T-Birds Can't Solve Sound Tiger DefenseNov 29, 2019
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (12-11-0-0) again fell victim to a strong defensive effort from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (8-11-3-1), who came away with a 4-1 victory on Friday night at the Webster Bank Arena.
After both clubs had double-digit totals in the first periods on Sunday and Wednesday, this evening's opening frame instead was dominated by an overall difficulty to get shots at the net. The Sound Tigers attempts that did reach the crease, though, posed early tests for Philippe Desrosiers, including a sliding blocker denial as he dove to his right against Andrew Ladd. Ladd also clipped the crossbar with an attempt in the opening 10 minutes, but Springfield survived the period without a dent to their name.
At the other end, Jared Coreau picked up where he left off from a brilliant 39-save performance over Springfield from five nights earlier, stopping all six Springfield shots in the opening 20 minutes. The Thunderbirds' penalty kill also took care of business at the other end, going 3-for-3 in the first.
The second period would be a polar opposite from a shot perspective, with the Sound Tigers testing Desrosiers 27 times, with the Springfield netminder turning away 26 of those attempts. Unfortunately for the T-Birds goalie, his one mistake proved costly at the 5:30 mark, when he lost the puck off his stick at the side of the net, allowing Matt Lorito to stuff a backhander into the empty net.
Otherwise, Desrosiers shined in the second period as he continued to chase his seventh consecutive winning start. At the other end, Bridgeport faced adversity when Coreau was injured 4:10 into the period. Jakub Skarek, who arrived from the ECHL Worcester Railers earlier in the day, jumped into the cage and immediately stopped seven in a row to keep the Thunderbirds at a goose egg through two periods. Included in those saves was a remarkable goal line dive with the left glove to keep Jack Rodewald from getting Springfield on the board.
The third period would only further exhibit Bridgeport's team confidence, as Travis St. Denis broke an 11-game goal scoring drought with a breakaway backhander past Desrosiers at 7:34 of the period. Daniel Audette would break the Coreau-Skarek shutout at 9:25 with a goal on the doorstep off a blind centering pass from Kevin Roy, but that's as close as Springfield would get, as Kieffer Bellows and St. Denis would score in the game's final seven minutes to give Bridgeport a four-spot in the win. Desrosiers finished with 38 saves on 42 Bridgeport shots, as he was saddled with his first loss in over six weeks.
The weekend concludes when the Laval Rocket come to Springfield on Saturday seeking a third consecutive overtime victory inside the Thunderdome. Laval captain Xavier Ouellet scored both overtime game winners in the span of two months last January and March. Entering Friday's action, the Rocket - who seek their first playoff berth in club history - sit in a tie for third place in the North Division.
At the conclusion of this weekend's two game set, the Thunderbirds will stay on home ice for the next two full weeks, with a five-gome homestand on the horizon against Lehigh Valley, Hartford, Laval, Binghamton, and Providence.
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.