Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (23-26-8-2) will look to pick up wins on back-to-back nights as they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack (21-33-3-2) to the MassMutual Center for the first annual Pink in the Rink night, presented by Baystate Health & Health New England. The night, which benefits Rays of Hope, will feature a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop.
The Thunderbirds are coming off a hard-nosed, come-from-behind win on Friday night in Syracuse against the Crunch. Former Syracuse goaltender Adam Wilcox stopped 29 of 31 attempts to provide his team with stability from the goal crease.
Although Paul Thompson opened the scoring in the first period for Springfield, the Thunderbirds could not locate offense for the next 30 minutes, and Syracuse took a 2-1 lead on goals by Tye McGinn and Byron Froese.
Trailing 2-1 just 45 seconds into the third, Anthony Greco grabbed the game by the throat to will Springfield to victory. First, the speedy winger found his way to the right of goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis and finished off a beautiful behind-the-back pass from Jared McCann to tie the game at the midway stage of the period.
Then with less than two minutes separating the teams from overtime, Greco used his acceleration to join Thompson on a late-developing 2-on-1 rush. Thompson feathered a perfect saucer pass onto Greco's tape, and the Ohio State alumnus buried it behind Gudlevskis to seal the Springfield win and finish off his first two-goal game in his AHL career.
The Wolf Pack, on the other hand, had a rough night on Friday at the hands of the AHL's top team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, falling 8-1 on the road. MacKenzie Skapski was saddled with the loss, allowing all eight tallies on 35 Penguin shots.
Hartford remains at the bottom of the AHL standings with just 47 points, and the Wolf Pack have allowed a league-worst 3.59 goals per game. Springfield has earned points in six of seven games against the Wolf Pack this season, including points in each of the last three meetings.
McCann has been a dominant force for Springfield against the Pack, with five points in five games against the division rivals.
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.