Providence Bruins 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
By Nick Ward
Hartford, CT, March 3, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack lost for just second time in their last nine home games Saturday at the XL Center, falling to the Providence Bruins by a score of 6-2.
Six different Providence players scored, and Tommy Cross and Kenny Agostino had two assists apiece. Ryan Sproul and Gabriel Fontaine had third-period goals for the Wolf Pack.
“That is a good team,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said of the Bruins. “That’s a team that might be able to make a good push in the playoffs.”
Both Adam Tambellini and Cole Schneider had good looks at the net in the first period for the Wolf Pack, but they ultimately came up empty handed, and Adam Payerl and Zach Senyshyn scored 2:21 apart to stake the Bruins to a 2-0 lead.
Payerl opened the scoring at 9:28, taking a pass from behind the net from Brian Ward and putting a shot past Wolf Pack goaltender Chris Nell from the right side of the slot.
Senyshyn then doubled the lead at 11:49 with his eighth goal of the season, tipping a shot from the left point by Cross into the net.
Providence’s Peter Cehlarik got the only goal of the second period at 9:41, as Chris Breen fed a pass from the left point, and Cehlarik got a stick on it to deflect it through Nell.
Hubert Labrie tried to shift the momentum of the game at 11:42, by getting into a fight with Providence’s Adam Payerl, and Schneider dropped the gloves with Jordan Szwarz 1:09 into the third. Shortly after that, at 3:14, the Wolf Pack’s Chris Bigras appeared to have scored a goal, but a review determined that the puck did not completely cross the goal line.
The two clubs would then combine for five goals in the last 9:42, starting with a Ryan Fitzgerald tally for the Bruins at 10:18. Szwarz broke up a Wolf Pack pass in the Hartford zone, and Austin Czarnik fed Fitzgerald, who poked the puck in from right on top of Nell.
Only 1:05 after that, Josh Hennessy made it a 5-0 lead with another deflection, as he re-directed a Cross shot from the blue line into the net.
The Wolf Pack snuffed out Bruin goaltender Jordan Binnington’s shutout bid only 37 seconds after that, at the 12-minute mark, on the 11th goal of the season for Ryan Sproul, who pushed in the rebound of a Schneider shot from the left side.
Vinni Lettieri was awarded a penalty shot at 15:57, after being tripped down on his way to the Bruin net, but Binnington denied the penalty-shot attempt with a blocker save.
Fontaine brought the Wolf Pack to within two with 2:38 left, scoring off of a faceoff, but Colby Cave got that one back for Providence at 18:13, set up at the left side of the slot by a cross-ice pass from Colton Hargrove.
“The first shift after a goal is big, we want to be able to catch them on their heels,” said Lettieri, who scored two goals in 5-4 Wolf Pack overtime loss at Springfield Friday night, but came up empty-handed Saturday afternoon. “It was a disappointing loss because we are making a push towards the playoffs. I think we came out a little flat both tonight and last night.”
“After getting scored against, those next two shifts, we need to make sure from the top of the circle to the red line we are managing the puck,” added McCambridge.
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Sunday, hosting the Charlotte Checkers in a 3:00 PM game at the XL Center. That is another opportunity to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Providence Bruins 6 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Saturday, March 3, 2018 – XL Center
Providence 2 1 3 – 6
Hartford 0 0 2 – 2
1st Period-1, Providence, Payerl 5 (Ward), 9:28. 2, Providence, Senyshyn 8 (Cross, Cave), 11:49. Penalties-Breen Pro (interference), 3:34.
2nd Period-3, Providence, Cehlarik 9 (Breen, Agostino), 9:41. Penalties-Fitzgerald Pro (tripping), 0:40; Szwarz Pro (tripping), 2:15; Payerl Pro (fighting), 11:42; Labrie Hfd (fighting), 11:42; Pedrie Hfd (hooking), 14:43.
3rd Period-4, Providence, Fitzgerald 13 (Czarnik, Szwarz), 10:18. 5, Providence, Hennessy 9 (Cross, Agostino), 11:23. 6, Hartford, Sproul 11 (Beleskey, Schneider), 12:00. 7, Hartford, Fontaine 7 (Bigras, Fogarty), 17:22. 8, Providence, Cave 6 (Hargrove), 18:13. Penalties-Szwarz Pro (fighting), 1:09; Schneider Hfd (fighting), 1:09.
Shots on Goal-Providence 12-13-8-33. Hartford 9-11-13-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 1; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Providence, Binnington 13-6-1 (33 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Nell 7-7-0 (33 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Ryan Murphy (5), Andrew Wilk (57).
Linesmen-Nick Briganti (58), Brent Colby (7).