Sateri Shines in 2-1 Win in BellevilleApr 4, 2018
BELLEVILLE, ONT - The Springfield Thunderbirds (30-34-5-2) had a fantastic night on special teams and received an equally phenomenal performance in their net in a 2-1 victory over the Belleville Senators (26-40-2-3) on Wednesday night at the Yardmen Arena.
The Thunderbirds' special teams were the superstars in a first period that saw Springfield go shorthanded three times, but succeed on each chance against the young Senators.
Springfield, on the other hand, would get just one first period power play, but they would make sure it mattered. Curtis Valk took a setup from Dryden Hunt in the left wing circle, curled and dragged the puck to the middle of the ice, and snapped a wrister through 19-year-old Belleville goaltender Filip Gustavsson to make it a 1-0 game at 7:43 of the first.
At the other end, a big reason why Belleville's power play could not dent the scoresheet was the play of Thunderbirds goaltender Harri Sateri, who made 10 saves in his first period of play since his 39-save shutout performance last Friday night in Springfield against the Sound Tigers.
Sateri remained the star in a scoreless second period as the Thunderbirds' penalty kill continued to stymie Belleville with two more successful penalties killed. His best stop may have come off an odd-man denial of rookie Andrew Sturtz from point blank range. The veteran netminder had 22 stops through 40 minutes.
Sturtz had another wonderful chance to tie the score in the closing moments of the third, but Sateri again flashed the glove hand to make the save to keep it a 1-0 score.
Even though the T-Birds could not generate much at 5-on-5, they would add insurance, finally, in the last three minutes when a Tim Erixon power play wrister beat Gustavsson at the 17:43 mark of the third to make it 2-0.
Gabriel Gagne broke up Sateri's shutout just 10 seconds later to make the final moments a bit dicey for Springfield, but in the end, Sateri's 33 saves proved to be just enough to get the Thunderbirds their first road win since March 4.
Springfield next moves on to Laval for its first trip to Place Bell against the Rocket on Friday; puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Thunderbirds return home on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 for Fan Appreciation Weekend, featuring the final 3-2-1 Friday and MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series to start the weekend. Then on Saturday, the fun begins at Court Square from 4-6 p.m. for a Block Party, presented by Community Bank. Then inside, there will be 2,500 Boomer Bobbleheads as a special giveaway, compliments of Stop & Shop.
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 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.