WILL CUYLLE SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER TO PUSH WOLF PACK BY THUNDERBIRDS 2-1Nov 9, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – It was a goaltender duel in Hartford on Wednesday night, as both Louis Domingue and Joel Hofer kept their opponents largely at bay for 65 minutes before letting a shootout decide the outcome at the XL Center. Will Cuylle scored in the top half of the fourth round to push Hartford to a 2-1 victory over the rival Springfield Thunderbirds.
With the shootout tied 1-1, Cuylle stepped up to kick off the fourth round. The rookie forward collected the puck at center, sped into the offensive zone, and snapped a shot by Hofer to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 edge. Nathan Todd had a chance to force the shootout to a fifth round but hit the goal post to give Hartford the 2-1 decision in both the shootout and the game.
The Thunderbirds opened the scoring for the second time in as many meetings, as Drew Callin lit the lamp just 2:09 in. Callin worked his way into the near faceoff circle late in the T-Birds first powerplay and snapped a shot by the glove of Domingue for his second goal of the season.
Despite giving up the game’s first goal, the Wolf Pack were able to find their footing in the opening frame’s final ten minutes. With momentum on their side at the intermission, the Wolf Pack clawed their way back to even at 6:23 of the second period.
Lauri Pajuniemi scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season to bring the score to 1-1. Curling off the wall and into the near circle in the offensive zone, Pajuniemi fired a quick shot that beat a screened Hofer.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1 after forty minutes, both goaltenders slammed the door shut in the third period. Hofer was forced to make ten saves, while Domingue turned aside all five Thunderbirds bids. Domingue’s finest work of the night came in the final three minutes, as forward Greg Printz intercepted a puck in the neutral zone and walked in on a shorthanded breakaway. Domingue slammed the door shut, keeping it a tied game, and ensuring his side would collected a point for the fourth time this season at home.
The Wolf Pack fired both overtime shots, but again Hofer and Domingue ensured the game’s continuation during the three-on-three period.
Jonny Brodzinski scored in the top half of the second round of the shootout, snapping a shot over Hofer’s glove, but Will Bitten would beat Domingue in the bottom half of the third to force the shootout to extra shooters.
There, Cuylle beat Hofer to give Hartford a lead, while Todd rang the post to give Hartford the extra point and push the club to a 3-4-1-1 record.
The Wolf Pack hit the road on Friday, November 12th, when they visit the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. with pregame coverage starting at 6:50 p.m. on AHLTV and Mixlr. The Pack will return to the XL Center on Saturday, November 12th, for a date with the Charlote Checkers on ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ night. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. To get tickets, visit 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.