WOLF PACK COMEBACK BID COMES UP SHORT, DROP FOURTH STRAIGHT DECISIONDec 18, 2021
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack drew first blood for the third time in four games on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, but the club found themselves on the losing end for the fourth time in a row as they fell 6-4 at the hands of the Thunderbirds in Springfield.
Keean Washkurak’s fifth goal of the season proved to be the difference. The tally, coming 4:06 into the third period, was a redirect off a shot from Tommy Cross that made it a 5-2 game at the time.
For the third time in four games, the Wolf Pack opened the scoring. Hartford’s first powerplay of the game didn’t lead to a goal, but it did create momentum for the team in the offensive zone. Seconds after the powerplay expired, Lauri Pajuniemi fired a shot towards goal that hit Patrick Khodorenko and found its way into the net 10:50 into the opening frame.
For the third straight time, however, Hartford was unable to build on the early lead. After a scramble in the Wolf Pack zone, Drew Callin beat Tyler Wall with a shot from the high slot to even the contest at 16:36. At 18:53, the T-Birds gained their first lead of the night on a misplay by the Wolf Pack.
The puck found its way to Calle Rosen’s stick, and he blasted a shot by a diving Wall for a shorthanded marker to make it a 2-1 game.
The Wolf Pack got the game back to even at 12:14 of the second period with a powerplay goal. Morgan Barron fired a shot towards the T-Birds’ goal that Joel Hofer denied. Tim Gettinger was on the doorstep, however, and buried the rebound for his seventh goal of the season.
Just two minutes later, however, the Thunderbirds found themselves back on top. Mackenzie MacEachern’s shot hit a Wolf Pack defender and snuck by Wall at 14:14 to make it a 3-2 game. 28 seconds later, at 14:42, MacEachern would score on a shorthanded breakaway off a turnover to make it 4-2.
Washkurak’s redirected ballooned the lead to 5-2 before Hartford’s furious comeback bid began.
Jonny Brodzinski cut the deficit to 5-3 at 8:18 of the final frame when he blasted a one-time shot home on a feed from Anthony Greco on the powerplay. At 14:47, Barron deposited a rebound for his eighth goal of the season to make it a 5-4 game.
The Wolf Pack had plenty of chances late, but Hofer slammed the door shut for the home side. MacEachern completed his hat-trick at 19:05 of the third period, hitting the empty net to polish off the 6-4 win.
The Pack is back at the XL Center tomorrow, December 19th, to conclude their home-and-home with the Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 3:00 pm. 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.