Sateri's 36 Saves Snap T-Birds Losing StreakFeb 18, 2018
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (23-28-2-1) received a spectacular performance from their netminder and came away with a 3-2 win over the Providence Bruins (30-17-3-2) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.
The Thunderbirds finally got the game opening goal that eluded them in each of the prior five games. It took just 3:26 for Springfield to beat the staunch Zane McIntyre, with Thomas Schemitsch snapping a forehander over McIntyre's glove hand to make it 1-0 off a feed from Curtis Valk.
At the other end, Harri Sateri made all seven saves asked of him in his first period in the AHL since Dec. 3, including all stops through two Providence power plays. Both teams went 0-for-2 on first period power plays, equalling the total number of power play chances between the two teams in Friday's overtime affair in Springfield.
The Bruins came out with a purpose to start the second and got the game evened up just 2:03 into the second period. Ryan Fitzgerald was the beneficiary of his second goal in two games against the Thunderbirds, picking up a rebound off of Sateri's left pad and stuffing it upstairs to tie the score.
The second period saw the continued parade to the penalty box for both teams, but only Springfield would be able to strike, answering the Fitzgerald equalizer just 4:16 later. Anthony Greco held onto the puck at the right point and fired a slap pass into the high slot, where Valk tipped a high-arching puck over McIntyre's grasp to give Springfield a 2-1 lead at 6:19.
Sateri proved to be big as a house from there, helping the Springfield penalty killers defend all five Providence power play chances through 40 minutes of play. Early in the third, his troops in front of him gave him some insurance as Ryan Horvat crashed the net to beat McIntyre on a third successive rebound to make it a 3-1 game at 5:42.
The Thunderbirds were outshot 31-11 in the final two periods, but Sateri turned away 29 of those shots en route to the win. Providence would dent him one more time on a power play goal by Josh Hennessy with less than 3:30 to play, but the Bruins were unsuccessful on their seventh and final man advantage chance, failing to tie the score with McIntyre pulled in the closing seconds.
It was Sateri's sixth win in his last seven Springfield starts, and his first win with the Thunderbirds in nearly two months. The Thunderbirds return to the MassMutual Center for their next contest on Friday, Feb. 23 against the Charlotte Checkers at 7:05 p.m.
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.