Fogarty, Nieves score in Pack win
Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
Wilkes-Barre, PA, March 17, 2018 – Cole Schneider had a goal and an assist, and Chris Nell made 30 saves Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, to help the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The victory was Hartford’s second straight, after the Wolf Pack broke out of an 0-5-1-0 drought with a 4-3 shootout win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night at home.
Dan DeSalvo had the game-winning goal for the Wolf Pack in Saturday’s game, and Steven Fogarty and Vinni Lettieri also scored. Daniel Sprong scored the only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goal.
“I liked our start,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We had some travel involved, Wilkes-Barre didn’t play [Friday] night, and we talked about making sure our first ten minutes were sharp, and the group did a good job accomplishing that.”
The Wolf Pack controlled much of the first period, outshooting their hosts 16-7, and scored a pair of late goals to build a 2-0 lead.
Schneider opened the scoring for Hartford at the 16:14 mark, with his 15th goal of the season and fourth in the last four games. Simon Denis snapped the puck at the net from the right-wing boards and Schneider deflected it, causing it to squeak past the catching glove of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Anthony Peters (27 saves).
Then, only 34 seconds later, at 16:48, DeSalvo increased the lead to two. Chris Bigras sent Gabriel Fontaine out of the Hartford zone with a lead pass, and Fontaine carried into the Penguin end on the right side. His shot went off of Peters’ pads and into the slot, and DeSalvo chopped at the rebound backhanded, causing the puck to float over Peters and drop into the net.
The Penguins had a big edge in play in the second period, helped by four power plays, and outshot the Wolf Pack 18-3 in the frame. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton couldn’t get anything by Nell, though, and the 2-0 Hartford lead carried over into the third period.
“I thought Nell had a good game tonight,” McCambridge said. “Obviously, when you’re having to kill so many times in the second period, your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer, and he was strong for us.”
Sprong ended Nell’s shutout bid 4:32 into the third, scoring off of a 2-on-1. Tom Kostopoulos led Sprong up the left side with a pass, and he used Gage Quinney as a decoy, moving towards the middle and putting a forehand shot underneath Nell’s pads.
The Wolf Pack showed a quick strike offense again later in the third, though, scoring twice in 54 seconds to put the game away.
Fogarty made it a 3-1 game with his ninth of the season at 14:49. He intercepted a Penguin pass in the neutral zone and moved down the right side in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton end, before inducing Peters to go down and then snapping a shot over the netminder’s left shoulder.
Then, at 15:43, Lettieri increased his team-leading goal total to 17, making it a three-goal margin. Vince Pedrie passed the puck from the left point into the corner, and it deflected to Schneider along the goal line. He lifted it toward the front of the net, and Filip Chytil knocked it out of the air to Lettieri, who easily jammed it past Peters from the right side of the goalmouth.
“We’ve been talking about times during the game when there’s momentum shifts,” said McCambridge. “We gave up momentum in the second, but we felt the start of the game, and the other times, to be able to get quick goals like that and build off those momentum shifts, obviously give you a leg up.”
The Wolf Pack complete a three-game weekend with a home game Sunday, as the Rochester Americans visit the XL Center for a 5:00 PM contest. That is another opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
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 4 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
Saturday, March 17, 2018 – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Hartford 2 0 2 – 4
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Schneider 15 (Denis), 16:14. 2, Hartford, DeSalvo 4 (Fontaine, Bigras), 16:48. Penalties-Pedrie Hfd (tripping), 1:02.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Lafferty Wbs (tripping), 2:18; served by Kosmachuk Hfd (bench minor – delay of game (faceoff violation)), 2:33; DeSalvo Hfd (delay of game), 6:21; Albert Hfd (delay of game), 10:19; Crawley Hfd (fighting), 14:06; Cramarossa Wbs (fighting), 14:06; Schneider Hfd (high-sticking), 14:32.
3rd Period-3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Sprong 22 (Kostopoulos), 4:32. 4, Hartford, Fogarty 9 14:49. 5, Hartford, Lettieri 17 (Chytil, Schneider), 15:43. Penalties-Labrie Hfd (fighting), 1:44; Prow Wbs (interference), 1:44; Wilson Wbs (fighting), 1:44.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 16-3-12-31. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 7-18-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0 / 5.
Goalies-Hartford, Nell 8-8-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Peters 10-7-3 (31 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Troy Paterson (29), Stephen Thomson (15).
Linesmen-J.P. Waleski (14), Scott Pomento (25).