HARTFORD, Conn – The Hartford Wolf Pack fought back from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits Friday night at the XL Center against the Adirondack Phantoms, and eventually pulled out a 5-4 shootout win.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 35-20 in the game, but Cam Talbot made 31 saves, and stopped four out of five shooters in the shootout. Danny Kristo tallied a goal and an assist, as well as a shootout goal, and J.T. Miller also had a goal in the third period and was the other scorer for the Wolf Pack in the shootout. Bruno Gervais and Michael Raffl had a goal and an assist each for the Phantoms.
Sparks flew early, with two fights breaking out simultaneously only two minutes into the game, which set an early tone. The scrum led to Adirondack’s Zack FitzGerald picking up four extra minutes in penalties, giving the Wolf Pack the game’s first power play, on which they would score the first goal of the game.
On a break into the zone, Danny Syvret laid off a pass back to the blue line, which Aaron Johnson one-timed toward the net, and Chris Kreider deflected it past Phantom goaltender Yann Danis (15 saves) on the stick side.
A penalty on Dylan McIlrath with 11:01 left in the period spurred the Phantoms to their first goal, only 36 seconds into the power play. After Jason Akeson passed the puck into the high slot, Gervais drove it past Talbot.
With 8:06 left in the period, the Phantoms struck again on a great individual play by Rob Bordson. Bordson was able to work the puck away from Hartford’s Brandon Mashinter and fire it over Talbot’s shoulder on the stick side.
The Phantoms made it a 3-1 lead at 5:54 of the second. Petr Straka feathered a pass Raffl, who wired his first North American pro goal by Talbot’s glove side.
A first Wolf Pack comeback, though, began at 12:56, as McIlrath scored his second in two games, after not scoring a goal in the first 48 games of his pro career. Kristo poked the puck out to McIlrath in the middle of the ice, and McIlrath found a spot behind Danis on the glove side.
Early in the third period, the Wolf Pack drew even on a skillful deflection by Miller off of a shot from Conor Allen that caught Danis off guard. The goal, at 1:58, was Miller’s third of the season.
The Phantoms came back 3:09 later, at 5:07, on a quick shot by Chris VandeVelde that just got by Talbot on the glove side, pushing the Phantoms ahead, 4-3.
With only 4:36 left in the game, the Wolf Pack drew even again, this time on a power play goal from Kristo. The puck was passed out to Syvret and moved on to Kristo, who fired a snapshot over Danis’ glove-side shoulder to make the game 4-4.
After a scoreless overtime, Talbot gave up a goal to Raffl on Adirondack’s first shootout attempt, but then stopped four straight. Kristo and Miller would both score on Danis, and the Wolf Pack took the shootout by a score of 2-1.
The Wolf Pack and Phantoms complete a home-and-home series Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center