T-Birds Catch Bad Breaks in Loss to AmerksMar 24, 2018
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (28-32-5-1) could not catch the breaks in the closing stages in a 4-2 loss to the Rochester Americans (31-20-10-6) on Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena.
The first period saw little in the way of offensive chances both directions despite five minor penalties in the frame. Rochester took advantage of its first power play with Seth Griffith cashing in on a one-timer at 6:15 from the left wing circle off a feed from Zach Redmond.
Springfield had two power play chances to tie the score but could not beat former Thunderbird Adam Wilcox with any of their five first period shot attempts at the net.
It would not take the Thunderbirds long to make the second period statement. Just 12 seconds into action, Dryden Hunt moved down the left wing and sniped a wrister above Wilcox's shoulder to make it a 1-1 tie on the fastest goal to start a period in Thunderbirds history.
Things would get zanier, though. First, it was Colin Blackwell untying the game for Rochester, scooping up a rebound to the right of Sam Montembeault at 7:11 to put Rochester back in front, 2-1. Not to be outdone, the Thunderbirds got things tied right back up as Eddie Wittchow let go a slapper from well out at the left point at 8:36 that squeezed through Wilcox on the stick side. The long-range offering brought the game to a 2-2 tie heading into the third despite a combined 24 penalty minutes on each side and just one special teams goal.
Wilcox would rebound with the game's most important save with a left-pad stonewalling of Anthony Greco on a Springfield power play to preserve the 2-2 tie.
Blackwell would then break the tie with another rebound finish in front of Montembeault at 12:02 of the third to make it 3-2.
From there, Springfield fell victim to terrible misfortune as Greco was set to move in on a breakaway less than a minute later. Instead, the linesman inadvertently got in Greco's path and prevented the scoring chance. Just moments later, Danny O'Regan finished a 2-on-1 at the other end from Kevin Porter to make it a 4-2 game.
Wilcox finished with 20 saves to defeat his old club, while Montembeault stopped 31 in the defeat.
The Thunderbirds go north of the border for a Sunday matinee with the Toronto Marlies beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 AHL All Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.