T-Birds Late Push Falls One Goal Short, 3-2Nov 4, 2017
Bridgeport, CT– The Springfield Thunderbirds (2-9-1-0) appeared to be stymied through the first two and a half periods against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (5-5-0-0), but a late rally made things interesting before the Sound Tigers held on for a 3-2 win at the Webster Bank Arena.
The Thunderbirds were slow out of the blocks, as Bridgeport tallied the first five shots on goal and broke through on the scoresheet in the opening minutes. Just 3:25 into the period, Josh Ho-Sang drew a delayed penalty on an odd-man rush, but returned to his skates to shuffle a rebound past Harri Sateri to put Bridgeport on top 1-0.
After a feisty season series last season, the two teams continued to spat after most whistles in the opening period. Connor Jones, who caused a stir last year with a suspension-drawing hit on Jayce Hawryluk, once again through oil into the water when he boarded Curtis Valk from behind in the opening frame.
Springfield, however, would not be able to take advantage with the power play, and the teams went into the second with the score still showing 1-0 Sound Tigers.
The Thunderbirds would have a big chance to break back even with 18 seconds of 5-on-3 time to kick off the second, but Sound Tigers goalie Christopher Gibson and the Bridgeport penalty kill stiffened.
With the Springfield two-man advantage unsuccessful, the Sound Tigers gave their goaltender some extra support on back-to-back goals by Tanner Fritz and Casey Bailey just over five minutes apart.
Gibson, who shut out Providence the night before with 27 stops at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, would not need to sweat as much on this night, turning away just 13 pucks through two periods and ending the night with 23 saves.
Springfield did not go away quietly though as the third period progressed. Anthony Greco scored his third goal in three games on a broken play, locating the puck at his feet off a pass from Denis Malgin and finally beating Gibson at 9:54 of the final period.
Things got a little more dicey for the home team when Chase Balisy won a board battle on the right side and set up Alex Grenier for a one time ripper at 11:12 to cut the lead to 3-2.
Springfield scratched its way to some high-quality scoring chances in their quest to find the tying tally, but the Bridgeport penalty kill and Gibson rebounded to preserve the win. Springfield's power play went 0-for-6 on the night and came up empty with a 4-on-3 chance with the score 3-2 in the third.
The Thunderbirds round out the three-game weekend in Hartford as Springfield will rematch with the Wolf Pack for a 5:00 p.m. start. Springfield then returns home for the first of two season-long five-game homestands, beginning with a tangle with the Hershey Bears on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.