Hartford, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack came back from their All-Star break in style Friday night at the XL Center, beating the Springfield Thunderbirds 6-3, led in part by Ryan Dmowski’s two-goal night.
The victory was the Wolf Pack’s 11th straight on home ice, tying a franchise record set in the 2004-05 season.
The game was the first of three straight between the two teams. Joey Keane had a goal and two assists for the Wolf Pack, and Vinni Lettieri added a goal and an assist.
The Wolf Pack got on the board first when Dmowski scored his first goal of the season with 10:35 remaining in the opening period. Keane and Mason Geertsen assisted on the goal.
“It felt good to get my confidence back and put the puck in the net, it’s been too long for me,” Dmowski said. “I was just a lucky recipient on the first goal. It came right in front, and I was lucky to be the one there.”
Not long after, Hartford would make it 2-0 when Lettieri fired a slap shot over the glove of Philippe Desrosiers (25 Saves) with 8:13 left in the period. Keane and Vitali Kravtsov assisted on the goal.
“It’s insane what Lettieri and Keane can do with their hands and the way they think the game,” noted Dmowski of his All-Star teammates. “It’s definitely been impressive to watch.”
Springfield would cut the lead to 2-1 just 1:37 later, at 13:24, when Dryden Hunt scored his ninth goal of the year during a Thunderbirds power play. Aleksi Heponiemi and Ethan Prow assisted on the tally.
The second period appeared as though it would be scoreless, until Thomas Schemitsch scored his fourth of the year off a shot that snuck through Adam Huska’s (26 saves) pads with just 3:37 left in the middle frame.
The Wolf Pack regained the lead just 3:35 into the final period, when Phil Di Giuseppe put the puck into a wide-open net after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Kravtsov. The goal was Di Giuseppe’s 14th of the year, and Kravtsov’s assist was his second of the night.
The Wolf Pack would continue to put on pressure, until Dmowski scored his second goal of the night to put Hartford up 4-2 with 7:41 remaining. Lettieri assisted on the goal.
“Dmowski and his line have been really good for us lately in setting up key plays,” said Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch. “Unfortunately they couldn’t get much ice time in the second because we kept getting trapped in our zone, but they were ready when called upon.”
Just 1:22 later, at 13:41, Keane snuck a puck just past the goal line to further pad the lead. Danny O’Regan had the lone assist.
Springfield was able to close the gap soon after, when Rodrigo Abols scored his third goal of the game with 3:51 left in the final frame to pull his team within two goals of the Wolf Pack, with Jonathan Ang and Jack Rodewald assisting on the goal.
Springfield would then pull the goalie, but it would prove in vain with Matt Beleskey making a diving play to score on the empty net with 43.9 seconds left.
The Wolf Pack and Thunderbirds clash again Saturday night in Springfield, with faceoff at 7:05. All of the action can be heard live on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is also against Springfield, this Wednesday night, February 5. Faceoff is 7:00, and that is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Hat Trick Pack”. The Hat Trick Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and one large popcorn, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (860) 722-9425. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Springfield Thunderbirds 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 6
Friday, January 31, 2020 - XL Center