Pack Win fifth Straight, Grab Share of First Place in DivisionApr 12, 2015
The Wolf Pack won a season-high fifth straight game, and moved into a tie for first place in the Northeast Division, Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, defeating the Providence Bruins by a score of 4-1.
The win improved the Wolf Pack’s record to 41-23-5-4 for 91 points and pulled the club even with the Syracuse Crunch for the division lead, after the Crunch fell 2-1 to the Utica Comets in Utica.
Defenseman Dylan McIlrath had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s win for the Wolf Pack, who were outshot 31-19. Yann Danis made 30 saves in his fourth straight start. Justin Vaive and Ryan Haggerty also scored for Hartford, and Tyler Brown added an empty-net goal. Steve Eminger scored the only Providence goal and Jeremy Smith stopped 15 shots.
“We just stuck with it,” McIlrath said. “We knew coming in here this is a tough place to play, we haven’t had much success. We just wanted to play a simple road game, obviously guys were tired, end of the three-in-three (three-game weekend), and we just did what we needed to do to win.”
The Wolf Pack came out of an evenly-played first period with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Vaive’s 14th goal of the season at 11:52. McIlrath intercepted a Bruin pass in center ice and unloaded a shot from the top of the right circle that got through Smith and skipped to his right. Vaive, unchecked as he headed down the left side, jumped on the loose puck and easily banged it into the net.
A Wolf Pack power-play goal was the only scoring of the second period, and it came at 12:18, with Paul Carey off for high-sticking. Michael Kostka fired a slap shot from the left point that was stopped by Smith, but Haggerty pounced on the rebound on left wing and rapped it through Smith from close range.
McIlrath scored his second goal in three games, and sixth of the season, at 6:10 of the third frame, increasing the Hartford lead to 3-0. Joey Crabb prevented a Providence clearing attempt at the right point and combined with Chris Bourque to work the puck to McIlrath high in the slot. McIlrath’s quick one-timer went between Smith’s legs and in.
Shortly thereafter the Wolf Pack got into penalty trouble, though, with Brown being whistled for hooking at 6:32 and McIlrath clearing the puck over the glass for a delay-of-game infraction 15 seconds later. The Bruins capitalized on the 5-on-3 at 7:24 to foil Danis’ shutout bid, with Eminger scorching a high slap shot from the left point through a screen and into the goal.
That was the only puck to get by Danis, though, despite a 14-5 Providence shots advantage in the third, and Brown iced the game with an unassisted empty-net score with 28.8 seconds left.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is the team’s final regular-season home game this Friday night, April 17, as the Wolf Pack host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00. Fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period of that game, which is also the Wolf Pack’s “Fan Appreciation Night”.
Tickets for Friday’s game, and for the Wolf Pack’s first home playoff game, 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. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 at Providence Bruins 1
Sunday, April 12, 2015 - Dunkin' Donuts Center
Hartford 1 1 2 - 4
Providence 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Vaive 14 (McIlrath, R. Bourque), 11:52. Penalties-Crabb Hfd (holding), 12:06.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Haggerty 15 (Kostka, Mueller), 12:18 (PP). Penalties-Randell Pro (boarding), 2:10; Carey Pro (high-sticking), 12:01; Vaive Hfd (fighting), 13:14; Randell Pro (fighting), 13:14; Ferlin Pro (holding), 14:23.
3rd Period-3, Hartford, McIlrath 6 (Bourque, Crabb), 6:10. 4, Providence, Eminger 4 (Khokhlachev), 7:24 (PP). 5, Hartford, Brown 7 19:31 (EN). Penalties-Brown Hfd (hooking), 6:32; McIlrath Hfd (delay of game), 6:47.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-8-5-19. Providence 7-10-14-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Providence 1 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Danis 16-12-2 (31 shots-30 saves). Providence, Smith 22-10-2 (18 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Michael Mullen (18).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Alex Stagnone (7).