Providence, RI, December 11, 2016 – A Hartford Wolf Pack streak of ten straight wins in shootouts came to an end Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Providence Bruins.
It was the first Wolf Pack shootout defeat since March 21, 2015, a 2-1 loss at Springfield.
Bruin rookie Peter Cehlarik scored the only goal of the shootout, after the Wolf Pack’s Matt Carey and Providence’s Anton Blidh had traded goals in the first period. Zane McIntyre made 31 saves in the Bruin net, and went 3-for-3 in shootout, while Magnus Hellberg had 40 saves for the Wolf Pack.
“It was a big (standings) point, everybody battled hard,” Hellberg said. “We’ve lost a lot of bodies, some guys got called up and some are injured, but I think the guys that are still here stepped up and did their part. Providence is a really good team, so we know it’s always going to be a battle when we play them. It would have been nice to get the extra point, but one is better than nothing.”
Playing a third straight game without their top two scorers, Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen, both of whom are on recall to the parent New York Rangers, the Wolf Pack took a 1-0 lead at 6:04 of the first period on what would be their only shot in the first 11:54 of the game.
Carey blocked a Matt Bartkowski shot from the left point in the Wolf Pack zone, and was able to get free in the Bruin zone and put a forehand bid past the stick side of McIntyre.
The Bruins equalized at 13:26, after a Wolf Pack breakout pass missed connections. A Mat Bodie feed went into the skates of Justin Fontaine, and Colby Cave and Wayne Simpson were able to set Blidh up from about 30 feet out. Blidh’s hard shot beat Hellberg on his stick side.
That would be it for the offense for the day, though, with the rest of regulation and the 3-on-3 overtime failing to yield any more goals.
Cehlarik led off the shootout for Providence, and, despite nearly losing the puck, was able to beat Hellberg with a snap shot past his blocker. Hellberg would go on to deny Jordan Szwarz and Colton Hargrove, but McIntyre was perfect against Michael Joly, Fontaine and Adam Tambellini.