T-Birds Host Crunch Friday Before Taking to RoadMar 15, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (28-29-4-1) begin a third consecutive three-game weekend on Friday as they play host to the Syracuse Crunch (37-19-3-4) inside the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
It is the second and final meeting between the two clubs in the 2017-18 season. Syracuse won the first matchup by a 4-1 score back on Oct. 21 at the War Memorial Arena. Curtis Valk scored his first goal as a Thunderbird in the defeat.
Much like the Thunderbirds, the Crunch have earned points in nine of their last ten games and clinched only the second guaranteed playoff berth in the AHL this season by virtue of a 6-2 win over the Binghamton Devils on Wednesday.
The Crunch have been a force in the Eastern Conference despite not having a single player in the top 20 in league scoring. Rookies Mathieu Joseph (43 points) and Mitchell Stephens (39 points) have led the way for head coach Benoit Groulx, who led the Crunch to a Calder Cup Finals berth last season, where they fell to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Thunderbirds saw their nine-game point streak come to a close in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday in Bridgeport, as the Sound Tigers rattled off five unanswered goals to steal a 5-4 win from Springfield at the Webster Bank Arena. Anthony Greco did, however, extend his point streak to five games in the defeat, and the T-Birds' leading goal scorer has seven tallies in his last eight games. The winger also has points in nine of the last ten contests.
After the home-ice matchup with the Crunch, the T-Birds make their way to the state of Pennsylvania for games on back-to-back days in Hershey against the Bears on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and in Allentown against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.
The Thunderbirds will play four in a row away from the MassMutual Center beginning on Saturday in Hershey. Next weekend, Springfield makes their only visits to Rochester and Toronto on March 24-25.
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 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.