HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack was strong on Sunday, scoring three power-play play goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds.
“The power play got our number and I think they got three more power play goals tonight and they had three the other night so that’s six in two games. We gotta stay out of the box.” Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear said.
Thunderbirds defenseman Josh Brown was called for interference 46 seconds into the opening period. The Wolf Pack did not waste any time taking advantage of the first power play of the game. Joe Whitney setup Scott Kosmachuk on an odd-man rush as Kosmachuk beat Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault 1:46 into the opening period to go up 1-0.
The Wolf Pack received another power play opportunity a little over halfway through the first period as Thunderbirds defenseman Reece Scarlett was called for hooking. Dan DeSalvo took advantage of the opportunity as he took a one-timer to beat Montembeault to go up 2-0. Ryan Sproul and Anthony DeAngelo received assists on DeSalvo’s goal.
The Thunderbirds received a two-man advantage late in the first period that carried over into the second period but could not convert on the opportunity. The Wolf Pack almost went up by three 1:28 into the second period when the Wolf Pack’s Vinni Lettieri had a breakaway opportunity but was denied by Montembeault with the glove save.
The second period would get a little crazy as Thunderbirds left winger Bobby Farnham was checked from behind into the boards by Wolf Pack defenseman Brandon Crawley. Farnham got right back up and dropped the gloves with Crawley. Both players received fighting majors as Crawley received a minor for cross-checking and Farnham received a game misconduct.
“Bobby is a tough kid. He gets up from that hit but I am not a big fan of the hits from behind and the boarding. It is what it is.” Kinnear said.
Steven Fogarty gave the Wolf Pack a three-goal lead with 15 seconds remaining in the second period as he beat Montembeault high side with an unassisted goal to go up 3-0.
The Wolf Pack took advantage of another power play when Vinni Lettieri scored 1:08 into the third period with help from Dan DeSalvo and Cole Schneider to go up 4-0.
The Thunderbirds tried to start a late rally. Denis Malgin scored his first of the year with help from Alexandre Grenier and Anthony Greco to make it 4-1. Anthony Greco scored for the fourth game in a row which is a new Thunderbirds franchise record with a power-play goal to make it 4-2 with an assist from Chase Balisy.
Tempers started to flare with 5:22 remaining in regulation as more pushing and shoving began. Josh Brown from the Thunderbirds and Ryan Graves from the Wolf Pack dropped the gloves as both would received fighting majors.
The Thunderbirds will have a five-game homestand beginning on Wednesday when the Hershey Bears come to town. Kinnear knows the Bears are a highly skilled team.
“We want to have a home identity. We’re still working through that a little bit as a group. What I liked tonight was there was emotion.” Kinnear said.
The puck will drop on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.