Pack Hold Off Phantoms

Hartford, CT – Magnus Hellberg made 31 saves, and Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Brown scored goals 1:23 apart in the second period Friday night at the XL Center, to carry the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The victory snapped a season-high streak of four straight regulation losses for the Wolf Pack.

The Phantoms got off to an early lead just a little more than a quarter into the first period, after the Wolf Pack tested Phantom goalie Anthony Stolarz with several shots. Jordan Weal netted the game’s first goal for the Phantoms at 5:43, assisted by Danick Martel and T.J. Brennan.

Hartford’s best opportunity came near the midpoint of the period, as winger Matt Carey ripped a shot that rebounded onto the stick of John Gilmour, who was ultimately denied by Stolarz. The Wolfpack used this opportunity as a chance to swing the momentum, as they began picking up their physical play. Defenseman Chris Summers was sent to the box with 2:21 remaining in the period for elbowing, but the Hartford man-down unit was able to fend off the Phantom attack in the last couple of minutes.

The Wolf Pack continued to use the momentum they built early in the second period. Lehigh Valley’s Mark Alt served two minutes in the box for high sticking 57 seconds in. Although unable to net a goal, the Wolf Pack seemed to take control of the game.

Several minutes later, the Wolf Pack received their second power play opportunity of the period, and this time they were able to capitalize at 8:59, on a one-timer from the right-wing side by Buchnevich, playing his first career AHL game after having been assigned by the New York Rangers earlier in the day.

Then, at 10:22, Brown scored what would prove to be the winning goal, flicking a shot past Stolarz’ catching glove, after Philip McRae won a draw from Andy Miele to Stolarz’ right.

That would prove to be the end of the scoring, as Hellberg frustrated the Phantoms the rest of the way. The Phantoms got Stolarz to the bench for an extra attacker with 1:30 remaining in the third, and came within inches of tying the game in the dying seconds of regulation, but a shot by Brennan went off the inside of the goal post to Hellberg’s right.

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media