Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (24-26-8-2) erased a 2-0 deficit behind the strength of five unanswered goals and 45 total shots in a 5-2 dispatching of the Hartford Wolf Pack (21-34-3-2) at the MassMutual Center before a sellout crowd of 6,793 for Pink in the Rink night.
The Thunderbirds carried the play through the first seven minutes of the period, a stretch that went uninterrupted to create a fast pace on the pink ice surface.
Springfield tested Hartford goaltender Jeff Malcolm frequently, as the former Yale Bulldog was playing in just his second game in the AHL this season. The Wolf Pack netminder would hold the fort down, though, making all 16 stops he was asked to make in a consistent peppering of the Hartford goal.
Both teams had very brief power plays in the first period that went unsuccessful, as MacKenzie Weegartook an interference penalty just 25 seconds after Garrett Noonan was whistled for his own interference infraction for the Wolf Pack.
It would take the two teams until the final minute of the period to break the scoreless draw. Hartford earned that distinction as Steven Fogarty nimbly played the puck out of his skate, then patiently deked around Sam Brittain to put the Wolf Pack ahead 1-0 with just 53 seconds left in the first.
Hartford added to their lead at 5:38 of the second as Adam Tambellini beat Brittain with a one-timer. However, Hartford's momentum would come to a screeching halt as the Thunderbirds unleashed their will at the other end.
It began with Paul Thompson scoring his second of the weekend off a perfect cross-ice pass fromDryden Hunt at 14:10 of the second. His team-leading 14th brought Springfield to within a single goal. Just 1:47 later, the Springfield attack struck a second time, this time with Anthony Greco being the beneficiary of another perfect cross-rink pass from Jared McCann. Greco's third in two games tied the score, 2-2, as the game went to intermission.
The third period was a hockey clinic for the Thunderbirds, who registered 15 of the period's 16 shots, and Hartford went 19:50 without a shot on goal in the final period. Just 36 seconds into the period, Thompson scored the eventual game winner off a beautiful blind centering pass from Chase Balisy.
Again, the goals came fast and furious, as Zac Lynch potted his second of the season just 1:26 later to push Springfield ahead by a 4-2 score.
For icing on the cake, Ian McCoshen joined in the party, rifling a one-time blast through Malcolm at 8:17 to close out the five-goal unanswered stretch.
Springfield outshot the Wolf Pack 45-15 on the night to pick up its second straight win in the 3-in-3 weekend.
Following Pink in the Rink festivities on Saturday, the Thunderbirds jump right back on home ice for a 3:05 p.m. matinee on Sunday against the Rochester Americans.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey and brand new Collectors Mug. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.