Miscues Doom T-Birds in 5-3 Loss in HartfordDec 10, 2017
Hartford, CT - The Springfield Thunderbirds (10-17-1-0) never could get their legs under them on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Hartford Wolf Pack (10-12-3-2) by a final count of 5-3 at the XL Center.
The Thunderbirds got off to a rocky start on this night, as the Wolf Pack dominated puck possession and the shot counter in the first 20 minutes, with 17 shots on goal to Springfield's 3 in the first period.
Hartford would get its only power play of the first period and make no mistake with it, as Vinni Lettieri beatEvan Cowley on a rebound in the right-wing slot area to put the Wolf Pack on top, 1-0, at 5:18 of the first.
Springfield had trouble regaining its legs, and before they could recover, the Thunderbirds deficit rose to two goals. Again, the Wolf Pack took advantage of a rebound off of Cowley's leg pads, with Dawson Leedahl cashing in on the rebound off a John Gilmour bid to make it 2-0 at 17:13 of the period.
Hartford's power play once again struck to extend the lead to 3-0 just 3:54 with Scott Kosmachuk cashing in off a shot block to beat Cowley to give the Wolf Pack their biggest lead of the night.
Springfield's special teams made things interesting from there. First, Henrik Haapala redirected a Tim Erixon point shot through Marek Mazenec to cut the lead to 3-1 at 6:23.
Just over nine minutes later, the shorthanded unit got the Thunderbirds one step closer, as Bobby Farnham took a stretch pass from Ludwig Bystrom before dropping it back for Juho Lammikko. Lammikko quickly snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Mazanec to pick up Springfield's third shorthanded tally of the season to make it 3-2 at 15:27.
Springfield was gift-wrapped a chance to tie the score in the second period when Hartford took back to back penalties just 44 seconds apart in the closing moments of the period. However, Steven Fogarty came up with the play of the game for Hartford, intercepting a Springfield pass, then going end-to-end to beat Cowley on a rebound to make it a 4-2 game in the dying seconds of the middle period.
The third period brought more fight from the Thunderbirds, as Anthony Greco buried his team-leading ninth of the season less than six minutes into the period to bring Springfield back to within one at 4-3. Lammikko set up Greco with a beautiful no-look, forehand pass from behind the net to make it a one-goal game again.
However, Springfield never would find the equalizer on this night, as Lettieri finished the scoring off a 2-on-0 feed from Joe Whitney in the game's closing minutes to cap off his three-point night to secure Hartford's third win over Springfield this season. The season series between the two clubs now sits at three games apiece through six contests.
The Thunderbirds next hit the road for their first battle of the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop Wednesday night is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.