T-Birds' Home Ice Weekend Opens vs. BridgeportMar 30, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (28-33-5-2) return to the MassMutual Center for a pair of games over the holiday weekend, beginning on Friday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (33-26-5-3) at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Thunderbirds will then face the Utica Comets (34-24-6-4) on Saturday night for the second annual Pucks N' Paws Night presented by Dave's Soda & Pet City.
Springfield has had Bridgeport's number on home ice, winning each of the four matchups inside the MassMutual Center in the season series, including three in a row in the month of December. The Thunderbirds have scored four or more goals in each of those games, while putting up five goals on three occasions. Anthony Greco has been the ultimate predator to the Sound Tigers, scoring seven goals and chipping in four assists in the nine games thus far.
That said, the Thunderbirds will be looking for payback after letting a 4-0 lead slip away in the last meeting with the Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena on March 11. Springfield raced out to that lead before the game was even 10 minutes old, but the Sound Tigers roared back for five unanswered and shut the door in the final period to stun Springfield.
This fierce rivalry has been neck-and-neck ever since the Thunderbirds' inception into the AHL a season ago. Springfield holds a 10-9-2-0 record lifetime against the Sound Tigers, including a 6-4-0-0 record inside the walls of the MassMutual Center.
Bridgeport still has its sights set on a potential playoff berth, as they sit seven points back of fourth-place Charlotte with a game-in-hand. Last season, it was the Thunderbirds who ended the Sound Tigers' playoff hopes by means of a 7-0 thrashing on the season's second-to-last day inside the MassMutual Center.
The Comets will come into Springfield on Saturday in front of a raucous, barking crowd, hoping to avenge their 4-0 loss on March 10. Sam Montembeault recorded the shutout that evening, his second as a pro, making 21 stops.
Utica has secured its spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs, but they are still jockeying for home-ice advantage with the third-place Rochester Americans, who sit just one point ahead of the Comets coming into the weekend's action.
After the weekend homestand, the T-Birds make their way up to Canada one final time this season for matchups on Wednesday in Belleville against the Senators at 7:05 p.m. and on Friday in Laval against the Rocket at 7:30 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.