Gropp scores as Pack lose in shootout

Springfield Thunderbirds 2, Hartford Wolf Pack 1 (SO)

Springfield, MA, December 16, 2017 – A Hartford Wolf Pack offense that scored a season-high seven goals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night at home could only manage one Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Marek Mazanec made 42 saves in his third straight start in the Hartford net, and Ryan Gropp scored the only Wolf Pack goal. Samuel Montembeault got the win in goal for Springfield, stopping 32 shots in regulation in overtime and going 3-for-3 in the shootout. Bobby Farnham scored the only Thunderbird goal, and Francois Beauchemin had the only goal of the shootout.

The result stretched a Wolf Pack streak of games with at least a standings point to seven (4-0-1-2)

Despite being outshot 12-8 in the first period, the Wolf Pack came out of it leading 1-0, courtesy of a power-play goal by Gropp at the 16:38 mark.

With Rob Hamilton in the penalty box for slashing, John Gilmour snapped a shot at the net from the middle of the blue line, and Gropp deflected it past Montembeault, for Gropp’s sixth goal of the season.

The Thunderbirds equalized early in the second frame, on a goal at the 3:34 mark by Farnham. Mazanec attempted to clear the puck, and Farnham stopped it near the blue line. He fed to Alexandre Grenier, who worked it to Curtis Valk on the right side. He found Farnham all alone in front of the goal, and he was able to get to his backhand to put a shot past Mazanec.

That was it for the scoring until the shootout, and the goaltenders were perfect through the first two rounds of that, with Montembeault stopping Adam Tambellini and Peter Holland, and Mazanec denying Valk and Blaine Byron. After Scott Kosmachuk was unable to beat Montembeault on the Wolf Pack’s third shot, though, Beauchemin put a forehand bid past Mazanec’s glove side for the shootout winner.

The Wolf Pack’s next game is this Wednesday night, December 20, when they travel to Allentown, PA to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Faceoff is 7:05, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at

The next home game for the Wolf Pack is this Friday, December 22, when they host the Providence Bruins in a 7:15 PM contest, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.

Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

Hartford Wolf Pack 1 at Springfield Thunderbirds 2 (SO)
Saturday, December 16, 2017 – MassMutual Center

Hartford 1 0 0 0 – 1
Springfield 0 1 0 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Hartford, Gropp 6 (Gilmour, Kosmachuk), 16:38 (PP). Penalties-Erixon Spr (interference), 7:20; Gilmour Hfd (hooking), 12:22; Hamilton Spr (slashing), 16:14; Beauchemin Spr (high-sticking), 18:10.

2nd Period-2, Springfield, Farnham 4 (Valk, Grenier), 3:34. Penalties-Grenier Spr (tripping), 1:22; Kosmachuk Hfd (goaltender interference), 15:10.

3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Fortunus Spr (tripping), 1:02; Gilmour Hfd (tripping), 6:11; Beauchemin Spr (slashing), 8:12.

OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Hartford 0 (Tambellini NG, Holland NG, Kosmachuk NG), Springfield 1 (Valk NG, Byron NG, Beauchemin G).
Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-12-9-4-0-33. Springfield 12-20-11-0-1-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 6; Springfield 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Mazanec 2-0-1 (43 shots-42 saves). Springfield, Montembeault 6-11-1 (33 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (7), Corey Syvret (42).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Glen Cooke (6).