The Wolf Pack fought back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to tie the game at two Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, but Broc Little’s second-period goal only 62 seconds after the Wolf Pack had evened the score gave the Springfield Falcons a 3-2 win.
Ryan Bourque and Conor Allen scored second-period goals for the Wolf Pack, and Jeff Malcolm made 22 saves. Dalton Smith and Patrick McNeill scored the other Springfield goals, and Jeremy Smith stopped 19 shots.
The Falcons dominated the start of the game, and opened the scoring just five seconds after a Springfield power play expired, at 3:09. Malcolm stopped a shot from the right point by Tim Erixon, but Smith was able to poke the rebound underneath Malcolm’s pads and in.
Springfield got another power play at the 19:30 mark, when Kyle Jean was sent off for boarding, and the Falcons scored a last-second goal to make it 2-0.
McNeill made a great play to keep the puck in the Wolf Pack zone at the right point, and threw a desperation shot at the net. Malcolm’s view was completely obscured by a Falcon stationed right in front of him, and McNeill’s shot sailed into the net to Malcolm’s left with 0.4 seconds showing on the clock.
The Wolf Pack recovered from that potentially devastating blow to score the next two goals and tie the game.
Bourque buried the rebound of a Shawn O’Donnell shot at 11:51 of the second to cut the lead to 2-1. O’Donnell’s right-wing drive was kicked out by Smith, but the rebound went right to Bourque, who was driving the middle, and Bourque banged it past Smith’s stick side.
Then, after the Pack killed a double-minor for high-sticking to Dylan McIlrath, Hartford would click on its first power play of the night to tie it at two. Oscar Lindberg fed a pass across the slot from the right-wing boards, and Allen snuck down from the left point to just below the faceoff dot and snapped a perfect shot over Smith’s shoulder and under the crossbar.
After working so hard to tie the score, though, the Wolf Pack would allow the eventual winning goal only 1:02 later. Malcolm stopped a long shot from the point by Frederic St. Denis, but the rebound went right to Little, Malcolm’s ex-Yale University teammate, at the left side of the slot, and Little was able to slip a low shot underneath Malcolm.
The Wolf Pack and Falcons complete a home-and-home series Sunday afternoon at the XL Center with faceoff at 3:00 PM. The Wolf Pack will be having a birthday celebration at Sunday’s game for Sonar, the team’s lovable mascot, and it’s also Autograph Day. The entire Wolf Pack team will be conducting an autograph session after the game in the XL Center atrium. Fans are invited to bring items for the players to sign, with a limit of two items per person. At every Wolf Pack Sunday home game in 2013-14, fans can take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Sunday Family Value Packs”. Those include two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, starting at only $35.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. To speak with a representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Springfield Falcons 3
Saturday, December 7, 2013 - MassMutual Center
Hartford 0 2 0 - 2
Springfield 2 1 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Springfield, Smith 3 (Erixon, Aleardi), 3:09. 2, Springfield, McNeill 2 19:59 (PP). Penalties-Asham Hfd (slashing), 1:04; Jean Hfd (high-sticking), 6:27; Jean Hfd (boarding), 19:30.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Bourque 4 (O'Donnell, Powe), 11:51. 4, Hartford, Allen 4 (Lindberg, Syvret), 17:56 (PP). 5, Springfield, Little 2 (St. Denis, Goloubef), 18:58. Penalties-Dupont Hfd (goaltender interference), 1:45; Dupont Hfd (slashing), 9:31; Marchessault Spr (slashing), 9:31; McIlrath Hfd (double minor - high-sticking), 13:37; served by Little Spr (bench minor - too many men), 16:37.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Craig Spr (roughing), 0:32; Weber Spr (boarding), 12:25; Kantor Hfd (roughing), 17:55; Jacques Spr (roughing), 17:55.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-9-4-21. Springfield 10-8-7-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Springfield 1 / 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Malcolm 1-3-0 (25 shots-22 saves). Springfield, Smith 9-3-1 (21 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).