I-91 Rivalry Comes to Springfield Friday

Dec 30, 2016
(Photo Courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack)
Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (11-12-4-2) begin a busy home stretch on Friday night, with 10 of their next 14 games coming at the MassMutual Center, against the Hartford Wolf Pack (11-15-3-1) for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop. 
The two clubs have split the prior two meetings in the season series, both at the XL Center in Hartford. The Wolf Pack came away with a 3-2 shootout victory on Nov. 16, while the Thunderbirds exacted an ounce of payback with a 4-2 win on Dec. 7. 
Mike McKenna, who has started three of the last four Springfield games, picked up the victory on Dec. 7 by making 32 stops in the win. The Thunderbirds were paced offensively by Tim Bozon's game-winning goal and sparked by Joey Diamond's first goal as a Thunderbird, which came in the winger's first game with Springfield this season.
With Brent Regner and MacKenzie Weegar returning to action earlier this week, the Thunderbirds now also expect to see the return of Brody Sutter to game action. Sutter played in only three games with the Thunderbirds before suffering an injury on Oct. 21 in Wilkes-Barre. The 6-foot-5-inch center has a goal and an assist in his three games this season, including the game-winning goal in the Thunderbirds' first ever win on Oct. 16 at Bridgeport.
The Wolf Pack come into play tonight just two points back of the Thunderbirds for sixth place in the Atlantic Division. After starting their season a putrid 5-10-3-0, the Wolf Pack has turned things around of late, going 6-5-0-1 in their last 12 games, including a four-game winning streak from Dec. 16 to Dec. 26. 
The two clubs will be very familiar with one another in the second half of the regular season. After tonight's meeting, Springfield and Hartford will not meet again until Feb. 10, but will play seven times between that date and the season finale on April 15. 

Tonight marks another MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series, featuring Livio Gravini and John Cantalini. It is also $1 Night, with hot dogs, sodas, and popcorn costing just $1 through the start of period two. Also debuting tonight are $4 Coors Light draft beers, available during Friday night home games.

Tickets are available by visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or by calling (413) 739-GOAL. 

Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds 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) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.

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