Game PreviewDec 16, 2017
Game Day Info:
Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
Puck Drop: Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:05 p.m.
This is the seventh time on the year that the Wolf Pack and Thunderbirds have seen each other, and the Wolf Pack squared the season series at three games apiece with their 5-3 win over their I-91 rivals last Sunday at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack have lost their last two visits to Springfield after winning the first.
The Thunderbirds are coming off a 5-4 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night, and have won two of their last four games. The Thunderbirds sit in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 11-18-1-0 record and a 0.383 win percentage.
Last Time Out:
Last night, the Wolf Pack played to a dominating 7-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Ryan Graves, Scott Kosmachuk and Tony DeAngelo all scored once, while Gabriel Fontaine and John Gilmour each added two goals of their own. Marek Mazanec made 31 saves in net and the Wolf Pack extended their point streak to a season-high six games.
Thus far, the Pack are 11-12-3-2 on the season, which places them seventh in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division with 27 points from 28 games played. The Providence Bruins currently lead the division with a 17-7-2-0 record, while the Charlotte Checkers and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fall close behind in the tight race.
Players to Watch:
#3 John Gilmour
In 23 games played, second year defenseman John Gilmour has scored four goals and notched 10 assists for a total of 14 points. Gilmour’s 14 points leads Wolf Pack defenders. Gilmour helped lead the Wolf Pack to last night’s 7-3 win over the Penguins with his dominating two goals and one assist. Gilmour is no stranger to offensive production, as he finished second among Wolf Pack defensemen in points, goals and assists (6G-19A-25 pts) last season. The Montreal native came to Hartford from Providence College, where he notched the second-most points (23) and goals (9) among Providence College defensemen in the 2015-16 season.
#18 Curtis Valk
Curtis Valk is in his first season with the Springfield Thunderbirds after spending the previous three with the Utica Comets. The center has eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 27 games. Valk’s 23 points puts him in second for the most points on the team, only behind Alexandre Grenier’s 24 points, however Valk has played three less games. Valk made his NHL debut on Nov. 14 of this year with the Florida Panthers, where he recorded no points in the one game.
Coming Up Next:
The Wolf Pack will be back home at the XL Center on Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23 for matchups against the Providence Bruins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, respectively. Fans can stick around for a post-game skate on the XL Center ice on Dec. 23, but skates are not provided. For tickets and information, visit the Hartford Wolf Pack ticketing site or call 866-762-6451.