3-Goal Blitz Pushes T-Birds to Victory at Sold Out MassMutual CenterApr 1, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (29-30-9-2) used a three-goal first period blitz to snap a six-game losing streak against the Providence Bruins (40-20-5-4) on Saturday, winning 3-2 in front of a third sellout crowd of 6,793 this season at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds did not get a high concentration of shots in the game's opening minutes, but they dented rookie goaltender Dan Vladar twice in rapid order.
Having gone pointless in his prior six games, MacKenzie Weegar put that drought to sleep with a boom, beating Vladar on a half-slapper from the right circle at 8:11 off assists from Jayce Hawryluk andAnthony Greco.
Weegar and the offense were not finished, though, and not even five minutes later, an unlikely source provided his first AHL goal, as Tony Turgeon jumped up into the play, and the rugged winger slid a backhander through Vladar's pads at 13:03, chasing the 19-year-old goalie out of the game and giving Springfield the 2-0 lead.
Turgeon would not be finished. Just 3:50 later, he set up in almost an identical spot in the slot and tipped a Weegar point shot past Malcolm Subban to close the book on a three-goal first period for Springfield.
The Bruins showed they had plenty of bite back in the second period, with their leading scorer and former Springfield Falcon doing the damage. Jordan Szwarz brought Providence back to within two at 3-1 with his first of the night on a one-timer from rookie Charlie McAvoy at 7:44 of the period.
Szwarz would not be done though, and he fired home a second one-timer off an end-board feed from Danton Heinen at 17:04. The Bruins outshot Springfield 10-8 in the second, with Subban stopping all eight Springfield shots that came his way in his first full period of action on the night.
Providence threw everything they could at Brittain's net in the third period, but the Thunderbirds goaltender had every answer, making 16 saves over the final 20 minutes to preserve the victory on a night when the Thunderbirds mustered 25 shots to Providence's 34.
Springfield has now won nine of its last 11 games inside the MassMutual Center. They next take to the ice on Tuesday morning for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' school day game at 11:00 a.m. ET. The Thunderbirds are next on home ice on Wednesday, April 12 against the Bruins, with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Earn your wings with Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships, which start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey and brand new Collectors Mug. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.