Springfield, MA - The Hartford Wolf Pack built 2-0 lead Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, but the Springfield Thunderbirds stormed back to score the final five goals of the game, for a 5-2 victory.
Steven Fogarty had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack Michael Joly assisted on both Hartford goals, and Jeff Malcolm made 40 saves in only his second AHL game of the year. Paul Thompson scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, for Springfield, and defenseman Ian McCoshen had a goal and an assist.
The first period was scoreless until there were only 53.6 seconds left in the frame. That is when the Wolf Pack’s Fogarty took a pass from the left-wing boards from Joly, got behind defenseman Matt MacKenzie and beat Thunderbird goaltender Sam Brittain (13 saves) between the pads with a backhand-to-forehand deke.
That goal gave the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, despite a 16-9 shots disadvantage in the first period.
That same line would score again 5:38 into the second to double Hartford’s lead. Joly blocked a McCoshen pass behind the net and handed the puck to Fogarty on the left side. He fed to Adam Tambellini in slot, and his quick snap shot found the top corner on Brittain’s glove side.
The lead would evaporate in a span of 1:47 later in the period, however.
Thompson got Springfield on the board at 14:10 of the second, on a shot from the right-wing side, after Dryden Hunt got a cross-slot pass through from the left boards.
Anthony Greco then tied the game for the Thunderbirds at 15:57. Jared McCann set the play up from the left side, backhanding the puck towards the net, and Greco perfectly re-directed the feed, one-handed, high into the cage behind Malcolm.
Springfield carried that momentum into the third period and built on it, outshooting the Wolf Pack 15-1 in the third and scoring twice in the first 2:02.
Thompson gave the Thunderbirds their first lead of the game, with what would turn out to be the game-winning goal, just 36 into the final session. Chase Balisy got his second assist of the game with a pass from behind the net to Thompson at the left side of the slot, and Thompson flicked the puck in from close range.
Just 1:26 thereafter, at 2:02, on a very similar play, Zack Lynch made it a two-goal Springfield lead with his second goal in ten AHL games on the season. This time it was Kyle Rau feeding the puck from below the goal line to Lynch, who connected from in tight to Malcolm’s right.
McCoshen completed the scoring at the 8:17 mark, on a long slap shot from the middle of the blue line that went past Malcolm’s catching glove.
The Wolf Pack wrap up a three-game weekend Sunday afternoon, with a 3:00 PM visit to Bridgeport to battle the Sound Tigers. 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 Friday, March 24 vs. the Providence Bruins. That is a 7:15 PM game, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
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.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Springfield Thunderbirds 5
Saturday, March 11, 2017 - MassMutual Center
Hartford 1 1 0 - 2
Springfield 0 2 3 - 5
1st Period-1, Hartford, Fogarty 7 (Joly, Graves), 19:06. Penalties-Noonan Hfd (interference), 12:05; Weegar Spr (interference), 12:30.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Tambellini 12 (Fogarty, Joly), 5:38. 3, Springfield, Thompson 13 (Hunt, Balisy), 14:10. 4, Springfield, Greco 10 (McCann, McCoshen), 15:57. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-5, Springfield, Thompson 14 (Balisy, Weegar), 0:36. 6, Springfield, Lynch 2 (Rau, Acolatse), 2:02. 7, Springfield, McCoshen 4 (Hawryluk, McCann), 8:17. Penalties-Thompson Spr (high-sticking), 9:44; Graves Hfd (boarding), 10:26; Turgeon Spr (interference), 12:40; Jensen Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:06.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-5-1-15. Springfield 16-14-15-45.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 3; Springfield 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Malcolm 0-2-0 (45 shots-40 saves). Springfield, Brittain 2-1-0 (15 shots-13 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Frank Murphy (29).