Game 69: Hartford Wolf Pack 4 @ Philadelphia Phantoms 5 (SO)
Friday March 21st 2008, 11:40 pm

It looked like the Pack just might pull another rabbit out of their hat after coming back from their second 3-1 deficit against the Philadelphia Phantoms this week to push the game to overtime, but this time they couldn’t get the goal in OT and ended up losing in the shootout for the 7th time this season.

For the second game running the Pack gave up an early goal, this time after P.A. Parenteau took a tripping penalty only 33 seconds in and Pete Zingoni scored on the power play. At 7:17, with Artem Anisimov in the box for hooking, Greg Moore took a pass in the neutral zone and skated in on goaltender Martin Houle shorthanded, but was hooked from behind and prevented from getting off a good shot. He was awarded a penalty shot, on which he scored on a pretty deke to his backhand at 8:29.

As you’d expect with teams that are playing back-to-back games late in the season, the two teams proved they didn’t really like each other with three fights on the night, the first of which came at 12:35 of the first period when Brodie Dupont faced off against Josh Beaulieu. A willing, but not always able combatant, Dupont unfortunately got tagged with a hard right to the left eye/cheekbone, and left the ice battered and bloody. He didn’t return. Philly goaltender Houle also left the game due to injury, at the 12:33 mark, but I missed the play and didn’t see how he was hurt.

Like in Wednesday’s game, the Phantoms scored early in the 2nd, in this case just after a carry-over penalty to Jesse Boulerice expired. Six minutes and 15 seconds later, Darroll Powe scored shorthanded after a comedy of errors by the Pack lead to players falling down everywhere and Powe skating out of his zone alone and in on goalie David LeNeveu for a shorthanded goal. A minute and a half later, Josh Beaulieu boarded Mike Sauer, leading Anisimov to chase after Beaulieu before Josh Gratton and former Pack player Martin Grenier squared off, dropped the gloves, and drew everyone’s attention. Gratton, coming back after missing Wednesday’s game with the flu, looked winded from the start, and after getting in a couple early shots in basically held on and tried to protect himself as best he could until the linesmen finally intervened. Nine minutes later Dane Byers would exact revenge for an un-called high stick when he challenged Powe and buckled his knees with an early, hard right.

Despite having nothing to show for it, the Pack actually played better in the second than they had on Wednesday, maintaining good puck possession, ending the period with 8-6 advantage for the period and a 18-15 advantage for the game.

The Pack started the 3rd still down by two, but that changed only 23 seconds in when Greg Moore and Lauri Korpikoski skated in on backup goalie Scott Munroe on a 2-on-1. Moore fed Korpikoski in the left faceoff circle for a quick wrist shot that beat Munroe up high. At the 7:36 mark Gratton got his 8th of the season and 3rd with the Wolf Pack with a backhander after some good work by Anisimov behind the net, knotting the score at three. At 13:46 Zingoni took a tripping penalty, allowing the Pack’s power play to go to work. And once again it looked like the Parenteau and the power play would give the Pack a come-from-behind win when he scored off the rebound of a Hutchinson bomb from the left point. But less than two minutes later the Phantoms were able to tie it up after crashing the net (and possibly interfering with LeNeveu), scoring off the goalmouth scramble. So once again the two teams were headed to overtime, after a strong final 20 minutes by the Pack in which they clearly had the momentum, outshooting the East Division leaders 14-4.

Unlike Wednesday, when the Phantoms took an early penalty on which the Pack scored, this time it was the Pack that took the overtime penalty, at 2:41 of the extra frame. But the Pack were able to kill it off and take the game to the shootout. But as has often been the case this season, they came up short when only Korpikoski could score while Stefan Ruzicka and Ryan Potulny were able to put the puck past LeNeveu.

Notes
- Hugh Jessiman missed the game, but I didn’t catch why.
- For some reason, there were two referees tonight. The AHL usually plays with one. The refs? Chris Ciamaga and Mike McGeough.
- B2 Networks have completely revamped their feeds and are now offering much, much higher quality broadcasts online.

Pack Scoring
1. Moore, (23) 8:29 (SH/PS)
3. Korpikoski (19) (Moore, Hutchinson) :23
3. Gratton (8) (Anisimov, Lee) 7:36
3. Parenteau (29) (Hutchinson, Baranka) 14:43 (PP)

Pack Shooters
Greg Moore No Goal
Lauri Korpikoski Goal
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau No Goal
Dane Byers No Goal
Andrew Hutchinson No Goal

Lines (they changed when Dupont went down)
Korpikoski – Moore – Parenteau
Byers – Anisimov – Pock
Dupont – Ouellette – Gratton
Owens – Lee

Hutchinson – Potter
Baranka – Brown
Taylor – Sauer

LeNeveu / Wiikman

Three Stars
1. Ryan Potulny
2. Jared Ross
3. Greg Moore

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