WOLF PACK OUTSHOOT THUNDERBIRDS 35-21, BUT FALL 1-0 IN SEASON FINALEApr 15, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Hartford Wolf Pack put forth a valiant effort on Saturday night, outshooting the rival Springfield Thunderbirds 35-21 in the regular season finale. A late first period goal was enough for the home side, however, as the T-Birds claimed a 1-0 shutout victory at the MassMutual Center.
Adam Gaudette both opened and closed the scoring 17:29 into the game, potting his 27th goal of the season. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Scott Perunovich sent a pass to Gaudette, who entered the Hartford zone and gained a partial breakaway. Gaudette went forehand to backhand and lifted the puck over a sprawling Dylan Garand for the game’s only tally.
The sides played a relatively even first 40 minutes, with both goaltenders making highlight reel saves. Springfield’s Joel Hofer made 19 saves through the first 40 minutes, including a terrific stop on Bobby Trivigno off a backdoor pass.
Garand was strong as well, turning aside 15 Thunderbirds bids in the opening two periods.
Both penalty kills were busy as well. The Wolf Pack killed both of the Thunderbirds powerplays on this night, with their final one coming in the second period. The kills give Hartford 26 straight successful penalty kills to end the regular season.
In the third period, the Wolf Pack fired everything they could on Hofer, but the All-Star netminder stopped everything he saw. The Wolf Pack fired 16 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes, outshooting the T-Birds 16-5. Hofer, however, made 16 saves to steal the victory.
It was Hofer’s third shutout of the season against Hartford, and the team’s fourth clean slate in twelve games against the Pack.
The Wolf Pack will begin the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs next week. Hartford’s First Round opponent, along with game dates and times, is still to be determined. For Calder Cup Playoff tickets and seeding information, please visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com/tickets/playoff-information.
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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.