T-Birds Begin Road Swing Wednesday in HartfordNov 29, 2017
Hartford, CT – The Springfield Thunderbirds (8-13-1-0) begin a stretch of five road games in the next seven contests on Wednesday night as they visit the Hartford Wolf Pack (7-11-2-1) at the XL Center for the fifth game in the season series between the clubs.
Springfield and Hartford have split the matchups so far in the 2017-18 season, with Hartford winning 4-3 in Springfield on Oct. 14 and 4-2 in Hartford on Nov. 5. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds came away with a 5-3 win at the MassMutual Center on Nov. 3 before topping Hartford again by a final of 4-2 this past Sunday.
Springfield has picked up points in four of their six lifetime matchups at the XL Center, going 2-2-1-1 in those games. The Thunderbirds lead the all-time series against their I-91 rivals by a tally of eight wins to six.
Four different Thunderbirds have scored four points in the four-game season series to date, including Anthony Greco (2g, 2a), Jayce Hawryluk (2g, 2a), and Curtis Valk (2g, 2a).
Aiding the Thunderbirds in their recent run of success with six wins in their last eight games has been the play of goaltender Harri Sateri. The 27-year-old goaltender has won each of his last four starts, including a 27-save performance against the Wolf Pack on Sunday. Since opening the season with five straight losing decisions, Sateri has turned it around thanks to a .926 save percentage and 2.24 goals against average in his last four starts.
The Thunderbirds power play has also been a key cog in the club's recent offensive exploits, boasting the league's best home-ice power play at over 27% efficiency. On the road, the Springfield man advantage has yet to find its footing, going just 5-for-50 in their first nine road games, while finally securing a road win for the first time in 2017-18 last Wednesday night against the Hershey Bears.
For the Wolf Pack, they enter play against the Thunderbirds Wednesday tied with 17 points on the season in the Atlantic Division standings. The trio of Vinni Lettieri (3g, 2a), Scott Kosmachuk (2g, 2a), and Filip Chytil (1g, 3a) has done the bulk of the damage against the Thunderbirds in the season series at the offensive end of the rink. Hartford's power play was kept in check on Sunday, going 0-for-5 in Springfield, but the Wolf Pack's man advantage still sits fifth in the AHL at 20.9%.
The 4-2 loss to the Thunderbirds Sunday could have been a lot worse if not for the play of goaltender Alex Georgiev, who turned away 35 Springfield shots, including two diving efforts in the first on Francois Beauchemin and in the third on Alex Grenier. His goaltending partner Chris Nell won his only start against the Thunderbirds on Oct. 14, denying 33 shots.
Springfield takes flight for the first time this season as they pay a first-ever visit to the Charlotte Checkers for matchups at 7:15 p.m. Friday and 1:00 p.m. Sunday at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. Both games can be heard on NewsRadio 560 WHYN.
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 visitwww.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.