T-Birds Carry Win Streak on Road to Bridgeport

Nov 19, 2017
(Photo Courtesy Bridgeport Sound Tigers)
Bridgeport, CT – The Springfield Thunderbirds (6-11-1-0) will take their four-game winning streak to the road with them for a tangle with their division rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers (8-7-0-0) on Sunday at the Webster Bank Arena at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The Thunderbirds will be looking for their first road victory of the 2017-18 season and their first victory away from the MassMutual Center dating back to March 17 in Albany against the now-defunct Albany Devils.
Springfield is coming off its highly successful 4-1-0-0 homestand that featured wins in the final four games of the lengthy stay on home ice. Sam Montembeault registered the Thunderbirds' first shutout of 2017-18 with a 32-save masterpiece on Friday night against the Charlotte Checkers. The Thunderbirds swept the Checkers in two games between Wednesday morning's school day game and Friday's shutout, outscoring Charlotte 9-3 in the process.
The Sound Tigers are also coming off their own victory at the Checkers' expense - a 5-2 triumph on Saturday night at the Webster Bank Arena. Casey Bailey and Travis St. Denis scored less than 90 seconds apart to open up a 2-0 Bridgeport lead in the first period, and the Sound Tigers never looked back in handing Charlotte its fourth consecutive regulation defeat.
The Thunderbirds fell behind similarly in their first meeting with Bridgeport on Nov. 4, taking a 3-0 deficit into the final period. Although Springfield scored twice, they would run out of time as Christopher Gibson stopped 24 of 26 Thunderbirds shot attempts to rein in the victory for Bridgeport.
By virtue of his four-game point streak and eight total points over that stretch, Alex Grenier has climbed to a point-per-game pace for Springfield with 18 points in his first 18 games with the Thunderbirds. The offseason acquisition from the Vancouver Canucks organization now finds himself in a tie for 6th in the AHL in scoring. The Thunderbirds will also soon be getting another of their offseason acquisitions back as the Panthers announced the return of forward Curtis Valk to Springfield. Valk has also been riding nearly a point-per-game pace, with 15 points in his first 16 AHL games this season. He made his NHL debut for Florida on Nov. 14 against the Dallas Stars.
In the Thunderbirds win on Friday night, three defensemen picked up their first points of the season, including Max Fortunus, who tallied his first point as a Thunderbirds in his 830th career AHL game. Rob Hamilton and Matt MacKenzie also recorded their first points of the 2017-18 season, while second-year blueliner Thomas Schemitsch logged his second goal in two games.
The Sound Tigers attack has been paced by Tanner Fritz. A former collegiate teammate of Anthony Greco at Ohio State, Fritz has 15 points in 13 games this season for Bridgeport, including a goal and an assist in the win over Springfield on Nov. 4.
Springfield takes a longer road trip hike later this week with a visit to the Hershey Bears on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Giant Center in Pennsylvania. The Thunderbirds are next on home ice on Friday for a Black Friday tangle with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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.
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