WOLF PACK ERUPT FOR FOUR GOALS IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO STUN BRUINS 6-4Nov 22, 2023
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack earned their first victory this season when trailing after two periods on Wednesday night at the XL Center. Alex Belzile struck twice in the final frame, as the Wolf Pack stunned the Providence Bruins with four unanswered goals to take a 6-4 decision. The win makes Hartford the fourth team in the AHL to hit the ten-win mark this year.
In the final minute of regulation time, Alec Regula was whistled for an interference minor that gave the Wolf Pack their sixth powerplay of the night. Just five seconds later, a Mac Hollowell shot rocketed off the pads of Michael DiPietro and ended up on the stick of Belzile. Belzile quickly snapped a shot home for his seventh goal of the season and second of the night to cap the Pack’s comeback win. Belzile (2 g, 1 a) and Hollowell (3 a) both finished the night with three points.
Marc McLaughlin got the party started early, popping home the game’s first goal just 30 seconds in. John Farinacci sent a pass to the slot for McLaughlin, who snapped the first shot of the hockey game over the blocker of Dylan Garand to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. It was the fourth time in as many meetings that the Bruins opened the scoring and the second game in a row in which McLaughlin found the back of the net.
Karl Henriksson would respond with just 2.7 seconds left in the period, scoring his second goal of the season. Hollowell, in his first game since November 10th, wandered into the right-wing circle and slid a pass for Henriksson. The second-year forward quickly fired a shot that beat DiPietro, evening the affair 1-1. It was the second straight game in which Henriksson scored the Wolf Pack’s first goal of the night.
Jonny Brodzinski gave the Wolf Pack their first lead of the tilt just 1:46 into the middle stanza, firing home his team-leading eleventh goal of the season. Belzile sent a pass to Brodzinski in the bottom of the left-wing circle, and he made no mistake on a shot by the blocker of DiPietro.
Brodzinski’s goal moved him into a tie for second in the AHL in goals with eleven and was one of three points on the night for the captain (1 g, 2 a).
The lead lasted only 2:12, however, as the Bruins had an immediate answer. A clearing attempt failed to exit the Wolf Pack zone and eventually found the stick of Farinacci. The rookie forward sent a cross-ice pass to Luke Toporowski, who fired a one-timer by his former junior teammate in Garand at 3:58 to even the game 2-2.
The Bruins’ lead was restored at 14:53 when Michael Callahan found the back of the net for the first time this season. Callahan fired a shot from the left-wing wall that snuck through traffic and beat Garand to give the Bruins a 3-2 edge.
Just 40 seconds later, Joey Abate checked in with his first goal of the season, potting a rebound at 15:33. Trevor Kunter’s shot was the one that created the rebound, giving him his second assist of the night.
The Wolf Pack entered tonight with a record of 0-3-2-0 when trailing after two but didn’t let that deter them from a comeback bid, down 4-2 after 40 minutes.
With a five-on-three powerplay just over eight minutes into the third period, Belzile struck for the first time in the game. He navigated his way to the top of the offensive zone and flung a shot to the net that DiPietro never saw, making it a 4-3 contest.
The final seconds of the ensuing five-on-four powerplay were wiped out when the Wolf Pack were assessed a bench minor for ‘too many men on the ice’ at 10:05. The Wolf Pack penalty kill stood tall, however, holding the Bruins off the board. Brennan Othmann, who was serving the penalty, exited the box and elected to stay on the ice. He was rewarded for that decision.
Brodzinski banked a pass off the boards to Othmann, who broke in and snuck a shot through the five-hole of DiPietro at 12:15 to tie the game 3-3. The goal was Othmann’s third of his rookie campaign.
Hartford’s penalty kill rose to the occasion two more times in the third period, keeping the contest tied into the final minutes. First, the club killed off a tripping minor to Nikolas Brouillard at 12:31. Then, with the game hanging in the balance, they killed off an elbowing penalty to Brodzinski at 16:49. In all, the Wolf Pack went six-for-six on the penalty kill in the victory.
Seconds after the sixth and final penalty kill of the night, the Wolf Pack were awarded a powerplay when Regula was whistled for interference. Just five seconds later, at 19:16, Belzile would score to put Hartford ahead for good.
Adam Edström hit an empty net at 19:53, completing a four-goal outburst to win the game. The Wolf Pack’s four goals in the third period were the most in a single period this season, while their six goals were a single-game high.
The Wolf Pack return to action on Friday night when they visit the Springfield Thunderbirds. The puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m., with coverage available on AHLTV and Mixlr. The Pack is back at the XL Center on Saturday night when the Belleville Senators make their lone trip to Hartford this season. The puck drop for that game is set for 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at 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.