T-Birds Break Up Road Stretch vs. SensDec 16, 2016
Springfield, MA– The Springfield Thunderbirds (10-9-3-2) will play their only home game over a 25-day stretch on Friday night when they host the Binghamton Senators (8-14-2-1) at the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop on Ugly Sweater Contest night.
The Thunderbirds have had a good bounce-back month of December following a November that saw Springfield win just two games. In six December games, the T-Birds are 3-2-1-0. They are coming off of a split in St. John's against the IceCaps, capping off a season series that saw Springfield take three of four contests against their Canadian foes.
Reto Berra anchored the Thunderbirds to a 2-1 victory on Saturday in their last time on the ice. Chase Balisy scored two goals in 1:08 to break up a scoreless game midway through the third period, and Berra stopped 30 pucks to seal the Springfield triumph.
That win came 24 hours after Springfield put up five goals in a game for just the second time this season, both times against St. John's. However, the IceCaps were one better on Friday in a back-and-forth 6-5 slugfest at the Mile One Centre.
Offensively, Shane Harper continues to pace the Thunderbirds' attack, as the Valencia, Calif. native is in the midst of a franchise record eight-game point streak. In 12 games, the winger has four goals and six assists for the Springfield offense.
The Senators, like Springfield, have struggled for stretches of the season offensively. Entering play Friday, Binghamton is tied for the dubious distinction of having the lowest scoring team in the AHL, averaging just 2.24 goals per game. Offensively, Casey Bailey (nine goals, five assists) and Phil Varone (six goals, eight assists) are tied for team leadership with 14 points.
The Senators succumbed to a hot Springfield offense on Nov. 12 in Binghamton, a night that saw the Thunderbirds leave with a 4-0 shutout win behind Berra's third blanking of the season. Tim Bozon, Paul Thompson, MacKenzie Weegar, and Ryan Horvat tallied the goals for Springfield in the victory, while the penalty kill successfully fended off four failed Binghamton power play attempts.
Coverage of tonight's battle in Springfield commences at 7:00 p.m. ET on NewsRadio 560, WHYN. The game can also be heard via the iHeartRadio app on tablets and mobile devices.
The Thunderbirds continue their fifth 3-in-3 weekend of the season with a road tilt on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins before a late afternoon matinee in Hershey on Sunday against the Bears at 5:15 p.m. ET.