Allentown, PA, – Brandon Halverson made a Hartford Wolf Pack season-high 42 saves Friday night at the PPL Center, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3-2, despite being outshot 44-18.
The game was the first of a back-to-back set between the two teams in Allentown.
Philip McRae had the third-period game-winning goal for the Wolf Pack, and added an assist, and Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen also had Wolf Pack goals. Mark Alt and Scott Laughton scored for the Phantoms in the third, in which Lehigh Valley outshot Hartford 25-5.
“It was a tough game,” Halverson said. “I think we got a little undisciplined, just making little mistakes here and there, but I think as the game went on, I was there to bail my teammates out, and at the same time, guys were, as usual, blocking shots and making good plays. And I thought our [defensive]zone was pretty solid, even though they got a couple 2-on-1’s, I thought we played them really well. I thought it was a good game.”
After a scoreless first period, the Wolf Pack got the only goal of the second.
That came at 2:39, the 11th of the season for Hrivik. His linemates, Chris Brown and Justin Fontaine broke into the Phantom zone on a 2-on-1, and Brown’s attempted pass to Fontaine was partially blocked. Fontaine collected the puck, though, and dropped it off to Hrivik coming late, and his shot from the right side of the slot got through Lehigh Valley goaltender. and former Yale University star, Alex Lyon.
Jensen upped the lead to 2-0 at 5:20 of the third period, with the Wolf Pack on their only full power play of the game. After Danick Martel was called for slashing at 5:03, a shot from the right point by McRae was blocked by Alt right to Jensen, who gunned the puck home from the left-wing faceoff dot for his 22nd of the season.
Alt foiled Halverson’s shutout bid with his first goal in 15 games on the season just 1:35 later, at 6:55. Will O’Neill fed the puck from the right point to Alt at the top of the left circle, and his one-timer got by Halverson on the glove side.
McRae restored the Wolf Pack’s two-goal lead with what turned out to be the game-winner at 14:13. The rebound of a Robin Kovacs shot came to McRae on the right-wing boards, and his sharp-angle try went off of Lyon, hit Phantom defenseman Travis Sanheim in front of the goal and caromed in.
That goal loomed large, as Laughton scored with 2:59 remaining, on a shot from the right circle that Halverson got a piece of but could not keep out of the goal. Laughton was set up by Sanheim and Colin McDonald.
Lehigh Valley could never get the equalizer, though, despite getting Lyon to the bench for an extra attacker with over two minutes still left, and being awarded a power play at 19:25, when Steven Kampfer was called for delay-of-game for shooting the puck over the glass.
The Wolf Pack and Phantoms rematch Saturday night at the PPL Center, with faceoff at 7:05 PM. 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 Wolf Pack home game is this Sunday, February 19 vs. the Springfield Thunderbirds. That is a 5:00 game, and it’s “Sonar Saves Pet Adoption Night”. Fans can take a look at a number of Sonar’s lovable little friends who are in need of good homes with loving families. That is also another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all remaining 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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
Friday, February 17, 2017 – PPL Center
Hartford 0 1 2 – 3
Lehigh Valley 0 0 2 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-McRae Hfd (hooking), 9:42; Miele Lv (high-sticking), 9:54; Kampfer Hfd (holding), 13:37; Summers Hfd (roughing), 14:38; Martel Lv (roughing), 14:38.
2nd Period-1, Hartford, Hrivik 11 (Fontaine, Brown), 2:39. Penalties-Jensen Hfd (roughing), 14:16; Graves Hfd (slashing), 18:43.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Jensen 22 (McRae, Bodie), 5:20 (PP). 3, Lehigh Valley, Alt 1 (O’Neill, Knight), 6:55. 4, Hartford, McRae 8 (Kovacs, Hughes), 14:13. 5, Lehigh Valley, Laughton 12 (Sanheim, McDonald), 17:01. Penalties-Carey Hfd (hooking), 2:24; Martel Lv (slashing), 5:03; Hughes Hfd (elbowing), 9:01; Kampfer Hfd (delay of game), 19:25.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-3-5-18. Lehigh Valley 8-11-25-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 2; Lehigh Valley 0 / 7.
Goalies-Hartford, Halverson 8-9-0 (44 shots-42 saves). Lehigh Valley, Lyon 20-10-2 (18 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Mike Campbell (36).
Linesmen-Jason Mandroc (17), Matt McNulty (26).