By Zack Grenier
Hartford, CT, December 19, 2014 – Kristers Gudlevskis made 24 saves Friday night at the XL Center, to backstop the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-0 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Wolf Pack, who got 22 saves from Mackenzie Skapski. The only offense in the game came from second-period Syracuse goals by Tanner Richard and Vladislav Namestnikov. The victory was the Crunch’s eighth straight.
The first period ended with neither team getting much of any offense going. In the second period, the Wolf Pack took four penalties and were unable to sustain any attack.
“Their power play had one goal and then they generated momentum, and our power play didn’t generate any momentum” said Hartford’s Chris Mueller. “If you can’t score you want to generate momentum for the team, but we didn’t do it and they did. Special teams, they won, and five on five, they won too. So overall it wasn’t a good game for our hockey club.”
Syracuse struck first with 17:48 left in the second period. It was Richard who ended the scoreless game, when he was sprung on a breakaway just after a Wolf Pack power play had ended. Richard went to his forehand and Skapski made the original save, but the rebound beat him.
“We didn’t gain any momentum from them (power play opportunities,” said Hartford assistant coach Jeff Beukeboom. “Whatever momentum we may have gained, which we didn’t, certainly went by the wayside with that goal.”
Namestnikov was able to extend the Crunch lead to two when he put home a slap shot on the power play at 10:23. Skapski was able to put a pad on the puck, but it tipped off of the top of his leg pad and hit the top of the net to give the Crunch a 2-0 lead.
“When you hold a team to two goals at home it should be enough,” said Beukeboom.
Cedrick Desjardins will get the start Saturday when the Pack take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
“We got to regroup and we have a big game, so if we get these two points, in the last three weeks we can say it’s a pretty good finish in December,’” said Mueller. “We have to put this one behind us and learn from our mistakes and get two points tomorrow.”
The Wolf Pack/Phantoms game at the XL Center Saturday has a special faceoff time of 5:00 PM, and the Wolf Pack will be holding a birthday celebration for Sonar, their beloved mascot, featuring appearances by other mascots from around the AHL.
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, or click here to request more info.
Syracuse Crunch 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 0
Friday, December 19, 2014 – XL Center
Syracuse 0 2 0 – 2
Hartford 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-R. Bourque Hfd (boarding), 9:16; Paradis Syr (fighting), 17:28; Nehring Hfd (fighting), 17:28; Smith Syr (roughing, roughing), 20:00; Malone Hfd (roughing), 20:00.
2nd Period-1, Syracuse, Richard 5 (Koekkoek), 2:12. 2, Syracuse, Namestnikov 3 (Nesterov, Marchessault), 10:23 (PP). Penalties-Corrente Syr (boarding), 2:36; McIlrath Hfd (hooking), 5:54; Mormina Syr (tripping), 6:56; Allen Hfd (tripping), 7:36; Hughes Hfd (tripping), 9:09; Cote Syr (tripping), 13:38; O’Donnell Hfd (holding), 16:34; Nesterov Syr (hooking), 17:17.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Smith Syr (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:59; Spinell Hfd (roughing), 1:59; Mormina Syr (fighting), 4:26; Malone Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 4:26; Gourde Syr (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 7:20; O’Donnell Hfd (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 7:20; Paradis Syr (hooking), 10:02.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 12-9-3-24. Hartford 7-8-9-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 1 / 6; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-Syracuse, Gudlevskis 10-4-0 (24 shots-24 saves). Hartford, Skapski 6-5-0 (24 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Peter MacDougall (57).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Derek Wahl (46).