T-Birds Fall to Vladar & BruinsDec 15, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (15-14-1-0) could not capitalize on early chances, and the Providence Bruins (18-9-1-2) completed the home-and-home sweep on Sunday afternoon with a 5-0 win over the T-Birds inside the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The first period carried over surprisingly little bad blood from a feisty third period and overtime session an evening ago. Springfield had multiple chances to draw first blood with a power play and scoring chances in the opening minutes. Owen Tippett caught the crossbar with one chance, and Dryden Hunt could not pound a loose puck past Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar on the T-Birds’ first man advantage of the night.
The Bruins survived the early threat and wound up getting 12 of the final 15 shots of the opening period. Two of those shots found their way into the net behind Sam Montembeault off the stick of Providence blueliners. First, Jeremy Lauzon funneled a wrist shot from the left point through a cutting screen and got credit for his first tally of the season to make it 1-0 at 6:11.
Near the end of the period, Jakub Zboril found himself in a similar situation at the Bruins’ offensive blue line, firing a wrist shot from the center point. With heavier traffic in front of Montembeault this time, the puck again found its way through the maze to extend the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 into the first intermission, to go along with Providence’s 17-8 first period shot edge.
Things went downhill in the second for the T-Birds after Tommy Cross was issued a match penalty for a hit to the head of Cameron Hughes. With a major power play out of that, the Bruins struck twice in less than a minute on goals from Jack Studnicka and Paul Carey.
Providence locked it down defensively, with Vladar securing his second shutout in his last four starts with 42 stops in the victory. Oskar Steen picked up the final Bruins goal on the power play in the opening minute of the third.
Montembeault’s night ended with 28 saves in defeat.
The T-Birds get a few days to regroup before hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for Star Wars Night on Friday at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m.