April 21, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Hartford Wolf Pack concluded their 2023-2024 regular season Sunday afternoon at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence. A home team score in the third period proved to be the difference as the Bruins took a 4-2 decision.

Patrick Brown drove down the right wing before delivering a pass to the front of the net for Nick Zabaneh. Zabaneh, playing in his first professional hockey game after signing a professional tryout deal earlier in the day, defeated Dylan Garand at 11:11 of the third period. His first career goal turned out to be the game winner.

For the second day in a row, the Wolf Pack would give up the first goal of the game. This time Trevor Kuntar rushed to the net and came in off a defender. Kuntar went to the backhand and scored his tenth goal of the season at 13:29.

For the second game in a row, the Wolf Pack responded quickly. Victor Mancini passed to Anton Blidh on the left, who made his way into the left circle. Blidh then fed Jake Leschyshyn in front, who buried his eighth goal of the season at 16:14.

1:28 later, Blake Hillman gave the Wolf Pack their first lead in the hockey game. After a face-off win, Mac Hollowell fed Hillman at the point. With Riley Nash and Alex Belzile setting screens, Hillman fired a shot into traffic that Brandon Bussi dodged to make it a 2-1 game at 5:42.

Nash, who won the face-off, got the secondary assist.

Georgii Merkulov’s team-leading 29e The goal of the season put the Bruins even 5:41 into the middle stanza. Mason Lohrei’s blast from the high slot was denied by Garand, but the rebound fell straight to Merkulov at the top of the crease. The All-Star forward crushed the rebound to send the teams into the final frame with the score 2-2.

Zabaneh’s score at 11:11 broke the tie for good and restored the lead for the Bruins. Merkulov then completed the first 30-goal season of his career at 6:38 p.m., hitting an empty net to seal the deal.

The Wolf Pack opens the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs on Thursday evening! Game 1 of the club’s best-of-three first-round series takes place at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Wolf Pack battles the Charlotte Checkers.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m

For playoff information, visit

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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s founding in 1997. The Wolf Pack is the premier player development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and plays at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack was home to some of the Rangers’ newest faces, including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, TweetInstagram and TikTok.