AMERICANS EARN SPLIT OF SEASON SERIES WITH T-BIRDSFeb 8, 2019
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (21-19-6-4) could not overcome a stout defensive effort from the Rochester Americans (29-13-3-2) in a 7-1 loss on Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena.
The Thunderbirds’ penalty kill was put to the test before the game was even a minute old, but with Dryden Hunt in the box for boarding, the Springfield kill got the job done, thanks in large part to starting netminder Chris Driedger, who was locked in through the opening 20 minutes, stopping all nine shots he saw while fighting through numerous screens. The PK had to come up big a second time in the opening six minutes with Jamie McGinn serving penalty time, and again the unit kept the game scoreless.
At the other end, Springfield received two reciprocated power play chances near the midway point of the period, but could not squeak one through Scott Wedgewood in the Rochester goal crease. The Amerks’ goalie stopped all seven shots he saw in the opening 20 minutes.
The middle period was even more defensive-minded, with only seven total shots registered on the two nets. However, Rochester took advantage of their quality chances. First, Scott Wilson opened the scoring by setting up in front of Driedger and deflecting a Matt Tennyson shot into the twine to make it 1-0 at 8:12.
The Americans’ offense drew second blood at 12:16 on another simple offensive zone setup. Danny O’Regan carried the puck around the left side of the net and filtered a feed into the slot, which Victor Olofsson blasted through Driedger to push the lead to 2-0.
At the other end, Springfield managed only three second period shots, with Wedgewood denying Matt Marcinew on a bang-bang punch shot from the slot on the Thunderbirds’ best chance in the frame.
With the momentum firmly on their side, the Americans controlled the third period from the onset. Olofsson potted his second at 1:33 on a one-time feed from Rasmus Asplund.
Just 1:17 later, Wayne Simpson cruised down the slot and snapped a wrister through Driedger to make it 4-0. Even the Thunderbirds power play could not stop the bleeding, as Rochester connected on a 3-on-5 shorthanded goal at 6:39, and Olofsson completed his hat trick with a breakaway backhander at 4-on-5 at 7:20.
Tyler Randell rounded out the scoring on a high tip at 9:14 before Matt Mangene broke up Wedgewood’s shutout bid at the 14:53 mark.
The Thunderbirds have a quick turnaround, with a 4:00 p.m. puck drop looming in Toronto on Saturday against the Marlies.
For tickets and more information about Springfield Thunderbirds tickets or ticket packages, visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).