SPRINGFIELD – The Chicago Wolves are one win away from claiming their third championship in team history after defeating the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-2, in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.


Springfield Thunderbirds' Nikita Alexandrov (17) body checks Chicago Wolves' Josh Jacobs (28) during the Calder Cup Finals game 4 Friday evening, June 24, 2022.

“To be honest, I don’t know if there’s a lot of frustration,” Thunderbirds coach Drew Bannister said. “I was happy with a lot of our 5-on-5 hockey play tonight. If you take away Game 2, we’ve created opportunities to score, but you have to give their goalie (Pyotr Kochetkov) credit because he’s made some difficult saves.


Springfield Thunderbirds' Nathan Todd (29) attempts to block Chicago Wolves' Jesper Sellgren (32) during the Calder Cup Finals game 4 Friday evening, June 24, 2022.

“The difference for me now is the special teams because (Chicago) is executing on theirs, and we’re not.”


Two days after blanking Springfield, Kochetkov followed suit with a 39-save performance, helping the Wolves take a 3-1 series lead in this best-of-seven championship.

Fans all fired up during Calder Cup Finals game 4 between Springfield Thunderbirds and Chicago Wolves at MassMutual Center Friday evening, June 24, 2022. 

“I thought this was another good road win,” Chicago coach Ryan Warsofsky said. “We got into penalty trouble there, but the penalty kill was good in the second when we needed it. Kochetkov was outstanding again, and you need that this time of year.


“It’s a good win, so we’ll take it and move on.”


In a losing effort, Thunderbirds netminder Joel Hofer stopped 28-of-31 shots he faced.


Springfield will look to stave off elimination against the Wolves at home during Game 5 on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.



“There are 29 other teams sitting at home right now,” Bannister said. “I’m proud of our group. But do we have to be better in certain areas? There’s no question.”