T-Birds Begin Final Homestand vs. BruinsApr 12, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (29-33-9-2) begin one final homestand for the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night as they welcome the Providence Bruins (43-21-5-4) to the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop.
The Thunderbirds, who have lost three in a row, will look to get back on track on home ice, where Springfield is 5-1-0-0 in its last six contests. The Thunderbirds' latest defeat on Saturday at Lehigh Valley did not come without its offensive efforts: Springfield unleashed 23 shots in a third-period frenzy, only to skate away with a 4-2 defeat at the PPL Center to the Phantoms.
The Bruins, on the other hand, are trying to lock down a playoff spot and contend for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Providence can clinch a playoff spot with a win in Springfield tonight. Providence has won eight of the first 11 matchups between the division rivals this season.
The Bruins' two top contributors offensively all season have been a pair of former Springfield players in defenseman Alex Grant (48 points) and forward Jordan Szwarz (53 points). Szwarz scored the only two goals for Providence in a 3-2 Springfield win in the clubs' last meeting 11 nights ago. Those two have combined for six goals and 15 points against the Thunderbirds in 11 games.
The win on April 1 for Springfield was anchored by MacKenzie Weegar's goal and two assists. After both Weegar and Ian McCoshen debuted in the NHL for the Panthers earlier this month, each playing three games, the pair is back in Springfield for the final week of the regular season. Weegar's 32 points are tops among all Springfield blueliners, while McCoshen leads the Thunderbirds with a +18 rating.
In net, the Thunderbirds will avoid the recently recalled Zane McIntyre. The AHL All-Star second team goaltender has allowed only one goal in two victories against Springfield this season. For Springfield, Adam Wilcox has yet to face Providence this season as a member of the Thunderbirds. Wilcox did, however, knock off Providence as a member of the Syracuse Crunch on Oct. 29, stopping 24 of 26 shots in a 3-2 Syracuse win.
After the conclusion of Wednesday's tilt, the Thunderbirds' final weekend of the season marks MGM Springfield Fan Appreciation Weekend. Springfield plays host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday before welcoming the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday for the season's final game. Both contests will drop the puck at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Interested in becoming a part of the next era of professional hockey in Springfield? Earn your wings with Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships, which start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey and brand new Collectors Mug. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.