Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch
The losing streak for the Hartford Wolf Pack goes to two games. The Springfield Thunderbirds pull out a 4-2 victory earlier this afternoon. Justin Fontaine and Steven Kampfer recorded tallies. Magnus Hellberg gets the call in net, stopping 23 of 27 shots for the loss. This was his first game since February 4th as the club rolled with Brandon Halverson during the four game road-trip. Hartford is action in action on Friday night against Hershey.
The group was going to have a bad time. It showed early on at 1:07 as the Thunderbirds grabbed a 1-0 lead. Then a few minutes later at 3:41, Justin Fontaine had a breakaway attempt and he converted on it as the puck was put in by a Thunderbirds player to tie the game at one. Adam Chapie recorded the lone assist on the pass to Justin Fontaine. The first twenty were wacky. Hartford struggled periodically. They went on the penalty kill twice. Sure enough it bit them at 11:22 as the Thunderbirds recorded a power play goal on the five on three to make it 2-1 Springfield. After that there was good back and forth action with a few hits. Broken plays were common and the puck was bouncy. At 15:59 Steven Kampfer tied the game at two with a slap shot from the blue line. Steven Fogarty and Tanner Glass recorded the assists. The rest of the frame was scoreless. The Pack became angry as the game went on. After twenty, it was tied. Shots favored Springfield 15-9 as they had the upper advantage.
The second was filled with drama which did not help Hartford. The physical play was intense and there was lots of after whistle scrums. Then there was an early fight between Matt Carey and Jayce Hawryluk. There was lots of cheap shots as the second went on. Both clubs were playing feisty. However Hartford managed to generate twelve shots on net. They had a few chances when crashing the crease. At 11:36, former Wolf Pack and Ranger Dylan McIlrath shot the puck on net and it was deflected in to give Springfield a 3-2 lead. The rest of the frame was scoreless. The physical and rough stuff was continuing on. The Pack were not focusing and the drama on ice occupied them from tying the game. After forty, Hartford was down by one. Shots favored Springfield 21-20.
The third was flat for the group as they were fatigued. The Thunderbirds converted 1:25 in the frame to make it 4-2 Springfield. The rest of the frame was scoreless. Hartford had a few chances along with Springfield. Both clubs seemed to not have much left for the game. The Pack lacked urgency, heart, and motivation. They dumped the puck too much and seemed to want to end the game. They gave themselves not many opportunities to come back. After sixty, Hartford fell 4-2. Shots favored Springfield 27-26.
The Pack have not had many three games in three nights opposed to other teams in the league. Schedule wise they were lucky and this was suppose to help. Instead it has not as they are not used to playing three straight. The game had three stages. Wacky, feisty, then flat. They were not playing to their potential, like most games of the season.
Hartford gets back to it on Friday night at 7:15 pm as they host the Hershey Bears.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Justin Fontaine
- Tanner Glass
- Matt Carey
- The lineup remained mostly the same. Chris Brown was unable to play. Instead Garrett Noonan played as a forward when he is a defenseman.
- The penalty kill was successful of two of three times.
- The power play converted nothing out of four chances.
- Magnus Hellberg did not play for two weeks. His last action was on February 4th against the Rochester Americans. He lost that game as well.
- Healthy scratches: None.
- Injured: Chris Brown, Michael Paliotta, & Cristoval Nieves.