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Overtime goal wins series for Wolf Pack

Hartford’s Blake Hillman, left, and Providence’s Trevor Kuntar battle during Friday night’s AHL game in Hartford. The Wolf Pack won in OT. (Photo courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack)

HARTFORD, May 10, 2024 — The Hartford Wolf Pack are headed to the Atlantic Division finals for the second straight season.

A wild bounce saw a puck clip Hartford’s Jake Leschyshyn and beat goalie Brandon Bussi 9:41 into overtime to lift the Wolf Pack to a 2-1 win over Providence Friday night in front of more than 6,000 fans at the XL Center.

Hartford’s second OT in the series enabled to the Wolf Pack to win the best-of-5 Atlantic Division semifinal, 3-1. Hartford will face either Hershey or Leigh Valley in a best-of-five series.

In overtime, Hartford’s Adam Sýkora won a puck battle behind the net, sweeping it up the boards for Brandon Scanlin. Scanlin sent the puck across the ice to Victor Mancini, who blasted a shot from the right-wing circle off the crossbar. The rebound clanked off of Leschyshyn and into the net at 9:41 to give the Wolf Pack the series victory.

Leschyshyn opened the scoring 14:30 into the hockey game, ripping home his second goal of the Calder Cup playoffs from the left-wing circle on the game’s first power play

Hartford’s Nic Petan hustled back into the defensive zone to break up an opportunity for Anthony Richard. Alex Belzile collected the puck and found Brennan Othmann, who sped into the offensive zone. Othmann gained the left-wing circle before dropping a pass to Leschyshyn. The veteran forward then labeled a shot over the shoulder of Bussi to make it 1-0 Wolf Pack.

Both goaltenders turned in strong efforts in the second period, keeping the spread 1-0. Bussi made eight saves for the Bruins, while Hartford keeper Dylan Garand turned aside eight shots in the Wolf Pack net.

The Bruins finally evened the affair 10:01 into the third period, as John Farinacci buried his first career Calder Cup playoff goal off a netmouth scramble. Jimmy Lambert sent the puck toward Garand, creating a frantic pile in front of the net. Oskar Steen tipped the puck to the left of the Wolf Pack netminder, who was down and out with a plethora of bodies around him. Farinacci found the loose change and buried the equalizer.

The goal pushed the Wolf Pack to 3-0 in overtime in this year’s Calder Cup playoffs. The goal is also Leschyshyn’s first career game-winning goal in the Calder Cup playoffs.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday night, as Riley Nash scored his second goal of the contest with 4:52 gone in the extra period

Providence is 1-13 in its last 14 playoff overtime games and has dropped 18 of its last 23 postseason contests overall. Hartford eliminated Providence last season for the Calder Cup playoffs. In the best of-five Atlantic Division finals, Hartford will face the winner of the Hershey and Mohawk Valley series in the finals. Hershey currently leads that series, 2-1 with game 4 on Saturday night.

Hartford 2, Providence 1, OT
At Hartford
Providence          0  0  1  0 – 1
Hartford               1  0  0  1 – 2
1st Period-1, Hartford, Leschyshyn 2 (Othmann, Belzile), 14:30 (PP). Penalties-Nelson Pro (tripping), 13:44.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lambert Pro (hooking), 3:33; Berard Hfd (high-sticking), 9:11; Lambert Pro (holding), 14:49.
3rd Period-2, Providence, Farinacci 1 (Steen, Lambert), 10:01. Penalties-Robertson Hfd (tripping), 7:46; served by Lambert Pro (too many men – bench minor), 17:02.
OT Period-3, Hartford, Leschyshyn 3 (Mancini, Scanlin), 9:41. Penalties-none
Shots on Goal-Providence 27 (8-8-7-4). Hartford 29 (5-8-11-5)
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0/2; Hartford 1/4.
Goalies-Providence, Bussi 1-2 (29 shots-27 saves). Hartford, Garand 4-2 (27 shots-26 saves).A-6,003

Atlantic Division semifinals
Best of 5
Wednesday, May 1
Hartford 4, Providence 3
Friday, May 3
Providence 6, Hartford 0
Wednesday, May 8
Hartford 3, Providence 2, OT
Friday, May 10
Hartford 2, Providence 1, OT, Hartford wins series, 3-1

Material from the AHL and the Wolf Pack used to compile this report

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