T-Birds, Bruins Rekindle Rivalry Before Holiday BreakDec 23, 2017
Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (13-18-1-0), winners of three straight games overall and four consecutive at the MassMutual Center, will play host to the fourth of five contests on the homestand against the Providence Bruins (18-8-2-0) on Saturday night.
Springfield picked up its third straight victory on Friday in a 5-2 triumph over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Anthony Greco recorded a Thunderbirds franchise-record four points, with two goals and two assists, and Rob Hamilton's first AHL goal proved to be the game winner on a night where Sam Montembeault stopped 31 of 33 shots in the Springfield net.
The last time the Thunderbirds and Bruins met, Alex Grenier gave Springfield an overtime victory on Nov. 12, an afternoon that saw Springfield go a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play.
The Bruins come to Springfield atop the Atlantic Division with a .679 points percentage, including an 8-4-2 road record. They have won eight of their last ten games, despite falling 6-4 to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday at the XL Center.
Offensively, the Bruins have scored just 88 goals, the second fewest in the Atlantic Division, but Providence again boasts one of the AHL's best defensive groups, with just 72 goals allowed through 28 games. Goaltender Jordan Binnington has been marvelous when called upon, posting a 7-1-1 record and a 1.74 goals-against average to go along with a .934 save percentage.
Austin Czarnik leads all Bruins players with 26 points through just 22 games played, while reigning AHL MVP Kenny Agostino has 18 points in his first 21 games with Providence.
Springfield has discovered an offensive rhythm during the homestand, scoring four or more goals in three of the last four wins. Greco has enjoyed success during his four game point streak, with four goals and four assists in that time. Curtis Valk, who opened the scoring an evening ago, has also parlayed points in three consecutive games.
A win tonight would give the Thunderbirds a five-game home winning streak to tie a franchise record set in the final five games of the 2016-17 season. Springfield's 11 home ice victories thus far are tied for the most in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Rockford.
The Thunderbirds break for the Christmas holiday before concluding their five-game homestand on Friday, Dec. 29 at 7:05 p.m. against the Hershey Bears on "Yes!" Night featuring WWE superstar Daniel Bryan.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.