T-Birds Earn Point in Hartford

T-Birds Come Away with Point in Hartford

Dec 19, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (15-7-2-1) picked up a point to hold onto first place position in the Atlantic Division, but were bested by the Hartford Wolf Pack (13-6-2-1) by a final score of 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center.

After relenting the game's first goal in each of their previous four games, the Thunderbirds jumped out to the lead on this day as Sam Anas carried the puck into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 rush with Hugh McGing. After looking off the pass, Anas fired a left-circle shot through the legs of a stunned Keith Kinkaid to give Springfield the 1-0 edge at 13:41.

21-year-old Colten Ellis got the call in the Springfield net, and he answered the bell in a first period that saw him needing to stop the first seven shots of the hockey game en route to 11 denials in the first period alone. 

The Springfield offense gave Ellis further support just 1:45 into the middle period when Klim Kostin muscled his way to the front of the net from the right-wing side, creating an open space for Keean Washkurak to jab home a loose puck on the doorstep for his second goal in two days to make it a 2-0 lead.

Ellis rose to the occasion later in the period with his team shorthanded, pulling one puck away from danger with his paddle in the crease area and later outstretching his left arm back to the goal line to sweep a loose puck away from the goalmouth with two Wolf Pack players ready to pound it into the yawning net.

After surviving that penalty kill, the T-Birds got their own power-play chance and made no mistakes as Anas funneled a shot to the edge of the crease, where Nolan Stevens tipped it down and through Kinkaid to extend Springfield's lead to 3-0 at 10:52 of the second period.

The Wolf Pack finally got onto the scoreboard with 1:20 left on the clock in the frame when Tim Gettinger one-timed a drop pass from Anthony Greco into the top corner past Ellis on the blocker side, making it a 3-1 game into the final 20 minutes.

Like an evening ago, the Wolf Pack would not go away quietly in the final period, as Hunter Skinner fired a slap shot that eluded Ellis at 7:47 of the final period to bring Hartford within a single goal, 3-2. 

The 3-2 lead held up until the game's final minute when Jonny Brodzinski one-timed a snapshot through Ellis from the left-wing circle with just 33 seconds remaining in the contest to force overtime. 

After a tame overtime period produced no winner, the shootout went the way of the home side, as Gettinger's goal in the bottom of the third round would be the lone shootout tally, his third shootout game-winner of the season. McGing, Anas, and Mathias Laferriere were unable to connect for Springfield. 

Springfield next takes to the ice on Tuesday, Dec. 28 when they visit the Bridgeport Islanders for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop at the Webster Bank Arena following the holiday break.

For more information on the Springfield Thunderbirds and to order tickets, please visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com. To learn more about becoming a Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) to speak to a Thunderbirds representative.

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