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 Springfield Thunderbirds

2nd Period Surge Powers T-Birds Over Wolf Pack

March 29, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

Springfield Thunderbirds celebrate win
Springfield Thunderbirds celebrate win
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds (29-29-3-2) blitzed the Hartford Wolf Pack (30-24-7-2) for five unanswered goals on their way to a 6-2 win on Friday night inside the XL Center.

Hartford got off on the right foot just past the eight-minute mark of the opening period with the two clubs skating 4-on-4. One of the newest Wolf Pack weapons, veteran forward Nic Petan, made a crafty play, spinning a backhand pass through two defenders to Mac Hollowell, who perfectly maneuvered the puck to Adam Edstrom in the blue paint. The big Swede deflected it past Colten Ellis to give the home team the 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the first.

Springfield, though, would flip the game's momentum heavily just 5:01 later. Anton Malmstrom filtered a perfect stretch pass to the offensive blue line, where Ryan Suzuki gathered it in, deked past a defender, and chipped a forehand try over the stick of Dylan Garand, evening the score, 1-1, at 13:05.

Suzuki's goal sent the game into the intermission deadlocked, and after the break, the Thunderbirds came out with perhaps their most relentless offensive blitz of the period in the opening half of period two.

The onslaught began at 3:29 of the middle frame. Moments after Adam Gaudette fired a breakaway bid over the net, he retrieved a loose puck and stuffed a backhander into the blue paint. After a scramble, Suzuki located it and tapped a perfect bunt pass to Hugh McGing, who one-timed it into an open net to give Springfield the 2-1 lead.

Gaudette got another chance from close range at the 6:47 mark, and after McGing outworked three defenders to slip the puck in front, the AHL's leading goal scorer slid his 38th of the season through Garand's legs to increase the lead to 3-1.

Hartford's lack of discipline put them in a bind when Springfield began a 5-on-3 power play less than three minutes later. With plenty of ice available to him, Jakub Vrana snapped a wrist shot over Garand's glove to make it a 4-1 game at 9:26.

Only a half minute passed before Vrana added another at 5-on-4 to quickly push the lead to 5-1. This time, Vrana made himself available for a redirection at the side of the net, where Joey Duszak spotted him a perfect feed to strike off both Hartford penalties.

Vrana's second goal also spelled the end for Garand, who exited after being saddled with five goals on 15 shots.

As the game moved into the third, the Wolf Pack finally stopped the five-goal blitz when Petan tapped a rebound behind Ellis just moments after a Hartford power play ended, making it a 5-2 game at 9:12 of the third.

The Wolf Pack never did get any closer, though, and Mikhail Abramov added a sixth tally with a perfect short-side roof shot over backup goaltender Olof Lindbom at 14:55. McGing picked up his third assist and team-high fourth point of the night on the final goal of the game. Seven different T-Birds recorded multi-point performances in the win, while Ellis finished the evening with 41 saves.

The T-Birds look for a third straight win on Saturday when they visit the Utica Comets for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop at Adirondack Bank Center.

Fans can reserve seats for Thunderbirds' hockey action in the 2023-24 season by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting


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Springfield Thunderbirds celebrate win
Springfield Thunderbirds celebrate win


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American Hockey League Stories from March 29, 2024

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