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Lettieri’s Goal Lifts Bruins Past Wolf Pack in OT Thriller

#AHL | In the second half of a home-and-home, the @AHLBruins exacted a bit of revenge in Sunday’s OT win against the @WolfpackAHL. @FPHBears tells us how it all happened.

Lettieri’s Goal Lifts Bruins Past Wolf Pack in OT Thriller

PROVIDENCE, RI. – The Providence Bruins and the Hartford Wolf Pack met up for some Atlantic Division action on Sunday afternoon in the second half of a home-and-home set between the two Northeastern rivals. The Wolf Pack took Saturday’s game at home in regulation in an upset of the second-place Bruins, and Sunday’s game similarly came down to the wire with Vinni Lettieri’s goal 26 seconds into overtime, giving Providence the extra point. The points were important for both teams in their own respective situations and impacts the division mightily. Kyle Keyser earned the win in goal with 29 saves, while Louis Domingue took the loss with 36 saves.

The Bruins jumped in front just short of the halfway point of the first period when Justin Brazeau picked up the puck in the right faceoff circle and wired a shot past Domingue’s glove side for his tenth goal of the season. Hartford answered quickly, as less than three minutes later, Ty Emberson scored his fifth goal of the season on a wrist shot on his strong side at the top of the faceoff circle to even the score at one. Providence took a 2-1 lead later in the period as Marc McLaughlin got a shot by Domingue to put the home team in front.

It looked like the Bruins could lock down this game and end the Wolf Pack’s point streak in this game, but the visitors battled back in the third as Tanner Fritz scored his third goal of the season on a breakaway to even the count at two and set the stage for overtime. Blink and you’d miss the winner as Fabian Lysell put in the work to get free in the slot and pass off to Lettieri, who buried his team-leading 13th goal on the campaign to get the Bruins back in the win column on Sunday afternoon. It’s Lettieri’s third game-winning goal of the year as the forward is well on his way to matching and perhaps surpassing his previous bests in points.

The win is an important one for the Bruins to keep pace with the idle Hershey Bears for first place in the division, as Providence is now only three points back of the American Hockey League’s most senior franchise as they pull even with Hershey in terms of games played. It was an equally important point for the Wolf Pack, who were without the services of scoring forward Ryan Carpenter after he was recalled by the New York Rangers ahead of the game this afternoon. Hartford has the longest active point streak in the division, extending their run to 3-0-2-2 in that span as a major reason why the team is out of the basement and into sixth place.

The extra point and two wins over one of the division’s top teams would have been nice, though, as the pileup of teams fighting for positioning hits another interesting twist to the standings. The top six teams will qualify for the postseason when the time comes in April, and every team has a fighting chance at the halfway point of the season. The pair of regulation losses this weekend for Springfield now leaves them in last place by only two points, as Bridgeport, Hartford, and Lehigh Valley are all tied at 37 points for spots five through seven. Charlotte and Wilkes-Barre have gained some separation even as they dueled this weekend, with four points between the fourth-place Penguins and the fifth-place Phantoms.

These two teams will get well acquainted with one another as the action intensifies next week. For Providence, this game is the second of five straight against Hartford, who has a couple different matchups sprinkled in during that span. If these two games are any indication, it’ll be playoff-atmosphere hockey for the next few games for both teams at the midpoint as they duel. The series resumes on Friday at XL Center before shifting back to Providence for the rematch on Sunday.

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