The Wolf Pack scored three power play goals — including two while playing five-on-three — en route to defeating the Toronto Marlies by the score of 6-1. The combination of P.A. Parenteau and Corey Locke picked up where it left off before Parenteau’s recent stint in New York, combining for five assists while linemate Dane Byers picked up a pair of goals. Matt Gilroy assisted on Byers second goal of the contest, giving him an assist in each of the four games he’s played with the Wolf Pack since being sent down a week ago. And Steven Valiquette earned his second straight win by turning aside 23 of 24 Marlie shots.
Family commitments kept me from seeing all of this one, so I leave you with Brian Ring’s recap, courtesy of the Wolf Pack.
Hartford Wolf Pack 6, Toronto Marlies 1
By Brian Ring
Hartford, CT, December 18, 2009 – The Hartford Wolf Pack used three first period goals to top the Toronto Marlies, 6-1, Friday night in front of 2,621 at the XL Center.
Dane Byers scored twice and the AHLâ€™s leading scorer, Corey Locke (12-26-38), added three assists for the Wolf Pack, and goaltender Steve Valiquette made 23 saves for his second straight win in net.
Locke and P.A. Parenteau combined for five assists in their first game together in over a month.
â€œItâ€™s always fun to play with guys when you have chemistry going,â€ said Parenteau.
Hartford was staked to an early first period lead, as Byers struck at 1:56 for the 1-0 Hartford advantage.
Parenteau, fresh off a 12-game stint with the Wolf Packâ€™s parent New York Rangers, took a pass from Locke and wrapped around the Toronto net before shooting into the chest of Marlies goaltender Joey MacDonald. MacDonald (38 saves) fumbled the puck with his glove, allowing Byers to knock in the loose puck from out of mid-air.
Mike Hoffman then extended the Hartford lead just over a minute later at 3:09, forcing a turnover by the Marlies’ Jonas Frogren and sending a wrist shot past MacDonald for the early 2-0 lead.
Toronto cut the Hartford lead to 2-1 at 8:29, as Brendan Mikkelson sent a shot from the point past Valiquette during the Marliesâ€™ first power-play of the night, coming on a Dale Weise elbowing call.
Hartford, however managed to capitalize on a five-on-three power-play opportunity at 19:21 of the first, as Corey Potter put a slap shot past MacDonald for the third Wolf Pack goal.
The Marlies had taken consecutive penalties, receiving a bench minor for too many men on the ice at 18:23, followed by a cross-checking call on Phil Oreskovic 14 seconds later.
The Wolf Pack outshot Toronto 17-7 in the frame.
Hartford carried their 3-1 lead into the second period, and then extended it to 4-1 on their second five-on-three power-play goal of the night at 16:05.
Byers scored his second goal of the game and eighth of the season after receiving a pass from Locke, who earned his third assist of the night. Matt Gilroy also assisted on the goal, his fourth assist in four games since joining the Wolf Pack.
Hartford then scored their league-leading eleventh short-handed goal to make it 5-1, as Jordan Owens got past Toronto defender Darryl Boyce and backhanded a shot past MacDonald at 19:28, while Ryan Garlock was serving a minor for delay of game.
Valiquette was perfect in the second, making 10 saves, including several on a flurry by Greg Scott at 6:49.
The Wolf Pack concluded their outburst 1:16 into the third period, as MacDonald kicked out a rebound that was picked up and deposited into an empty net for an easy score by Derek Couture for a 6-1 Hartford lead.
Valiquette then shut the door, stopping a breakaway chance by Torontoâ€™s Robert Slaney at 18:23 to secure the victory.
â€œThe team has been playing just okay for the last couple weeks,â€ said Parenteau. â€œIt was important to have a good start; we kept the pressure on them all night.â€
The win moved the Wolf Packâ€™s record up to 15-12-1-3, good for 34 points and a share of fifth place in the Atlantic Division with the Worcester Sharks.
Hartford will complete their current homestand Saturday night, as they host the Hamilton Bulldogs at XL Center (7:00).
Toronto Marlies 1 At Hartford Wolf Pack 6
Dec 18, 2009 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Toronto 1 0 0 – 1
Hartford 3 2 1 – 6
1st Period-1, Hartford, Byers 7 (Parenteau, Locke), 1:56. 2, Hartford, Hoffman 1 3:09. 3, Toronto, Mikkelson 2 (Bozak, Hanson), 8:29 (pp). 4, Hartford, Potter 3 (Locke, Parenteau), 19:21 (pp). Penalties-Weise Hfd (elbowing), 7:24; Potter Hfd (hooking), 8:52; Potter Hfd (holding), 13:01; served by Deveaux Tor (bench minor – too many men), 18:23; Oreskovic Tor (cross-checking), 18:37.
2nd Period-5, Hartford, Byers 8 (Locke, Gilroy), 16:05 (pp). 6, Hartford, Owens 5 (Dupont), 19:28 (sh). Penalties-Perry Tor (holding the stick), 2:04; Williams Hfd (interference), 3:47; Bodie Tor (roughing), 5:53; Parenteau Hfd (roughing), 5:53; Evans Tor (slashing), 14:22; Rosehill Tor (tripping), 15:01; Evans Tor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 16:36; Weise Hfd (fighting), 16:36; Garlock Hfd (delay of game), 19:03.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, Couture 4 (Crowder, Garlock), 1:16. Penalties-Rosehill Tor (fighting), 2:29; Hoffman Hfd (fighting), 2:29; Deveaux Tor (roughing, roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct), 3:08; DiDiomete Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:08; Williams Hfd (tripping), 4:34; Boyce Tor (tripping), 9:06; Oreskovic Tor (fighting), 12:09; DiDiomete Hfd (fighting), 12:09; Ondrus Tor (cross-checking), 12:56; Rosehill Tor (kneeing), 13:29; Berry Tor (fighting), 14:11; Byers Hfd (fighting), 14:11; Parenteau Hfd (roughing), 14:11.
Shots on Goal-Toronto 7-10-7-24. Hartford 17-12-15-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Toronto 1 of 6; Hartford 2 of 11.
Goalies-Toronto, MacDonald 2-5-0 (44 shots-38 saves). Hartford, Valiquette 2-2-0 (24 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Kevin Redding (16), David Spannaus (8).
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