Hartford, CT, December 20, 2014 – Ryan Malone’s three-on-three overtime goal lifted the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday at the XL Center.
Malone jammed in the rebound of an Oscar Lindberg bid at 4:56 of the OT to secure the win. Chad Nehring scored the other Hartford goal, and Cedrick Desjardins made 25 saves. Zack Stortini scored the only Phantom goal, and Anthony Stolarz stopped 24 shots in the Lehigh Valley net.
Hartford assistant coach Jeff Beukeboom said of Desjardins’ performance, “I thought that was probably his best outing of this year as far as how solid he was, how he came up with all the saves when he needed to. I thought we weren’t very good early and he made some big saves.”
Just as the first period was wrapping up, Stortini gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. It was Nick Cousins who was digging for the puck in the right-wing corner when he found Stortini, who beat Desjardins from in front for his tenth point of the season.
Near the halfway point of the second period, Nehring tied the game at one. It was Conor Allen battling for the puck along the boards and throwing it to the front of the net. Nehring was battling for position and was able to get a stick on the puck to tip it over Stolarz’s shoulder.
“We have a tendency sometimes to look for the easy game. We have a skilled team so I think we got our nose dirty there,” said Malone.
On the overtime winner, Malone was able to bang the puck past Stolarz from the side of the crease. Mat Bodie sent the puck over to Oscar Lindberg, who fired the puck on net from the right circle. Malone was there and kept throwing the rebound at the net until it finally crossed the goal line.
“I think we’re starting to figure it out, jell a little bit, and making sure all five guys on the ice are on the same page and it’s all about continually doing the little things right,” said Malone. “A lot of games that we lost are really taking a lot of bad penalties or turnovers, and really beat ourselves. So we’re trying to eliminate that and we’re getting results.”
The Wolf Pack’s next game is this Friday night, December 26, as the Pack host the Springfield Falcons at the XL Center. Faceoff is 7:00 PM, and Fridays mean $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the XL Center ticket office, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (OT)
Saturday, December 20, 2014 – XL Center
Lehigh Valley 1 0 0 0 – 1
Hartford 0 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Stortini 4 (Cousins, Leier), 19:39. Penalties-Alt Lv (tripping), 4:15.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Nehring 2 (Allen, O’Donnell), 10:06. Penalties-Lindberg Hfd (holding), 1:35; Stortini Lv (slashing), 2:57; Nehring Hfd (hooking), 14:11; Rosehill Lv (tripping), 17:42.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Allen Hfd (tripping), 4:09; Hagg Lv (hooking), 6:28.
OT Period-3, Hartford, Malone 2 (Lindberg, Bodie), 4:56. Penalties-Powe Lv (roughing), 3:10; Kostka Hfd (roughing), 3:10.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 10-7-5-4-26. Hartford 8-9-6-3-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 4.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 5-5-0 (26 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Desjardins 8-3-1 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Evgeny Romasko (6).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Glen Cooke (6).