Jan 6, 2018
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (14-21-1-1) ran into a buzzsaw in the form of the Providence Bruins (22-9-3-0) in front of a sold out MassMutual Center on Saturday night, falling 6-2.
The start of the night would not be pleasant for the Thunderbirds, as Providence opened the scoring just 3:01 into the game, with Kenny Agostino batting a rebound past Sam Montembeault to put the Bruins in front.
As the period reached the midway mark, the Bruins got another one, with a former Boston regular creating the damage. In his second game down on an assignment from the NHL club, Anders Bjork cashed in on a one timer at 9:58. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson circled the net and swung a perfect cross-crease pass to Bjork, who tapped it home from the right side to make it 2-0.
Montembeault's night would have an early conclusion this time. First, the Thunderbirds saw themselves shorthanded for four minutes. Then at 11:27, Jordan Szwarz tipped a Jakub Zboril shot past the rookie goalie on the far side of the ice. That made it a 3-0 lead for the Bruins and spelled the start of Evan Cowley's evening.
The rookie from the University of Denver was phenomenal right from the get-go, stopping Austin Czarnik on a dangerous one timer in his early moments en route to a 28-save performance in relief of Montembeault.
The shorthanded T-Birds got the Bruins one step closer to Providence in the final minute of the first, asAnthony Greco moved in all alone from the defensive zone blue line following a heads-up defensive read by Rob Hamilton. Greco's first shot was kicked out by Binnington, but with the puck coming right back to him, Greco shoveled it into the top-shelf to make it a 3-1 game at 19:24 in the first.
The second period saw both Cowley and Binnington have a perfect frame, with Binnington making 10 saves and Cowley stopping all 13 that came his direction.
After Springfield rang a couple of pucks off post in the second, the Bruins finally escaped the danger and got some extra insurance in the third when Tommy Cross beat Cowley at 3:20 to make it 4-1. Forsbacka-Karlsson added another one just 1:43 later to make it a 5-1 score.
Before time would expire, Jayce Hawryluk extended his point streak to four games, beating Binnington at 10:57 off a feed from Hamilton.
Szwarz ended his night with a second goal on Cowley on a breakaway at 15:49 to make it 6-2 for the final score. Five different Bruins tallied multi-point nights en route to the win, their fifth in six games against the Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds head back to the road for a trio of games away from Springfield next week, beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 10 in Hershey for a 7:00 puck drop against the Bears.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit 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
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