MATT REMPE POTS BREAKAWAY WINNER AS PACK DOWN THUNDERBIRDS 4-2Nov 24, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Hartford Wolf Pack earned their third straight victory on Friday night, winning an extremely entertaining tilt at the MassMutual Center over the Springfield Thunderbirds by a final score of 4-2. The win gives Hartford a 3-1 edge through four meetings with Springfield this season.
Matt Rempe earned his first game-winning goal of the campaign 12:12 into the third period, putting the Wolf Pack ahead 3-2. Rempe took a pass in the neutral zone from Nikolas Brouillard and sped into the offensive zone on a breakaway. Rempe went to his forehand and then his backhand before lifting a shot over Malcolm Subban for his second goal of the season. The goal came just 1:43 after the Thunderbirds had evened the score 2-2.
For the first time in the ‘I-91 Rivalry’ this season, the sides would enter the first intermission without a goal. That wasn’t due to a lack of chances, however, as both teams peppered the net. The Wolf Pack fired 12 shots on goal, while the Thunderbirds tossed 13. Louis Domingue and Subban were up to the task, however, and were perfect through 20 minutes.
For the third time in the season series, the Wolf Pack would open the scoring. A messy line change resulted in a bench minor for ‘too many men on the ice’ that Adam Gaudette served for the T-Birds at 5:06 of the second period. 44 seconds into that powerplay, Hartford’s fourth of the night, Riley Nash would break the ice. Jonny Brodzinski slid a pass below the goal line to Alex Belzile, who quickly fired the puck in front for Nash. Nash tapped the pass over the glove of Subban for his sixth goal of the season and the Wolf Pack’s third powerplay goal against the Thunderbirds.
Just 4:17 later, however, the Thunderbirds drew even with the first five-on-five goal of the game. A clearing attempt was kept in by Calle Rosen, who fired a shot that Domingue denied. The rebound popped right to Hugh McGing, who was also stoned on his bid. A second rebound found McGing, however, and he made no mistake this time as he tucked home his fourth goal of the season at 10:17.
Just 1:19 into the third period, Brett Berard would put Hartford back in front with his fourth goal of the season. Brodzinski fired a shot from the left-wing circle that rocketed over Subban and hit the glass. The puck bounced to the left of the goaltender, where Berard was waiting. He shot the bouncing puck by Subban for his first career goal against the Thunderbirds.
Brodzinski’s assist on the goal was his second of the night, giving him a league-leading 23 points on the season.
At 10:29, though, the Thunderbirds again answered. McGing fed the puck to the right-wing circle in the final seconds of the team’s fifth powerplay of the night. The pass found Joseph Duszak, who quickly fired home his second goal of the season by the glove of Domingue.
Just 1:43 later, however, Rempe buried the eventual game-winning goal. It was Rempe’s second goal of the season and was assisted by Brouillard and Brandon Scanlin.
Late in the game, the Thunderbirds were awarded a six-on-four powerplay when Scanlin was sent off for putting the puck over the glass. The Wolf Pack stood tall, keeping the Thunderbirds off the board, and cementing the victory.
At 19:11, Adam Edström hit the empty net to end the intrigue, collecting his seventh goal of the season.
Domingue made a season-high 39 saves to improve to 6-1-0-0.
The Pack is back at the XL Center tomorrow night when the Belleville Senators make their lone trip to Hartford this season. The puck drop for that game is set for 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s inception in 1997. The Wolf Pack are the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and play at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack has been home to some of the Rangers newest faces including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.