T-Birds Trounce Wolf Pack to Close SeasonApr 15, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (32-33-9-2) sent 6,217 fans home happy in a 5-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack (24-46-4-2) at the MassMutual Center on Saturday in the season's final game.
The Thunderbirds once again raced out to the lead in the opening stanza when Jared McCann spotted MacKenzie Weegar with a perfect cross-crease feed, and Weegar potted his 14th goal of the season to make it 1-0 at 6:42 of the opening period.
Adam Wilcox kept Springfield's lead in tact by making eight first period stops en route to his seventh win as a Thunderbird. The second period brought with it another fast strike from McCann. Much like on Friday, McCann punched home a perfect shot at 1:26 off a feed from Weegar to record his eighth point in the final four games of the regular season. His 11th goal made it 2-0.
Hartford earned a power play in the final five minutes of the period, but instead of clawing back closer to the Thunderbirds, their deficit increase when Mike Downing hit Anthony Greco on a breakaway pass, and the Springfield speedster beat Hartford goalie Chris Nell over the stick side for his 16th of the season, making it 3-0 at 15:35.
The Wolf Pack finally broke up Wilcox's shutout streak with dated back to the third period on Wednesday when Chris Brown deflected a shot through the Springfield goalie at 16:16.
It would be only a blip in the radar though for the Thunderbirds, who got a power play goal right back in the final ten seconds of the period. Off a Chase Balisy faceoff win, Paul Thompson made his way to the front of the net and tipped a Dryden Hunt shot home for his team-leading 19th of the year, making the Springfield lead a safe 4-1 margin heading into the third.
The suddenly white-hot power play put the ribbon on the season at 10:10 of the third as Jayce Hawryluk beat Nell with a slap shot to round out the 5-1 final score.
Wilcox finished his third straight win with 23 stops, and the Thunderbirds picked up a season series victory over Hartford with their sixth triumph over their I-91 rivals.
The 2016-17 season may be complete, but are you interested in becoming a part of the next era of professional hockey in Springfield? Earn your wings with Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships, which 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.