Hartford drops Albany 3-1 in first of preseason

(hartfordwolfpack.com) – Michael St. Croix scored the third-period game-winning goal, and Jeff Malcolm stopped 28 out of 29 shots, as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Albany Devils, 3-1, Wednesday night at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, Conn., in the AHL preseason opener for both teams.


Andrew Yogan also scored for the Wolf Pack, and Nick Crawford added an empty-net goal.  Paul Thompson tallied the only Albany goal, on a penalty shot, and Maxime Clermont made 19 saves.


After the two goaltenders kept the game scoreless for more than 37 minutes, the clubs combined for a pair of goals in 16 seconds late in the second period.


The Devils’ Thompson finally broke the 0-0 deadlock at 17:23.  He was awarded a penalty-shot opportunity after he blocked a Brandon Martell shot from the left point and Martell tripped him from behind after Thompson broke away.  Thompson came in slowly on the penalty shot attempt and beat Malcolm with a forehand shot.


The Wolf Pack came back to tie the score almost immediately, though, as Mike Catenacci stole the puck on the left-wing side and passed across the slot to Yogan, who one-timed it into the net behind a helpless Clermont at 17:39.


The Wolf Pack then took the lead at 9:45 of the third period. Pat Mullane poked the puck off of an Albany stick just outside the Devil blue line, allowing St. Croix to get a step on the Albany defense.  St. Croix cut across the slot from left to right and slipped the puck inside the post to Clermont’s left.


Crawford made the final 3-1 by scoring into an open goal, on a shot from the left point, with 42.4 seconds left.