Andersson, Tambellini fuel comeback, Pack win in shootout

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 (SO)

Allentown, PA, February 17, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack rallied from a 2-0 third-period deficit Saturday night at the PPL Center, to defeat the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3-2 in a shootout.

Adam Tambellini had a goal and an assist, and the only goal of the shootout, for the Wolf Pack, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Lias Andersson also scored, and Chris Nell made 23 saves, and was 3-for-3 in the shootout, in his first AHL action since December 9.

Phil Varone and Oskar Lindblom scored first-period goals for the Phantoms, who came into the game in first place in the Atlantic Division and winners of five straight. Dustin Tokarski made 32 saves.

“Being down 2-0 against one of the best teams in the American Hockey League, to be able to dig down and come up with the full two points, it speaks volumes of the character in that room,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said.

Andersson got the Wolf Pack comeback started 4:10 into the third, scoring for a second straight game. Tambellini fed the puck off the left-wing boards to Andersson high in the slot, and his quick, hard shot beat Tokarski, spoiling the veteran’s shutout bid.

The Phantoms then took four straight minor penalties, and killed the first three. After Maxime Lamarche was called for delay of game at 13:41 for shooting the puck over the glass, though, the Wolf Pack broke through to tie the game.

This time it was Tambellini with the finish. Scott Kosmachuk carried the puck into the zone on the right side and handed to Tambellini in the middle, and he passed to Boo Nieves on left wing. Nieves fed the puck right back to Tambellini, and his 30-foot shot beat Tokarski to the glove side.

“The biggest thing, when you’re down in the game, is to understand that if you play on the right side of the puck, you’re going to get your opportunities,” McCambridge said. “You’ve just got to make the most of them. We did a good job keeping our feet moving in the third period, drew some penalties, and a real nice goal by [Tambellini] on the power play.”

The tie held up through the rest of regulation and overtime, and Tambellini’s goal on the Wolf Pack’s first attempt of the shootout, a forehand shot past Tokarski’s stick side, turned out to be the difference. Nell, who was seeing his first Wolf Pack action since re-joining the team from Kansas City of the ECHL last Friday, stopped Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Lindblom and Varone.

“I thought Chris did a real good job battling,” said McCambridge of Nell. “The third period, there were some decent chances, some good looks, that they got, and he found ways to find those loose pucks and not give second chances. A real good job by him battling back in the back half of that game.”

The Wolf Pack outshot the Phantoms 13-8 in the first period, but Lehigh Valley came out of the frame with a 2-0 lead.

Varone opened the scoring at 11:49, working the puck out of the right-wing corner and moving to the faceoff circle. His shot from there appeared to hit the stick of Hartford defenseman Vince Pedrie, and it got by Nell.

Lindblom then upped the lead to 2-0 only 1:59 later, at 13:48. Aube-Kubel moved out of the left-wing corner out toward to the blue line, and handed the puck to Travis Sanheim at the top of the slot. His hard drive was deflected by Lindblom past Nell.

The Wolf Pack and Nell successfully killed three penalties in a scoreless second period, setting up the third-period revival.

The Wolf Pack finish a six-game road trip Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport, taking on the Sound Tigers in a 3:00 PM game. 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, February 23, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the Hershey Bears at the XL Center. 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 3 (SO) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – PPL Center

Hartford 0 0 2 0 – 3
Lehigh Valley 2 0 0 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Varone 13 11:49. 2, Lehigh Valley, Lindblom 15 (Sanheim, Aube-Kubel), 13:47. Penalties-Lamarche Lv (slashing), 15:20.

2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Bardreau Lv (high-sticking), 0:14; Catenacci Hfd (tripping), 2:32; Kosmachuk Hfd (slashing), 11:07; Pedrie Hfd (interference), 16:43; Kosmachuk Hfd (cross-checking), 19:40; Myers Lv (interference), 19:40.

3rd Period-3, Hartford, Andersson 3 (Tambellini), 4:10. 4, Hartford, Tambellini 11 (Nieves, Kosmachuk), 15:10 (PP). Penalties-Myers Lv (hooking), 5:15; Myers Lv (slashing), 8:32; Vorobyev Lv (slashing), 11:07; Lamarche Lv (delay of game), 13:41; Schneider Hfd (roughing), 17:08; Lamarche Lv (roughing), 17:08.

OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Hartford 1 (Tambellini G, Chytil NG), Lehigh Valley 0 (Aube-Kubel NG, Lindblom NG, Varone NG).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 13-8-11-2-1-35. Lehigh Valley 8-7-8-2-0-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 6; Lehigh Valley 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Nell 6-5-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Lehigh Valley, Tokarski 13-5-5 (34 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Guillaume Labonte (35), Ben O’Quinn (27).
Linesmen-Bevan Mills (53), Luke Murray (92).

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