Wolf Pack Triumph Over Falcons 5-3December 30, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Connecticut Whale
Ryan Garlock scored the shorthanded game winning goal for Hartford, and P.A. Parenteau had a goal and two assists in the win, which extended Springfield's winless streak to 17 straight games (0-12-4-1).
Garlock's winner came off a misplay by Springfield goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur, who was beaten to a loose puck outside of the crease. Garlock then took it and put it into the open net for the 4-3 advantage.
"Luckily I came out with the puck and had open cage there, and I just put it in," said Garlock.
The Falcons had jumped out to a quick lead in the first period, as Ryan O'Marra opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 6:01. With Springfield's Cody Wild serving a hooking penalty, Colin McDonald had a breakaway opportunity on Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette (25 saves).
Valiquette managed to make the initial save but ended up out of position, allowing O'Marra to score off of McDonald's rebound on a backhand bid.
O'Marra struck again in the waning seconds of the frame, spinning around after grabbing the rebound of Geoff Paukovich's shot and beating Valiquette for his second of the night with just eight seconds remaining.
The Wolf Pack then evened the score with a 17-second outburst early in the second period, earning their fastest two goals of the season. Dane Byers scored first at 1:35, as he put a Parenteau rebound past Levasseur (31 saves).
Byers was then followed by Derek Couture, who knotted the score at two apiece at 1:52 after converting on a Paul Crowder pass as he skated through the slot.
Hartford took a short-lived lead on their third straight goal, as Michael Sauer scored on a slap shot from the center point at 4:47. Corey Locke and Parenteau both earned their second assists of the night on the goal.
The Falcons tied the game at three at 16:19, as Rob Hisey gathered a loose puck in front of the Hartford net and lifted it over Valiquette for the equalizer.
After heading to the third period tied, the Wolf Pack finally went ahead for good at the four-minute mark, as Garlock converted on his open-net opportunity for the eventual game winner.
The goal was Hartford's league-leading twelfth shorthanded score.
"Our power-play moves the puck so well and has been a huge asset for us all season," said Garlock. "So it's nice when we can contribute on the penalty kill as well."
Parenteau extended the Wolf Pack's lead to 5-3 at 19:12 of the final period with his twelfth goal of the season to cap the scoring.
The win lifted the Hartford's record to 17-13-1-4 and 39 points, good for fifth place in the Atlantic Division, one point behind fourth-place Worcester.
The Wolf Pack will start the new year with GEICO Connecticut Cup action Saturday versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at XL Center (7:00), before hosting the Syracuse Crunch Sunday (3:00).
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