T-Birds Host Belleville for First TimeOct 22, 2017
Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (0-6-0-0) will close a three-game, three-day weekend as they welcome the Belleville Senators (2-3-0-1) to the MassMutual Center for the first-ever meeting between the clubs. Puck drop is set for 3:05 p.m. ET.
The two teams are coming off of losses on Saturday night, each on the road. Springfield fell 4-1 in Syracuse to the Crunch, while the Senators saw a 2-0 third period lead evaporate in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Providence Bruins.
Curtis Valk has been a star in the early season for the Thunderbirds. The winger has tallied points in five consecutive games, including his third power play point and first goal last night in Syracuse. Valk is coming off a 46-point season in his first full AHL season with Utica last year.
In net, Evan Cowley got his first AHL action in relief of Sam Montembeault in the third period. The University of Denver product stopped the three shots he faced as Springfield tried to claw back into the game against the Crunch.
The Senators had been paced by Chris DiDomenico (3g, 2a), but Belleville's leading scorer was recalled by Ottawa earlier in the weekend. Ethan Werek has scored three goals in three games, and Jack Rodewald has also scored three times in the early season for Kurt Kleinendorst's team.
On the Springfield side, the power play connected on Saturday for just the third time this season, but showed more poise after going 0-for-11 in its prior two games.
Belleville has played its full schedule thus far away from home as the Yardmen Arena undergoes the finishing touches on renovations before the Senators make their debut on home ice against the Syracuse Crunch on Nov. 1. While they sit a game under .500, the Senators have picked up both of their wins against the Atlantic Division, while earning five of a possible six points in those matchups.
Belleville started the season 0-3-0-0 but have recovered thanks to wins in Hershey and Hartford before last night's shootout defeat in Providence.
The Senators' goaltending tandem of Danny Taylor and Andrew Hammond has been kept very busy - Belleville has allowed a league-high 35 shots per game through their first six contests.
The Thunderbirds will have a couple days to rest before embarking on their first trip to Allentown on Wednesday in a battle with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Springfield returns to its home rink for a rematch with the Phantoms on Friday, Oct. 27 for another 3-2-1 Friday at the Thunderdome.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visitwww.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.