Hartford, CT - Tyler Toffoli had two third-period goals, and Linden Vey added a goal and an assist, to lead the Manchester Monarchs to a 4-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the XL Center.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Wolf Pack (19-25-0-5, 43 pts.), which got goals from Darroll Powe and Danny Syvret, and two assists from T.J. Hensick.
Martin Jones made 32 saves in the Manchester net, and David LeNeveu stopped 24 shots for Hartford. Manchester, which was 3/6 on the power play, improved its AHL-best record to 33-14-2-5 for 73 points.
“We took some penalties,” Hensick said. “They’re a good team obviously; they’re in first place for a reason. We gave them too many chances and they capitalized on them.”
The Wolf Pack dominated the early action in the first period and took the game’s first lead at 7:34, on Powe’s ninth goal of the season. Hensick had the puck poked off of his stick, but it went right to Tommy Hughes at the right point, and Hughes’ shot was deflected on goal by Powe. Jones had the puck hit him, but it came loose and trickled over the goal line to Jones’ right.
That lead lasted until the 15:43 mark, when Brian O’Neill tied the game. The Monarchs broke into the offensive zone on a three-on-two and LeNeveu stopped a shot by Sean Backman. The puck went off of LeNeveu’s pad and hit the back boards, though, and caromed back to the front of the net, and O’Neill reached his stick in and poked it past LeNeveu’s right pad.
An early power-play goal by Vey was the only scoring of the second period, as Vey connected at 3:48 with Jesper Fast off for tripping. Nick Deslauriers fed the puck from the middle of the blue line to Vey headed down the right side, and Vey slammed a shot from the right faceoff dot past LeNeveu on the stick side.
The Monarch power play struck again at 7:09 of the third period, with Toffoli scoring from the slot. Vey set up Toffoli, who put a perfect shot into the top corner on LeNeveu’s stick side, from close range.
The Wolf Pack cut the margin back to one goal with a shorthanded tally by Syvret at 18:36, one second after Tanner Pearson got out of the penalty box after serving a tripping minor. After Hensick won a draw with LeNeveu on the bench for an extra attacker, Syvret’s shot from the blue line hit Manchester defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk’s stick and deflected past Jones.
Toffoli answered that only 24 seconds later, though, at the 19:00 mark. After the Wolf Pack pulled LeNeveu again, Toffoli hit the empty net from the left-wing side, making the final 4-2. The goal was Manchester’s third power-play score of the game, coming with Oscar Lindberg in the box for hooking.
The Wolf Pack complete a three-game weekend Sunday in Providence, visiting the Bruins for a 7:00 PM game. All of the action of that battle can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, and on-line at www.foxsportsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is this Friday, February 21, a 7:00 PM contest against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. All Wolf Pack Friday-night home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Marc’s Appliance Warehouse, located at 75 Prospect Ave., Hartford, CT.
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.