Bruins Prevail in Preseason FinaleSep 28, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Springfield Thunderbirds completed their preseason schedule on Saturday night, falling by a final score of 8-1 to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
After jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead on Friday night on home ice, the Thunderbirds wasted little time taking the lead on Saturday on the road. After Adam Larkin drew a tripping minor in the game’s opening 2:05, Patrick Bajkov cashed in with a power play wrister from the right circle to make it 1-0 at 3:36 of the opening frame.
The Bruins put themselves behind the eight ball with two overlapping penalties later in the first, which gave the Thunderbirds a brief 5-on-3. However, goaltender Kyle Keyser and the Bruins defense stiffened to keep the score at 1-0.
Moments after the penalty time ended, the Bruins got back even as Joona Koppanen threw a puck at Chris Driedger’s crease and successfully caromed it through the Springfield goalie at 12:12 to deadlock the game, 1-1.
Providence broke the tie when Cooper Zech sneaked into the slot from his defense perch, took a low-to-high feed from Ryan Fitzgerald, and snapped it under the crossbar on the glove side of Driedger. The tiebreaking goal came at 16:48 of the first to make it 2-1 into the first intermission.
Providence threatened late in the period to add to their lead, as both Matthew Wedman and Will Lochead were penalized simultaneously for minor penalties with 35 seconds remaining. However, Cliff Pu bailed his teammates out when he drew a penalty on Providence’s Paul Carey just 22 seconds later. Springfield escaped the first with just the 2-1 deficit.
While Springfield escaped without further harm on the Providence power plays, the Bruins did explode in the second period for a second straight night. Koppanen, Alex Petrovic, Paul Carey, and Samuel Asselin all added to the Providence lead in the middle stanza. Ryan Fitzgerald and Zech would add on goals in the final period.
The regular season begins with Opening Night presented by MGM Springfield on Saturday, Oct. 5 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Action begins at 7:05 p.m., but fans are encouraged to arrive downtown early for the Community Bank N.A. pregame block party at 4:00 p.m. at Court Square in Springfield. The party will feature food and drink, as well as a live music performance by Blood Brothers.
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.