Jan 10, 2018
Hershey, PA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (15-21-1-1) received a stellar night from their rookie netminder and received a clutch contribution from a veteran spark plug in a 2-1 win over the Hershey Bears (17-16-2-3) at the Giant Center on Wednesday night.
The night began with the Thunderbirds on their heels in the defensive zone, allowing the first six shots of the contest while allowing three Hershey power plays in the game's opening 14 minutes. Even with the power play chances, though, the Bears would see Springfield take the edge.
On the second shorthanded situation of the period for Springfield, Alex Grenier moved down the right wing alongside Juho Lammikko on an odd-man rush. Hershey goalie Pheonix Copley cheated toward the near post anticipating a pass, just as Grenier fired a wrist shot into the upper portion of the goal. Grenier's first goal of 2018 made it 1-0 at 7:50.
At the other end, Sam Montembeault earned his 10th consecutive start despite being relieved of his net in his last outing on Saturday. He responded with a strong opening frame, denying all 10 shots from Hershey's attack to lead the Thunderbirds to a perfect 3-for-3 penalty kill in the first.
´╗┐Period two brought much of the same in the Springfield zone, with Montembeault continuing to stymie the Hershey attack, making seven more stops to make it through two periods perfect.
At the other end, the Thunderbirds had another power play chance late in the period, but Copley made the necessary denials to keep the 1-0 score. Newcomer Greg Chase had one of the better Springfield chances from the right circle, but Copley looked through a screen to turn it away with the right leg pad.
´╗┐Hershey put forth a vicious third period attack on the Springfield net, logging 17 shots in the final 20 minutes. They finally beat Montembeault with just over five minutes to play when Dustin Gazley one-timed a perfect pass home from John Albert to tie the score, 1-1.
With regulation concluding, Montembeault and his 33 saves got Springfield to the extra period. In the extra frame, Pheonix Copley came out of his net to the left-wing corner to try to cover up the puck.Bobby Farnham bolted in after it to knock it loose, nudging Copley in the process.
With the Hershey goaltender scrambling to his net, the puck came out to Rob Hamilton at the center point. He, in turn, found Farnham to the left of the netminder and stashed home a turnaround shot to end the game three minutes into the extra period.
Springfield and Hershey have now split the season series, 2-2, with the visiting team winning each of the four contests. The Thunderbirds' road trip continues on Friday in a matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center at 7:05 p.m. before continuing to Providence on Sunday for a tangle with the Bruins.
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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