Hartford, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack erased a 3-2 deficit with four third-period goals Friday night at the XL Center, on their way to a 6-4 win over the first-place Providence Bruins.
The victory was the Wolf Pack’s fifth in their last six games, and they now have at least a standings point in nine straight (6-0-1-2).
Scott Kosmachuk, Eric Selleck and Gabriel Fontaine all scored in the third period for Hartford, and Vinni Lettieri added an empty-net goal.
Peter Holland got the Wolf Pack off to a fast start, scoring on the game’s first shot only 47 seconds in. The Bruins would get the next two, though, just 2:02 apart.
Justin Hickman tied the score with his first of two goals in the game at 12:50, and then Matt Beleskey connected on a shot from high in the slot at 14:52.
Ryan Graves got that one back, though, with 1:59 remaining in the period, sneaking a shot above the blocker of Bruin goaltender Zane McIntyre. Anthony DeAngelo and Holland earned the assists.
The first goal in the second period came even faster than in the first frame. This time it was Providence scoring, just 19 seconds after the puck drop. Kenny Agostino beat Wolf Pack goaltender Marek Mazanec’s blocker side to earn his eighth goal on the season. Assists were credited to Colton Hargrove and Austin Czarnik.
Despite the Wolf Pack outshooting Bruins 18-8 in the second, rest of the frame remained scoreless, before the third period brought more action.
At the 7:06 mark of the third period, the Wolf Pack tied the game again, this time on a power play goal. Kosmachuk buried home the rebound of Steven Fogarty’s shot. Ryan Sproul also earned an assist on the play. After the game Kosmachuk said, “[Fogarty] made a great play off the rush and I got rewarded there by going to the net.”
Only 1:27 later, at 8:33, the Wolf Pack took their first lead since the first period. After a Bruin defender mishandled a bouncing puck in the neutral zone, Selleck scooped the puck up and beat McIntyre low to the stick side. The goal was Selleck’s first point of the season and came unassisted.
Hartford did not ease up, as they scored a shorthanded goal at the 14:06 mark. Dawson Leedahl forechecked hard and found Fontaine, wide open to McIntyre’s left. As he faced McIntyre on-on-one, Fontaine snuck his shot in just over the catching glove.
Providence pulled McIntyre for an extra attacked with over two minutes remaining, but Lettieri foiled that strategy with an empty netter at the 18:49 mark. Fogarty earned the lone assist on the play.
With only 41.7 seconds remaining in the game, the Bruins scored one last goal to cap off the action. This was again off the stick of Hickman, with assists given to Emil Johansson and Jesse Gabrielle.
“I thought our third period was great,” said Holland after the game. “Obviously being behind 3-2 going into it isn’t the position you want to be in, but I thought our guys did a great job, and it’s nice to get that win.”
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center Saturday, hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in
a 3:00 PM game. Fans are invited to stick around after the game, for a post-game skate. Fans are encouraged to bring their own skates. Rentals will not be available. Fans can check in their skates in the XL Center atrium prior to the start of the game.
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 4 at Hartford Wolf Pack 6
Friday, December 22, 2017 - XL Center
Providence 2 1 1 - 4
Hartford 2 0 4 - 6
1st Period-1, Hartford, Holland 11 (Kosmachuk, Schneider), 0:47. 2, Providence, Hickman 2 12:50. 3, Providence, Beleskey 1 (Marshall, Hennessy), 14:52. 4, Hartford, Graves 3 (DeAngelo, Holland), 18:01. Penalties-Whitney Hfd (holding the stick), 4:34.
2nd Period-5, Providence, Agostino 8 (Hargrove, Czarnik), 0:19. Penalties-Hennessy Pro (slashing), 1:05; O'Gara Pro (cross-checking), 14:03; served by Tambellini Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 19:46.
3rd Period-6, Hartford, Kosmachuk 7 (Fogarty, Sproul), 7:06 (PP). 7, Hartford, Selleck 1 (Fontaine), 8:33. 8, Hartford, Fontaine 6 (Leedahl), 14:06 (SH). 9, Hartford, Lettieri 12 (Fogarty), 18:49 (EN). 10, Providence, Hickman 3 (Johansson, Gabrielle), 19:18. Penalties-Forsbacka Karlsson Pro (slashing), 3:43; served by Agostino Pro (bench minor - too many men), 5:14; Herbert Hfd (interference), 12:39.
Shots on Goal-Providence 14-8-14-36. Hartford 12-18-10-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 3; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Providence, McIntyre 10-6-1 (39 shots-34 saves). Hartford, Mazanec 4-0-1 (36 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Jesse Gour (25), Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-James Tobias (61), Nick Briganti (58).