ROAD SWING CONTINUES WEDNESDAY @ LEHIGH VALLEYJan 15, 2019
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (18-13-5-3) continue a four-game road trip on Wednesday night when they pay a visit to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (20-15-1-2) inside the PPL Center with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m.
It is the final game of the 2018-19 season series between the two division rivals. The Thunderbirds are 2-1-1-1 against Lehigh Valley through the first five contests, with the Phantoms taking a 4-3 overtime decision on Jan. 6 in the prior meeting at Springfield.
The two previous meetings inside the PPL Center have produced lopsided margins of victory. Springfield put up seven tallies, while Sam Montembeault recorded his first shutout of 2018-19 in the Thunderbirds' first victory of the season, a 7-0 triumph on Oct. 12. The Phantoms got their revenge less than a month later, rattling off eight tallies in an 8-2 win on Nov. 9.
Former Springfield Falcon and AHL All-Star selection Greg Carey has led the way for Lehigh Valley in the season series, scoring five times in five games against the Thunderbirds. Meanwhile, the T-Birds have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the AHL, led by captain Paul Thompson and alternate captain Harry Zolnierczyk, who are tied for the team lead with 30 points each.
The Thunderbirds' power play remains the story of Springfield's offensive success in 2018-19. After 39 games, the man advantage unit has already scored 53 times and converted on a whopping 26.5% of their power play chances. Each of those marks are top billing in the league to date. The Thunderbirds' power play has also scored in ten consecutive games, as well as in 17 of their past 19 contests.
Entering Wednesday's action, Sebastian Repo has been the most potent Thunderbird goal scorer of late, potting power play goals in each of his last four games. Should he score against Lehigh Valley, the Finnish-born winger would tie Anthony Greco's club record with goals in five consecutive games.
Springfield snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win on Sunday in Providence against the Bruins. The victory also ended a string of six straight overtime visits without a win for the T-Birds. Montembeault, who along with Greco was named to the AHL All-Star Classic earlier this month, picked up the win in net by stopping 32 of 34 shots to equal his win total from all of 2017-18 at 13.
Following the conclusion of the season series with the Phantoms, the Thunderbirds return back to New England for a pair of nearby road matchups with two more divisional opponents. Springfield visits the Providence Bruins again on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts Center before making the short hike south to Hartford to face the Wolf Pack on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds 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.