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T-Birds Exact Payback on Wolf Pack with 4-2 Win

November 27, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

Springfield Thunderbirds left wing Nathan Walker (left) delivers a blow against the Hartford Wolf Pack
Springfield Thunderbirds left wing Nathan Walker (left) delivers a blow against the Hartford Wolf Pack
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (14-3-2-0) got some payback against the Hartford Wolf Pack (12-4-2-0) on Saturday afternoon, taking a 4-2 decision over their I-91 rivals before a crowd of 6,015 inside the MassMutual Center.

Picking up where they left off on Friday night, the Hartford power play continued its red hot run to take an early lead at 4:55 of the first. Former T-Bird Anthony Greco raced down the right wing, cut to the middle on a defender, and found Ty Ronning in the low slot for a one-time blast that beat Charlie Lindgren to make it a 1-0 game.

Hartford goaltender Adam Huska entered the game with a 1.81 goals-against average and was at his best in the first period, stopping all 13 Springfield shots that came his way to keep the Wolf Pack lead intact heading into period two. Lindgren kept it a 1-0 game thanks to a flashy right-glove save on a Jonny Brodzinski breakaway with less than two seconds on the clock in the period.

That stop by Lindgren proved to be a massive turning point for the T-Birds, who got the game equalized just 3:03 into the second with a little bit of lady luck on their side. After Steven Santini blistered a one-time slapper wide of the goal, Alexey Toropchenko and Mackenzie MacEachern poked away at the loose rebound, and eventually MacEachern got it to bounce up in the air over Huska, who had lost his stick in the fray. MacEachern extended his goal streak to three consecutive games to get the T-Birds back on even footing, 1-1.

Springfield followed that up with its first power play of the day, and Sam Anas surprised Huska with a low wrist shot from the left circle that slipped between the Wolf Pack goalie's pads to make it a 2-1 game at 8:36. Anas snapped a personal seven-game goal drought with the tally.

Nikita Alexandrov followed Anas's lead and broke his own seven-game drought at the 11:10 mark as he circled the offensive zone to the right-wing circle before snapping a wrist shot through traffic and past Huska to make it a 3-1 game.

Lindgren help up his end of the bargain as well, stopping all eight Hartford shots in the middle period, including a remarkable skate blade save on a Brodzinski breakaway backhander with the score just 2-1.

Springfield further bolstered its lead at the 3:09 mark of the final period when Matthew Peca found a rebound in a sea of traffic outside the crease area to deposit his 10th goal of the season past Huska and make it a 4-1 lead.

Hartford did not go down quietly, as Zac Jones beat Lindgren through heavy traffic at 12:18 to get the Wolf Pack back within two goals, 4-2. The Wolf Pack then drew a late power play, but the Springfield penalty kill bounced back from a tough Friday night to finish its evening 3-for-4 in dispatching Hartford advantages.

Lindgren finished his day with 24 saves to win his fifth consecutive game. In that time, he has stopped 122 of the last 128 shots he has faced. Springfield maintains its hold of first place in the Atlantic Division, and the T-Birds became the first team in the AHL to reach 30 points on the season.

Springfield now embarks on a three-game road trip, beginning with a third straight tangle with the Wolf Pack on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at the XL Center.

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

Images from this story

Springfield Thunderbirds left wing Nathan Walker (left) delivers a blow against the Hartford Wolf Pack
Springfield Thunderbirds left wing Nathan Walker (left) delivers a blow against the Hartford Wolf Pack


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