Dec 28, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (15-11-2-3) could not hold off the upstart Bridgeport Sound Tigers (20-9-4-1), dropping Friday night’s contest by a final score of 4-3 before a crowd of 6,023 at the MassMutual Center.


The Sound Tigers struck first at the 4:44 mark into the first period on the power play when Mike Sislo snapped the puck home from the left circle on a feed from Michael Dal Colle.


With a 5-on-3 power play of their own 10 minutes later, at the 15:28 mark, Dryden Hunt cleaned up a point blast from Ian McCoshen to tie the game, 1-1 heading into the first intermission.


The Thunderbirds opened the second period with some fast-paced play. At the 9:22 mark, operating on their fourth power play of the night, the T-Birds took a 2-1 lead when Joel Lowry dove to a diving puck near the crease to give Springfield a 2-1 lead. Jacob MacDonald took the initial shot from the right point to draw his first of two assists.


Bridgeport’s power play, though, would get the game equalized at 14:05. Just ten seconds into the man advantage, Mitch Vande Sompel snapped a one-timer through Sam Montembeault.


35 seconds later, the T-Birds retook the lead as Thomas Schemitsch jumped into the play in the left circle and threw one past Chris Gibson to make it 3-2.


With the period’s final seconds ticking away, the Sound Tigers tied it up, 3-3, when Parker Wotherspoon beat Montembeault on left point slapper with less than two seconds left in the period.


Bridgeport carried that momentum into the third to seal the game-winning tally, as Otto Koivula finished off a 3-on-1 rush by beating Montembeault at 7:13 to make it a 4-3 final. Michael Dal Colle picked up his third assist of the night on the game’s deciding play.


Montembeault finished with 19 saves, dropping his first start in regulation inside the MassMutual Center in 2018-19.


On Saturday, Springfield travels to Syracuse to take on the Crunch in the second of three over the weekend, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m. In the T-Birds next game, they travel to Hartford to face the Wolf Pack in their final game before the New Year, with puck drop scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.


Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit 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

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