HARTFORD, CT – The Springfield Thunderbirds completed their first three-in-three weekend a sweep by defeating the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon. Thunderbirds goaltender Mike McKenna became the 15th different goaltender to collect win number 200 in the American Hockey League.
The Thunderbirds did not waste any time as for the third game in a row, they scored first. MacKenzie Weegar fired a shot from the right side past Wolf Pack goaltender Marcus Hellberg to go up 1-0 just 67 seconds into the game. Minutes later, Justin Fontaine quickly responded for the Wolf Pack when he received a mini-breakaway. In a broken play, Fontaine sent the puck through the crease and McKenna fell down due to contact. The puck went through the Thunderbirds goaltender and the game was tied at 1-1. At the 11:34 mark of the first, Sena Acolatse responded again for the Thunderbirds, firing a one-timer past Hellberg to go up 2-1. That would be the only power play marker in the contest.
The Wolf Pack would not go away quietly almost at the end of the first period. Steven Kampfer sent in a point blast past McKenna to tie the game at 2-2 with 4:01 left in the first period.
Things would get physical in the second period. MacKenzie Weegar was leveled into the end glass by Greg Carey. Jayce Hawryluk stuck up for his teammate, jumped in and dropped the gloves with Carey. Hawryluk would be given the extra minor penalty and subsequent 10-minute misconduct. From then on it seemed that there would be some congregation of players at the end of each stretch of play — words and shoves exchanged between the two teams. At one point, Sena Acolatse was in a jousting match with Nicklas Jensen and each were given double-minor penalties for their actions.
The Thunderbirds retook the lead late in the second period. Dylan McIlrath fired a shot on net that Denis Malgin deflected and past Hellberg to give the Thunderbirds the 3-2 lead.
Jared McCann added some insurance for the Thunderbirds 85 seconds into the final period, to go up 4-2. The Wolf Pack could not rally for a comeback only taking five shots on goal in the third period.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Friday night when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms come into town. The puck will drop at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 P.M.
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