T-Birds Host Laval on Sold Out David Ortiz NightNov 11, 2017
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (2-11-1-0) will play host to their second sellout crowd of the 2017-18 season on Saturday as they host the Laval Rocket (7-4-2-0) at the MassMutual Center for David Ortiz Night.
The Thunderbirds will have a new look to their roster after several transactions earlier in the week. Dryden Hunt received his first NHL call-up and made his debut for the Panthers on Friday night in Buffalo against the Sabres.
In addition, the Thunderbirds announced the recall of forward Francois Beauchemin from the ECHL's Manchester Monarchs. Beauchemin, 21, has skated in five professional games - three for Manchester and two for Springfield, recording four penalty minutes. He finished his junior career in the QMJHL last season with a 97-point season, including 45 goals, with the Val d'Or Foreurs and Charlottetown Islanders.
In a separate transaction, the Thunderbirds announced that they have signed forward Tony Turgeon to a professional try-out. The 6-foot-4, 231-pound Turgeon has skated in eight games for Manchester this year, scoring a goal and adding 24 penalty minutes. He scored two goals in 12 games for Springfield in 2016-17, both in the same game against Providence on April 1.
The Rocket enter the MassMutual Center with a 7-4-2-0 record to start the AHL season, on the strength of the league's third-ranked power play (23.4%) and third-ranked offense (3.77 goals per game). The Montreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate has yet to beat the Thunderbirds in Springfield, however, falling twice last season as the St. John's IceCaps.
Springfield holds a 3-1-0-0 all time record against the Montreal affiliates, including a memorable 5-4 overtime win on the club's inaugural Opening Night on Oct. 22, 2016.
The Thunderbirds look to snap a three game losing slide, most recently falling Wednesday by a 3-1 margin to the Hershey Bears. Anthony Greco continued to extend his historic goal-scoring streak, however, picking up a tally in his fifth straight game to add to his franchise record. Greco's streak is the second longest in the AHL this season, behind only Lehigh Valley's Danick Martel (current six-game streak) and Iowa's Colton Beck (six games).
The Rocket will have two new goaltenders in their lineup tonight who have yet to play an AHL game this season, as both Charlie Lindgren and Zachary Fucale have been recalled by the Montreal Canadiens. Laval's defense has been suspect at times in the young season, allowing the fourth-most goals in the AHL (3.69 goals against per game).
Fans attending tonight's sold-out David Ortiz night are encouraged to arrive early to the Civic Center Garage on Bruce Landon Way to ensure a free parking space, as spots are limited on a first-come, first-served basis. The Thunderbirds are right back on home ice Sunday for a 3:05 p.m. puck drop with the Providence Bruins.
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.