HARTFORD, CT- A late penalty doomed the Springfield Thunderbirds in their overtime loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Chase Balisy was called for tripping with less than two minutes left in extra frame, and Hartford made them pay with 20 seconds left when Pavel Buchneich scored the game-winning goal to lift the Wolf Pack to a 4-3 victory over the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds did get a point for the overtime loss.
The Thunderbirds opened up the scoring in the first period. Dryden Hunt continued his scoring streak when he put in his own rebound off of Wolf Pack goaltender Brandon Halverson 4:07 into the first period.
The Wolf Pack responded quickly just 33 seconds later. Matt Carey tied the game off of a rebound off of Thunderbirds goaltender Reto Berra’s right pad to tie the game at 1-1.
Berra faced a total of 14 shots in the first period, stopping 13 of them in the first period.
Berra’s busy night continued as the Wolf Pack took 11 shots in the second period. Berra made his two biggest saves of the night with the pad. He denied Tanner Glass on a shorthanded chance. The other was a wrap around by Dan Catenacci on a rebound.
Dan Catenacci and Buchneich each scored goals a little over five minutes into the third period. Jayce Hawryluk responded for the Thunderbirds with a wrist shot to beat Halverson to make it 3-2 with 13:00 left in regulation. The Thunderbirds would put the extra attacker on the ice in the final minute of regulation. MacKenzie Weegar setup a centering pass and Balisy redirected it past Halverson to tie the game at 3-3 with 20 seconds left in regulation. However, the costly penalty by Balisy would give the Wolf Pack the opportunity they needed in overtime, and they took full advantage.
Berra made 34 saves for the Thunderbirds in the overtime loss.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Friday night for Bruce Landon Legacy night when they take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The puck will drop at 7:05 P.M.