The Wolf Pack continued their gritty play last night. They were out shot, sometimes out hustled,but in the end they were not outscored and that's the stat that matters at the end of the night.
Danny Kristo got the Pack on the board with his 25th goal of the season. He leads the team in goal scoring and has had a terrific year, scoring 43 points in 64 games this season. The trade for Kristo involved Christian Thomas whom has 11 goals and 16 assists in 54 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Kristo has really made an impact in Hartford and fans hope he continues that knack for scoring into next season and beyond. Kristo has a nose for the net and his 25th goal was scored while he camped out to the left of Falcon goalie Mike McKenna, he was in the right place at the right time.
David LeNeveu continued his brilliant play in net for the Wolf Pack. He has been playing like the second coming of Grant Fuhr. LeNeveu has been incredibly valuable to the team in this last stretch of the season. The 8-1 record and a 1.25 goals against average in 8 and a third games played just about says it all. The first three games of the last nine were three straight shut outs by LeNeveu.
Tonight was no different as LeNeveu held the slim Wolf Pack lead into the last period of play. He turned away 37 of 38 shots and earned the games first star. He did not allow a Falcon goal until about a minute into the third period and that was all the Falcons would get.
The Wolf Pack were lucky, their offense sputtered in the first two periods and despite having the lead the team had only produced 11 shots by the start of the third period. They put up 9 shots in the third period and one of them turned into an insurance goal from Oscar Lindberg, his 18th of the season.
This game was the final in the season series of 12 games that are played between the I91 corridor rivals. The Pack grabbed their fifth win last night against the Falcons. The Falcons will be moving on to the Playoffs at the end of the season they were at the top of the division for most of the year.
The two rivals will continue their yearly battle next year. As far as I know the Hartford Wolf Pack will be here next year. There was a buzz in the crowd about a story from Howlings.net confirming that the Calgary Flames AHL team the Abbotsford Heat toured the XL Center recently. The fractured fan base, reading this, spouted off possible scenarios and speculation of an affiliation switch. Some against the idea and some in favor of a change but the questions started to swirl. Where would the Wolf Pack move to? Where is the Heat going now that they are free to move? It brought up plenty of questions, but there were no answers.
It was told to me that nothing appears to be changing for Hartford according to a source on the sales staff with Global Spectrum. I was told that they didn't know of any visit by the Heat.
Last year the Heat did visit the XL Center but that was when their was no AHL tenant since the contract with MSG(Rangers) had expired. I also spoke to a contact who covers the Adirondack Phantoms, he had not heard of any visit from MSG or that the Rangers might be looking at Glens Falls. They did visit Glens Falls last year when they were not under contract.
There is belief from the fans in Glens Falls that they will have a team and they think it will be the Heat. It's been an expectation for a year now that Calgary will end up in Glens Falls. The building was just vacated by the Phantoms whom have moved to LeHigh Valley, Pennsylvania. If Glens Falls and the Heat are talking, the negotiations may be stuck on length of stay. The city of Glens Falls wants a several season commitment and the Flames might want a shorter commitment to keep options open on moving more west.
Tonight marks the final game of the season, it is Fan Appreciation Night. There are going to be a lot of give aways and prizes and these two teams usually play a spirited contest. The opponent is in state rival the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. You can listen to the game on 1410AM Fox Sports Radio or you can watch in on WWW.AHLLIVE.COM.