WOLF PACK EARN POINT IN NEW YEAR’S EVE THRILLER, BUT FALL 2-1 TO THUNDERBIRDSDec 31, 2022
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack hosted their final game of the 2022 calendar year on Saturday night against the rival Springfield Thunderbirds. The Pack picked up a point, but it was the Thunderbirds who got an early start on their New Year’s celebration, scoring a 2-1 shootout victory.
Jake Neighbours put the game on ice in the bottom of the third round of the shootout. Neighbours took the puck at center ice, sped towards the Hartford net, and beat Louis Domingue to deliver the victory for the Thunderbirds. It was Neighbours’ fourth game winning goal on the season.
Will Bitten put the Thunderbirds on top in the first period. Bitten took a pass from Neighbours and broke away towards the Hartford net before sliding the puck through the five-hole of Domingue to give Springfield the first lead of the game at 11:19. The goal gave Bitten six points in his last three games, and goals in back-to-back games against Hartford.
Matthew Robertson evened the score in the second period. After collecting a rebound, Will Cuylle took the puck for a ride through the Springfield zone. At the top of the zone, he found Robertson, who blasted home a goal from the left face-off circle to tie the game at one. The goal was Robertson’s first on home ice this year, and his third overall.
The netminders kept the score even through the final period, with Domingue stopping four Thunderbirds shots and Joel Hofer blocking eight Wolf Pack bids. The extra frame was more of the same, with the rivals trading shots but failing to find twine.
Neighbours finally lit the lamp in the bottom of the third round of the shootout, propelling Springfield to victory after the first five shooters were unsuccessful.
The Wolf Pack return to the ice in 2023, hitting the road for a matchup with the Utica Comets on Friday, January 6th. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
The Pack will return to the XL Center on Saturday, January 14th, hosting the Providence Bruins for the first time this season. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate Pride Night! 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.