Feb 4, 2022

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack led throughout the night at the MassMutual Center on Friday but couldn’t put away the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds tied the game in the third, then collected the extra point with a 3-2 overtime victory.

Hugh McGing and Tim Gettinger got tied up in the Springfield zone just over two minutes into the extra frame, with the puck heading up ice. McGing was able to regain his footing and join the play late. The puck bounced to McGing, who sent a pass across to Tommy Cross. Cross stepped into a one-timer, blasting it by Adam Húska 2:17 into overtime to push the T-Birds to victory.

The Wolf Pack struck first 10:26 into the contest, opening the scoring on the powerplay. Tarmo Reunanen fired a high shot from the blueline that Austin Rueschhoff tipped through the five-hole of Charlie Lindgren. The goal was Rueschhoff’s tenth of the season, and Hartford’s 12th powerplay goal against Springfield.

The T-Birds tied the tilt 14:56 into the middle frame. Will Bitten was sent in on a breakaway but was denied initially by Húska. Húska was unable to cover the puck, however, and Nikita Alexandrov crashed the net. Alexandrov poked the loose puck through Húska for his seventh goal of the season.

Hartford did regain the lead at 16:30, as Jonny Brodzinski scored his team-leading 15th of the season. Zach Giuttari carried the puck behind the Springfield goal, then sent a pass into the slot for the captain. Brodzinski deposited a quick shot into the net, making it a 2-1 contest. The goal gives Brodzinski eight straight games with a tally. That ties a franchise record for the longest goal scoring streak, previously done by Ryan Callahan during the 2006-07 season.

The seesaw continued in the third period, as the T-Birds tied it again. This time, Sam Anas fired a shot from the blueline that deflected off Gettinger and then Nathan Walker in front of the Hartford net. Walker’s 15th goal of the season came on Springfield’s fifth powerplay chance of the game at 9:25 of the third.

Both teams had a few looks in overtime, but Cross’ one-timer ultimately gave the Thunderbirds the victory, their first head-to-head against the Wolf Pack since December 18th, 2021.

The Pack is back at the XL Center Saturday evening with a special 5:00 p.m. puck drop. The Pack host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on ‘Star Wars Night’ at the XL Center. The first 1,500 fans will also receive a Wolf Pack pint glass courtesy of Lewis Real Estate Services. We will also be holding a postgame skate! Tickets are still 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.  

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