Syracuse Crunches Pack, 6-0
Hartford, CT, February 2, 2019 - Syracuse Crunch goaltender Eddie Pasquale stopped all 21 Hartford Wolf Pack shots Friday night at the XL Center, as the Crunch skated off with a 6-0 win.
Defenseman Ben Thomas scored his first goal of the season, and had an assist, for Syracuse, and Mitchell Stephens scored twice. Ross Colton also had a goal and an assist.
"It would have been nice to get a goal and get some energy in the building from the crowd we had," Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. "But we need to finish those chances when we have them, especially against a team like Syracuse. I thought we were too light in our zone, and gave them too much space to make plays."
The Crunch, who came into the game as the highest-scoring team in the AHL, got the only goal of the first period, at the 11:01 mark.
After the Wolf Pack could not get the puck past Hubert Labrie at the Hartford blue line, Alex Barre-Boulet fed across the middle to Stephens on the left side. Stephens, who was returning to the Syracuse lineup after missing the previous 23 games due to injury, fired a quick shot that beat Wolf Pack goaltender Marek Mazanec (26 saves) to the stick side.
The Crunch would put three on the board in the second period, starting just 2:02 in with a goal by Colton. After a pass hopped over Ryan Gropp's stick near the Syracuse blue line, Thomas sent a quick pass to Colton. He moved down the right side, his off-wing, and fired a shot past Mazanec's catching glove and inside the goal post.
"We recognize they're a real explosive team, and any time you turn the puck over, there's a good possibility they will put it in the back of the net," McCambridge said.
Just 3:18 later, at 5:20, Thomas scored on a nice individual effort, making it 3-0. Shawn O'Donnell was unable to clear the puck past Thomas at the right point, and he stickhandled deep into the zone, beating several Wolf Pack poke-check attempts, before putting a backhand shot into the net from in front.
Taylor Raddysh upped the margin to 4-0 at 10:13. A shot from the blue line by Cameron Gaunce was deflected on goal by Cory Conacher, and the rebound came right to Raddysh at the right side of the slot. He had most of the net to bury the puck into.
That was it for the scoring until late in the third period, when Syracuse scored a pair of shorthanded empty-net goals after Brady Brassart received a double-minor for high-sticking Gabriel Fontaine with 2:54 left.
The Crunch won the ensuing faceoff, after the Wolf Pack had pulled Mazanec, and Stephens slid the puck from his own zone into the vacated cage only three seconds later, at 17:09.
Then, at 18:20, Dominik Masin hit the open net to make the final a six-goal margin, after Colton and Alexander Volkov had combined to send Masin behind the Wolf Pack defense.
"They're a good team," Wolf Pack forward Steven Fogarty said of the Crunch. "We didn't do anything well, and they took advantage of that. I think a lot of guys need to step up. We do a lot of talking in the locker room, but it hasn't been showing on the ice."
The Wolf Pack now head to Allentown, PA for a pair of games vs. the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Saturday's faceoff is 7:05 PM, and all the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 AM, and 100.9 FM, WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The next Wolf Pack home game is this Wednesday, February 13, a 7:00 PM contest vs. the Toronto Marlies. That is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack's "Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack", which includes two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy 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 $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack's 2018-19 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack's many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Syracuse Crunch 6 at Hartford Wolf Pack 0
Friday - XL Center
Syracuse 1 3 2 - 6
Hartford 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period-1, Syracuse, Stephens 3 (Barre-Boulet, Labrie), 11:01. Penalties-Thomas Syr (holding), 7:33; Leedahl Hfd (hooking), 14:14.
2nd Period-2, Syracuse, Colton 8 (Thomas), 2:02. 3, Syracuse, Thomas 1 5:20. 4, Syracuse, Raddysh 14 (Conacher, Gaunce), 10:13. Penalties-Conacher Syr (slashing), 2:38; Conacher Syr (cross-checking), 8:04; Lindgren Hfd (roughing), 8:04; Andreoff Syr (fighting), 14:43; Lindgren Hfd (fighting), 14:43; Masin Syr (fighting), 18:13; Beleskey Hfd (fighting), 18:13.
3rd Period-5, Syracuse, Stephens 4 17:09 (SH EN). 6, Syracuse, Masin 2 (Colton, Volkov), 18:20 (SH EN). Penalties-Raddysh Syr (tripping), 1:18; Leedahl Hfd (tripping), 5:06; Andersson Hfd (hooking), 14:08; Brassart Syr (double minor - high-sticking), 17:06.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 12-11-9-32. Hartford 8-4-9-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 5.
Goalies-Syracuse, Pasquale 15-8-3 (21 shots-21 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 7-8-4 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Kenny Anderson (66), Beaudry Halkidis (48).
Linesmen-Kevin Briganti (39), Luke Galvin (2).
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