T-Birds Hope to Vanquish Comets & Home Slide

Feb 11, 2017

(Photo Courtesy Utica Comets/Lindsay A. Mogle)

Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (17-21-7-2) will once again try to break their home-ice troubles as they welcome the Utica Comets (18-20-6-2) for the first time on Saturday to the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m. ET. 

The Thunderbirds knocked off the Comets in a 2-1 overtime defeat in the clubs' last meeting on Jan. 25 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The win for Springfield snapped Utica's six-game winning streak. Since that night, the Comets have yet to win, dropping six straight games on the heels of their prior six wins. Utica also had a nine-game winless slide earlier in the season, from Dec. 9 to Dec. 31. 

Things have not gone a lot better for the Thunderbirds, who succumbed to an Adam Tambellni hat trick in a 3-2 heartbreak on Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the MassMutual Center. Springfield has lost its last nine games on home ice, six of which have come by just a single goal. 

The Comets' weekend got off to a rocky start on Friday, as Utica dropped a 6-4 decision at the hands of the Toronto Marlies. Utica has given up four goals or more in each of their last four defeats. Rookie goalie Thatcher Demko was dinged for five goals on Friday on 30 shots. 

The Thunderbirds and Comets will meet twice in the span of the next seven nights in Springfield to close out a season series that has needed overtime in each of the first two meetings. Jayce Hawryluk, who is coming off a goal and an assist on Friday against Hartford, played the role of overtime hero in Utica two weeks ago, potting his first game-winner in the AHL to secure the Springfield win.

Darren Archibald scored one of his three overtime goals for Utica in a 5-4 Comets win in the squads' first matchup on Nov. 18. Despite their rough patch, the Comets are just six points back of playoff position in the North Division while holding three games in hand on the fourth-place St. John's IceCaps. 

The Thunderbirds complete their first of three consecutive three-game, three-night weekends on Sunday when they visit the Providence Bruins for a 3:05 p.m. ET puck drop from the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds Ticket Memberships start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.

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