The Wolf Pack continued their domination of the Springfield Falcons tonight with a 6-1 win in Springfield, their 4th win in a row, extending their current points streak to 11 games and improving their record over their nearby rivals to 6-1-0-0 on the season.
Rookie Brodie Dupont got the scoring started at 8:10 of the first when he cashed in on the rebound created by the strong play of Lauri Korpikoski. Korpikoski picked up the puck from ECHL call-up Bruce Graham behind the net, and skated out around the right side of the net, firing a quick shot on goal from in close at a sharp angle. Springfield goalie Jeff Deslauriers couldn’t control the rebound and the puck ended up out front of the net where a wide-open Dupont picked it up in the slot and put it in the open side of the net. That was the only scoring of a fairly even period, in which the Falcons had the edge in shots (11-8) primarily because of an advantage in power plays (3 compared to the Pack’s 1).
But as it seems they do often lately, the Pack broke the game open in the second period, scoring 4 goals on the way to taking a 6-0 lead. Greg Moore got the first at the five minute mark of the period on a play started by Montoya, who controlled the puck in front of the net and fired a long pass to P.A. Parenteau along the right boards at center ice. Parenteau fed Moore, who had a step on the Falcon defender as he broke into the offensive zone and fired a quick wrist shot over Deslaurier’s shoulder from just above the hash marks. The goal, his 20th of the season, allowed Moore to re-take the team goal scoring lead from Parenteau, with whom he’d been tied. Parenteau’s assist was one of two on the night, which gave him his 50th point (in 50 games), and a 6 point lead on Moore. It also moved him into 10th in the AHL in scoring.
Artem Anisimov increased the Pack’s lead to three 46 seconds later after defensemen Corey Potter jumped up on the rush, carrying the puck deep into the Springfield zone, holding it briefly in the corner before firing a perfectly-timed pass into the crease as Anisimov arrived on the doorstep to deflect it past Deslauriers. It was Anisimov’s 2nd goal in as many games, and 4th point in his last three. It also spelled the end of Delauriers, who was pulled in favor Devan Dubnyk. For Potter, it was one of three even strength goals he was on the ice for, improving his +/- on the season to +22, one behind Pack leader Moore. Moore and Potter’s +/- figures earn them the 3rd and 4th highest rankings in the league, respectively.
Michael Ouellette added a goal of his own at 17:03 of the period on a delayed penalty he drew himself when he was tripped as he drove to the net with the puck. He got the shot off, but Bourret was able to get to the rebound and feed Andrew Hutchinson for a shot which Dubnyk couldn’t control, giving the rebound right back to Ouellette at the hash marks.
I had to leave as the Pack went on the PK at 18:07 of the period, but Dane Byers capped off the 2nd period scoring just 10 seconds later with a shorthanded goal. The Pack had the edge in shots in the period, 9-6.
I missed most of the 3rd period, but Korpikoski capped off the Pack’s scoring just 33 seconds in on a 5-on-3 power play. It was Korpikoski’s 12th of the season, bettering last season’s number with more than a quarter of the season remaining. It was also his 5th point in the last 3 games and earned him his second consecutive 1st star of the game. I was able to check in just past the halfway mark of the period, just in time to see the Pack get into penalty trouble, ultimately costing Montoya his a chance at his first shutout of the season. First Bourret went off for roughing at 12:05, then 8 seconds later Jake Taylor was called for hooking, putting the Pack down by two men. Moore took a slashing penalty just a minute and eleven seconds later, and compounded the problem by arguing the call and earning himself an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, setting up what would have been an extended 5-on-3 had Springfield not gotten on the board less than a half a minute later. Falcon defenseman Theo Peckham got the puck deep in the pack zone and fired a centering pass across the crease which Montoya inadvertently deflected into his own net when he tried to break up the pass. It was a tough break for Montoya, who looked sharp through the two periods I saw. The Falcons outshot the Pack 18-3 in the 3rd, suggesting yet another game where the Pack seemed to do their best to let the opposition back into the game in the final period. This time only the one goal got through, however, and the Pack went on to improve their record to 33-13-2-5, pulling to within 6 points of league-leading Providence, who lost to Portland, who remain 4 points behind the Pack for 3rd in the Atlantic Division, though the Pack have 2 games in hand. Portland and Hartford face off in Hartford tomorrow night.
- Mike Sauer missed his second game with a knee injury
- Tommy Pyatt was a healthy scratch for the 2nd consecutive game
- Referee Frederic L’Ecuyer probably didn’t make many friends on the Pack with what seemed to be wildly inconsistent call of the game. Of those I saw, the most questionable was probably a 2 minute instigating penalty (and requisite 10 minute misconduct) in the second after Bourret threw a huge, but clean, open-ice hit, for which the Falcon’s Theo Peckham did everything in his power to try to draw Bourret into a fight. Jessiman stepped in, providing a willing partner for Peckham, who was all over Bourret, but somehow he drew the instigator.
1. Dupont (8) (Korpikoski, Graham) 8:10
2. Moore (20) (Parenteau, Montoya) 5:01
2. Anisimov (9) (Potter, Bourret) 5:47
2. Ouellette () (Hutchinson, Bourret) 17:03
2. Byers (16) 18:17 (SH)
3. Korpikoski (12) (Parenteau, Hutchinson) 0:33 (PP)
Byers – Moore -Parenteau
Jessiman – Anisimov – Bourret
Dupont – Graham – Korpikoski
Owens – Ouellette
Pock – Hutchinson
Baranka – Potter
Liffiton – Taylor
Montoya / Wiikman
1. Lauri Korpikoski
2. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
3. Andrew Hutchinson
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