MONTEMBEAULT MARVELOUS IN VALIANT EFFORTJan 21, 2018
Providence, RI – The Springfield Thunderbirds (19-22-1-1) received a record-setting performance from their rookie goaltender, but the offense went quiet as the Providence Bruins (24-13-3-1) came away with a 2-0 win at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Thunderbirds would lean heavily on Sam Montembeault in the first period as the Bruins outshot Springfield 19-6 in the first 20 minutes, a period that saw no power plays either way. After being removed from Friday's game by giving up three goals on just 11 shots in 22 minutes, Montembeault responded well to keep his team even through the first frame.
Period two would bring more of the same for Montembeault, as well as Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre. The T-Birds earned the game's first two power plays in the second, but Springfield could not take the lead and the score stayed 0-0.
At the other end, the Bruins could not beat Montemebeault in the second despite their best efforts and another 13 shots on the net. They would start the third with a minute of 5-on-3 power play time without connecting as Montembeault and the Springfield kill continued to stifle the Bruins.
The Bruins would get a third power play chance past the nine minute mark of the third, and even though the man advantage did not connect, Providence's continuous offensive pressure would finally pay off. Out of a scramble to the right of Montembeault's net, Ryan Fitzgerald fell to his side, but still managed to slide the puck toward the crease, and it caromed in off the Springfield goaltender to break the tie at 13:08 of the final period.
Springfield would up the ante in the Providence zone looking to avoid its first shutout loss of the season, pulling Montembeault in the final minute for an extra skater. Maxim Mamin found himself alone to the right of McIntyre with the tying goal on his stick, but his shot caught the post. At the other end, Jordan Szwarz sealed the Providence win with an empty-net goal in the final 20 seconds.
Despite taking the loss, Montembeault shook off his rough Friday night with a franchise record 46-save performance. McIntyre picked up his second consecutive shutout for the Bruins, stopping all 27 shots he faced.
The Thunderbirds begin a home-and-home series on the road on Wednesday night when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com 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 www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.