By Zack Grenier
Hartford, CT, December 26, 2014 – Anton Forsberg made 28 saves in regulation and overtime Friday night at the XL Center, and was a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout, as the Springfield Falcons defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack, 2-1.
T.J. Tynan scored the only goal of the shootout, and Marko Dano had Springfield’s goal in regulation. Ryan Malone scored the only Wolf Pack goal. Cedrick Desjardins started the game in net for Hartford, but was injured at 6:44 of the second period. Mackenzie Skapski relieved Desjardins and stopped all 24 shots that he faced, and went 2-for-3 in the shootout.
After Malone scored the game winner in the last game that the Pack had before the team’s Christmas break, he was the first to strike in this one, scoring at 4:33 of the first period. Mat Bodie put a wrist shot on net from the blue line and Malone was able to show off his good hands and deflect the shot to give the Pack an early 1-0 lead.
“He’s (Forsberg) a good goaltender, he’s playing well, and if that’s the case we’re going to have to do more to generate in-game, and certainly create more problems for him in terms of traffic and second and third chances,” said Hartford coach Ken Gernander. “Really we didn’t have much for rebound chances, and I think only one or two, outside of the goal, where we got good traffic and a good screen and tip.”
With just 12.1 seconds left in the first period, Dano was able to tie the game at one. The Pack won a defensive-zone faceoff, and Dylan McIlrath attempted to send the puck around the boards behind Desjardins. Ryan Craig deflected it to Dano in the high slot, from where Dano turned and fired in his sixth goal of the season.
“That’s coming off a faceoff win, and I think we executed,” said Gernander. “We made a bad play on the wall. We have to be stronger on the wall. That puck has either got to be out in to the neutral zone or at the very least there has to be a fight for possession, but that wasn’t the case.”
At the 6:44 mark of the second period, a Pack defender slid in to Desjardins, which led to his departure from the contest. Skapski (24 saves) came in in relief for the injured Desjardins.
“I don’t find a problem with that (coming off the bench,” said Skapski. “It’s something you have to kind of expect and prepare for. I stepped in there like I would any other game and was calm, cool, relaxed and I didn’t really get nervous.”
The game would remain tied at one all the way to a shootout, in which only one puck crossed the goal line. Forsberg stopped Chris Bourque, Danny Kristo and Malone, and Tynan connected on Springfield’s second attempt.
“That’s the frustrating part is, I usually don’t get beat in the shootout, and when I do it’s really disappointing,” said Skapski. “He’s (Forsberg) a pretty good goalie, and he’s had two pretty good shootouts against us.”
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Saturday night, hosting the Portland Pirates in a 7:00 PM game. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to that game, as there will be a free postgame skate on the XL Center ice.
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.
Springfield Falcons 2 (SO) at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Friday, December 26, 2014 – XL Center
Springfield 1 0 0 0 – 2
Hartford 1 0 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Malone 3 (Bodie, Lindberg), 4:33. 2, Springfield, Dano 6 (Craig, Madaisky), 19:47. Penalties-McIlrath Hfd (elbowing), 6:52; Kostka Hfd (hooking), 11:05; Allen Hfd (delay of game), 16:25.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Dano Spr (hooking), 0:34; Labrie Spr (kneeing), 2:14; served by Rychel Spr (bench minor – too many men), 11:48; Allen Hfd (cross-checking), 14:40; Lindberg Hfd (hooking), 16:17.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Malone Hfd (hooking), 2:24; Tynan Spr (hooking), 5:17; Labrie Spr (boarding), 11:42; Dano Spr (diving/embellishment), 18:56; Allen Hfd (holding), 18:56.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Springfield 1 (Rychel NG, Tynan G, Dano NG), Hartford 0 (Bourque NG, Kristo NG, Malone NG).
Shots on Goal-Springfield 11-12-12-2-1-38. Hartford 5-13-7-4-0-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 / 6; Hartford 0 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Forsberg 14-3-0 (29 shots-28 saves). Hartford, Desjardins 8-3-1 (13 shots-12 saves); Skapski 6-5-1 (24 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Paul Simeon (66).