T-Birds Extend Team-Record Win Streak to 6Nov 2, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (7-0-0-2) extended their winning streak to a team-record six games and also improved their overall point streak to nine games as they defeated their rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-5-1-0) at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
On a night littered with power-play chances both ways, the Thunderbirds struck first with six seconds left on the power play at 12:20 into the first period. A slapper by Matt Mangene eluded Bridgeport goalie Jeremy Smith and gave Mangene his first goal with Springfield. After Jacob MacDonald and Joel Lowry played catch with the puck at the right face off circle, MacDonald fed the puck to Mangene, who slapped it home.
Operating on a 5-on-3 in the second period, at the 7:48 mark, Bridgeport’s Devon Toews scored his second goal of the season on the power play, tying the score at 1-1. Josh Ho-Sang and Travis St. Denis both picked up helpers on the play, as Toews’ one-time knuckler floated over Sam Montembeault’s stick side.
Just under six minutes later, at 13:45, thunder struck again for Springfield on the power play as Paul Thompson batted a puck out of mid-air and scored his sixth goal of the season after MacDonald took an original shot on goal. Forward Patrick Bajkov was credited with a secondary assist on the score, Thompson’s sixth of the year.
After surviving a late flourish by the Sound Tigers to end the second, Springfield got insurance just 27 seconds into the third period. Ludwig Bystrom scooted away from a check on the right wing wall and fired a shot that went top shelf on Smith. Bystrom’s third goal of the season gave Springfield a 3-1 lead. Farnham picked up his first point of the season on the assist, with the secondary helper going to Bajkov, who recorded his first multi-point game as a pro.
Six minutes later, after Jayce Hawryluk was called for cross-checking, the Sound Tigers got a goal back as Steve Bernier redirected a Travis St. Denis shot past Montembeault scored on another power play.
The Sound Tigers dominated the shots on goal, getting 42 shots to Springfield’s 22, but Montembeault stopped 40 shots, a season-high figure. The 22-year-old goaltender improved to 5-0-0 on his season with a 2.00 goals against average and .942 save percentage.
The T-Birds look to increase their new team-record win streak to seven games when they finish their home-and-home set with the Sound Tigers in Bridgeport at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop on Saturday is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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 Lexus 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.