T-Birds Again Erase Deficit in OT Win vs. BruinsNov 12, 2017
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (4-11-1-0) erased another multiple goal second period deficit, outlasting the Providence Bruins (7-4-2-0) by a final score of 4-3 at the MassMutual Center Sunday afternoon.
The special teams would have to be special in the first period for Springfield, as the T-Birds took three minor penalties in the first 13 minutes, including a 1:19 stretch of two-man advantage time for the Bruins.
However, the Bruins would do no damage, as Harri Sateri stopped all 16 Providence shots in the first period, and the penalty killers in front of the Springfield goaltender closed off the passing lanes for a dangerous Providence man-up unit.
Springfield would have just one power play chance in the first period, and the Thunderbirds made it count. After ex-Thunderbird Sena Acolatse took a cross-checking minor, the Springfield power play struck just 21 seconds later, with Blaine Byron shuffling a backhander over Jordan Binnington after Alex Grenier hit Curtis Valk on the left wing. Valk's shot caught iron, and Byron picked up the loose change to push Springfield to the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Thunderbirds penalty killers again were thrust into duty in the final minute of the first and drifting into the opening moments of the second. Springfield was successful on that occasion to maintain the 1-0 lead, but the Bruins would exact some payback with a three-goal blitz in a 5:21 span in the second.
It began with Ryan Fitzgerald beating Sateri, filling in as the trailer on a pass from Zach Senyshyn to tie the score at 13:11. Then the Bruins power play finally broke through on its fifth attempt. Acolatse let a one-timer rip from the left circle, hitting Sateri before sitting at the side of the net, and Senyshyn set up Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson on the right wing side to put Providence on top 2-1.
The Bruins attack would get some added insurance at 18:32 when Senyshyn and Forsbacka-Karlsson freed up a loose puck in the offensive zone, and Emil Johansson filled in on the rush from the left point to beat Sateri with a snapper over the glove to make it 3-1.
Just when it looked like the game could escape Springfield, the Thunderbirds instead turned to their power play once again to spark some momentum. In the final minute of the period, Juho Lammikko won a power play faceoff and set up in front of Binnington, and in turn, the Finn batted a Valk shot between the goalie's legs to bring Springfield back within a goal, 3-2, with just over 50 seconds to go in the middle stanza.
Chase Balisy would tie things up for the Thunderbirds at 5-on-5 at the 9:22 point of the third period, as Anthony Greco filtered a pass into the crease, and Balisy jammed the loose puck behind Binnington to even the score, 3-3.
From there, the two teams escaped regulation deadlocked, with Sateri denying a couple of point blank chances from Acolatse and Colton Hargrove in the closing minutes. Once into overtime, the Thunderbirds would catch a break as the Bruins were caught with too many men on the ice 1:17 into the 3-on-3 period.
Armed with a 4-on-3 advantage, Denis Malgin set up at the left circle and fed Alex Grenier at the near post with a feed to the net. The 6-foot-5 Grenier then calmly maneuvered to his backhand and scooped a shot under the crossbar to give Springfield a 3-for-3 night on the power play and its first back-to-back wins of the 2017-18 season. The goal was Grenier's third of the season, as well as his first power play tally of the campaign.
The homestand rolls on for Springfield, as for the first time ever, the Thunderbirds play host to the Charlotte Checkers for a special T-Birds 101 School Day game on Wednesday at 10:35 a.m. ET. Charlotte and Springfield will rematch on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.