Ronning scores again as Pack lose in OT

Providence Bruins 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (OT)

Hartford, CT, February 23, 2019 – Jordan Szwarz scored 1:26 into overtime Saturday night at the XL Center, as the Providence Bruins defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 3-2, in front of a season-high crowd of 8,608.

Trailing 2-1 after two, the Wolf Pack had tied the game 2:59 into the third, on a shorthanded goal by Vinni Lettieri, who extended a goal-scoring streak to a team season-high five games.

“I liked the way we played,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “I thought we played a hard, heavy game, took care of the puck, battled from behind twice, and overtime is anybody’s game, but I loved the effort of the group there.”

The game-winner came after the Wolf Pack’s Darren Raddysh had a pass from behind the Providence net blocked, and Szwarz and Connor Clifton broke out on a 2-on-1. Clifton centered the puck from the right side, and Szwarz drove towards the net and deflected it past Wolf Pack goaltender Brandon Halverson (24 saves) on his backhand.

Lettieri scored the tying goal with Ty Ronning in the penalty box for high-sticking. Lettieri jumped on a loose puck behind the Bruin defense and got clear in the Providence zone, beating Providence netminder Dan Vladar (25 saves) through the legs.

The Bruins scored the only goal of the first period, that on a breakaway for Lee Stempniak at 13:23. After Ryan Gropp had a pass blocked in the Providence zone, Ryan Fitzgerald slipped a pass through Wolf Pack defenseman Matt Finn’s feet to send Stempniak in alone on Halverson. Stempniak made a move to the backhand and put the puck between Halverson’s pads.

Ronning brought the Wolf Pack back to even eight seconds shy of the midway point of the second period, with his second goal in two games since returning to the Hartford lineup for the first time since mid-November. Bruin defenseman Emil Johansson fanned on a pass at his own blue line, allowing Ronning to steal the puck and move in on a breakaway. He faked and moved to the forehand, putting a shot off Vladar’s catching glove and into the net.

“I was just trying to read off the goalie,” Ronning said. “Right when I got the puck in that area, I do like to go backhand on that angle. But just reading him, I stuck with my guns, realizing I kind of did the same thing last night. I was kind of feeling it, and lucky enough to get it in.”

The Bruins grabbed the lead back, though, at 17:02, just five seconds after a Providence power play ended. The puck was knocked away from Trent Frederic, but it came to Gemel Smith in the right-wing circle, and he was able to stickhandle away from Steven Fogarty and rip a shot past Halverson low on the stick side.

“I think our start was a little choppy, but I think we picked it up and we battled back,” said Ronning. “We tied the game up, and we unfortunately didn’t get that bounce in the end.”

The Wolf Pack and Bruins complete a home-and-home Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, with faceoff at 3:05 PM. All of the action of that battle can be heard live on News Radio 1410 AM, and 100.9 FM, WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.

The Wolf Pack are next on home ice this Wednesday night, February 27, hosting the Hershey Bears at 7:00 PM. That is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, all for just $40.

Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack 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. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2018-19 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, or click here to request more info.

Providence Bruins 3 (OT) at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Saturday, February 23, 2019 – XL Center

Providence 1 1 0 1 – 3
Hartford 0 1 1 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Providence, Stempniak 2 (Fitzgerald), 13:23. Penalties-Butler Hfd (high-sticking), 2:06; Raddysh Hfd (boarding), 3:34; Smith Pro (tripping), 9:03; Doherty Pro (roughing, fighting), 14:16; Lindgren Hfd (fighting, game misconduct – jersey), 14:16.

2nd Period-2, Hartford, Ronning 3 9:52. 3, Providence, Smith 11 (Frederic, Zboril), 17:02. Penalties-Blidh Pro (tripping), 0:49; Fogarty Hfd (holding), 12:15; St. Amant Hfd (cross-checking), 14:57; Szwarz Pro (hooking), 18:41.

3rd Period-4, Hartford, Lettieri 17 (Fogarty), 2:59 (SH). Penalties-Ronning Hfd (high-sticking), 1:27; Smith Pro (tripping), 3:42; McNeill Pro (high-sticking), 15:00.

OT Period-5, Providence, Szwarz 18 (Clifton), 1:26. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Providence 10-9-7-1-27. Hartford 12-7-7-1-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 5; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-Providence, Vladar 8-10-4 (27 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Halverson 3-2-3 (27 shots-24 saves).
A-8,608
Referees-Michael Markovic (47), Andrew Bruggeman (22).
Linesmen-Kyle Richetelle (47), Luke Galvin (2).