April 20, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Hartford Wolf Pack earned their fourth straight victory and a split in the ‘I-91 Rivalry’ this season on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center. The Wolf Pack came back four times before finally completing the comeback in the third period, winning 6-4.

Brennan Othmann gave the Wolf Pack their first lead of the night at 12:04 of the third period, scoring his 21st goal of the season. Othmann made his way into the slot before firing a shot off Vadim Zhernko’s glove. The goal turned out to be Othmann’s fourth winning goal of the season.

The Thunderbirds opened the scoring 6:15 into the game, when Mathias Laferriere fired home his seventh goal of the season. Laferriere made his way into the right circle before beating goalkeeper Hugo Ollas with his blocker.

However, just 57 seconds later, the Wolf Pack countered. Othmann made a shot with Zherenko’s glove from the left circle, lighting the lamp for the 20th minute.e time this season. Victor Mancini was credited with the only assist on the goal at 7:12, the first point of his professional career.

The T-Birds regained the lead at 14:04, as the Wolf Pack failed to clear a puck. Matthew Kessel got in a stunner to beat Ollas for his third goal of the season.

But once again the Wolf Pack had an answer. Jaroslav Chmelař scored his second career professional goal at 17:27, after converting on a breakaway. Chmelař went backhand-to-forehand before putting a shot over Zhernko’s glove.

The Wolf Pack pushed hard for their first lead in the middle stanza, but Zherenko held firm before things settled down in the final five minutes. Zhernko made thirteen saves in that period, preventing the Wolf Pack from taking a lead.

Jakub Vrana gave the Thunderbirds their third lead of the night at 15:01, using his speed to grab a partial breakaway. Vrana drew a penalty on Nikolas Brouillard, but did not need the man advantage. He finished it off straight away, going to the backhand and beating Ollas through the five holes for his 16e goal of the season.

The Thunderbirds got the game’s first power play at 5:20, when Othmann was whistled for boarding. After a solid kill, Mac Hollowell almost set Othmann up for a breakaway after leaving the penalty area.

The pass fluttered harmlessly into the offensive zone, it seemed. Othmann turned on the jets, grabbed the puck and fed Hollowell. Hollowell cut to the net, went to the backhand and scored his third goal of the season at 19:31 to tie things up again.

The Thunderbirds took the lead for the fourth time. This time it was a power play strike by Zach Dean at 2:50 of the third period, making it a 4-3 game.

Sahil Panwar had the Wolf Pack’s fourth response of the game as he put in his first career AHL goal at 9:58. Blake Hillman stepped in for a shot that Panwar deflected forward to make it a 4-4 game.

Othmann gave the Wolf Pack their first lead of the night at 12:04 when he completed a three-point effort (2g, 1a). Hollowell picked up his 40e assist of the season, the first defenseman to accomplish the feat for the Wolf Pack since Andrew Hutchinson during the 2007–08 season.

Adam Sýkora completed the comeback at 6:36 p.m., hitting an empty net for his eighth goal of the season.

Ollas made 14 saves and took the win in his professional debut.

Hartford concludes the 2023-2024 regular season tomorrow with a trip to Providence to take on the Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 p.m

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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s founding in 1997. The Wolf Pack is the premier player development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and plays at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack was home to some of the Rangers’ newest faces, including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, TweetInstagram and TikTok.