Pack Take Bruins Sitting Down
One hand tied behind their backs: Francis Lessard,
Nigel Dawes, Brad Isbister (Chris Rutsch photo)
The Hartford Wolf Pack continued to inch their way up in the division standings on Wednesday night, defeating the Providence Bruins at home, 4-1. A game that was fairly close (though not particularly well-played from a Wolf Pack standpoint) through the second period and well into the third turned into a rout, with Hartford scoring three unanswered goals in the game's final four-and-a-half minutes.
Al Montoya provided another outstanding effort in net, as he made several key momentum-shifting stops-- the kind that were going the other way against him only a short while ago. Montoya is now 5-0 in his last five starts, with only 4 goals against (126-for-130) in that span, and he seems to have earned back the starting job for now.
Ryan Callahan scored first for the Wolf Pack, midway through the first period, though it was a great play by Brandon Dubinsky on the set-up that deserves most of the credit. Dubinsky froze the puck down low to Providence goalie Hannu Toivonen's left side, holding it long enough to make Toivonen commit to the near post before sending the puck back through traffic to Callahan, who had a wide-open net to shoot at.
Providence tied the score, 1-1, late in the second period, as the Wolf Pack played like a mess through most of the second and third, looking like they could barely get out of each others' way half of the time. Dane Byers did provide one highlight, as he dismantled Jonathan Sigalet in a second-period fight that wasn't even close. Byers sent Sigalet down flat to the ice with a huge punch early in the fight, and then when Sigalet responded by grabbing Byers by the legs and trying to flip him, Byers pulled Sigalet up by his jersey and continued to whale on him some more.
Byers then scored Hartford's next goal, tipping in a shot on a powerplay 15:27 into the third period. Byers finished the night with a goal and an assist, besides the fight, and is now second on the Wolf Pack in scoring while leading the team in penalty minutes.
Target practice for Dane Byers
Only seconds after Byers' goal made it 2-1, Brad Isbister was hauled down from behind on a breakaway (which led to no penalty, for some reason). Isbister was able to send a shot on net as he was being taken down, and Nigel Dawes entered the play only a step or two behind Isbister to jammed the rebound home.
Isbister got his goal shortly after that, on an empty net with 47 seconds left to make the final score 4-1.
#9 Nigel Dawes (Chris Rutsch photo)
Providence goalie Jordan Sigalet continued to sit out with an injured shoulder, suffered in a game against the Wolf Pack eleven days earlier when Francis Lessard ran into him behind the net. None of the Bruins players made a move towards Lessard during this game, however, although there was some yapping going on after the final horn had sounded.
In other news, the Wolf Pack have posted some more videos from the archive on their 10 Years, 1 Mission web site, this time in ready-made YouTube format (which isn't as crisp-looking as the .wmv format the first batch of videos was posted in, but they're slumming like the rest of us now, I guess).