Hartford, CT - J.T. Miller scored two goals and added an assist in his first AHL game of the season, and Dylan McIlrath’s first pro goal was the third-period game-winner, as the Hartford Wolf Pack posted its first win of the season, 4-3 over the Albany Devils, Sunday at the XL Center.
Chris Kreider also scored for the Wolf Pack, and Danny Kristo had two assists. Albany got goals from Scott Timmins, David Wohlberg and Joe Whitney, and defenseman Jon Merrill assisted on all three.
The Devils, who were playing their first game of the season, opened the scoring only 51 seconds into the game. Timmins got a perfect tip on Merrill’s shot from the right point and deflected it past Wolf Pack goaltender Jason Missiaen (23 saves).
The Pack would get the next two, starting at 9:13. Miller, who was assigned to the Wolf Pack Saturday morning after playing for the parent New York Rangers in their season opener Thursday night in Phoenix, tied the score with his first of the day. Miller pounced on the rebound of a Brandon Mashinter shot and ripped it past Devil goaltender Keith Kinkaid (18 saves) from the left-wing side of the slot.
Then at the 14:00 mark, the Wolf Pack would capitalize on the game’s first power play, with Kreider scoring his first of the year. Kinkaid stopped a shot from the right-wing circle by Miller, but Kreider pounced on the rebound and backhanded it in.
The pendulum swung the other way late in the period, though, as Wohlberg tied it for the Devils with 1:03 left. Harri Pesonen found a seam with a quick pass to Wohlberg, who moved down the slot and beat Missiaen high to the stick side.
Albany then got an early goal in the second period, converting on its first power play at 2:31. Whitney, a 26-goal scorer last year with the Devils, found the top corner on the stick side of Missiaen after moving across the slot.
That lead appeared as though it might last through the end of the period, but this time it was the Wolf Pack’s turn to come back with a late goal.
Miller would get his second of the game with 57.2 seconds left in the second, heading to the front of the net after Ryan Bourque broke up an Albany pass. Bourque fed the puck to Miller, whose first try hit the goalpost, but Miller stayed in front and was able to bang in a second attempt for a 3-3 tie.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 9-6 in the third period, but the only goal came off the stick of McIlrath, the former New York Rangers first-round pick, who had yet to score in 48 previous pro games.
McIlrath took a pass at the right point from defense partner Aaron Johnson, and McIlrath’s long heave through a Kreider screen found its way past Kinkaid for the winner.
The Wolf Pack are next in action this Friday night, October 11, as they welcome the Adirondack Phantoms to the XL Center for a 7:00 PM game. Once again this season, each and every Wolf Pack Friday-night home game features $1 hot dogs and $2 beers, through the start of the second period.
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.
Albany Devils 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Sunday, October 6, 2013 - XL Center
Albany 2 1 0 - 3
Hartford 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Albany, Timmins 1 (Merrill, Whitney), 0:51. 2, Hartford, Miller 1 (Yogan, Mashinter), 9:13. 3, Hartford, Kreider 1 (Miller, Kristo), 14:00 (PP). 4, Albany, Wohlberg 1 (Pesonen, Merrill), 18:57. Penalties-McPherson Alb (cross-checking), 13:38; Pelley Alb (cross-checking), 19:42.
2nd Period-5, Albany, Whitney 1 (Merrill), 2:31 (PP). 6, Hartford, Miller 2 (Bourque), 19:02. Penalties-Johnson Hfd (tripping), 1:17; Miller Hfd (tripping), 8:27; Pesonen Alb (roughing), 13:35; served by Whitney Alb (bench minor - too many men), 19:39.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, McIlrath 1 (Johnson, Kristo), 4:36. Penalties-served by Yogan Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 11:28.
Shots on Goal-Albany 9-8-9-26. Hartford 7-9-6-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 1 / 3; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Albany, Kinkaid 0-1-0 (22 shots-18 saves). Hartford, Missiaen 1-0-0 (26 shots-23 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Paul Simeon (66).
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