By Zack Grenier
Hartford, CT, December 7, 2014 – The Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Binghamton Senators 4-2 Sunday afternoon at the XL Center, to complete a three-game weekend.
Hartford’s Danny Kristo led the way with two goals, and Chris Bourque had a goal and two assists. Mackenzie Skapski stopped 45 of the 47 shots that he faced.
Binghamton was led by Cole Schneider, a former UConn Husky, who had a goal and an assist. Senator goaltender Scott Greenham had 31 saves in the loss.
The Pack struck quickly, after they went on the power play just 1:15 in to the game. Michael Kostka slid the puck over to Chris Bourque, who patiently waited to strike. His one-timer rang off of the far post and in to give the Pack a 1-0 lead at 1:20.
“That was fortunate, but I think we were playing good hockey,” said Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander. “We were playing better at the start. Then they started to turn the pressure up on us, and I think we could’ve done a few things to alleviate the offense pressure that they were able to generate, with just a little bit better decision making.”
Binghamton bounced back when Alex Grant fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line, and Schneider was in the right place at the right time. Schneider picked up the rebound and shot the rebound past Skapski for his eighth goal of the season at 7:45.
The Wolf Pack took the lead for good when Chris Bourque slowed the offensive rush down from the side of the faceoff circle and found Kristo trailing. Kristo walked in to the slot and beat Greenham blocker side at 11:48.
“We’re starting to create a little chemistry out there,” said Chris Bourque. “I think me and Danny are two pretty highly skilled guys who can make plays, so we want to get the puck in each other’s hands, and get in to areas where you can help the other guy out. Having [Marek] Hrivik up the middle there, it creates room for us, so it’s turning into a good line.”
Dallas Jackson extended the Pack lead to two at 8:57 of the second period, when he was able to finish a backdoor pass from Chad Nehring for Jackson’s first Wolf Pack goal.
Kristo put another tally on the board just 56 seconds later, at 9:53, to make it 4-1 Hartford. Chris Bourque fired a slap shot on net, and Hrivik kicked the rebound over to Kristo at the side of the crease for his eighth goal of the season.
Thirteen seconds into the third period, Binghamton cut the lead to two when Jean-Gabriel Pageau deflected a Fredrik Claesson slap shot, which then hit Wolf Pack defender Michael Kostka and got by Skapski.
The Wolf Pack (12-9-2-1, 27 pts.) picked up a much needed two points to put them into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
“You always want to stay on pace with the rest of the conference, and just get points in as many games as you can,” said Chris Bourque. “Hopefully they add up at the end up the year and you make it in the top eight. It doesn’t really matter what place you come in, in playoffs anything can happen and our goal is just to be in that top eight.”
Next up for the Wolf Pack is a home game this this Thursday night, December 11, a 7:00 PM contest against the Albany Devils. That is “Throwback Thursday”, as the Wolf Pack throws back prices on a number of popular concession items. Hot dogs, popcorn, nachos and soda are all on sale Thursday for only $2 each. Also, Thursday is the next opportunity for fans to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Packs”, which include 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.
Binghamton Senators 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Sunday, December 7, 2014 – XL Center
Binghamton 1 0 1 – 2
Hartford 2 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, C. Bourque 9 (Kostka, Mueller), 1:20 (PP). 2, Binghamton, Schneider 8 (A. Grant, Claesson), 7:45. 3, Hartford, Kristo 7 (C. Bourque, Allen), 11:48. Penalties-Robinson Bng (tripping), 1:15; Kramer Bng (fighting), 13:22; Nehring Hfd (fighting), 13:22; Kristo Hfd (boarding), 18:27.
2nd Period-4, Hartford, Jackson 1 (Nehring, O’Donnell), 8:57. 5, Hartford, Kristo 8 (Hrivik, C. Bourque), 9:53. Penalties-Robinson Bng (roughing), 2:58; Allen Hfd (roughing), 2:58; McCormick Bng (fighting), 5:40; Kostka Hfd (fighting), 5:40; McIlrath Hfd (high-sticking), 10:19; Crabb Hfd (tripping), 11:02.
3rd Period-6, Binghamton, Claesson 2 (Dziurzynski, Schneider), 0:13. Penalties-C. Bourque Hfd (slashing), 8:20.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 11-21-15-47. Hartford 14-15-6-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 0 / 4; Hartford 1 / 1.
Goalies-Binghamton, Greenham 4-1-1 (35 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Skapski 6-4-0 (47 shots-45 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Paul Simeon (66).