The Hartford Wolf Pack (23-12-3-2) were back on their home ice tonight, Wednesday January 21st, after a long stretch on the road to play the Providence Bruins (19-17-5-1). Recently the Pack have been coming on strong, with two big wins over the weekend against the Norfolk Admirals, and tonight it seemed the Pack might be coming out even stronger with Justin Viave’s first night back after an injury which caused him to be out for nearly a month. Warming up on the ice, the whole arena could tell that Viave had been dying to get back on the ice and play with the his fellow teammates. It isn’t just Viave who has been dying to get back; but the whole team had been been missing, the left-winger. Viave has been known for his physicality and dominant presence on the ice, and being home again, everyone knew Viave was going to come back full force.
The Wolf Pack continued their good play with a pretty solid period. Yann Danis took the start in the net tonight, coming out with an aura of determination and readiness. The first period, overall, was pretty successful for the Pack. Obtaining two power plays, none resulted in goals, however the team has certainly cleaned up their game. No unnecessary mistakes, or penalties on Hartford’s part – a big turn around from previous weeks play.
Going strong with the clean play, Hartford continued to dominate the ice, grabbing early power plays, and managing to keep the puck down in the Bruins’ zone. As usual though, the Pack seemed to not be able to get the puck in the net. Despite given a couple 5 on 3 opportunities, the Pack appeared more focused on just passing the puck around than putting it in the net. Maintaining their control, the second ended with the shots on goal 29-13, in favor of Hartford. However, the scoreboard was still stuck on zero.
The slow paced game couldn’t stay slow for long, the third frame both teams came out full throttle. Hartford with an early chance to get one in the net, but shut down by Providence’s Malcolm Subban. As the period progressed, tables began to turn a bit, the Bruins were stepping it up, snagging a few power plays that in turn got blocked by Danis nearing the end of the period, at 16:01, with the score still at 0, Viave, came up big, capitalizing on the only mistake on Malcolm Subban’s night. With Subban behind the goal and with Vaive hustling to avoid an icing call, he battled Subban for the puck and in his words “kept taking a whack at it.” Eventually, the whacking paid off as Vaive found the puck in the back of the net. Unassisted Viave officially made his come back with the game-winning goal.
Needless to say this was a strong victory for the Wolf Pack, especially for two of the stars, Justin Viave and Yann Danis. “It was pretty big night for the team,” said Danis post-game. Danis just recently signed with the Hartford Wolf Pack after Cedric Desjardins, another Pack goalie was injured. The adjustment clearly hasn’t been too hard for this veteran goalie that had his first shut out of the season playing for the Pack tonight. “We want to keep it going; it’s a lot of fun when you get to come out on the ice during a winning stretch.”
1. Justin Viave (HFD)
2. Yann Dannis (HFD)
3. Malcolm Subban (PROV)