Pack Win Franchise-record 12th Straight at HomeFeb 5, 2020
By Micah Collins
The Wolf Pack won their franchise record-setting 12th consecutive home game Wednesday night at the XL Center, beating the Springfield Thunderbirds, 7-4, in a close, back-and-forth game.
Patrick Newell had his first pro multiple-goal game with two scores, and Vinni Lettieri also tallied twice for the Wolf Pack. Daniel Audette had two goals for Springfield
Hartford got on the scoreboard right out of the gates when Newell scored his fourth goal of the season, through a Matt Beleskey screen, at 2:45 of the first period.
“Beleskey and (Danny) O’Regan are really good players, so it’s easy to play on a line with them,” said Newell of his linemates. O’Regan had the lone assist on the goal.
Springfield tied the game back up with 9:55 left when Audette beat Adam Huska (26 saves) on a 2-on-1. Aleksi Saarela and Tommy Cross assisted on the goal.
The two teams continued to trade goals during the first frame, as Tim Gettinger scored his 11th goal of the year unassisted with 7:13 left in the period, and Matt Mangene scored for the Thunderbirds just 14 seconds later, tying the score at two. Henrik Borgstrom had the lone assist.
Hartford would recover the lead when Lettieri scored with 3:33 remaining. The goal was Lettieri’s team-leading 20th of the season, set up by defenseman Jeff Taylor. “Taylor had the patience of a kindergarten teacher waiting to find me,” said Lettieri. “He made a great pass.”
Springfield started the second period with a goaltending change, replacing Ryan Bednard (seven saves) with Philippe Desrosiers, who would finish with 20 stops.
The Thunderbirds tied the game again at three with 9:18 left in the period, when Audette scored his second goal of the game. Jack Rodewald and Paul Thompson assisted on the tally.
The Wolf Pack would regain the lead just 1:31 later. Steven Fogarty scored his 12th of the season, with assists from Vitali Kravtsov and Vincent LoVerde. “Fogarty is a big part of why we have success,” said Lettieri of his captain. “He pushes everyone to do well and leads by example.”
Springfield tied the game again with 1:18 left in the middle frame. Ethan Prow scored his sixth of the season, with assists from Rodrigo Abols and Joel Lowry.
Once again, Hartford came up with a late-period tally when Newell scored his second goal of the night and fifth of the season with just 19.6 seconds remaining. “I got a fortunate change on that second one, so I was on the ice with (Nic) Jones,” said Newell of the tally. “The puck was just sitting there for me, and I was able to put it in.” Jones had the sole assist.
During the third period, both teams locked down defensively. Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch was quick to offer praise for Huska for keeping the Wolf Pack ahead in the game, saying, “Credit to Huska in the third period. We needed him, and he stood strong making big saves and playing the puck.”
Gettinger echoed the sentiment, saying, “We knew we had to bear down to get the win. We got a lot of key saves, blocked shots, good defensive plays that led to the win there.”
The Wolf Pack were finally able to pull away when Lettieri scored his second of the game with 3:03 left in the third. Kravtsov and Fogarty assisted on the goal.
Jones sealed the victory for Hartford, scoring his sixth goal of the season into an empty net with 17.4 seconds left. Huska had the lone assist, for his first pro point.
The Wolf Pack now head down to Charlotte, NC, where they will play a back-to-back set against the Checkers. That starts this Friday night, February 7 at 7:00.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is next Wednesday night, February 12 vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. 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 4 at Hartford Wolf Pack 7
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - XL Center
Springfield 2 2 0 - 4
Hartford 3 2 2 - 7
1st Period-1, Hartford, Newell 4 (O'Regan), 2:45. 2, Springfield, Audette 11 (Saarela, Cross), 10:05. 3, Hartford, Gettinger 11 12:47. 4, Springfield, Mangene 1 (Borgstrom), 13:01. 5, Hartford, Lettieri 20 (Taylor, Keane), 16:27. Penalties-Fogarty Hfd (tripping), 5:20; Ang Spr (hooking), 7:48; Lettieri Hfd (slashing), 13:55.
2nd Period-6, Springfield, Audette 12 (Rodewald, Thompson), 10:42. 7, Hartford, Fogarty 12 (Kravtsov, LoVerde), 12:13. 8, Springfield, Prow 6 (Abols, Lowry), 18:42. 9, Hartford, Newell 5 (Jones), 19:40. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-10, Hartford, Lettieri 21 (Kravtsov, Fogarty), 16:57. 11, Hartford, Jones 6 (Huska), 19:42 (EN). Penalties-Geertsen Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:04.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 9-10-11-30. Hartford 10-15-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 1.
Goalies-Springfield, Bednard 3-0-0 (10 shots-7 saves); Desrosiers 12-8-1 (23 shots-20 saves). Hartford, Huska 10-5-5 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Mitch Dunning (43), Chris Waterstradt (88).
Linesmen-Kyle Richetelle (47), Robert St. Lawrence (10).