T-Birds' Homestand Continues This Weekend vs. ROC, LVNov 15, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -The Springfield Thunderbirds (7-4-0-2) will look to shake off a tough start to the month of November when they welcome the Rochester Americans (10-3-1-0) to the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop on Friday. Springfield will stay on home ice on Saturday when they welcome the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-4-1-1) for the season's fourth of six matchups.
On Friday night, the 2018 winner of NBC’s “The Voice” and Longmeadow native, Brynn Cartelli, will perform the National Anthem and will hold a meet-and-greet from 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Then the puck will drop on the first matchup of the season for the Thunderbirds against the Americans.
Springfield will be seeking just its second win in seven tries against Rochester since the start of the 2016-17 campaign. The Thunderbirds will also look to get their offense back on track. The Thunderbirds scored 38 times in the first eight contests to start the season, but have tallied just 10 goals in the last five games. Springfield's penalty kill snapped a streak of 10 games allowing a power play goal by going a perfect 2-for-2 on Wednesday morning against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Rochester is coming off a trip to the Calder Cup playoffs a season ago despite dropping an AHL-high 17 games in overtime or a shootout, going 37-22-11-6. Defenseman Zach Redmond has been the leader for the Americans, potting an AHL-best 10 goals from the blue line in just 14 games while adding eight helpers. Fellow defenseman Lawrence Pilut sits at a +14 with 17 points for the Buffalo Sabres' AHL affiliates.
Former Thunderbird goaltender Adam Wilcox has performed well in split goaltending duty with veteran Scott Wedgewood, going 4-0-1-0 with a .915 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average. The Americans have given up a total of 12 goals in five games away from the Blue Cross Arena, and Rochester is a perfect 7-0-0-0 when recording the game's first goal.
The Thunderbirds will then square off with a Lehigh Valley club that has taken two of the first three games in the season series. Springfield kicked off the series with a 7-0 beatdown of the Phantoms in Allentown on Oct. 12, but Lehigh Valley responded with wins by finals of 5-4 in a shootout at Springfield on Oct. 13, and 8-2 at Lehigh Valley on Nov. 9. The Phantoms and Thunderbirds enter the weekend just two points apart in the tight Atlantic Division race, with Lehigh Valley sitting at 18 points and Springfield at 16.
Friday and Saturday's meetings mark the midpoint of a five-game homestand for the Thunderbirds, who will host 13 games at the MassMutual Center between today and the Christmas holiday.
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.