T-Birds Hope for Happier Results in HersheyDec 18, 2016
Hershey, PA– The Springfield Thunderbirds (11-10-3-2) complete their pre-holiday schedule on Sunday with a 5:00 p.m. ET tilt at the Giant Center against the Hershey Bears (15-6-4-2).
It will be a fourth chance for the Thunderbirds to earn their first victory over the defending Eastern Conference champions, as Hershey has managed a trio of close victories in the early season over Springfield.
The Bears managed a 3-2 come-from-behind win in Springfield on Nov. 4, thanks to an overtime game-winner by rookie defenseman Colby Williams. Then Hershey got the better of the Thunderbirds in a home-and-home series with victories of 5-2 in Springfield on Nov. 25 and 4-3 at the Giant Center on Nov. 26.
Hershey came into the weekend with the best home record across the AHL, but they fell to the last-place Hartford Wolf Pack by a 5-4 final on Saturday at the Giant Center. It was the Bears' first regulation loss on home ice since a Nov. 13 defeat at the hands of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The Thunderbirds, meanwhile, were unable to extend their winning streak to three games as they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 4-2 count at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday. The Penguins finally got their elusive first win over Springfield thanks to four unanswered goals, including two on the power play. Chase Balisy recorded a goal and an assist in the loss, whileSena Acolatse added two assists.
In goal, Mike McKenna stopped a team-record 38 shots on a night when the Penguins launched 42 attempts at the goal.
The Bears and Thunderbirds drop the puck tonight beginning at 5:15 p.m. ET following a ceremony for AHL Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Helmer, who currently serves as VP of Hockey Operations for Hershey. Helmer was a teammate of Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear from 1993-1998 with the Albany River Rats.
The Thunderbirds will continue their road trip following the holiday break with games in Wilkes-Barre and Bridgeport on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28 respectively.