T-Birds Host Penguins to Begin Three-Game Week

Dec 12, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (13-7-2-2) will host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (12-10-3-1) for the third and final time inside the MassMutual Center on Wednesday night for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. The two clubs have split the first two meetings in Springfield in the season series.
The Penguins sit two points behind the Thunderbirds in the Atlantic Division standings heading into tonight's matchup. Springfield has picked up three points in their last two games, having bounced back for a 5-1 victory on Sunday against Binghamton less than 24 hours after a devastating 5-4 overtime defeat to Charlotte.
Jayce Hawryluk's hot streak of seven straight games with a point has launched him into a tie for second in the AHL in scoring with 28 points. Hawryluk's 21 assists and 16 power play points are also league-high figures. Henrik Borgstrom is coming off a three-point performance in the win on Sunday, including his first goal since Oct. 28.
On the back end, Michael Hutchinson is coming off his best performance of the season, a 42-save outing in the 5-1 win on Sunday. It was the veteran goaltender's second win as a T-Bird. In his first start this season against the Penguins, Hutchinson made a season-high 44 stops in a 3-2 shootout defeat.
In the last meeting between the clubs on Nov. 23, Jacob MacDonald was the overtime hero for Springfield in a 4-3 win. Sam Montembeault made 26 saves to earn the victory in net for the T-Birds.
The Penguins enter the MassMutual Center riding a three-game winning streak, including a 5-4 shootout win in their last contest on Sunday in Hershey against the Bears. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has allowed only five goals in their last three games, including a 1-0 shutout win over the Cleveland Monsters on Friday.
After Wednesday's game, the Thunderbirds will not meet the Penguins again until March 24 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Springfield holds a 1-1-0-1 record in the first three matchups this season against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Following the Wednesday night matchup, the Thunderbirds hit the road on Saturday for a tangle with the rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena at 7:00 p.m. before returning home on Sunday for a 3:05 p.m. matinee against the Hershey Bears at the MassMutual Center.
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 Lexus 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.
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