Springfield, MA - Adam Tambellini scored all three Hartford Wolf Pack goals, for his first professional hat trick, Friday night at the MassMutual Center, in a 3-2 Wolf Pack victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds.
The Wolf Pack won despite being outshot 34-16, as Brandon Halverson made 32 saves. Steven Kampfer added a pair of assists for Hartford.
Jace Hawryluk had a goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds, and Denis Malgin also scored for Springfield.
The win improved the Wolf Pack’s record to 18-25-3-2 for 41 points and lifted Hartford to within two points of the sixth-place Thunderbirds in the Atlantic Division.
“I don’t think we came out with the best start we’ve ever had, but a win’s a win, and we’ll take it,” Tambellini said.
After the game had been tied at one for nearly two full periods, Hawryluk scored at 12:30 of the third period to give Springfield a 2-1 lead. Mackenzie Weegar fed the puck from the top of the right circle to Hawryluk in the opposite circle, and his quick, low shot got by Halverson on the glove side.
The Wolf Pack would respond quickly, though, tying the game back up on Tambellini’s second power-play of the game at 15:52. Only 11 seconds after Ed Wittchow was sent off for holding, Nicklas Jensen played the puck off of the left boards to Tambellini high in the slot, and he gunned a shot past the glove side of Thunderbird goaltender Reto Berra (13 saves), who was screened by Matt Carey.
Then, only 34 seconds later, at 16:26, Tambellini put the Wolf Pack in front with his hat trick goal. He carried the puck into the Springfield end on left wing, dropped it off to Chris Brown and headed towards the net. Brown let go a shot and Tambellini deflected it perfectly into the top of the net behind Berra.
That goal would hold up as the winner, as Halverson held the Thunderbirds off the rest of the way.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 12-6 in the first period, but came out of the frame in a 1-1 tie.
The Thunderbirds’ Malgin opened the scoring at the 4:55 mark, beating Halverson high to the stick side on a shot from the left side of the slot, after Hawryluk outraced John Gilmour to a loose puck near the right-wing corner.
The Wolf Pack equalized on a 5-on-3 power play at 13:10, with Tambellini starting his big night with his ninth of the season. Tambellini one-timed a pass from Kampfer, and Berra got a piece of Tambellini’s shot but could not stop it.
The Wolf Pack now head to Hershey for a Saturday-night battle vs. the Bears. Faceoff is 7:00 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next Wolf Pack home game is against the Thunderbirds, Sunday, February 19. That is a 5:00 game, and it’s “Sonar Saves Pet Adoption Night”. Fans can take a look at a number of Sonar’s lovable little friends who are in need of good homes with loving families. That is also another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40.
Tickets for all remaining Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.