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Aggressive Forechecking Leads Bruins Past Wolf Pack

Aggressive Forechecking Leads Bruins Past Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, Conn. – In a tightly contested game between the Providence Bruins and the Hartford Wolf Pack, the P-Bruins prevailed 4-2 Saturday afternoon, off of some fast-paced offensive zone pressure and some stellar goaltending.

The P-Bruins were coming off of a loss against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Thursday, while the Wolf Pack had not played since the teams loss to the P-Bruins last Sunday.

The first period was uneventful until the 12-minute mark when winger Morgan Barron fed defenseman Tarmo Reunanen, who looked to shoot but noticed winger Patrick Newell in the slot. Newell collected the pass by reaching his stick back and took an off-balanced shot that beat Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman on his blocker side to give the first lead of the game to the Wolf Pack.

Providence would not be kept off the scoresheet for too long, as winger Cameron Hughes aggressively forechecked the Wolf Pack and winger Zach Senyshyn joined the attack, leading to an errant pass that allowed defenseman Jack Ahcan to pressure the boards and redirect the puck to Senyshyn, who gathered the puck and fired it from the left circle into the back of the net for the game tying goal.

The remainder of the period contained no scoring but continued to be eventful in the shot department. When the horn signaled the end of the period, the two teams had already combined for 31 shots, with a 17-14 advantage belonging to Providence. However, the second period did not contain the same offensive pressure as the teams combined for five shots each, but zero pucks reached the back of the net.

The third period was where the game would be decided, and momentum swung in favor of Providence early when Carey fed Ahcan on the power play. The defenseman used the traffic out front to create a screen and beat Wolf Pack goaltender Adam Huska to give the Bruins the lead.

Later in the period, with about eight minutes remaining, the forechecking of Hughes and Senyshyn proved effective once again when they forced a turnover that led the puck to find a home on Senyshyns stick. Senyshyn cycled the puck back to Hughes, who feathered the rubber disk across the crease to winger Jakub Lauko, who used a quick flick of his wrists to hit the top corner and give Providence a two-goal lead.

Hartford had no intention of bowing out easily at this point and ramped up their pressure. With just under seven minutes remaining, defenseman Darren Raddysh took a wrist shot from the point that Swayman turned away, but the puck bounced to winger Alex Whelan, who eventually forced one of several rebounds past Swayman to cut the lead to 3–2.

At this point, the momentum was in favor of the Wolf Pack, but Swayman was up to the task and did not surrender any more goals. Hartford had a few chances with an extra skater, but a Carey pass to winger Anton Blidh led to a game-sealing goal for the latter and gave the game its final score of 4-2. Swayman finished with 27 saves on 29 shots, while Huska had 28 saves on 31 shots. Ahcan and Senyshyn took the first and second stars respectively, while Whalen given the games third star.

The was the third consecutive loss for Hartford.

Providence (5-2-0) is off until Tuesday, when they again take on Hartford (2-3-0) at the XL Center in Hartford. The puck will drop at 1 p.m.

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    Jack Murray covers the Providence Bruins for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinAHLBruins.

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