Bears Score 3 Unanswered to Steal Game from T-BirdsDec 29, 2017
Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (13-19-1-1) took a one-goal lead into the first intermission, but the Hershey Bears (15-16-0-3) stormed back to take a 4-2 triumph over the Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
The Thunderbirds would race out to the hot start with the first five shots on net and the first dent on the scoresheet, with Maxim Mamin finding himself the beneficiary on a swinging cross-ice pass from Tim Erixon at 8:17. The winger positioned himself at the right post, and Erixon saw him out of the corner of his eye across the ice. The goal was Mamin's first point after going four games without making it onto the scoresheet.
The Bears would respond to get things even less than four minutes later, as Travis Boyd positioned himself to the right of Sam Montembeault, and Aaron Ness found the Hershey center away from a maze of bodies to help the Bears tie the score at 12:06 on Boyd's seventh of the season.
Springfield would once again have a reply before the period was up, however. This time, Mamin was the distributor as he collected the puck on the right side off a feed from Jayce Hawryluk. With his fellow winger moving toward the left post, Mamin slid a pass toward the paint. With a stroke of good luck, Hawryluk guided the puck off his skate and past Pheonix Copley in the Hershey net to restore Springfield's lead on his first goal since Dec. 9. The tally at 16:32 made it 2-1 to close the first period.
The Thunderbirds would continue to lead the Bears in shot margin in the second period, but the scoreboard provided little solace to Springfield, as Hershey scored two in the middle period to take its first lead of the night. It was Ness on the set-up again at 4:42 of the period, this time moving to his left. With Wayne Simpson crashing the near pipe, Ness feathered a pass to the top of the crease, where Simpson tipped it past Montembeault for his seventh of the season to tie the score, 2-2.
More than half the period would tick on by before the Bears would take their first lead. Chris Bourque, who already had two assists on the night, carried the puck over the middle of the Springfield zone before whipping a rink-wide feed to the near side. Mathias Bau instantly ripped the one timer into the top part of the net to give Hershey a 3-2 edge heading into the third, despite the Bears being outshot 20-14 through 40 minutes.
The Bears locked things down in the third period, holding Springfield to just eight shots in the final period. With Springfield trying to claw back to even terms, a penalty gave Hershey an opening with a late power play, and Riley Barber beat Montembeault on a backhander in close to provide the finishing shot in the 4-2 win with just 1:09 to play.
After finishing their homestand 3-1-0-1, the Thunderbirds play five of their next six contests away from home, beginning with a Saturday night matchup in Hartford against the Wolf Pack. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.