T-Birds Host Hartford at Sold Out MassMutual Center TonightOct 14, 2017
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (0-2-0-0) debut their home schedule on Saturday in front of a sold out MassMutual Center as they host the Hartford Wolf Pack (2-1-0-0) for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
The day begins with a Block Party from 4-6 p.m. at Court Square, across from the MassMutual Center, with live music by Trailer Trash.
On the ice, the Thunderbirds get a much-needed return to familiar territory; Springfield won 12 of its last 14 games inside the MassMutual Center to close the 2016-17 season, whereas the Thunderbirds have dropped nine straight road games dating back to March of this year.
Chase Balisy, who is expected to play in his 96th consecutive AHL game this evening, led the Thunderbirds efforts an evening ago in Providence. The Thunderbirds' all-time points leader tallied a pair of goals - a shorthanded breakaway strike in the first period and a power play connection in the second - in the 3-2 loss to the Providence Bruins. The goals put Balisy into a tie with Paul Thompson for most career goals by a Thunderbird with 19.
At the other end, Sam Montembeault got his feet wet in the AHL for the first time, and the 20-year-old responded by making 25 saves on 28 shots. The Bruins got all three of their goals thanks to their top forward unit, as Kenny Agostino, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, and Peter Cehlarik again provided headaches to Springfield. The trio combined for 13 points in the two games to start the season.
The Wolf Pack enter Springfield having won two straight games on home ice. Saturday's tilt will be Hartford's first matchup away from the XL Center. After blowing a two-goal third period in their Opening Night loss to Charlotte on Oct. 6, the Wolf Pack responded with a 2-1 shootout win against Lehigh Valley on Oct. 8 and a 5-2 triumph over the Toronto Marlies last night.
The Wolf Pack have been paced in the young season by newcomers Joe Whitney (2g, 2a) and Scott Kosmachuk (4a). Adam Tambellini, who posted a hat trick on Feb. 10 in Springfield, has scored three goals in his first three games to start the 2017-18 season.
In net, Chris Nell has picked up two consecutive wins for the Wolf Pack, stopping 53 of 56 shots in the process and posting a 1.44 goals against average.
If you missed out on Opening Night tickets, fear not – the Thunderbirds will remain on home ice this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. for Kids Opening Day against the Toronto Marlies. Area mascots will make the journey to Springfield to help kick off the festivities when doors open at 2:00 p.m. Friendly’s Sundae Funday packs are available for the game as well. Starting at $44, fans can receive four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, four popcorns, and four Friendly’s Ice Cream Sundae Coupons.
The Thunderbirds will also be back on home ice for the first 3-2-1 Friday on October 20 as they host the Providence Bruins. Rene Rancourt will perform the national anthem as he makes his annual pilgrimage to Springfield, presented by King Ward Coach Lines. Through the end of the first period, Coors Light drafts are just $3, hot dogs are just $2, and sodas are available for $1.
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.