The Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' top minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League, scored a 4-3 shootout win over the Lowell Devils on Wednesday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The matchup was Hartford's first 2009 preseason game.
|Dale Weise |
In a game played just a few hours before the Pack and Devils' parent teams, the Rangers and New Jersey, took the ice for an NHL preseason meeting, Hartford showed its resilience in coming back from a late 3-2 deficit to tie the game and eventually win in the overtime shootout.
Dale Weise, a 2008 Rangers draft pick who played in Hartford last year, got the crucial tying goal for the Pack with only 36 seconds left in the third period. In the overtime, 2009 draftee Ryan Bourque
was denied on a penalty shot that would have won it -- and the teams were eventually forced to go to a shootout.
In the shootout, Corey Locke, a Rangers off-season addition who spent last year in the AHL, scored along with Paul Crowder, who played briefly at Hartford last season after completing his NCAA eligibility at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
The third goal by the Pack, who were perfect in the shootout, came from Andres Ambuhl, who signed with the Rangers organization as a free agent this summer after a successful pro and international career in Switzerland.
The Wolf Pack's' other goal scorers in regulation were Crowder and Locke.
Goaltender Scott Stajcer
, who took over from Miika Wiikman midway through the game, got the win in net.
Wednesday's Hartford lineup was made up of a combination of players under AHL contracts with the Wolf Pack, NHL contracts with the Rangers and other Rangers prospects attending the team's main training camp. This included 2009 draftees Bourque, Ethan Werek, Roman Horak and Stajcer, who were all members of the Rangers prospects team that finished third in Traverse City, Mich., last week.
Hartford plays its next preseason game on Sept. 23. The Pack open regular season play on Oct. 2.