Shesterkin, Pack Shut out Lehigh Valley, 4-0
Hartford, CT - Igor Shesterkin chalked up his second shutout of the season for the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night at the XL Center, making 26 saves in a 4-0 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, in the front end of a home-and-home between the two teams.
Nick Jones scored twice for the Wolf Pack, and Nick Ebert and Lewis Zerter-Gossage also had Hartford goals.
"Obviously, Shesty is Shesty," said Ebert of the Wolf Pack goaltender. "He comes in on a nightly basis, and he makes saves most goalies can't. It makes things a lot easier having him back there."
Both teams unsuccessfully traded power play chances until the Wolf Pack finally broke the tie with 3:55 left in the period. Ebert pinched in and snuck a shot between Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon (26 saves) and the post for his fourth goal of the year. Phil Di Giuseppe and Vinni Lettieri both assisted on the goal. The tally would prove to be the only one of the period.
Hartford continued its scoring ways in the second period, when Zerter-Gossage scored his second of the year, giving the Pack a 2-0 lead just under seven minutes into the frame. The goal was unassisted. After the goal, both teams would shut down defensively for the period, something that has been a strength for the Wolf Pack throughout the season.
"Our whole defensive corps have been good together, individually and as a group," said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. "We have a lot of good options on the back end, it makes things easier for us."
Defense continued to be the story in the third period, until Jones scored his third goal of the year off a Darren Raddysh rebound with 12:15 left in the period. Vincent LoVerde also had an assist on the goal.
"It was good to get that goal and close the door," said Ebert of the goal.
Lehigh Valley pulled Lyon in the dying minutes of the game, but with 39.8 seconds left to play the Wolf Pack went on a power play, and Jones scored his second of the period. Joey Keane and Yegor Rykov assisted on the late tally.
"Jones has been strong all year," said Knoblauch. "He makes everyone he plays with better. That's the sign of a good player, he's one of the most consistent players on our team."
The Wolf Pack and Phantoms meet again Saturday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, with faceoff at 7:05 PM. The next home game for the Wolf Pack is their last action before Christmas, a battle with the Providence Bruins Saturday, December 21. That game faces off at 7:00.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack's many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Friday - XL Center
Lehigh Valley 0 0 0 - 0
Hartford 1 1 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Ebert 4 (Di Giuseppe, Lettieri), 16:05. Penalties-Criscuolo Lv (tripping), 4:25; Ebert Hfd (interference), 8:48.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Zerter-Gossage 2 6:46. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Jones 3 (Raddysh, LoVerde), 7:45. 4, Hartford, Jones 4 (Keane, Rykov), 19:25 (PP). Penalties-Bunnaman Lv (holding), 10:02; Keane Hfd (hooking), 13:26; Carey Lv (high-sticking), 19:20.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 5-11-10-26. Hartford 7-10-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 2; Hartford 1 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Lyon 6-7-2 (30 shots-26 saves). Hartford, Shesterkin 11-3-3 (26 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Carter Sandlak (6), Chris Waterstradt (88).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Luke Galvin (2).
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