Late Goals Lift Wolf Pack Past BruinsJan 3, 2020
(Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)
Vinni Lettieri scored with 25.8 seconds left in the third period Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence to break a 1-1 tie, in a 3-1 Wolf Pack win over the Providence Bruins.
Tim Gettinger added an empty-net goal, his second tally of the game, with 4.8 seconds remaining for the final margin, in a game that had been deadlocked at one since before the midpoint of the first period.
The win improved the first-place Wolf Pack’s record to 20-8-2-5 for 47 points and widened their Atlantic Division lead over the 20-13-1-2 (43 points) Bruins to four points. Providence fell into a second-place tie with Hershey.
The Wolf Pack are now 6-0-0-1 in seven games against the Bruins this season.
“With the emotion, and just the level of play, I thought it was a playoff game,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Both teams came ready to play, with a lot on the line, and they are two pretty good teams. I thought it was entertaining, and fortunately for us, we get the result we wanted.”
The game appeared headed for overtime after the Wolf Pack killed a tripping penalty called against Darren Raddysh at the 16-minute mark of the third period. Lettieri, the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer, came up with a clutch play, though, off of a rush started by a Nick Ebert feed.
Boo Nieves carried the puck into the Providence zone on right wing, before losing it into the corner. He battled it away from Bruin defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, and Lettieri threw it at the net from the boards. With Matt Beleskey attacking the front of the net, Lettieri’s bid deflected past Providence goaltender Dan Vladar (28 saves).
“We were surviving, with the penalty kill,” Knoblauch said. “We had a huge kill, and then after that, it looked like both teams were playing fairly safe and not taking any chances. And Lettieri threw that one to the net, and it goes in. It was nice to see Lettieri get rewarded for a game where he played hard all night.”
Providence pulled Vladar for an extra attacker after the ensuing faceoff, but an Alex Petrovic pass was broken up in center ice, and Gettinger was able to slide the puck into the vacated cage from the center line.
The Bruins grabbed the game’s first lead at 6:51 of the first period with a shorthanded goal, three seconds before a tripping penalty to Brendan Woods ended. It was an unassisted tally for Paul Carey, who skated out of the Providence zone and into the Wolf Pack end, got by Wolf Pack defenseman Yegor Rykov on the left side and cut across to put a backhand shot past Hartford goaltender Igor Shesterkin (27 saves).
Gettinger answered that for the Wolf Pack less than three minutes later, at 9:50, with his eighth goal of the season. After he misfired on a centering feed from Lettieri, Gettinger got a second chance from the left side of the slot after Nieves dug the puck free, and Gettinger’s quick shot squeaked through the pads of Vladar and just over the goal line.
The Wolf Pack are back on home ice Saturday night, battling the Utica Comets in a 7:00 game. That is #MillenialNight at the XL Center, featuring a reusable straw set giveaway to all fans attending the game, presented by ProHealth.
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, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Providence Bruins 1
Friday, January 3, 2020 - Dunkin' Donuts Center
Hartford 1 0 2 - 3
Providence 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Providence, Carey 15 6:51 (SH). 2, Hartford, Gettinger 8 (Nieves, Lettieri), 9:50. Penalties-Woods Pro (tripping), 4:52; Zboril Pro (tripping), 12:48; Rykov Hfd (holding), 17:13.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Zboril Pro (holding), 2:28; Carey Pro (slashing), 7:32; Rykov Hfd (hooking), 15:42; O'Regan Hfd (delay of game - faceoff violation (batting puck with hand)), 17:42; Studnicka Pro (roughing), 19:02.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, Lettieri 12 (Nieves, Ebert), 19:33. 4, Hartford, Jones 5 19:55 (EN). Penalties-Geertsen Hfd (roughing), 6:14; Raddysh Hfd (hooking), 16:00.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-16-8-31. Providence 11-10-7-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 5; Providence 0 / 5.
Goalies-Hartford, Shesterkin 15-4-3 (28 shots-27 saves). Providence, Vladar 5-4-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Olivier Gouin (54), Tyson Stewart (85).
Linesmen-Jack Millea (23), Todd Whittemore (70).