Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch
The Wolf Pack were unable to notch three straight wins as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms pulled out a 3-1 victory earlier this afternoon in Hartford on Military Appreciation Day. Despite measuring up to the Phantoms well, the Pack fell short in the end when Lehigh Valley pulled ahead in the last two minutes of the third. The group fought hard against a tough Phantoms club. Brandon Halverson stopped 30 of 32 shots in net for the loss. Matt Carey recorded the lone tally. Hartford will get back at it tomorrow afternoon against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 3 pm, which is another tough team to face.
The first twenty was scoreless. The Pack kept it toe to tie with the Phantoms. They both had quality chances, forcing turnovers, and playing defense. Brandon Halverson was tested in a few moments but looked solid. The Pack continued to generate chances. They came up close, but short. After twenty, we remained deadlocked at zero. Shots favored Lehigh Valley 10-7. It was a quiet frame.
The second favored Hartford, but unfortunately the Phantoms grabbed the first lead of the day. The group generated plenty of quality chances. They continued to pepper the net in hopes on striking first. The Phantoms goalie was playing well, but Hartford had to pick away at it. At 6:32 the Phantoms grabbed a 1-0 lead as a two on one play was converted successfully after a defensive breakdown. The Pack decided to push back. They continued to get close. Chance after chance, saved or missed wide. They were not getting frustrated. Hartford was continue to work hard. Nothing was coming out of it. After forty, the Phantoms was up by one, 1-0. Shots favored Hartford 22-17. The Pack also out-shot Lehigh Valley 15-7 in the frame.
The third continued to be even, but after all said and done, Hartford fell short. The Pack continued to pressure early on. Brandon Halverson had work to do and held the fort when needed. Exactly six minutes in the third the hard work paid off. Taylor Beck passed the puck to Adam Tambellini, then a crash the net play happened. Off the rebound, Matt Carey buried the puck over the Phantoms goalies pad to tie the game at one. It was a new game. After the goal, Hartford buzzed. They came close a couple of times. Then the Phantoms began to push back. Brandon Halverson became busy in net. The Pack were measuring up well against Lehigh Valley. The score remained unchanged until late in the third. At 18:04 the Phantoms set up a nice play to give Lehigh Valley a 2-1 lead. A quick wrist shot that went top shelf beat Brandon Halverson. Hartford had under two minutes to bounce back. Unfortunately they could not. They had little urgency and struggled to set up any solid chances after getting scored on. At 19:58 the Phantoms extended the lead to 3-1 with the empty net goal. Shots were tied apiece at 33 for both clubs.
For 58 minutes the group fought hard. They measured up well against the Phantoms. Unfortunately they came up short with two defensive mistakes. Give them credit today. They had a good game despite the outcome.
The Pack finish their four game home-stand tomorrow afternoon as they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Game time is at 3 pm.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Matt Carey
- Brandon Halverson
- Taylor Beck
- Healthy scratches: Spiro Goulakos, & Adam Chapie.
- Injured scratches: Cristoval Nieves, & Michael Paliotta.
- Taylor Beck debuted today in Hartford. He recorded the secondary assist on Matt Carey’s goal. He generated chances as well.
- The top line featured Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, & Taylor Beck. They produced quality chances.
- The power play struggled in four chances. They were unable to set up chances or do much.
- The penalty kill was perfect three for three.