The Hartford Wolf Pack played their first game on the road in this early 2010-2011 season and came up on the short-end of a 3-2 score, losing a six-round shootout 2-1 at the Times-Union Center to the Albany Devils.
Stephen Gionta rifled a slap-shot from the left circle right past Wolf Pack netminder Chad Johnson (1-1-0-1, 29 saves) to cinch it for the home team. New Jersey Devils first Round pick, Mattias Tedenby had the other goal for for Albany. Mats Zuccarello had the lone Wolf Pack tally as Mike McKenna (1-0-1-0, 31 saves) stopped all five other skaters.
All of the scoring in the game came during a furious span of 4:49 in the first period where both teams broke through twice.
One thing that won’t be a question mark this season for the New York Rangers top farm team is their level of talent. This one has a lot of it and they are quite deep all over the ice. Ryan Garlock, back for his second season in Hartford, led Chris McKelvie and enforcer Justin Soryal on a ferocious forecheck that popped the puck loose. At 8:42 of the first, The Norwegian Hobbitt, Mats Zuccarello came over the boards on a line change and got right into the fracas. Nigel Williams shot drew a crowd to the crease, but Zuccarello put a shot that hit the goalpost came back and hit McKenna right around his ankle and snuck in over the line. For Zuccarello, it was his first North American goal. Garlock also got a helper on the tally.
The lead lasted all of 24 seconds as Jyri Niemi got caught out of position down low allowing Gionta a clear view of Johnson. The puck deflected off the Pack netminder from the right side over to Vladimir Zharkov for the easy finish. It was tied at 1.
Ex-Pack forward Chad Wiseman gave the home team their only lead of the contest. With Pavel Valentenko chasing Brad Mills behind the goal line, Nigel Williams abandoned his spot to Johnson’s left and went behind the net as well. This left the middle of the ice wide-open where Brad Mills made a centering pass to Wiseman who came right up the slot unimpeded and ripped it past the helpless Johnson to give the Devils the 2-1 lead.
Hartford came right back and pressed their hosts drawing a Slashing call on Tyler Eckford at 12:39 and giving the Pack their first power play of the game.
The Wolf Pack looked outstanding on the power play. They made sharp passes all over the ice and kept moving causing the Devils penalty killers to have to expend a lot of energy chasing. They controlled it in the Devils end the entire time and with Dale Weise screening McKenna, Wade Redden got his first American League goal and his fourth point in three games (1g-3a-4pts) when his shot from the right point got through traffic and found the back of the net. If Redden is to have any chance of making it back to the NHL, he’s going to have to light it up this season and thus far has been exceptionally solid, both on the ice and off.
Both teams had several good scoring opportunities. The Pack’s best chance came on an odd man rush with Dane Byers and Weise leading the rush. Byers perhaps made one pass too many after electing to feed Weise on the right instead of shooting himself from the left and the Pack’s best forward put his shot wide from in close.
Head Coach Ken Gernander has been stressing discipline on the ice. In the second he could not have been too happy when Weise took a tripping call and increased his time in isolation when on his way to the sin bin made one comment too many to referee Terry Koharski and was assessed an extra two minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and gave the home team a four-minute advantage. The penalty killers worked exceptionally hard and with some stellar saves by Johnson kept the score tied.
It’s unknown if Weise was given less ice time for his ailing wrist or if he was being grounded by the coach, but Weise saw limited action the rest of the game.
Albany’s best scoring chance came with 5:05 remaining in regulation when Johnson stopped Tedenby on a 3-on-1 odd man rush to send the game into extra time.
Despite three man-up opportunities to a lone Brodie Dupont roughing call, the Pack could not find the tie=breaker in the final frame. Neither team generated much in the four-on-four extra five minutes.
In the shootout, Zuccarello put a great move on McKenna and put it into the twine, but none of the five other Pack attempts from Tim Kennedy, Jeremy Williams, Kris Newbury, Weise or Evgeny Grachev could find their way behind McKenna.
Johnson stopped Adam Henrique’s shot with his pad, but then Tedenby got a backhander past him. After stopping Michael Swift with his glove and David McIntyre with his pad and Alexander Vasyunov’s backhanded shot, Gionta put the game away with his slapper in close.
Hartford travels to Bridgeport for a Saturday night tilt (7pm) and then it’s off to Providence for a 4:05 starting time with the Bruins to close out the road trip and the busy weekend.
|Hartford shoots first for each round.|
*Kelsey Tessier entered the game as the third highest scoring rookie with four points (2g, 2a). Tessier was also the Pack’s leading scorer as well.
* The Pack entered the game tenth on the power play at 22.2% but 27th on the PK with just a 71.4% success rate.
Byers © – Newbury – Weise
Zuccarello – Kennedy – J. Williams
Dupont – Grachev – Tessier
Soryal – Garlock – McKelvie
Redden – Niemi
Kundratek – McDonagh
Valentenko – N. Williams
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
Devin DiDiomete – Lower body – Month
Jared Nightingale – Foot – Day-to-Day
Lee Baldwin – Healthy Scratch
Brandon Wong – Healthy Scratch
1. ALB – M. McKenna
2. ALB – S. Gionta
3. ALB – M. Tedenby
ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Terry Koharski (10)
Luke Galvin (2)
Frank Murphy (29)
No time for sitting around thinking about it. The Wolf Pack go onto game two of their three-in-three weekend as they travel to Bridgeport for a battle with the rival Sound Tigers. Game is at 7. Bob Crawford is on the air at 6:30pm.
To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.
For Ticket information call (860) 548-2000.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Albany Devils 3 (SO) – Status: Final SO
Friday, October 15, 2010 – Times Union Center
Hartford 2 0 0 0 – 2
Albany 2 0 0 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Zuccarello 1 (Williams, Garlock), 8:42. 2, Albany, Zharkov 1 (Gionta, McIntyre), 9:06. 3, Albany, Wiseman 1 (Mills, Davis), 10:32. 4, Hartford, Redden 1 (Williams, Newbury), 13:31 (PP). Penalties-Eckford Alb (slashing), 12:39; Davison Alb (roughing), 19:21.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kennedy Hfd (boarding), 6:37; served by Zuccarello Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 8:21; Weise Hfd (tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:04.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Magnan Alb (slashing), 6:34; Kelly Alb (boarding), 11:26; Dupont Hfd (roughing), 15:01; Robitaille Alb (delay of game), 17:33.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Hartford 1 (Zuccarello G, Kennedy NG, Williams NG, Newbury NG, Weise NG, Grachev NG), Albany 2 (Henrique NG, Tedenby G, Swift NG, McIntyre NG, Vasyunov NG, Gionta G).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 14-4-12-3-0-33. Albany 8-12-9-2-1-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Albany 0 / 5.
Goalies-Hartford, Johnson 1-1-1 (31 shots-29 saves). Albany, McKenna 1-0-0 (33 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Frank Murphy (29).