T-Birds Begin 3-in-3 in Utica FridayMar 8, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (27-28-3-1) will open their second consecutive three-game weekend on the road when they visit the Utica Comets (29-20-6-4) on Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center for their second meeting in three weeks.
In the first trip to Utica, the Thunderbirds erased two different one-goal deficits on tallies from Greg Chase and Thomas Schemitsch to take a 2-2 game into the final period. From there, Springfield's leading goal scorer, Anthony Greco did the rest, beating Richard Bachman to secure a 3-2 victory.
With five goals in his last five games, Greco has pulled into a tie for seventh in the AHL with 23 goals on the season. He continues to extend his Springfield franchise record for goals in a single season, having surpassed Paul Thompson's mark of 19 a season ago.
On the back end, Harri Sateri has continued to be a shutdown man for the Thunderbirds in the crease. He is 10-1 in his last 11 AHL starts, with a 2.00 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. He has picked up shutouts in each of the last two weekends - a 33-save defeat of the Charlotte Checkers on home ice on March 3 and a 30-save blanking of the Providence Bruins this past Sunday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Greco's shorthanded goal provided the only necessary support for Sateri on Sunday, a tally that made Greco the first AHL player to hit five shorthanded goals on the season. Chase Balisy also added an empty-netter to preserve the victory for the Thunderbirds, who have earned points in a team record seven consecutive games (5-0-2-0).
The Thunderbirds enter this important weekend sitting seventh in the Atlantic with 58 points, 11 points behind fourth place Charlotte, which holds the final playoff spot in the division with 17 games left in the regular season.
This weekend also features a true home-and-home series as the Thunderbirds and Comets will turn right around and head to Springfield for a 7:05 p.m. Saturday matchup in the 2nd Annual Pink in the Rink Night, presented by Baystate Health to benefit the Rays of Hope Foundation. The two squads will face off on a pink ice surface after a special pregame ceremony honoring breast cancer survivors and their families.
Springfield's specialty jerseys for the evening will be auctioned post-game, with the proceeds generated going toward the Rays of Hope Foundation. Springfield then finishes up the busy three-game weekend with a trip to Bridgeport on Sunday in a battle with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
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.