SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center, the Springfield Thunderbirds defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-0.
According to a news release sent to 22News, Joel Hofer and Louis Domingue continued their incredible goaltender duel with 30 saves in the first 20 minutes alone of the first period, giving a little hint that anything would vary from the teams’ previous meeting on Friday night.
After receiving a pass between the circles from Matthew Highmore, Mathias Laferriere pushed a low shot on Domingue that resulted in a rebound. The puck eventually squirted free behind Domingue’s reach as Highmore and Laferriere jockeyed for position, and Laferriere poked it across the line to break the ice with a 1-0 score at 16:30. In its last 22 opportunities with the man advantage, Springfield had scored just two power-play goals.
The first period saw Domingue and Hofer excel once more, with Domingue stopping 17 pucks and Hofer stopping 13.
When the second period got underway, the T-Birds’ special teams became more prominent. After being forced to go on the penalty kill to start the period, Springfield not only stopped Hartford’s power play but also added its 11th shorthanded goal of the year when Matthew Peca broke free from his defender in the neutral zone and put the puck past Domingue just 55 seconds in to make it 2-0.
In the second period, the T-Birds would go on to end both Hartford power plays, finishing the period 4-for-4 when down a man. When Highmore deflected a Dmitri Samorukov shot past Domingue in the first minute of the third, Springfield’s top line continued its impressive performance. The score was 3-0 at the 37-second mark.
At 12:08, Martin Frk uncorked a one-time rocket to the top shelf from the high slot to seal the victory on the power play and make the score 4-0. With 31 stops on the night, Hofer recorded his fourth shutout of the year and moved into a tie for first place in the league with Dustin Wolf of Calgary.
The busy home-ice stretch continues on Friday and Saturday when the T-Birds play Providence and Laval respectively. The Rays of Hope Foundation in western Massachusetts is the beneficiary of this Saturday’s 6th Annual Pink in the Rink.
The T-Birds will wear special pink jerseys for the evening, and the ice will be painted pink. The Rays of Hope will receive all earnings from the postgame jersey auction, which is open to fans who wish to stay after the game.