Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away
Chris Rutsch photo
The Hartford Wolf Pack lost Game Seven of their opening round playoff series to the Providence Bruins earlier tonight, 5-4, ending both the series and their season. In doing so, the Wolf Pack became only the third team in AHL history to lose a 7-game series by losing the final two games at home.
The Bruins scored first, on a freak play where the puck hit a stick and popped up in the air over Al Montoya's head. Montoya jumped up to grab the puck, and in doing so, caused the puck to squirt out of his glove and into the net behind him. That wasn't how the Bruins scored, however-- instead, Providence's Ben Walter was awarded a penalty shot on the play, after Dave Liffiton was called for covering up the puck in the crease. Walter then scored on the penalty shot, the first of his three goals on the night.
The Pack twice came back to tie the game, at 1-1 in the first and then at 3-3 in the opening minutes of the third period, but back-to-back goals by Providence in rapid succession (at 6:25 and 7:37 of the third) put the game out of reach. Hartford cut the lead to 5-4 with 3:24 left on a power-play goal by Dane Byers, and then pulled Montoya for an extra attacker in the furious final minute of regulation, but could not get the goal they needed to force overtime.
The highlight of the whole night probably came before warm-ups even started, when the last bit of the Rangers' 2-1 double-OT win over Buffalo was shown live on the video screens inside the Civic Center arena. I sat up in section 325, which is literally at eye level of the center ice videoboard, and it was almost like watching the game on TV at home.