocket.

Former Wolf Pack forward Adam Cracknell scored twice for Laval, including the shorthanded game-winner, and Eric Gelinas had a goal and an assist. Cole Schneider and Ryan Sproul had the Wolf Pack goals.

“We’re in a building where we know there’s going to be lots of electricity and excitement to start,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We’re developing guys to play in pressure situations like that, and I didn’t think that we responded well to the push that they had. They played a physical game to start, got us on our heels, and some guys weren’t able to handle that. I thought as the game got going, we found our traction, found our structure and were able to generate some scoring chances.”

The Wolf Pack fell behind on the game’s first shift, when Cracknell scored only 26 seconds after the opening faceoff. He took a feed from Daniel Audette and broke down the left side, getting past a couple of Wolf Pack defenders and putting a forehand shot up under the crossbar behind Wolf Pack goaltender Marek Mazanec (16 saves).

The Wolf Pack found themselves down two men at 9:13, on simultaneous penalties to Scott Kosmachuk (slashing) and John Gilmour (high-sticking). Hartford came within five seconds of killing the long 5-on-3, but the Rocket capitalized at 11:08, as Nikita Scherbak sent a cross-slot pass to Gelinas, a defenseman, who had rotated down to the bottom of the right circle. Gelinas’ one-timer easily beat Mazanec to the stick side.

Then, at 17:30, with the Wolf Pack on their first power play of the game, the Rocket made it a 3-0 lead with a shorthanded goal, Cracknell’s second tally of the game. After Cracknell was tossed out of a draw in the circle to Mazanec’s left, Audette, his replacement, cleanly beat the Wolf Pack’s Gabriel Fontaine, and Cracknell one-timed the puck past Mazanec’s catching glove.

It was the Wolf Pack getting the early jump in the second period, with a goal by Schneider 35 seconds in. Schneider’s pass from the right-wing corner went off the stick of Rocket defenseman Matt Taormina in front of the goal, and past Laval goaltender Zach Fucale (27 saves).

Hartford cut the lead to one goal at 14:37, on Sproul’s fourth goal of the season. A Gilmour pass sent Sproul away up the right side, and he surprised Fucale with a low shot from below the faceoff dot.

The Rocket got that goal back on a power play, though, at 17:33, with Brandon Crawley off for slashing. Scherbak fed from the top of the left circle across to Taormina, and his quick slap shot went in on the sick side.

The third period was scoreless, despite the Wolf Pack having a 5-on-3 power play for 1:31 after Yannick Veilleux was called for slashing at 7:43 and Gelinas for high-sticking at 8:12. Kosmachuk had the best chance, on a one-timer from the left side of the slot, but his shot missed wide.

The Wolf Pack continue a stretch of four straight road games Saturday night, with their first-ever visit to Belleville, Ontario, for a 7:00 PM game vs. the Belleville Senators. All of the action of that battle 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, January 19, when the Utica Comets return to the XL Center for a 7:15 contest. 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.

Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Laval Rocket 4
Friday, January 12, 2018 – Place Bell

Hartford 0 2 0 – 2
Laval 3 1 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Laval, Cracknell 11 (Audette), 0:26. 2, Laval, Gelinas 8 (Scherbak, Taormina), 11:08 (PP). 3, Laval, Cracknell 12 (Audette), 17:30 (SH). Penalties-Gilmour Hfd (high-sticking), 9:13; Kosmachuk Hfd (slashing), 9:13; Ebbing Lav (delay of game), 16:05.

2nd Period-4, Hartford, Schneider 7 (Holland, Tambellini), 0:35. 5, Hartford, Sproul 4 (Gilmour), 14:37 (PP). 6, Laval, Taormina 3 (Scherbak, Gelinas), 17:33 (PP). Penalties-Gelinas Lav (cross-checking), 7:44; Gropp Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:32; Cracknell Lav (slashing), 12:55; Crawley Hfd (slashing), 16:35.

3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Veilleux Lav (slashing), 7:43; Gelinas Lav (high-sticking), 8:12.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-12-10-29. Laval 8-5-7-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Laval 2 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Mazanec 6-3-1 (20 shots-16 saves). Laval, Fucale 5-2-0 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Mitch Dunning (3), Furman South (44).
Linesmen-Francois Dussureault (60), Nicolas Boivin (16).

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