The second week of the Hartford Wolf Pack’s 2013-2014 season promised to be just as action packed and close to the wire as week one’s battles versus the Norfolk Admirals and Albany Devils. The Wolf Pack were looking at a home-and-home series with the Adirondack Phantoms, AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wolf Pack first hosted the Phantoms on October 11th at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut with a 1-0-0-1 record and a hot offense that produced 6 goals in their last two games. Hartford’s scoring started with Chris Kreider who scored his 2nd goal of the season just 5:15 into the 1st Period on a Power Play. Adirondack, however, would prove to be a fiesty, physical team with a new look and new spark for sure. They answered back with three goals starting at 9:25 of the 1st Period with a goal by B. Gervais followed by R. Boardson’s goal at 11:54 in the 1st and Michael Raffl’s goal at 5:54 in the 2nd Period.
The Wolf Pack wouldn’t quit though and began their rally back into the game thanks to a surprising effort by defenceman Dylan McIlrath, who scored his 2nd goal of the season at 12:56 of the 2nd Period, with assists by Danny Kristo and Oscar Lindberg. J.T. Miller added in his 3rd goal of the season to bring the Wolf Pack to a 3 – 3 tie early in the 3rd Period, again letting fans know that he is taking his stint in Hartford seriously enough and certainly drawing some positive attention from the New York Rangers organization and management. Adirondack wasn’t done though. Chris Vandevelde gave the Phantoms the 4 – 3 lead at 5:07 of the 3rd Period. The majority of the 3rd Period was looking like it might slip away from the Wolf Pack but at 15:24 in the 3rd, Danny Kristo pounced on an opportune Power Play with his 2nd goal of the season to force the overtime. Oscar Lindberg got his 2nd assist of the night with Kristo’s goal.
After a scoreless overtime, the Wolf Pack were drawn into their second shootout match of the season. This time, the Wolf Pack would come out with the win with shootout goals by Danny Kristo and J.T. Miller. Michael Raffl had the only shootout goal for the Phantoms. In net for the Wolf Pack was Cam Talbot, who faced a total of 35 shots and earned the win with 31 saves. He was the game’s number one star. Danny Syvret and Dylan McIlrath were the number two and number three stars respectively. Danny Syvret had 2 assists on the night and Dylan McIlrath scored his 2nd goal in just as many games.
On October 12th, the re-match took place in Glenns Falls, New York at the Glenns Falls Civic Center where the Adirindack Phantoms hosted their season home openner before a sellout crowd of 5,301. Building off their win from the previous night, the Wolf Pack started the scoring with J.T. Miller’s 4th goal of the season at 6:12 in the 1st Period. Yet as it was the previous night, the Adirondack Phantoms would answer back and push the Wolf Pack hard. The Phantoms would score at 14:35 with a Power Play goal by M. Alt. The Phantoms would take the early lead with just a minute to spare in the 1st Period with a goal by B. Holmstrom.
Facing a 2 – 1 defecit into the 2nd Period, the Wolf Pack got an early jump and tied up the game in the first minute of the period with a goal by Tommy Hughes. The second period saw the Wolf Pack dominating in the shots on goal but nothing would get past Phantoms’ goalie, C. Heeter until the 3rd Period when the tie was broken by veteran Brodie Dupont, still on a Professional Tryout Contract, looking to stick with the Wolf Pack in a return campaign.
This time the lead would stick and the Wolf Pack would jump on the bus home with a 3-0-0-1 record and 7 standings points and a place at the top of the Atlantic Division and a 3-0-0-0 division record and their first road win of the season.
On the weekend, the Wolf Pack went 2 for 10 on the Power Play at add to their season totals of 4 Power Play goals on the season with 22 Power Play attempts. The weekend also saw Wolf Pack rookie Danny Kristo become the league’s 6th leading scorer with 2 goals, 3 assists for 5 points in 4 games. J.T. Miller finished the weekend ranked 12th in league scoring with 4 goals in 3 games.
Looking at the Hartford Wolf Pack’s scoring thus far, Chris Kreider has 2 goals and an assist for 3 points in the 4 games, Oscar Lindberg and Brandon Mashinter each have 3 assists so far, and Ryan Borque, Danny Syvret, and Andrew Yogan each have 2 assists for 2 points in 4 games as well. Also worth noting, the defence has scored early and fairly often in just these 4 games. Dylan McIlrath and Tommy Hughes have a combined 3 goals for the defence. In all, the defence has contributed 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points.
Now that there are signs that the defence is contributing where it can on offense, we should see higher shots on goal totals for the Wolf Pack and even more grittier play than we have seen in previous seasons. It’s also good to see the young rookies contributing early and especially in terms of what rookie Danny Kristo has conrtributed so far on the Power Play with 2 goals. Sure, it’s early still, but when special teams click, the Wolf Pack have an added weapon in their arsenal and relieve some of the pressure on Cam Talbot and Jason Missiaen who have so far combined for 112 saves in 4 games.
For more information, you can follow the Hartford Wolf Pack on