Providence, RI - Steven Fogarty scored his first professional hat trick, including two shorthanded goals, and had an assist, and Chris Nell made 29 saves in his first AHL action of the season Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, in a 4-1 Hartford Wolf Pack win over the Providence Bruins.
The matchup was the second half of a home-and-home between the two clubs, after the Bruins had defeated the Wolf Pack 3-2 in overtime Saturday night at the XL Center.
Tim Gettinger added a goal and an assist for Hartford, and Vinni Lettieri had two assists. Gemel Smith scored the only Providence goal, and Dan Vladar made 25 saves in the Bruin net.
“We played on the right side of the puck, and I thought we were able to execute plays and play the game with good pace,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “All those, combined with good work ethic, gave us a chance to win that game.”
The Wolf Pack had a strong first period, outshooting Providence 14-6, and went ahead on a power-play goal by Gettinger at 16:29. With Trent Frederic off for high-sticking, Fogarty tipped the puck to Sean Day, who moved behind the Bruin net before handing off to Gettinger. He scored on a wraparound, slipping the puck between Vladar’s left skate and the goal post.
The Bruins had a 15-7 shots advantage in the second frame, but the Wolf Pack had the only two goals of the period, both by Fogarty, to increase their lead to 3-0.
Fogarty scored the Wolf Pack’s second shorthanded goal in as many games at 3:50, on Providence’s first power play of the game. Fogarty centered the puck from the right-wing side for Lettieri, who was headed hard towards the net, and it deflected off of a Providence defender and in behind Vladar.
Fogarty clicked again at 9:57, on a tap-in set up by Lettieri. After Brandon Crawley kept the puck in the Bruin zone on the left side, Fogarty fed the puck to Lettieri in the right-wing circle. He immediately whipped it back to Fogarty at the left side of the goal mouth, and he was easily able to put the puck into the open side.
Smith ended Nell’s shutout bid at the 12-minute mark of the third period, on a rebound of a shot from the left point by Connor Clifton. That would be the only puck to get past Nell, who joined the Wolf Pack Wednesday from the Maine Mariners of the ECHL and was making his first AHL appearance since March 17 of last season.
“Tough building to play in, but I thought Chris did an excellent job for us,” said McCambridge. “When there were some breakdowns, he was in position to make saves, and was a big part of our penalty kill having success as well.”
The Wolf Pack got that goal back less than two minutes later, at 13:57, with their second shorthanded goal in three man-disadvantages. Ryan Lindgren broke up a Paul Carey pass in the Wolf Pack zone and carried down the left side the Providence end, before sliding a pass across the slot to Gettinger. He poked it on goal, and Fogarty was able to wedge it out from underneath Vladar, in a goalmouth scramble, and knock it into the net.
That completed the Wolf Pack’s first hat trick in over two years, and Fogarty’s first career four-goal game as a pro.
“Steven has all the details that you want players to have in his position,” McCambridge said of Fogarty. “And I’m real happy that he was able to get rewarded for that.”
The Wolf Pack’s next game is back home at the XL Center this Wednesday night, February 27, a 7:00 PM contest vs. the Hershey Bears. 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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4 at Providence Bruins 1
Sunday, February 24, 2019 - Dunkin' Donuts Center
Hartford 1 2 1 - 4
Providence 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Gettinger 12 (Day, Fogarty), 16:29 (PP). Penalties-Frederic Pro (high-sticking), 14:53; Blidh Pro (interference), 18:08; Carey Pro (tripping), 18:25.