Grachev Leads Team to Victory
Grachev earns First Star in Wolf Pack 4th straight win
Grachev Leads Pack to Division Win
By Gerry Cantlon
BRIDGEPORT,CT- Evgeny Grachev scored one and set up another as the Hartford Wolf Pack continued their winning ways with their 4th straight win with a 4-1 defeat of their in-state and division rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday night before a crowd of 5,007 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Swiss rookie foward Andres Ambuhl got things going for the Wolf Pack with a perfect feed to a streaking Mathieu Dandenault as the NHL vetern redirected the perfect pass for his first AHL goal at 15:05.
Ambuhl in his first season of North American hockey has steadily improved and picked up just his second point in 14 games.
“He certaintly did a good using his lateral speed on that play to find Dandenault and yes he has gotten better over the past few games,” remarked head coach Ken Germander.
The Wolf Pack dented the net a mere 1:55 later when team league leading potent powerplay struck again. Second leading team scorer PA Parenteau on his off wing the left side fired a perfect pass to leading scorer Corey Locke who buried the 9th goal past Sound Tiger netminder Nathan Lawson for the 2-0 lead.
“Penalties have been our Achilles heel so far this year we have been taking way too many. We got to stay out of the box so we (don’t) use all our energy on the penalty kill,” said Sound Tigers center and former Wolf Pack Greg Moore.
Russian rookie Evegeny Grachev scored the goal of the night in the second at 8:26 barreling down the left wing let a bullet fly from 40 feet out at the top of the left wing faceoff circle that flew past the glove hand of Lawson at 8:26 for his 5th of the season.
“That was one heck of shot and he has been shooting the puck more as of late and it paid off,” said Germander.
He helped the fearsome powerplay of Hartford’s up the score to 4-0. A wide open Locke fired a short off the right wing destined for the far corner, but Lawson made a dazzling save with his blocker while down the ice, the puck came to Grachev who patiently fed a nice soft pass to defenseman Bobby Saguinetii who deposited the shot over the fallen Lawson at 15:33 for his 5th goal.
In the third period, the Sound Tigers able to stay out the box put more pressure in five on five play adn the Wolf pack played some loose defense, but rookie goalie Chad Johnson continues to impress with a solid period stopping 13 of 14 shots most of them quality chances.
The best was a bang-bang pair of saves of a two on one on the powerplay off Justin Dibendetto and Trevor Smith. Another was a semi-screen shot by defenseman Dustin Kohn he snared with a glove hand.
“Your right we got a bit lax ,but Chad did a great job at keeping the door closed,” said Germander.
The game had an ugly ending as Sound Tigers Pascal Morency grabbed Pack left winger Brodie Dupont and just started firing left hand shots. He was handed an instigator, major for fighting and a misconduct and game misconduct for a fight in the final five minutes of regulation. Bridgeport heavyweight Trevor Gillies earned the same set of penalties in the second period by referee Jamie Koharski.
Germander was none too pleased with the event.
“Yeah, I’m unhappy the guy jumps over the boards and jumps our guy,”. He summoned AHL VP league dean of discipline Rod Pasma on hand for the game to the coaches office to air his unhappiness. He also was not happy with a post game chat around the net between Sound Tigers head coach jack Capuano and Wolf Pack Justin Soryal (and of course half dozen Sound Tigers),but refused to comment on that brouhaha.
Capuano offered his defense on both.
“I roll more lines than any coach in this league. We go with four lines it was their turn he jumped over and that’s what happened. I don’t send people (out)”.
As for the other incident Capuano was very open about it, “I’m walking off the ice somebody said something and I know there is nobody behind me, so I’m sure who it was directed at. I don’t think players should talk to coaches or coaches talk to players, but if he has a problem with me he knows where to find me. Hartford has made a request to (the league) to look at it. I’ll let the league handle and make a decision.”
Pasma also visited with Capuano to discuss both incidents.
Morency was suspended in the NHL preseason for coming off the bench against Calgary to fight Dion Phaneuf after a hit on teammate Kyle Okposo earning a five game suspension.
NOTES: Parenteau missed a penalty shot in the second period when Bridgeport defenseman Jon Gleed was called for having his hand on the puck in the crease. Parenteau admits he lost the puck at the last second “I wanted to go high and just when I went (to shoot) I lost it,”….Sound Tigers Greg Moore who was Hartford’s captain last year and spent three years in the organization played his first game against his former teammates “It was really weird,but were professionals and there are no friends for 60 minutes out there”…….Bridgeport Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen is out 8-10 weeks after hip surgery derailing his solid start to his North American pro career... Former Beast of New Haven and AHL executive now manager of hockey operations for the Tampa Bay Lightning Liz Sylvia was in attendance.
Story added on 9th November 2009 at 18:31 GMT
Story submitted by: Gerry Cantlon.