Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch
The Wolf Pack pulled out a 3-2 victory out of the fire tonight as they defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms! Hartford built themselves an early lead and defended it well as they outlasted the Phantoms dominance in the second and third periods. Brandon Halverson had a busy and fantastic outing in net, stopping 42 of 44 shots. Goal scorers were Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, & Philip McRae. The Pack face the Phantoms once again tomorrow night in Allentown. They have back to back games against the Phantoms.
The first twenty was scoreless as there was good back and forth to the game. The Phantoms had a close chances while the Pack did as well. The Pack had the early buzz, then the Phantoms became woke and pressured. The Pack had a few power play chances but could not convert. The penalty kill did its job as well. After twenty, it was scoreless. Shots favored Hartford 10-8.
The Pack pressured early in the second. Marek Hrivik converted on the early opportunity to give Hartford a 1-0 lead at 2:39. Justin Fontaine and Chris Brown recorded the assists. Then a short time later on the power play at 5:20, Nicklas Jensen extended the lead to 2-0. Philip McRae and Matt Bodie recorded the assists. Just like that, Hartford got on the board fast and furious. Then suddenly, the game completely changed. The rest of the frame was all Lehigh Valley. They had great chances, coming close with posts and pings off the pipe. Brandon Halverson was facing plenty of shots. The Pack ran into penalty trouble as well, but they were not bit from it. The Phantoms had surges and continued to pour it in. Hartford had luck and defense. They kept it simple and cool. After forty, Hartford was up by two after facing an energetic Phantoms squad. Hartford only had three shots in the frame. Shots favored Lehigh Valley 19-13.
The third became close, but Hartford did enough to get by the Phantoms. Hartford had five shots on net, opposed to Lehigh Valley’s 25 shots. The Phantoms were buzzing and giving it to the Pack. Luckily Hartford played defense and Brandon Halverson was having an amazing effort. At 6:55, the Phantoms notched a goal to make it 2-1 Pack. Lehigh Valley continued to buzz. Then after a nifty Pack chance, they converted on an opportunity to make it 3-1 Hartford at 14:13 as Philip McRae notched a tally. Robin Kovacs and Tommy Hughes recorded the assists. Then a few minutes later at 17:01, the Phantoms had a late frame goal to make it a one goal game again, 3-2. Lehigh Valley was continuing to generate chances. The defense and Brandon Halverson kept them in. After sixty, it was all done! Hartford wins it 3-2. Shots favored Lehigh Valley 44-18.
It was not a pretty win, but they stole two points away from a talented Phantoms club! Brandon Halverson was amazing. He was one of the reasons for the win. Philip McRae contributed offensively twice to keep them up. Tomorrow will be round two in Lehigh Valley once again. Hartford has to be ready. The Phantoms will come out strong.
The Pack return to action tomorrow night as they rematch with the Phantoms at 7:05 pm.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Brandon Halverson
- Philip McRae
- Nicklas Jensen