Rugged Effort Results in 3-2 Win over PhantomsNov 17, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, MA - In their second matchup in as many weeks and fourth overall this season, the Springfield Thunderbirds (9-4-0-2) defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-5-1-1) thanks in large part to the work in net by Michael Hutchinson (9-4-1-1) and two third period goals by Jake Horton and Micheal Haley on Saturday night at MassMutual Center in front of a crowd 6,018.
Springfield would have to play from behind at the start, as the Phantoms got on the board courtesy of an unassisted goal by T.J. Brennan who tallied his sixth goal of the season on a slap shot from the left wing side.
The Thunderbirds did not take long to answer. Four seconds after Lehigh Valley’s Mikhail Vorobyev was called for holding, Joel Lowry picked up his fourth goal of the season on the power play, tying the score at 1-1 and beating Phantoms goaltender Carter Hart on the glove side with a redirection of a Thomas Schemitsch point shot. The goal came just 33 seconds after Brennan’s strike.
Despite being outshot 11-7 in the first period, the Thunderbirds held the advantage on special teams killing off every penalty they committed and going 1-for-1 on the power play in the first period. Included in that penalty killing effort was a 1:05 stretch of two-man disadvantage time.
Hutchinson and Lehigh Valley goaltending counterpart Carter Hart were each perfect in the second period. At the end of the second, the score remained tied into the final period, marking only the fourth time all season a T-Birds game entered the third period tied.
For the second night in a row, Springfield came out of an intermission break with a mad push at the Phantoms goal. Springfield finally broke the 1-1 tie at 2:21 when Ian McCoshen took a wrist shot from point that skittered off Hart’s pads to Horton, who tapped it home and for his third goal of the season, giving the T-Birds their first lead of the night by a tally of 2-1.
1:37 later, Springfield scored again in a similar fashion. This time Henrik Borgstrom took an initial shot with Haley picking up the rebound and pushing it home past Hart to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead. Anthony Greco picked up a secondary assist on the play.
Lehigh Valley would not go down quietly. With less than four minutes to play and operating on their fifth power play, Greg Carey scored to cut the T-Birds lead to 3-2, accepting a feed from Brennan in the right circle and wristing it by Hutchinson. The Phantoms took a flurry of shots on Hutchinson and generated a few chances in the closing minutes, but Hutchinson and the Springfield defense stood tall and shut the door for their second win in four games against the Phantoms on the season.
After a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Thunderbirds complete their five-game homestand with matchups on Black Friday against the Penguins and Saturday against the Syracuse Crunch. Each game will drop the puck at 7:05 p.m.
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.