Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Providence Bruins 3
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, January 28, 2017 – Third-period goals by Philip McRae and Adam Tambellini, combined with Brandon Halverson’s 23 saves, helped the Hartford Wolf Pack past the Providence Bruins, 4-3, in front of a season-high crowd of 10,700 Saturday night at the XL Center.
McRae had two goals in the game, and Tambellini added an assist, as the Wolf Pack headed into the AHL’s All-Star break on a winning note.
The Bruins wasted no time against the Wolf Pack. Only 43 seconds into the contest, Wayne Simpson beat Halverson on a wraparound goal to draw first blood.
With 1:21 to go in the period, McRae collected a rebound in front of the net, off the shot of Mat Bodie, and snuck it past Providence goaltender Anton Khudobin, to knot the game at one headed into the second period.
At 15:35 of the second, Spiro Goulakos, playing his first game with the Wolf Pack after being recalled earlier in the day from Greenville of the ECHL, was whistled for interference.
The Bruins were able to convert on their third man advantage in the period, as a one-timer by Alex Grant from the middle of the blue line made its way through a couple of screens and past Halverson, putting Providence up 2-1.
Just over a minute later, the Wolf Pack responded again to level the score.
Tambellini fired a shot from the right-wing boards toward the front of the cage, where Matt Carey was positioned. Carey skillfully deflected the puck past Khudobin and into the net for the tying goal.
At 3:31 of the third period, the Wolf Pack claimed their first lead of the game, as McRae added his second goal of the night after gathering a rebound off the shot of defenseman Ryan Graves.
Just 2:05 later, at 5:36, Tambellini beat Khudobin to the short side with a shot off of left wing, putting the Wolf Pack up 4-2.
At 11:30, Hartford’s Garrett Noonan and Providence’s Ben Marshall received matching minors, and the Bruins would score just 22 seconds later. Chris Porter batted a bouncing puck through Halverson at 11:52, assisted by Jake DeBrusk and Rob O’Gara, to cut the Hartford lead to one.
The Bruins pulled Khudobin with a 1:30 remaining in the game for an additional skater. Halverson and the defense remained strong, however, and secured the win for the Pack.
“It was a great atmosphere out there. I think the crowd really helped us get invested in the game,” said McRae. “Guys were going hard until the end of the game. We really wanted to end on a good night going into the break.”
Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander added, “Part of our message for tonight was that we wanted to finish strong. Three out of four points on the weekend is a good weekend, and that’s what we have to strive for going forward.”
The Wolf Pack are now off for the All-Star break until this Friday night, February 3, when they will host the Utica Comets in a 7:15 PM game. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 that night, through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all remaining Wolf Pack 2016-17 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 2016-17 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 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 4
Saturday, January 28, 2017 – XL Center
Providence 1 1 1 – 3
Hartford 1 1 2 – 4
1st Period-1, Providence, Simpson 14 (Cehlarik, Szwarz), 0:43. 2, Hartford, McRae 5 (Bodie, Noonan), 18:39. Penalties-McPherson Hfd (holding), 12:40; Hargrove Pro (hooking), 15:09.
2nd Period-3, Providence, Grant 8 (Cehlarik, Heinen), 16:20 (PP). 4, Hartford, Carey 12 (Tambellini, Goulakos), 17:37. Penalties-served by McRae Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 3:14; Summers Hfd (delay of game), 6:29; Goulakos Hfd (interference), 15:35.
3rd Period-5, Hartford, McRae 6 (Graves, Summers), 3:31. 6, Hartford, Tambellini 8 (Jensen), 5:36. 7, Providence, Porter 2 (DeBrusk, O’Gara), 11:52. Penalties-Szwarz Pro (high-sticking), 7:38; Marshall Pro (roughing), 11:30; Noonan Hfd (holding), 11:30.
Shots on Goal-Providence 4-8-11-23. Hartford 8-15-6-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 1 / 4; Hartford 0 / 2.
Goalies-Providence, Khudobin 6-3-1 (29 shots-25 saves). Hartford, Halverson 5-8-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Brett Iverson (56).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Paul Simeon (66).