Springfield, MA - Ryan Bednard stopped all 28 Hartford Wolf Pack shots for his first AHL shutout Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, as the Springfield Thunderbirds defeated the Wolf Pack 2-0, in the second of three straight games between the two teams.
The Wolf Pack had downed the Thunderbirds 6-3 the night before in Hartford.
Jonathan Ang scored for Springfield early in the first period, and Dryden Hunt early in the third. Matt Mangene assisted on both.
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the second period, and if we would have played throughout the game like we did in the second, I think we could have won,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “But we didn’t have enough sustained pressure throughout the game.
“I just think we held the puck too long, and were looking for a better play all night. And when you do that, you end up turning the puck over.”
Tom McCollum took the loss in the Wolf Pack goal, making 20 saves in his fourth Wolf Pack appearance. The team has been shut out in two of his starts.
“Tom’s played well, and he’s given us a chance to win every time he’s gone in,” said Knoblauch. “We just have to get him some goal support.”
The only goal that it would turn out the Thunderbirds would need came 3:54 into the game. As Ang moved down the left side in the Wolf Pack zone, Hartford defenseman Vincent LoVerde lost an edge and fell to the ice, allowing Ang to get free in the slot. His close-in shot beat McCollum the stick side.
The game then went almost exactly two periods without another goal, until Hunt completed the scoring at the four-minute mark of the third. Aleksi Saarela passed the puck from the right-wing boards in the Wolf Pack zone to Mangene high in the slot. He snapped a shot towards the net, and Hunt deflected it into the top corner over McCollum’s catching glove.
Bednard did the rest, allowing the Thunderbirds to best the Wolf Pack for the first time in five meetings between the two teams this season.
The Wolf Pack and Thunderbirds get together again in both teams’ next action, this Wednesday night, February 5 at the XL Center. 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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 0 at Springfield Thunderbirds 2
Saturday, February 1, 2020 - MassMutual Center