Pack Return to Winning Ways in Shesterkin ShutoutDec 21, 2019
By Micah Collins
Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves for his third shutout of the season Saturday night at the XL Center, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Providence Bruins, 3-0, in both teams’ last game before the Christmas holiday.
The whitewash was Shesterkin’s second in the last two Wolf Pack home games, and the victory lifted the Wolf Pack (17-7-2-5, 41 pts.) into a first-place tie with the Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings.
“We played solidly offensively, and we got rewarded,” Wolf Pack winger Phil DiGiuseppe said. “It’s good to take this one before break, go into the post-Christmas run with confidence and swagger.”
Both goaltenders proved up to the task in the first period, as Shesterkin and Providence’s Max Lagace (18 saves) stopped all seven and six shots, respectively.
The Wolf Pack finally broke the stalemate 4:20 into the second period, when Di Giuseppe scored his ninth goal of the year, after Matt Beleskey settled down a stretch pass from Shesterkin during a power play.
“We have a lot of confidence in Shesterkin, hopefully he keeps giving me assists,” joked DiGiuseppe when asked about the play.
Beleskey shared his teammate’s confidence in their goaltender’s offensive capabilities, saying, “I think Shesterkin is going to score a goal at some point here, he’s come close.”
The score remained 1-0 until only 3:41 remained in the third, when Vitali Kravtsov, playing his third game since returning to the Wolf Pack from the KHL, scored his first career North American pro goal. Danny O’Regan and Vincent LoVerde assisted on the tally.
“Kravtsov has played well coming back,” said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. “He’s done everything we asked of him, and he’s working hard.”
Hartford put the game away when Beleskey scored into an empty net 1:02 later, at 17:21. Darren Raddysh had the lone assist on the goal.
The Wolf Pack’s first action after Christmas will be a trip to Bridgeport this Friday, December 27, for a 7:00 contest against the Sound Tigers. All of the action can be heard live on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com, and video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The Bruins return to the XL Center for the Wolf Pack’s next home game, which is next Saturday, December 28. Faceoff is 7:00, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Wolf Pack pennant flag, courtesy of NBC Connecticut.
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.
Providence Bruins 0 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Saturday, December 21, 2019 - XL Center
Providence 0 0 0 - 0
Hartford 0 1 2 - 3
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Beleskey Hfd (holding), 10:12; Senyshyn Pro (hooking), 13:36.
2nd Period-1, Hartford, Di Giuseppe 9 (Beleskey, Shesterkin), 4:20 (PP). Penalties-Kampfer Pro (interference), 3:10.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Kravtsov 1 (LoVerde, Fogarty), 16:19. 3, Hartford, Beleskey 6 (Raddysh), 17:21 (EN). Penalties-Fogarty Hfd (cross-checking), 13:32.
Shots on Goal-Providence 7-9-15-31. Hartford 6-11-4-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 2; Hartford 1 / 2.
Goalies-Providence, Lagace 13-4-2 (20 shots-18 saves). Hartford, Shesterkin 12-4-3 (31 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Andrew Howard (50), Anthony Tapper (9).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Briganti (39).