T-Birds Close 3-in-3 at HartfordDec 10, 2017
Hartford, CT - The Springfield Thunderbirds (10-16-1-0) will look to complete a three-game weekend with a winning record as they make another visit to the XL Center in Hartford to face the Hartford Wolf Pack (9-12-3-2) at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Tonight's matchup is already the sixth of 12 regular season tangles between the I-91 rivals, with Springfield having won three of five prior meetings, including the last two in a row. Springfield was just at the XL Center on Nov. 29 and skated away with a 3-1 victory thanks to a 5-for-5 penalty kill and the third Jayce Hawryluk goal against Hartford this season, a game-winner in the second period.
Hawryluk has been feeling it offensively of late, registering points in five of his last six games, including a pair of goals in last night's 4-3 triumph over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
At the other end of the ice, Sam Montembeault has started each of the last two games for Springfield, coming away with 24 saves in the victory an evening ago. The 21-year-old rookie now has four victories in his first pro campaign, including a career-high 38-save performance in a 5-3 win over Hartford at the MassMutual Center on Nov. 3.
The Wolf Pack, who sit tied with Springfield with 21 points in the standings, have undergone some roster changes over the past week since the teams last met. The New York Rangers acquired veteran goaltender Marek Mazanec from the Nashville Predators organization and assigned Mazanec to Hartford, where the right-glover has yet to start a game for the Pack.
The Wolf Pack also became trade partners with the Laval Rocket in the last week, sending Adam Cracknell to the Montreal organization in exchange for Peter Holland. Holland has had a fine 2017-18 season, scoring a combined 22 points in 24 games, which includes four points in his first four games with Hartford.
The Thunderbirds will look to pick up back-to-back wins for just the third time in the young season while also aiming for their third consecutive triumph over the Wolf Pack. Springfield holds the all-time series lead in the I-91 rivalry with a record of 9-4-1-1.
After the tangle in Hartford, the Thunderbirds hit the road for their first battle of the season with the first place 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.