Nov 14, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In their first matchup since the first game of the season, the Springfield Thunderbirds (7-4-0-2) fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (8-5-1-1) on Wednesday morning by a final score of 5-1 before a crowd of 6,335 at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds had no shortage of scoring chances in the first period, including a series of three shots on goal from point-blank range with six minutes to play, but they were unable to solve Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, however, struck first with Jarrett Burton connecting for his first goal of the season.
At 16:25 of the first period, Burton created some traffic in front of the Springfield net and redirected a shot from the right point by Stefan Elliott, who eluded Harry Zolnierczyk by deking to Zolnierczyk’s left. The tip gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
1:08 later, the Penguins took a 2-0 lead when Linus Olund banged home a centering feed by Teddy Blueger from behind the T-Birds net. Ryan Haggerty picked up a secondary assist on the goal.
After holding the T-Birds held the Penguins scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the second period, the Penguins took a 3-0 lead on a goal by Anthony Angello, who banged home another feed from behind Hutchinson’s net, this time from Derek Grant. Thomas Di Pauli picked up the secondary assist on the play.
Late in the second period, captain Paul Thompson marched into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone and took a shot on Jarry. Thompson’s shot beat the goaltender on the glove side, but whistled off the post and wide to the right of Jarry.
After the first two periods, Springfield had 20 shots on goal, but even so, through 40 minutes they were still unable to solve the Penguins goaltender.
At 18:21 into the third period, with their goalie pulled and operating on a 6-on-4 power play, the Thunderbirds got on the board thanks to a goal by Lowry. He poked home a rebound to break up the shutout to make it 3-1. Thompson took the initial shot that hit off Jarry’s pads and deflected to Lowry who snuck it past the Penguin goalie. Zolnierczyk picked up a secondary assist.
14 seconds later, however, with Hutchinson still pulled, Jarry picked up a dump-in from his defensive zone and chucked it down the ice towards the empty net and scored his first career goal. It was the first goaltender goal in the history of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise.
At 19:24, the Penguins sealed the T-Birds’ fate on a goal by Jimmy Hayes, who beat Hutchinson on a blocker-side deke. Adam Johnson and Sam Lafferty picked up helpers on the play.
The Thunderbirds look to bounce back when they take on the Rochester Americans in the second game of a five-game homestand at 7:05 p.m.
2018 Winner of NBC’s “The Voice” and Longmeadow native, Brynn Cartelli, will perform the National Anthem and will hold a meet-and-greet from 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.
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