TURNER ELSON SCORES THIRD GOAL OF THE SEASON, BUT WOLF PACK FALL 3-1 TO THUNDERBIRDSDec 27, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Hartford Wolf Pack and Springfield Thunderbirds battled in a tightly contested edition of the ‘I-91 Rivalry’ on Wednesday night. For the second time in as many meetings, the sides were deadlocked 1-1 through forty minutes of play. Tonight, however, it was the Thunderbirds who won the third period and took the two points by a final score of 3-1.
Mikhail Abramov broke a 1-1 tie 5:58 into the third period, scoring his fifth goal of the season to give the Thunderbirds their first and only lead of the night. Drew Callin sent a nifty pass to Abramov on the right-wing side, where he fired a wrist-shot that grazed the glove of Dylan Garand and found twine. The goal would stand as the game-winning goal, pushing the Thunderbirds to their first home win over Hartford this season.
Turner Elson opened the scoring for the Wolf Pack, the third time in as many visits to the MassMutual Center that they have done that this season. Dylan Coghlan attempted to play a puck out of the zone but flubbed on the backhand bid. The puck found Bobby Trivigno, who quickly sent a centering pass to Elson. From the slot, Elson ripped a shot over the shoulder of Vadim Zherenko for his third goal of the season 12:42 into the game.
Garand made eleven saves in the opening frame to keep the Thunderbirds at bay but was beaten just 2:25 into middle stanza. Joseph Duszak fired a shot from the right-wing circle that Jakub Vrana tipped for his third goal in just five games with the club.
The Wolf Pack penalty kill was taxed in the middle frame, having to make a pair of kills. They successfully did so, with Garand making 12 saves in the period to keep things even heading into the final stanza.
Abramov broke the tie 5:58 into the third period, burying the feed from Callin to put the Thunderbirds ahead for good. Despite a strong effort in the final minutes from the Wolf Pack, Zherenko would slam the door shut while Matthew Peca hit the empty net to cement the win.
Zherenko made 13 saves in the final frame, while Peca’s goal at 19:36 was his eighth of the year.
The Pack is back at the XL Center on Saturday night when the Islanders return for the final game of 2023. The first 1,500 fans into the game will receive a 2024 Wolf Pack calendar. The puck drop is set for 6:00 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.