WOLF PACK BLANKED 4-0 BY SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDSMar 8, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Hartford Wolf Pack fired 31 shots on Joel Hofer on Wednesday night in Springfield, but for the second straight visit to the MassMutual Center, they couldn’t solve the star goaltender. Hofer collected his second shutout in as many outings against the Wolf Pack, aiding the Thunderbirds in a 4-0 victory.
Mathias Laferriere both opened the scoring and potted the game-winner 16:30 into the contest. With Wyatt Kalynuk in the penalty box for interference at 15:31, Matthew Highmore sent a centering pass to Laferriere in the slot. Laferriere fanned on the initial bid but chipped the puck onto the right pad of Louis Domingue. With traffic in front, the puck found itself airborne. That’s where Laferriere knocked it out of the air and into the net to give the Thunderbirds a lead they never lost.
A scrum ensued at the end of the opening period, resulting in Adam Gaudette heading to the box for a cross-checking minor. The Thunderbirds’ special teams would strike again, this time shorthanded. After a turnover inside the Springfield zone, Matthew Peca found himself with possession and a clear path to the net from the neutral zone. Peca burst in and snapped his fifth goal of the season by Domingue just 55 seconds into the frame. The goal was Springfield’s eleventh shorthanded tally of the season. That’s the second-most in the league.
The Thunderbirds would score another first-minute goal in the third period. This time, they struck just 37 seconds into the final frame. Dmitrii Samorukov stepped into a shot from the left point that Highmore tipped in the slot. The goal was Highmore’s 15th of the season and completed a two-point night (1 g, 1 a) for the veteran.
The scoring concluded with another special teams goal for the Thunderbirds, this time on the powerplay. After a flurry of action in the Wolf Pack zone, Martin Frk stepped into a drive from the point that lit the lamp at the 12:08 mark. The goal was Frk’s 22nd of the year and capped a two-for-two night on the advantage for the home side.
The Wolf Pack continue their three-game road trip on Friday night in Rochester when they visit the Americans for the only time this season. The puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Pack return to the XL Center on Wednesday, March 15th, hosting the Bridgeport Islanders for the latest installment in the ‘Battle of Connecticut’. The puck drop is set for 7:00 pm. 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.