McIntyre, Bruins Blank T-Birds to End Win Streak at 5Feb 26, 2017
Providence, RI- The Springfield Thunderbirds (22-24-7-2) could not find offensive magic and saw their five game win streak come to an end at the hands of the Providence Bruins (33-14-5-4) in a 3-0 loss on Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Much like Mike McKenna on Saturday, it would be the Springfield goaltender who found himself in the spotlight in the first period, as Reto Berra was tested early and often as the Bruins went to a power play less than three minutes into the game.
The Thunderbirds penalty kill, which only needed to go to work one time on Saturday, once again held their ground to keep it a tie game. However, at 5-on-5, the Bruins had another glorious chance to open the scoring when Danton Heinen picked up the puck all alone in center and moved in on Berra. His backhand bid did not fool the Springfield goalie, though, as Berra slid to his left to keep the game scoreless.
The Bruins then saw a potential disaster unfold in their own zone when Zane McIntyre left his crease, only to see the puck kick off the corner boards into the slot area. Juho Lammikko approached the empty net, but the puck would not cooperate as it bounced and skipped wide of the yawning cage.
After giving up 10 of the game’s first 12 shots, the Thunderbirds’ play improved as the period wore on, with Springfield registering seven of the period’s final ten shots on net, but McIntyre and Berra remained perfect.
Disciplinary issues would end up haunting the Thunderbirds in the second when Paul Thompson andIan McCoshen took overlapping minor penalties less than a minute apart midway through the frame. After killing off the 5-on-3 portion of the Bruin power play, Providence finally broke the ice on their 28th shot attempt when Joe Morrow lobbed a wrister through a screen and past Berra at 15:11. Berra was phenomenal otherwise, turning away 17 of 18 shots he faced in the second period.
Springfield saw the door cracked open for them late in the period when Sean Kuraly picked up a minor penalty at 16:42, but the succeeding power play was abruptly halted on another Springfield penalty. The Thunderbirds had only 16 shots through 40 minutes on McIntyre.
The Bruins’ checking would prove to be too much in the third period for Springfield, and Matt Grzelcyk gave Providence a 2-0 lead with a slapper at 9:38 of the final period. With the Thunderbirds desperately trying to find offense, instead the Bruins added the final score of the night when Colton Hargrove wedged one through Berra at 15:55.
In the loss, Berra’s 39-save effort set a Thunderbirds franchise record for stops in a game.
The Thunderbirds are next on the ice on Friday for Bruce Landon Legacy Night, presented by Teddy Bear Pools and Spas & Insurance Center of New England. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 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.