Thunderbirds Blank Pack in Springfield

Thunderbirds Blank Pack in Springfield

Oct 8, 2016

(Photo by Peter Bottini)

Mike McKenna made 19 saves, and Graham Black, Dryden Hunt and Ryan Horvat scored third-period goals, Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, as the Springfield Thunderbirds shut out the Wolf Pack 3-0 in AHL preseason action.

Mackenzie Skapski allowed two goals on 29 shots in the Hartford net.

The two teams took turns controlling the action in the first two periods, with the Thunderbirds outshooting the Wolf Pack 11-6 in the first and Hartford holding a 11-3 edge in the second, but neither club could find the back of the net in the first 40 minutes.

The pattern continued in the third period, as Springfield had a 16-2 shots advantage, and the Thunderbirds finally broke the scoreless tie at the 9:29 mark.

That was when Black had a Matt MacKenzie shot from the left point hit him in front of the net and drop to the ice.  Black quickly grabbed the loose puck and backhanded it past Skapski for what would turn out to be the only goal that Springfield would need.

Then just 1:39 later, at 11:08, Skapski got another bad break, as a Brent Regner left-point shot hit Hunt behind the Wolf Pack net, went off the top of the goal and fell into the goalmouth.  Hunt reached around the post to Skapski’s right and jammed the puck in, making it 2-0 in favor of Springfield.

The Thunderbirds put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal with 13.8 seconds remaining.  Horvat worked the puck away from the Wolf Pack’s Calle Andersson in the right-wing corner of the Hartford zone and had no one between him and the front of the goal, easily depositing the puck into the empty cage.

The Pack wraps up its 2016 preseason slate with a home game tomorrow, Sunday, October 9 at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT.  That will be a 1:00 battle with the Albany Devils, with a $5 admission charge benefitting Whalers Youth Hockey.  Champions Skating Center is located at 6 Progress Drive in Cromwell.

The Wolf Pack’s twentieth-anniversary 2016-17 regular season begins Friday, October 14 at the XL Center with the Wolf Pack’s home opener, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  Tickets for that game, and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games, are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at 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  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.


Hartford Wolf Pack 0 at Springfield Thunderbirds 3
Saturday, October 8, 2016 - MassMutual Center

Hartford 0 0 0  - 0
Springfield 0 0 3  - 3

1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Noonan Hfd (holding), 18:47.

2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Wittchow Spr (delay of game), 7:43.

3rd Period-1, Springfield, Black 1 (MacKenzie), 9:29. 2, Springfield, Hunt 1 (Regner, Balisy), 11:08. 3, Springfield, Horvat 1   19:46 (EN). Penalties-Carey Hfd (slashing), 3:41; Brown Spr (slashing), 3:41.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-11-2-19. Springfield 11-3-16-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 1; Springfield 0 / 1.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 0-1-0-0 (29 shots-27 saves). Springfield, McKenna 1-0-0-0 (19 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Frank Murphy (29).

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