T-Birds Host Grudge Match with BridgeportDec 15, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (10-18-1-0) will look to pick up their second win in two games on home ice against the feisty Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-10-1-1) on Friday night at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The two clubs have held serve on home ice in the season series to this point, with the Sound Tigers coming away with 3-2 and 2-1 victories on Nov. 4 and Nov. 19 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
Last Saturday's tilt was the most heated of the season between the bitter rivals, with the two clubs combining for 82 penalty minutes by night's end. An altercation involving Bridgeport's Ross Johnston and Springfield's Jayce Hawryluk and Bobby Farnham reached a boiling point in the third period, with Johnston taking liberties in the form of punches to both players. For his actions, Johnston earned a one-game suspension and will be unavailable for Bridgeport tonight.
Aside from the third period chaos, the Thunderbirds offense came to life, scoring four of the game's first five goals, with Maxim Mamin bringing the teddy bears down to the ice with the first goal of the night, just 1:24 into the first period. Hawryluk scored twice to earn first star honors for Springfield, and Alex Grenier also scored in the T-Birds' victory.
Tonight marks an important stretch for the Thunderbirds in their quest to get back into contention in the Atlantic Division. Springfield is 8-7-0-0 at home this season, and their next five contests will all take place inside the MassMutual Center.
Bridgeport, meanwhile, has lost four in a row, scoring just six goals during their slide. After the loss in Springfield, the Sound Tigers fell to the Rochester Americans by a 4-1 score on Sunday at their home rink. Bridgeport is 4-2-0-1 all time at the MassMutual Center, though, having won four of the six matchups in Springfield last season.
The Thunderbirds will be looking to rebound from a tough 6-3 defeat in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday against the Penguins. After getting three unanswered goals from Max Fortunus, Mamin and Chase Balisy, Springfield allowed the next five goals as the Penguins stormed back to win at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Springfield fell to an AHL-worst 2-11-1-0 away from the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds will continue their five-game homestand on Saturday for yet another rematch, this time with the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. Springfield then hosts Bridgeport again on Dec. 22 before welcoming the Providence Bruins on Dec. 23, with each game starting at 7:05 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 visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.