By Zachary Grenier
Hartford, CT, November 5, 2014 – In a battle for first place in the AHL’s Northeast Division, the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Albany Devils 3-1 Wednesday at the XL Center, in a game that featured a “school day special” 11:00 AM start.
The scoring started early, with the Devils putting the Wolf Pack in a hole just 45 seconds in to the game.
On a delayed penalty, right winger Paul Thompson went to his forehand and slid the puck past a sliding Cedrick Desjardins for his AHL-leading ninth goal of the season.
“It took me and a couple of guys a couple of minutes to get in it,” said Desjardins, who finished with 30 saves. “It’s (the early start) fun for the kids, but for us it is just a different mindset for sure.”
Hartford did respond relatively quickly, when Joey Crabb notched his first goal of the season just two 2:05 later. The Devils were attempting to break the puck out from behind their own net, when Crabb intercepted a Peter Harrold pass at the top of the faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot past Albany goaltender Scott Clemmensen.
“You look at that line with (Ryan) Potulny and Crabb a little bit older, and (Justin) Vaive, he has less experience, but age-wise he’s an older player too. You would expect them to have some kind of poised shift or bounce-back shift, and lucky for us they got the goal and I think that helped a lot,” said Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander.
The third period saw the Wolf Pack power play unit capitalize on two opportunities. The first goal came after some quick passes to spread the Devil defenders out of position. The puck went from Chris Bourque to J.T. Miller, who then found Ryan Haggerty with some open space in the slot. Haggerty beat Clemmensen through the five-hole with a wrist shot, to give the Pack their first lead of the game with 12:57 left.
“I think we were a little more patient prior to that (goal), and we didn’t try to force plays,” said Gernander. “Sometimes we try and get it all done in one fell swoop. We made several decent plays, and then it was real quick puck movement at the end there and a quick shot by Haggs.”
Just 1:39 later, Oscar Lindberg found the back of the net from a near impossible angle near the right-wing corner.
“I thought I was going to get the pass right away from (Danny) Kristo but Fasty (Jesper Fast) got it and somehow got it through to me, and I was just trying to find the net,” said Lindberg.
With Wednesday’s victory, the Wolf Pack (6-2-1-0, 13 pts.) are in sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division, and will look to hold on to that when they travel to Hershey this Saturday night, November 8 to face the Bears, in the first of back-to-back games between the two teams.
That game faces off at 7:00 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, and on-line at www.foxsportsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Pack’s next home game at the XL Center is Friday, November 14, with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers making their first visit of the year to Hartford. Once again this season every Friday night home game features $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, or click here to request more info.
Albany Devils 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – XL Center
Albany 1 0 0 – 1
Hartford 1 0 2 – 3
1st Period-1, Albany, Thompson 9 (Kelly, Hrabarenka), 0:45. 2, Hartford, Crabb 1 2:50. Penalties-Nightingale Hfd (hooking), 16:26.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Bodie Hfd (delay of game), 2:19; Harrold Alb (delay of game), 8:57; Kelly Alb (high-sticking), 9:35.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Haggerty 2 (Miller, C. Bourque), 7:03 (PP). 4, Hartford, Lindberg 5 (Fast, Kristo), 8:42 (PP). Penalties-Thomson Alb (high-sticking), 6:24; Burlon Alb (delay of game), 7:18; Crabb Hfd (interference), 10:08; Bodie Hfd (slashing), 14:24.
Shots on Goal-Albany 14-5-12-31. Hartford 3-10-6-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 4; Hartford 2 / 4.
Goalies-Albany, Clemmensen 0-1-0 (19 shots-16 saves). Hartford, Desjardins 4-0-0 (31 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Ryan Murphy (5).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Paul Simeon (66).