Wolf Pack Battles back for a Point
Providence, RI - The Hartford Wolf Pack scored twice in the final 1:26 of the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence, before falling 4-3 in a shootout to the Providence Bruins.
The game was the Wolf Pack's second straight against the Bruins in Providence, after a 2-1 Hartford victory there on Sunday, and the two teams meet again in Hartford on Saturday night.
After Robert Lantosi had increased a Providence lead to 3-1 with a goal at 16:55 of the third, both Phil DiGiuseppe and Danny O'Regan scored for the Wolf Pack with goaltender Igor Shesterkin (34 saves) pulled for an extra attacker.
"That's been our story all year, just making sure that we get a point," said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch, whose team has at least a standings point in 15 of its 16 games on the season (10-1-0-5). "And the guys persevered right to the end, no quit in this team whatsoever."
Providence led 2-1 going into the third, and seemed possibly to have put the game away when Peter Cehlarik got his second assist of the game with a pass to Lantosi high in the slot, setting up a 40-foot shot that eluded Shesterkin.
The Wolf Pack got Shesterkin to the bench with 2:48 left, though, and DiGiuseppe cut the lead to one at 18:34. After a Joey Keane shot was deflected on goal, Darren Raddysh picked up the rebound and sent it to DiGiuseppe in the left circle. His backhand shot went high into the net behind Bruin netminder Max Lagace (35 saves).
The Wolf Pack kept the pressure on, and O'Regan was able to tie the game with 26.1 seconds left. Keane and Vinni Lettieri exchanged the puck, and Lettieri turned towards the slot and fired a shot that Lagace stopped with his catching glove. He couldn't control the rebound, though, and O'Regan jumped on it and hit the net with a close-in forehand shot.
The Wolf Pack got a power play 16 seconds into overtime, when Lantosi was called for tripping, but couldn't convert, and Tim Gettinger's goal on the Wolf Pack's second shootout attempt was the team's first goal in five shootouts on the year. Jack Studnicka evened the score in the shootout on the Bruins' third shot, needing a goal to keep Providence alive, his shot just sneaking over the goal line after Shesterkin got a big piece of it.
Lantosi scored in the fourth round for Providence, and Patrick Newell came out as the Wolf Pack's fourth shooter. He tried to put the puck through Lagace's legs, but the Bruin goaltender got the five-hole closed just in time, dropping the Wolf Pack to 0-5 in shootouts on the year.
"I was happy with the way the shootout looked," Knoblauch said. "We had an opportunity to win. Gettinger's goal was fantastic, Newell's was so close to crossing the line, very similar to theirs that squeaked in. It went in their favor, not ours, but it's positive that we were able to fight back and get a point."
The two teams traded goals in the first period, both on Hartford power plays.
Providence opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 14:26, on the Wolf Pack's first man advantage of the game. Studnicka worked the puck free in center ice and fed a pass that sent Scott Conway in alone on Shesterkin. Conway beat Shesterkin with a move to the backhand, for Conway's first career AHL goal.
The Wolf Pack were able to tie the game on their second power play, after Studnicka was called for unsportsmanlike conduct 17:16. Gettinger spun along the right-wing boards in the Providence end and passed across to Lettieri, who fired a one-timer from the left-wing faceoff dot past Lagace.
Then it was the Bruin power play that came up with the only goal of the second period, on Providence's first man-advantage of the contest. With Sean Day off for boarding, Alex Petrovic passed the puck from the top of the slot to Cehlarik in the right circle, and he fired a one-timer that Shesterkin stopped. Studnicka was able to get his stick free in front of the net, though, and he pushed the rebound underneath Shesterkin at 17:11, for a 2-1 Providence lead.
The Wolf Pack and Bruins go right back at each other Saturday night at the XL Center, on "Hockey Fights Cancer Night". Faceoff is 7:00 PM, and the Wolf Pack will be teaming up with Hockey Fights Cancer to support those who are battling cancer, and their families. Also, the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Wolf Pack lanyard, courtesy of CM Concessions.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack's many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Providence Bruins 4 (SO)
Friday - Dunkin' Donuts Center
Hartford 1 0 2 0 - 3
Providence 1 1 1 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Providence, Conway 1 (Studnicka), 14:26 (SH). 2, Hartford, Lettieri 5 (Gettinger, O'Regan), 17:41 (PP). Penalties-Jones Hfd (roughing), 13:49; Hughes Pro (roughing), 13:49; Steen Pro (boarding), 13:49; Studnicka Pro (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:16.
2nd Period-3, Providence, Studnicka 5 (Cehlarik, Petrovic), 17:11 (PP). Penalties-Hughes Pro (high-sticking), 10:01; Day Hfd (boarding, fighting), 15:49; Hughes Pro (fighting), 15:49.
3rd Period-4, Providence, Lantosi 4 (Cehlarik, Lauzon), 16:55. 5, Hartford, Di Giuseppe 4 (Raddysh), 18:34. 6, Hartford, O'Regan 3 (Keane, Lettieri), 19:34. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Lantosi Pro (tripping), 0:16.
Shootout - Hartford 1 (O'Regan NG, Gettinger G, Meskanen NG, Newell NG), Providence 2 (Petrovic NG, Cehlarik NG, Studnicka G, Lantosi G).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-13-13-2-0-38. Providence 9-13-12-3-1-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Providence 1 / 1.
Goalies-Hartford, Shesterkin 7-1-2 (37 shots-34 saves). Providence, Lagace 7-2-1 (38 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Mike Dietrich (15), Andrew Howard (50).
Linesmen-Chris Millea (33), Stephen Drain (2).
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