Pack Nip Hot BruinsFeb 17, 2016
By Phil Oxnard
Luke Adam’s goal with 7:59 remaining in the third period was the game-winner Wednesday night at the XL Center, in a 3-2 Wolf Pack victory over the Providence Bruins.
It was the first regulation loss since New Year’s Eve for the Bruins, who had been 12-0-3-1 in their previous 16 games.
Brian Gibbons and Ryan Graves also scored for the Wolf Pack, and Jayson Megna and Travis Oleksuk had two assists apiece. Magnus Hellberg stopped 30 of 32 shots against him.
Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano scored Bruin goals, and Jeremy Smith made 25 saves.
The Bruins struck right away, with Czarnik slapping rebound behind Hellberg, giving Providence a 1–0 advantage just 31 seconds into the game.
Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander praised the team’s response to the early goal, saying, “It’s not the start we wanted, but it was one instance. It wasn’t 15 minutes of really dog hockey, it was one play.”
At 8:09, Gibbons equalized for the Wolf Pack, off Oleksuk’s perfect cross-slot pass. Just 46 seconds later, at 8:55, Oleksuk found Graves in front of the goal, and the rookie defenseman’s seventh goal of the year put Hartford in front, 2-1.
The second period started much like the first, with Providence scoring an early goal. This time it was Vatrano tallying his 21st in 20 AHL games on the year, with assists from Seth Griffith and Noel Acciari.
Oleksuk commended his team’s checking against the strong Providence offense, saying, “You’re not going hold these guys to one or two chances, they’ve got way too much skill for that. So you’ve got to try to not give them as good quality plays.”
The only scoring of the third was Adam’s winner at 12:01, as he broke down the right side, stickhandled his way past Bruin defenseman Chris Breen and fired a high shot past Smith.
Gernander applauded the Wolf Pack’s team effort in the game, saying of his players, “I think all of them do a pretty good of doing things on the ice, which is nice to see. And it’s important.”
The Wolf Pack are next in action Saturday night, traveling to Springfield for a 7:00 PM tangle with the Falcons. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Sunday, February 21, with the Binghamton Senators visiting the XL Center for a 3:00 game. It being a Sunday, fans can take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $35.
Tickets for all remaining 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Providence Bruins 2 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - XL Center
Providence 1 1 0 - 2
Hartford 2 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Providence, A. Czarnik 14 (Casto, DeFazio), 0:31. 2, Hartford, Gibbons 6 (Oleksuk, Megna), 8:09. 3, Hartford, Graves 7 (Oleksuk, Megna), 8:55. Penalties-Adam Hfd (hooking), 9:28; Hickman Pro (tripping), 12:00.
2nd Period-4, Providence, Vatrano 21 (Griffith, Acciari), 1:47. Penalties-Bodie Hfd (tripping), 2:42; Combs Hfd (interference), 6:17; Vatrano Pro (tripping), 9:23; Breen Pro (fighting), 16:13; Tarnasky Hfd (fighting), 16:13.
3rd Period-5, Hartford, Adam 8 (McCarthy, Bodie), 12:01. Penalties-Griffith Pro (hooking), 1:17; Summers Hfd (tripping), 9:04; Gibbons Hfd (goaltender interference), 13:28; Casto Pro (delay of game), 15:41.
Shots on Goal-Providence 13-11-8-32. Hartford 13-8-7-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 5; Hartford 0 / 4.
Goalies-Providence, Smith 7-15-1 (28 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Hellberg 19-13-0 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Jake Brenk (42), Andrew Thackaberry (4).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).