Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Springfield Thunderbirds 2
Springfield, MA, December 6, 2019 – Danny O’Regan had two goals and an assist, and Vinni Lettieri added a goal and an assist, as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 Friday night at the MassMutual Center, in the last of five straight road games for the Wolf Pack.
The win snapped an 0-3-2-0 drought for the Wolf Pack, who were starting a three-game weekend and improved to 12-4-2-5 for 31 points on the season.
“I thought we played a pretty good team game,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Going into this three-in-three, we wanted contributions from everyone, and I thought our four lines and three pairs of [defensemen] played really well.”
Hartford’s top line of O’Regan centering Lettieri and Phil DiGiuseppe combined for seven points, as DiGiuseppe chipped in a pair of assists.
“Offensively they really contributed,” said Knoblauch of his first-line trio. “We needed those guys to help out offensively, and tonight they certainly did that.”
The two clubs split four goals in the first period, with Springfield jumping ahead twice, and the Wolf Pack equalizing both times.
Borgstrom opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds only 3:54 in. Dryden Hunt fed a pass from below the goal line to Borgstrom at the right side of the slot, and he fired a shot past Wolf Pack goaltender Igor Shesterkin (23 saves).
The two teams then combined for three goals in a span of 2:54, starting at the 9:38 mark.
O’Regan got the Wolf Pack on the board at 9:38, with his fifth goal of the season. DiGiuseppe carried the puck into the Springfield end on left wing and dropped a pass to Lettieri. Thunderbird netminder Samuel Montembeault (28 saves) stopped Lettieri’s shot, but O’Regan was able to sweep the rebound in from Montembeault’s right.
Springfield went right back into the lead just 1:06 later, on a power-play goal by Greco. He sped around the Wolf Pack’s Nick Ebert on left wing and cut to the front of the net, before putting a forehand bid past Shesterkin’s catching glove.
The Wolf Pack would go on to get the last four goals of the game, though, starting just 1:28 after that, with a tally by Beleskey at 12:22. Darren Raddysh handed the puck from the left point to Steven Fogarty, who stickhandled to the middle before sliding a perfect pass to Beleskey in the right circle. His one-timer beat a helpless Montembeault.
The Wolf Pack would then go ahead for the first time eight seconds past the halfway point of the second period, on their first power play of the game. With Riley Stillman off for tripping, Lias Andersson won an offensive zone draw back to Joey Keane at the left point. He fed to O’Regan at the opposite point, and he set up Lettieri in the left circle for a one-timer. Montembeault got a big piece of the drive, but it went off of him and into the net.
O’Regan made it a two-goal Wolf Pack lead at 13:13, with his second goal of the game. He won a draw to Mason Geertsen at the left point, and, after he fired the puck wide, DiGiuseppe picked it up and found O’Regan along the goal line on the right side. His sharp-angle shot eluded Montembeault on the short side.
Up 4-2 going into the third period, the Wolf Pack would put the game out of reach with a goal only 1:20 into the third, during a 4-on-4 situation that carried over from the second period.
Defenseman Yegor Rykov, returning from a season-long injury absence to make his North American pro debut, moved down the right side from his point position and found Newell open at the left side of the goal mouth. He easily deposited the puck past Montembeault for his second goal of the year.
The Wolf Pack are back on home ice at the XL Center on Saturday night, hosting the Binghamton Devils in a 7:30 game. That is “Star Wars Night”, as fans can rub shoulders with their favorite Star Wars characters, and win some awesome Star Wars prizes, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Wolf Pack 2020 calendar, presented by Hartford Distributors.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Hartford Wolf Pack 5 at Springfield Thunderbirds 2
Friday, December 6, 2019 – MassMutual Center
Hartford 2 2 1 – 5
Springfield 2 0 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Springfield, Borgstrom 7 (Hunt, Lowry), 3:54. 2, Hartford, O’Regan 5 (Lettieri, Di Giuseppe), 9:38. 3, Springfield, Greco 8 (Roy, Montembeault), 10:54 (PP). 4, Hartford, Beleskey 5 (Fogarty, Raddysh), 12:22. Penalties-Andersson Hfd (slashing), 4:58; Nieves Hfd (high-sticking), 9:53; Geertsen Hfd (slashing), 13:39; Geertsen Hfd (fighting), 15:45; Keeper Spr (fighting), 15:45.
2nd Period-5, Hartford, Lettieri 7 (O’Regan, Keane), 10:08 (PP). 6, Hartford, O’Regan 6 (Di Giuseppe, Geertsen), 13:13. Penalties-Stillman Spr (tripping), 9:44; Lettieri Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:57; Schemitsch Spr (slashing), 19:57.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, Newell 2 (Rykov, Nieves), 1:20. Penalties-MacPherson Spr (hooking), 5:46; Abols Spr (goaltender interference), 8:01; Heponiemi Spr (slashing), 18:03.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-11-16-33. Springfield 9-6-10-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Springfield 1 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Shesterkin 8-3-3 (25 shots-23 saves). Springfield, Montembeault 1-2-0 (33 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Patrick Hanrahan (52), Jeremy Tufts (78).
Linesmen-Kevin Briganti (39), Paul Simeon (66).