HARTFORD, CT – Despite surrendering a goal just 100 seconds into the contest, the Hartford Wolf Pack battled back and took a 4-3 shootout decision over the Providence Bruins in the first of ten meetings between the divisional foes this season.
Tim Gettinger snapped home the shootout winner in the sixth round, beating Providence goaltender Kyle Keyser to break a stretch of ten consecutive stops. Keith Kinkaid denied Jakub Lauko in the bottom half of the sixth round to cement the victory, his sixth stop of the competition.
Providence jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, scoring just 1:40 into the game. Jakub Lauko weaved into the offensive zone and set Jack Studnicka up in close. The second-round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2015 converted the chance, scoring his first goal of the young season.
Moments later, Hartford took a penalty that could have derailed the game but got another clutch kill to turn the tide. The Wolf Pack capitalized on that momentum, getting a powerplay a few minutes later. Patrick Khodorenko blazed into the zone with speed and fired a shot that Keyser denied, but Austin Rueschhoff was on the doorstep and lifted the rebound home for his first of the season. It was Hartford’s second powerplay goal of the season.
Unfortunately for the Pack, the momentum shifted quickly back to the Bruins. Urho Vaakanainen won a puck battle down low and chipped it into the corner for Oskar Steen, who fed Samuel Asselin at the side of the goal. Asselin navigated into shooting position, then potted his first of the season at 13:50 to give the Bruins the lead heading into the first intermission.
Even in the third game of a three-in-three, the Wolf Pack dug deep and played one of their best periods of the season in the middle frame. It started with a clean faceoff victory by Jonny Brodzinski, who won the puck directly to Gettinger. Gettinger took a few strides and walked into prime scoring position. He snapped a shot that cleanly beat Keyser for his first goal of the season at 7:47 to even the affair.
A few moments later, Zac Jones took a penalty for delay of game that gave Providence the chance to break the tie. It was Hartford, however, that got the key next goal. Braden Schneider made an astute play shorthanded up to Brodzinski, who raced from the neutral zone to the offensive zone, creating a two-on-one with Gettinger. This time, instead of setting up Gettinger, Brodzinski fired a heavy shot that beat Keyser and gave Hartford their first lead. The goal, scored at 10:21, was Hartford’s first shorthanded goal of the season.
For the first time this season, the Pack entered the third period with the lead. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hold on. The dangerous Bruins powerplay finally struck. Lauko fed a puck toward the goal that clipped veteran forward Chris Wagner out in front. The redirection fooled Kinkaid and trickled into the net for Wagner’s first of the season at 6:32. The powerplay goal, Providence’s first of the season, sent the game to overtime and ensured a point for both teams.
In overtime, both sides had a few good looks, including a late Wolf Pack powerplay, but both Kinkaid and Keyser stood their ground to push the game to a shootout.
In the shootout, Gettinger scored the lone goal in the sixth round to push Hartford over the edge and into the win column. The Pack finish Opening Weekend with a 2-1-0-0 record, and head to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to face the Penguins on Friday night.
The Wolf Pack return home on October 29th when they host the Penguins at 7:00 pm. For tickets, please visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com
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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.