The Wolf Pack had quite the interesting story line tonight in Springfield. Hartford battled back from a 3-0 deficit, then lost 29 seconds into overtime. The game had shown the good and bad for the club. The Pack register a point and now is five points behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the division. Springfield won the game in overtime, 5-4. Chris Nell played for 16:40, stopping 7 of 10 shots. Charles Williams played the rest of the game, stopping 6 of 8 shots. Tonight was his debut in the crease for Hartford as the goalie is on a PTO as Brandon Halverson is injured.
The first period was a disaster for the club. The Pack did not show up to play. Springfield had the upper advantage in the first twenty. Chris Nell and the defense was struggling. At 10:51, Springfield grabbed a 1-0 lead. Then at 11:15, their lead extended to 2-0. The Pack had a few chances on goal, but the Thunderbirds had the quality chances. Springfield was not finished. At 16:40, the Thunderbirds extended their lead once again, to 3-0. Chris Nell was pulled and Charles Williams took his place. Shots favor Hartford 12-10.
The second was calmer and the game was even. The Pack came out strong. Fifteen seconds into the second, Lias Andersson converted on a five-hole chance to put Hartford on the board, 3-1. Adam Tambellini and Dan DeSalvo recorded the assists. Both clubs exchanged opportunities. The Pack’s defense struggled in moments and gave Springfield stellar chances. Charles Williams kept the Pack in the game. Hartford came close on chances as well but was unable to bury. At 19:12, Springfield tackled another goal to extend their lead to 4-1. Shots favor Hartford 23-16.
The third showed a huge push from Hartford. Shot alone in the frame favored the Pack 19-1. The Pack came out ready to play and was firing on all cylinders. The Pack had continual chances, but was not able to bury. Nineteen seconds into the frame, Adam Tambellini notched a goal to make the game 4-2. Dan DeSalvo and Lias Andersson recorded the assists. The Pack were buzzing and kept pressuring Springfield. At 10:17, Vinni Lettieri made the contest a one goal game, 4-3. Matt Beleskey and Cristoval Neives recorded the assists. The Pack continued to buzz while Springfield was laying back and relying on their lead. At 16:35, Vinni Lettieri shot the puck on net and bounced in off from the goalie to tie the game, his second of the night. Vince Pedrie and Chris Bigras recorded the assists. The Wolf Pack earned themselves a point. Shots favor Hartford 42-17.
Overtime…well was fast. Springfield grabbed the puck, entered into the offensive zone and ended the game, 5-4 twenty-nine seconds in. Not much to say on the extra session. Shots favor Hartford 42-18.
I was glad Hartford was able to tie the game after being down by multiple goals throughout the game. The club has to be consistent. On the upside, they are lucky that Charlotte lost as well and they inch one point closer to the Checkers. However, Hartford cannot depend on outcomes of other teams if they want to make a push for the spot. The next two weekends will be critical.
Hartford is back at it in less than 24 hours as they host the Providence Bruins at 3:00 pm.
Ricky’s 3 Stars
- Vinni Lettieri
- Lias Andersson
- Adam Tambellini
- The power play was unable to convert in their opportunities (0/3).
- The penalty kill was a perfect three for three.
- Adam Tambellini, Lias Andersson, Dan DeSalvo, and Vinni Lettieri recorded two point nights.
- Matt Beleskey and Chris Bigras recorded his first point with Hartford.
- Lias Andersson has 12 points in 16 games with Hartford.
- Scratches: Brandon Halverson (Injured), Marek Mazanec (Injured), Dan Catenacci (Out), Sergey Zborovisky (Out), and Brandon Crawley (Injured).