T-Birds Host Bruins for 3rd Time in 5 GamesOct 20, 2017
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (0-4-0-0) will have a chance to pick up their first win of the season series against the Providence Bruins (2-1-0-0) at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. Tonight marks already the third matchup between the two teams, who will meet 14 total times during the 2017-18 season.
The Bruins defeated the Thunderbirds in the first two installments of this rivalry with a 5-2 win at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Oct. 7 and a 3-2 win on Oct. 13 in a rematch in Providence.
Providence won on the strength of reigning AHL MVP Kenny Agostino, who tallied a combined five points (1g, 4a) in the two contests. Linemates Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (2g, 1a) and Peter Cehlarik (2g, 3a) also were key contributors, as the top line for Providence had a hand in five of the Bruins' eight goals against the Thunderbirds.
Agostino, however, was recalled earlier in the week by the Boston Bruins, leaving the AHL Bruins without their early-season points leader. Providence will also be without the services of reigning AHL All-Star goaltender Zane McIntyre, who was recalled by Boston under emergency circumstances on Thursday.
McIntyre is off to a similarly hot start to his All-Star season of a season ago, going 2-1-0 in his first three games this year, posting a .914 save percentage and 2.35 goals against average.
On the Springfield side, a pair of youngsters have been bright spots despite a four-game slide to start the 2017-18 season. In net, 20-year-old Sam Montembeault has not looked the part of a rookie, coming off a pair of games where he allowed a combined total of five goals to Providence and Toronto, a pair of teams that found themselves among the top eleven AHL offenses a season ago.
Up front, Juho Lammikko has already registered a goal and two assists on his season after scoring just 11 points all season as a rookie in 2016-17. Newcomer Curtis Valk has also provided steady production, picking up an assist in each of his last three games.
In the last meeting in Providence between the two clubs, Chase Balisy starred offensively for Springfield, becoming the first Thunderbird ever to score both a power play goal and shorthanded goal in the same game.
Tonight marks the start of a second straight three-game weekend for Springfield. The team travels to Syracuse for a battle with the defending Eastern Conference champion Crunch on Saturday night for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop. The Thunderbirds then return home on Sunday for a Friendly's Sundae Funday matinee against the Belleville Senators at 3:05 p.m. ET.
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.