Allentown, PA, November 1, 2014 – Ryan Potulny, Justin Vaive and Chris Bourque scored third-period goals Saturday night at the PPL Center, to break open a 1-1 game and carry the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Potulny, Vaive and Bourque all also had assists for the Wolf Pack, and Oscar Lindberg also scored. Mackenzie Skapski made 27 saves to improve to 2-0-0 in his AHL career. Kevin Goumas and Nick Cousins scored for the Phantoms, and Rob Zepp made 27 saves.
The Wolf Pack gave up a goal to Goumas on the game’s first shift, but then went on to score the next four goals of the contest.
“I think the guys just stuck with it,” Potulny said. “We started off well too. That first shift obviously wasn’t good, but the whole game we stayed positive and built off of a pretty good, solid effort by everyone.”
Potulny scored his first Wolf Pack goal at 2:03 of the third period, giving the Pack its first lead of the game. Mat Bodie took the puck at the right point and skated to the middle of the blue line, unloading a wrist shot that Potulny redirected past Zepp.
Vaive then gave Hartford a 3-1 lead at the 13:12 mark, off of a Potulny assist. Needing a line change, Potulny dumped the puck into the Lehigh Valley zone and it came out of the right-wing corner and directly into the slot. Vaive, moving in to forecheck, was able to fend off a Phantom defender and bang the puck into the net on Zepp’s stick side.
Only 1:06 after that, at 14:18, Bourque connected for his second goal of the season, making it a 4-1 Wolf Pack lead. Bourque poked the puck away from a Lehigh Valley defenseman just inside the Phantom line and broke in alone, beating Zepp into the top corner on the glove side.
Cousins scored on a shot from the slot off of a goalmouth scramble at 17:38 to bring the Phantoms back to within one, but nothing else got by Skapski the rest of the way.
After shutting out Norfolk 3-0 on Sunday in Hartford in their last game, the Wolf Pack fell behind only 28 seconds after the opening faceoff Saturday.
Brandon Alderson carried across the slot in the Hartford zone and fed the puck below the goal line to former Wolf Pack Darroll Powe, who passed to Goumas at the left side of the slot. Skapski got a piece of Goumas’ quick shot but could not stop it, and the Phantoms were on top.
That was the first AHL given up by Skapski, who had denied 16 Norfolk shots in his first AHL start Sunday.
The Wolf Pack drew even at 4:35 of the second period, on Lindberg’s team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Bourque moved up the slot in the Lehigh Valley end before setting Lindberg up in the slot, and Lindberg’s snap shot beat the catching glove of Zepp.
The Wolf Pack are right back in action Sunday afternoon, hosting the Worcester Sharks at the XL Center in a 3:00 game. The Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” is again featured on Sundays this year, and has been expanded to Wednesday and Thursday home games as well. The Family Value Pack features two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for only $35.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 at Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
Saturday, November 1, 2014 – PPL Center
Hartford 0 1 3 – 4
Lehigh Valley 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Goumas 1 (Powe, Alderson), 0:28. Penalties-Tarnasky Hfd (fighting), 2:26; Mathers Lv (fighting), 2:26.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Lindberg 4 (Bourque, Hughes), 4:35. Penalties-Lamarche Lv (hooking), 9:05; Miller Hfd (roughing), 19:19.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Potulny 1 (Bodie, Vaive), 2:03. 4, Hartford, Vaive 2 (Potulny), 13:12. 5, Hartford, Bourque 2 14:18. 6, Lehigh Valley, Cousins 3 (Flemming, Straka), 17:38. Penalties-Vaive Hfd (slashing), 5:32; Straka Lv (hooking), 6:25.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-9-12-31. Lehigh Valley 10-9-10-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Lehigh Valley 0 / 2.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 2-0-0 (29 shots-27 saves). Lehigh Valley, Zepp 4-1-0 (31 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Stephen Reneau (34), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Bill Lyons (27), Luke Murray (92).