Brick Wall Berra Stands Tall Again For 2nd ShutoutOct 30, 2016
(Photo Courtesy Jon Tenca/Puck Stopper Photography)
Bridgeport, CT – The Springfield Thunderbirds (5-2-0) took an early 1-0 lead and held on late thanks to a dazzling performance from Reto Berra in a 2-0 shutout win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-3-0) at the Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
For the second straight meeting with Bridgeport, the Thunderbirds had the better of the play in the opening half of the first period, with seven shots out of the game's first eight attempts. On shot number seven on this night, though, the Thunderbirds found the twine.
For the third time this season, the Thunderbirds took advantage of a goaltender's misplay to pick up a first period goal, as this time Stephon Williams stepped behind his goal to play the puck. Anthony Grecomet him at the puck in the trapezoid, knocking the paddle out of Williams' grasp and simultaneously centering the puck to the slot. From there, Juho Lammikko crashed the center lane and immediately funneled the puck into the empty net to get the ice-breaker at 10:21 of the first.
Two weeks after only needing to make 17 saves in the first victory in club history in Bridgeport, Reto Berra once again had an uneventful first period, with just five stops required in a period that saw no power plays for either side.
The Thunderbirds had chances to extend the lead in the second period. Bridgeport lost its discipline by taking four minor penalties in the span of just over seven minutes. However, Williams and the Sound Tigers defense stymied the Springfield power play, including on a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities.
Bridgeport also had its first two power play chances of the afternoon, but they also failed to get anything past Berra, two nights after they scored two power play tallies against Berra in a 5-1 win Friday at the MassMutual Center.
Berra's only real test in the middle frame came as a result of Berra's own mistake, as he turned the puck over on a pass up the middle of the ice, only to recover and get the pad along the ice to deny Andrew Rowe on a quick wrist shot bid.
The third period would be a different story for Berra, as the Sound Tigers threw shots on Berra from all angles in all situations. The 6-foot-4 goaltender flashed his athleticism on deflection tries, long range point shots through traffic, and survived over a minute of 5-on-3 time for Bridgeport in the game's final four minutes en route to 15 third period stops and a 28-save shutout performance.
Berra improved his personal marks to 3-1-0 on the season with two shutouts, while allowing just six goals in his four starts. He has allowed just one goal in two starts at Webster Bank Arena this season.
Logan Shaw provided the final exclamation point of insurance for Springfield with just 1.7 seconds remaining in the game to put a bow on Berra's perfect night.
After finishing their first three-game-in-three-night series with a 2-1-0 record, the Thunderbirds are back on home ice next Friday, Nov. 4 against the Hershey Bears for T-Birds Bobble Election Night presented by MassLive. Figurines of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton outfitted in T-Birds gear will be available to fans upon entry, and the first bobblehead to sell out will be declared the winner of the inaugural T-Birds Bobble Election.
Next Friday is also the second installment of $1 Night and the Pregame Concert Series presented by MGM Springfield featuring musical performances by John & Christine Cantalini. Through the start of the second period, hot dogs, sodas, and popcorn will be sold for just one dollar.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).