T-Birds Fall, Greco Extends Goal StreakNov 8, 2017
Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (2-11-1-0) again saw their penalty kill struggle on Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Hershey Bears (4-6-0-2) at the MassMutual Center.
The first period continued to be a bugaboo for the Thunderbirds, as they went shorthanded in the game's opening four minutes on a tripping minor. Hershey struck on their chance, as former Providence Bruin Wayne Simpson squeezed a right circle offering through the paraphernalia of Harri Sateri to put the Bears on the board first at 5:45.
The Thunderbirds and Bears both entered play in the bottom six of the AHL in terms of goals per game, and both sides had trouble generating any scoring chances following the goal from Simpson. Pheonix Copley turned aside all seven Springfield shots he saw in the Hershey net, while Sateri stopped each of the next seven he saw after the opening tally.
Copley would be far busier in period two, as the Thunderbirds generated quality chances, most frequently off the stick of Dryden Hunt, who was denied on a right pad save by Copley before hitting the post on a nearly identical try just moments later.
Like in the first period, the Bears would once again have a power play chance, and the Hershey power play once again connected. Travis Boyd fired the puck from the right circle in and out of the glove of Sateri, but AHL newcomer Mathias Bau slammed home the rebound at the side of the net to push Hershey in front, 2-0 at 11:44.
Springfield would have two more power play chances in the second, but Copley and the Bears defense stiffened to keep the Thunderbirds down by two heading into the final period.
The third period was played close to the vest on both sides, as the Thunderbirds had a tough time establishing anything in the Hershey zone. At the other end, Harri Sateri only needed to make six stops, but it would not be enough. Chris Bourque added an empty netter late in regulation for the Bears.
One silver lining for the Thunderbirds was the continued excellence of Anthony Greco, whose slap shot, power play goal at 17:57 marked the fifth consecutive game in which the Thunderbirds' all-time leading goal scorer turned on the red light.
Copley completed his night with 20 stops to improve to 2-0-1. Sateri made 23 saves to fall to 0-5-0.
Springfield is next on home ice this Saturday, Nov. 11 for David Ortiz Night as the Thunderbirds host the Laval Rocket at 7:05. From there, the Thunderbirds will host the Providence Bruins on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3:05 p.m. to round out their busy week.
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.