Hartford, CT - Oscar Lindberg scored twice, and Jesper Fast set a Hartford Wolf Pack record by scoring seven seconds after the opening faceoff, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Springfield Falcons by a score of 5-2 Friday night at the XL Center.
Danny Kristo also scored for the Wolf Pack, and T.J. Hensick had an empty-net goal. Danny Syvret and Aaron Johnson contributed two assists apiece, and Dov Grumet-Morris made 22 saves in the Wolf Pack net. Tim Erixon had a goal and an assist for Springfield and Michael Chaput also scored.
The victory was the first in seven tries against the Falcons for the Wolf Pack, who had been 0-4-0-2 in the first six meetings between the two teams.
After J.T. Miller won the opening draw, Syvret led Fast with a pass, and Fast stickhandled up the slot and put a backhander past Springfield starting goaltender Jeremy Smith at the seven-second mark. That was the fastest Wolf Pack goal ever to start a period, by a margin of two seconds.
Kristo made it a 2-0 Wolf Pack lead at 4:36, nine seconds after a Wolf Pack power play expired. A Syvret shot from the blue line hit Justin Vaive in front of the goal and the puck deflected to Kristo, who fought off a check and poked it into the net from Smith’s right. Vaive picked up his first Wolf Pack point with an assist.
The Falcons came back with the next two goals, however, starting at 5:07, only 31 seconds after Kristo’s goal. With Springfield on a power play, Chaput fired a shot from the top of the left-wing circle past Grumet-Morris.
The Falcons tied it at 14:21 on a goal by Erixon, a former Connecticut Whale defenseman. After Andrew Joudrey won a faceoff, Jack Skille worked the puck back to Erixon at the right point, and Erixon’s shot went through a screen and eluded Grumet-Morris.
The Wolf Pack regained the lead for good, though, with 1:05 remaining in the period. Dylan McIlrath’s shot from the right point was blocked right to Lindberg along the boards, and Lindberg unloaded a sharp-angle try that found an opening behind Smith, for a 3-2 Wolf Pack advantage.
Lindberg then made it 4-2 only 2:40 into the second period, with his ninth of the season. Kyle Beach sent Lindberg into the Springfield zone with a pass, and Lindberg cleanly beat Smith’s catching glove with a shot from the left side.
That goal chased Smith (4 GA on 15 shots) from the game in favor of Mike McKenna, and there was no further scoring until the 19:58 mark of the third period, when, with McKenna on the bench for an extra attacker, Hensick hit the empty net from the neutral zone.
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center on Saturday night, hosting the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:00 PM. Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. To speak with a representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.