Hunt's Hat Trick Caps Off 9-Goal ExplosionNov 16, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (8-4-0-2) set a franchise record for goals in a period and goals in a game as they trounced the Rochester Americans (10-4-1-0) for a 9-4 win on Friday night at the MassMutual Center.
The historic night did not start perfectly for the Thunderbirds, though. At 7:03 in the first period, Rochester got on the board first on a goal by Kevin Porter who beat Montembeault on the blocker side off a 2-on-1 rush. Lawrence Pilut was credited with the assist.
Almost ten minutes at 15:46, Henrik Borgstrom hit a streaking Dryden Hunt, who had just gotten out of the penalty box, in stride. Hunt continued down the ice in breakaway fashion and beat Rochester goaltender Scott Wedgewood on the glove side with a backhander to tie the score at 1-1 late in the first period.
The T-Birds came out with a fire in their hearts in the second period, scoring a team-record seven goals in the period alone, with the first five goals coming in the first 5:29 of the second period.
The first goal came at 1:10 off the stick of Jacob MacDonald who slapped a loose puck from the left point home and into the open side. Anthony Greco and Micheal Haley both picked up helpers on the play. MacDonald’s rip put the Thunderbirds ahead for the first time, 2-1.
59 seconds later, Springfield added another goal to make it 3-1. Captain Paul Thompson registered the tally on the power play, who banged home a feed from Thomas Schemitsch from the goal line.MacDonald picked up a secondary assist on the play.
Just 52 more seconds later, Julian Melchiori cranked a one-time feed from Jonathan Ang over the shoulder of Wedgewood to make it 4-1 at 3:01.
After the Melchiori strike, Rochester replaced Wedgewood with Adam Wilcox. 33 seconds later, though, the T-Birds continued to pour on the goals. The lead grew to 5-1 when Bobby Farnham knocked a rebound into a yawning net for his first goal of the season. Blaine Byron and Jake Horton picked up the assists on the tally with great work around the net.
Hunt then took over, completing his second career hat trick in the process. First, Hunt got a step in behind the defense off a feed from Riley Stillman and beat Wilcox through the legs at 5:29 to make it 6-1.
Another 3:57 later, Hunt completed his marvelous night by redirecting a Stillman point shot over the glove of Wilcox to make it a 7-1 game.
Springfield was still not finished, though. At 12:47, Thompson scored his second goal of the game when he caught a pass from Hunt, gloved it down to the ice and wristed a breakaway shot past Wilcox, making it 8-1. It marked the end to the most prolific period of action in Thunderbirds history – seven goals on 16 second period shots.
Rochester would score three unanswered goals, off the sticks of C.J. Smith and Zach Redmond in the second, and off the blade of Alex Nylander in the third, but the goals would be in vain.
MacDonald rounded out the scoring for the T-Bird late in the third, wristing a power play shot through Wilcox at 13:19.
On the heels of their recording-breaking performance on Friday, the Thunderbirds look to get revenge against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. The Phantoms have taken the last two games in the season series, including a 5-4 shootout win on Oct. 13 for Thunderbirds home opening night.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.