WOLF PACK ADVANCE TO ATLANTIC DIVISION FINALS AS GARAND BLANKS BRUINS IN 4-0 WINMay 5, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – After falling to the Providence Bruins in Game Three on Wednesday, the Hartford Wolf Pack returned to the XL Center for Game Four of the Atlantic Divisional Semifinals on Friday night with a trip to the Divisional Finals in sight. Dylan Garand had another stellar outing, making 32 saves and earning his second shutout of the Calder Cup Playoffs to lead the Wolf Pack to a 4-0 win over the Bruins and a trip to the Atlantic Division Finals.
Turner Elson broke the ice 3:40 into the opening period. Lauri Pajuniemi collected the puck behind the Providence net and found Ryan Carpenter in the right-wing circle. Carpenter quickly snapped a pass to Elson, who was positioned in the slot. Elson attempted to jam the puck home, but Brandon Bussi denied the attempt. Elson grabbed his own rebound and managed to sneak the puck past Bussi on the short side, giving the Wolf Pack a lead they would not lose.
The tally was Elson’s fifth career Calder Cup Playoff goal and stood as his first playoff game-winner.
Jake Leschyshyn stretched the lead to two about five minutes into the middle stanza. Tim Gettinger sped into the Providence zone and took a shot that Bussi denied. Multiple bodies crashed the net looking for the rebound, that Leschyshyn found and managed to tip over the red line and into the Providence net. Officials reviewed the play before ultimately awarding Leschyshyn his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal.
Hartford’s lead grew to three just over the 15-minute mark of the second period. The Bruins attempted to clear the puck out of their zone, but Ty Emberson’s tip of a pass allowed it to trickle to Jonny Brodzinski alone to the left of the net. Brodzinski took a shot that was turned away by Bussi, but the rebound was kicked directly into the right-wing circle, where Carpenter blasted a shot by a diving Bussi to stretch the lead to three. The goal was Carpenter’s 13th career tally in the Calder Cup Playoffs, and his second with the Wolf Pack.
Providence lifted Bussi in favor of the extra skater with about eight minutes remaining in the third period, but Leschyshyn blasted his second goal of the game into the empty net at 12:18 of the period. The assists on the goal came from Gettinger and Elson, each earning their second point of the night. Gettinger has earned seven points in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs, tied for the team lead with Tanner Fritz.
The Bruins challenged Garand throughout the final period, firing twelve shots on goal, but the rookie netminder denied all twelve attempts to preserve the victory. With the win, Hartford clinched the series by a 3-1 margin.
The Wolf Pack will take on the Hershey Bears in the Atlantic Division Finals. The series kicks off at the Giant Center in Hershey on Thursday, May 11th. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
The Wolf Pack returns to the XL Center for Game Three of the best-of-five series on Wednesday, May 17th. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. To get tickets, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com/tickets/playoff-information.
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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s inception in 1997. The Wolf Pack are the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and play at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack has been home to some of the Rangers newest faces including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.