T-Birds Begin Final Weekend on Home IceApr 12, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (32-34-5-2) close their regular season with a three-game weekend - featuring Friday and Saturday 7:05 p.m. matchups at the MassMutual Center against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence respectively. Springfield will then travel to Providence on Sunday for a 3:05 p.m. finale against the Bruins.
The Thunderbirds enter their final weekend of the season playing some of their best hockey of late, winning four of their last five games, including three in a row away from home in Belleville, Laval, and Hartford last weekend.
Harri Sateri won all three of those contests in the Thunderbirds' net, stopping 82 of 84 shots he faced over the week and earning CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors for his efforts. Sateri became the fourth Thunderbird to capture Player of the Week honors and first this season. Reto Berra, Paul Thompson, and Jared McCann each brought home the honors a season ago.
Sateri's stellar week has brought his goals against average to 5th in the AHL (2.25) and his save percentage to 4th among qualified AHL netminders (.927 SV%).
Springfield and Sateri have allowed only two goals in their last three games, and the offense has scored eight times over the course of their three-game winning streak.
Curtis Valk enters the final weekend seeking just a single point to become the Thunderbirds' first ever 60-point producer in a season. The 25-year-old has already set new career highs in goals (19), assists (40) and points (59). Valk sits in a tie for 12th in the entire AHL in points.
Another Thunderbird seeking a milestone is Anthony Greco, whose 29 goals this season have established a team record for tallies in one season. Greco sits in a tie for 7th in the AHL in goal scoring.
Springfield will look to pick up its first victory over the Penguins in the four game season series. The Thunderbirds fell by a final score of 3-1 on Feb. 7 at the MassMutual Center in the clubs' last meeting. Casey Desmith turned away 23 of 24 shots in the win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Dryden Hunt scored the lone goal for the Thunderbirds.
From there, the T-Birds face the Bruins on Saturday to close their home ice schedule for the 2017-18 season. Fans coming to the game that night can stop by Court Square across from the MassMutual Center for pregame Block Party presented by Community Bank. The outdoor party will feature a live music performance by Johnny Sixgun in addition to refreshments. Then inside, the first 2,500 fans will receive a special edition Boomer bobblehead compliments of Stop & Shop.
The season may be approaching its conclusion, but 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.