For the second time in as many home games, Steven Fogarty notched the shootout winner for the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at the XL Center, in a 4-3 win over the Providence Bruins.
After a slow start saw Harford land just one shot in the first five minutes of play, the Pack’s offense caught fire at the 8:32 mark. Chris Brown put the Wolf Pack on the scoreboard when he collected Ryan Graves’ rebound that was bouncing in front of the net and swiftly deposited the puck past the near side of Providence goalie Anton Khudobin.
Just sixty-one seconds later, Matt Carey added to the Wolf Pack’s lead, corralling a Providence turnover and firing a snap shot over Khudobin’s blocker at 9:33. On the opposite end of the ice, Hartford’s defense was dominant, surrendering just six shots, all of which were saved by Magnus Hellberg.
Providence’s lone penalty of the second period was all the Wolf Pack needed to extend their lead. At 6:39, the Bruins were whistled for having too many men on the ice. With a man advantage, Hartford captain Mat Bodie sent a snap-shot through traffic and into the top-right corner of Khudobin’s net at 8:08, giving the Pack a 3-0 lead.
The visiting Bruins refused to quit, though, scoring twice in a thirty-second span, to trim Hartford’s advantage to 3-2.
Providence’s first goal came at 16:02, when Anton Blidh jarred the puck away from Bodie and onto the stick of Wayne Simpson, who promptly sent a snap shot past Hellberg’s glove. Half a minute later, the Bruins’ Colton Hargrove notched his third tally of the season to bring Providence within a goal of the lead.
A late holding penalty on Fogarty gave Providence a number of good opportunities to tie the game, but Hellberg held strong, sending the Pack into the dressing room with a 3-2 advantage.
In the third period, however, what looked to be a game-sealing power play for the Wolf Pack turned into a nightmare scenario.
At 18:26, Providence’s Hargrove was booked for roughing, and yet, just eight seconds into the penalty a beautiful outlet pass from Tommy Cross to a streaking Jake DeBrusk produced a short-handed goal to tie the score at three apiece. The goal, DeBrusk’s third of the season, was also assisted by Colby Cave, and eventually sent the contest into overtime.
Despite their late blunder, the Pack were able to regroup quickly, dominating the majority of the five minute overtime. Hartford’s best chance came when Bodie’s slap-shot from the left circle found the crossbar at 4:34, but ultimately, neither team was able to convert, sending the game into a shootout.
An opening goal by Providence’s Peter Cehlarik, followed by Khudobin’s save on Adam Tambellini’s effort, put Hartford in an early hole, but with the help of Hellberg’s glove and a crafty Nicklas Jensen goal, Fogarty, once again, found himself with an opportunity to provide the winner. And just like he did four days prior, in a 3-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds, Fogarty delivered, beating Khudobin short-side high to win the game for the Wolf Pack.
Following the game, Fogarty explained, “There’s games like tonight where you’ve got to win like that, and it’s just a matter of bringing that same momentum that we started the game with going into Wednesday (against Bridgeport). And if we can get two in a row here that would be good going forward.”
The Wolf Pack welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers into the XL Center on Wednesday night for a 7:00 PM game. That is another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 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.