T-Birds Can't Solve McIntyre in OT Loss

Dec 4, 2016
Providence, RI The Springfield Thunderbirds (8-8-3-2) and Providence Bruins (9-6-4-3) again needed extra time on Sunday, but the Bruins found the winner this time around in a 2-1 win at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Sunday matinee began tentatively as the two teams combined for less than 10 shots in the first 10 minutes. The Bruins picked up the first salvo on this night at the 7:24 mark of the opening period at even strength.
Matt Grzelcyk jumped up into the rush on the left side, circled the net and much like Sena Acolatse's overtime-winning pass last night, he spun a backhand feed from the far circle toward the slot. It ticked off a skate before finding Zac Rinaldo off the bench, and the agitator beat Mike McKenna with a snapper to give Providence the 1-0 edge.
The Thunderbirds answered admirably to Rinaldo's opening goal, allowing only one more Providence shot attempt while taking 16 first period shots on Zane McIntyre, who kept his team in front despite a final five-minute push from the Thunderbirds that included Springfield's first power play of the night.  
While the Bruins' second period push was stronger, including a 13-shot output on McKenna's crease, it was Springfield that struck despite being outshot in a period.  Once again, it was Mike Sgarbossacashing in on the man advantage for the Thunderbirds. The forward’s sixth point in six games with Springfield came off a beautiful passing play, as Acolatse and Shane Harper connected two passes in short order, with Harper rifling a feed threw the Providence penalty killing box to allow Sgarbossa a one-time opening past McIntyre.

The Bruins threatened with two power plays in the middle and late stages of the period, but McKenna’s confidence showed, as he kept Providence at bay, highlighted by a right-handed robbery of Peter Mueller from the slot area. 

The third period see-sawed back to the Thunderbirds in terms of the shots and the offensive zone advantage. However, McIntyre remained stout and provided the ultimate equalizer for the Bruins en route to 38 saves on the night. Springfield outshot Providence by a margin of 16-5 in the final frame of regulation.

For the third straight meeting between the clubs, 60 minutes was not sufficient, but unlike last night, the Thunderbirds could not locate the game-winner. Instead, former Springfield Falcon Alex Grant played the role of hero, moving in on the right wing side and, despite being backchecked closely, was able to get his stick free to launch a wrist shot over McKenna and into the upper half of the net for the overtime clincher just past the halfway point of the extra period.

The Thunderbirds take to the ice next on Wednesday night for another mid-week tilt in Hartford with the Wolf Pack with a puck drop of 7:00 p.m. ET.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
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