By Zachary Grenier

Hartford, CT, November 19, 2014 – The Hartford Wolf Pack were unable to recover from a Syracuse Crunch four-goal first period Wednesday night at the XL Center and lost, 5-4.

Hartford Wolf PackMike Angelidis and Yanni Gourde led the way for the Crunch with two goals each on the night.  Tanner Richard tallied two assists in the Crunch victory as well.  Conor Allen had a team high three points on the night for Hartford, with a goal and two assists.  Justin Vaive also gave the Pack a goal and an assist in the loss.

The Crunch jumped out to an early lead just 16 seconds into the game, when Henri Ikonen found Angelidis breaking to the back door, where he beat Hartford starting goaltender Cedrick Desjardins for his fifth goal of the season.

The Wolf Pack’s Michael Kostka answered right back just 27 seconds later, when he beat Syracuse goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (16 saves) with a slap-shot over the catching glove.

A Vaive goal at 6:01 gave the Pack a 2-1 lead, as Vaive drove to the net, protecting the puck on his backhand, and shot it past Vasilevskiy before sliding into the Crunch goaltender.  The goal caused a skirmish among the ten skaters on the ice and ultimately led to a Vaive roughing penalty.

“Obviously you never want to start a game with that many penalties in the first,” said Vaive.  “It’s really hard to get momentum started when you get a good shift and then you put the (opposing) team right back on the power play.”

The Crunch power-play unit capitalized on the call, off of a quick faceoff win by Jonathan Marchessault.  The draw went back to Joel Vermin, who got a pass over to Gourde.  Gourde then fired a slap shot to the net and past Desjardins for his sixth goal of the season.

At the 10:40 mark, Angelidis was able to finish a bouncing puck in front of the net for his second goal of the night to give the Crunch a 3-2 lead.

Richard showed some nice patience in front of the net for Syracuse when he dropped the puck to a trailing Gourde, who put his second puck away on the night and put the Crunch up 4-2 at 16:01 of the first.

The shot was the last one that Desjardins (five saves) would face, and Mackenzie Skapski (14 saves) would come off of the bench in relief.

“Three of their first four goals were direct results of turnovers,” said Hartford coach Ken Gernander.

Vaive hit Allen with a pass in the second period that sprung him free past the Crunch defense and in one-on-one on Vasilevskiy.  Allen took a straight wrist shot high on the goaltender’s blocker side to notch his third goal of the year, and cut the Syracuse lead to just one.

“That’s probably my first career breakaway so I knew I was shooting the whole time,” said Allen.

At the 19:19 mark of the second period, J.T. Miller lined up as a defenseman for a faceoff in the Syracuse end of the rink. The draw went back to Miller, who passed it to Allen.  Allen fired the puck on net, and Marek Hrivik sent the rebound to the side of the net, where Miller snuck in to grab the puck and score on the empty net.

“[Hrivik] took a whack at it and kept the play alive, and he took a hit for it too,” said Gernander.  “Those are the types of plays that multiply over the course of a 60-minute game, if you can do that, it’s going to give you your best chance for success.”

With four minutes gone in the third period, though, Syracuse got what would turn out to be the winning goal.  Luke Witkowski took a slap shot from the blue line that was tipped by Philippe Paradis and rang off of the post and in past Skapski, to give the Crunch a 5-4 lead.

The Wolf Pack’s next action is a trip to Providence this Friday, November 21 to battle the Bruins.  Faceoff is 7:05 PM, and all of the action can be heard on line at  Video streaming is available at

The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Saturday night, November 22, a 7:30 contest vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  The first 3,000 fans into that game receive a Wolf Pack winter hat, courtesy of CT-DOT.

Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the XL Center ticket office, on-line at 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 5 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – XL Center

Syracuse 4 0 1 – 5
Hartford 2 2 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Syracuse, Angelidis 5 (Ikonen), 0:16. 2, Hartford, Kostka 1 (Allen, Mueller), 0:43. 3, Hartford, Vaive 4   6:01. 4, Syracuse, Gourde 6 (Vermin, Marchessault), 6:34 (PP). 5, Syracuse, Angelidis 6 (Paradis), 10:40. 6, Syracuse, Gourde 7 (Richard), 16:01. Penalties-Gourde Syr (hooking), 1:36; Vaive Hfd (roughing), 6:01; McIlrath Hfd (interference), 7:15; Vaive Hfd (tripping), 11:50; Samson Syr (slashing), 12:29; Ikonen Syr (holding), 17:36.

2nd Period-7, Hartford, Allen 3 (Vaive, Crabb), 8:06. 8, Hartford, Miller 6 (Hrivik, Allen), 19:19. Penalties-Witkowski Syr (roughing), 2:53; Witkowski Syr (fighting), 5:06; McIlrath Hfd (fighting), 5:06.

3rd Period-9, Syracuse, Paradis 1 (Witkowski, Richard), 4:00. Penalties-Angelidis Syr (delay of game), 15:56.

Shots on Goal-Syracuse 9-8-7-24. Hartford 9-7-4-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 1 / 3; Hartford 0 / 5.
Goalies-Syracuse, Vasilevskiy 3-2-0 (20 shots-16 saves). Hartford, Desjardins 4-2-0 (9 shots-5 saves); Skapski 3-2-0 (15 shots-14 saves).
Referees-Garrett Rank (48), Ryan Murphy (5).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Mike Baker (11).